Hyper Japan – Let’s Get Hype!

It’s been a bit of a slow week here on RinseWashRepeat. Not a lot’s been happening. Nothing’s caught my eye. Until yesterday.
I popped on over into London and had a look at ‘Hyper Japan’. An expo of some sort that celebrates everything Japanese. Food, film, culture and, here we go, games! click on to read what I got up, saw and thought about today at Earl’s Court.

‘The biggest J-Culture event in the UK’ was set out into 5 distinct sections as far as I could make out.

FOOD
Yum. Plenty of food to get your hands on here. As you’d expect with it being an Expo, it was a touch pricey. There was also plenty of crockery on sale as well as demonstrations and talks by some people who know stuff about Japanese food. Don’t ask me because I don’t know. There was also 2 competitions going on. One for sake and one for sushi. Members of the public were asked to sample plenty of sushi as well as plenty of sake, fill out some forms and bang. A winner is announced, people are fed and drunk. Win, win.

FASHION
Hard for me to comment on this as fashion isn’t a strong point of mine. From what I could tell, there was a heavy focus on people who cosplay. Wigs, fox ears, swords, everything you could need to dress as your favourite anime or manga character. There was also a stage event where people came on and talked about cosplay. Was it any good? You’re asking the wrong person.

MUSIC
I saw 2 live performers, who seemed good enough. Most stalls had CDs for sale, posters up and other bits and bobs. Not too much going on I have to say.

FILM
Again, some bits for sale, posters available. Nothing that I hadn’t heard of before. Third Window Film distribute a lot of Japanese cinema in the UK. Check their site if you’re into that kind of thing.

GAMES
Woop, woop! My speciality. What do we have? Not too much. Namco Bandai were showing some Naruto game that played well enough. Very simple, plenty of characters. Not much time with it so the story mode’s a mystery to me. Soul Calibur V was set up, though I’ve spoken about that before. Nintendo were showing some old stuff (Zelda, RE:Revelations) but the 2 that caught my eye were Rhtym Thief and The Last Story.

Rhythm Thief looked pretty. A rather traditional anime style, with FMVs all looking lovely, well animated and 3D! Think Professor Layton and you’re pretty close. The gameplay is also closely linked to another DS game, Elite Beat Agents. You use the touch screen to make some basic gestures (slide up, down, left, right and swirl) in time with the music. Simple, yes, but it plays well enough and the music’s pretty catchy. Throw in what looks like an interesting, if not mental (resurrecting Napoleon, anyone?) story and you could have a fun little title.

Then there was ‘The Last Story’. This came out the other day and I’ve still not had the chance to play it. Today they were primarily showing off the multiplayer aspects of the game, with a deathmatch style shindig taking place. My thoughts on ‘The Last Story’ will be coming soon as I was recently convinced to go buy the thing from the man himself.

That was that. Nothing spectacular, the main attraction being seeing my friends. That’s not to say it was all for nothing, I managed to get some tasty booze. Here’s to next year and the growth of Hyper Japan.

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