Wednesday, August 29, 2012
The J-Pop Summit Festival, celebrating Japanese Popular Culture in all its manifestations, is one of the oddest annual events in San Francisco. Much of the amusement seems to involve dressing up in "criminally cute" clothing, according to Axel Feldheim, as can be seen by the waif above in the New People store across from Japantown.
On Saturday night, I joined my adventurous friend Kimo Crossman who had an extra ticket to the Vocalekt Visions Vocaloid Concert, which involved green glow sticks handed out at the door, a first act with live dancers dressed as favorite anime characters, and a second act 3D holographic projected concert of various skinny animated female characters such as Hatsune Miku above singing their hits. Though Kimo is no spring chicken himself, I was positively ancient compared to everyone else in the small New People basement screening room, which was okay. I spent most of the time watching a cute blonde boy sitting next to us who knew all the Japanese lyrics to the songs by heart, and followed his glow stick swaying lead. It was very amusing, though the music itself sounded like Alvin and the Chipmunks Go to a Rave.
Sunday afternoon a Japanese Reality TV show host above was trying to keep up a bilingual patter in Peace Plaza, but it was easy to see that he was more comfortable with Japanese. In fact, he admitted that it was just about impossible for him to pronounce "Reality TV" in English, and he was right.
I didn't linger, because a new job was starting in the Financial District on Monday, so it was on to a rich people's thrift store for some Business Casual costumes on Upper Fillmore Street. The afternoon couldn't have been lovelier.