Monday, April 12, 2010

The 2010 Cherry Blossom Festival Southern California Part 6: Goth! Goth! Loli! Loli!-Lolita Fashion Show on the J-Pop Stage

Of course when you have an event in Little Tokyo, Hello Kitty will be there...

Okay when I think of gothic/lolita style, I think of those girls who like wearing frilly skirts that almost look too childish for them...pretty much the goth kids except sweeter. I didn't really know that there were types of lolita...none of the books I have really mentioned a difference. While my non-anime friend was with me, he also had a camera, so I couldn't get notes taken as to what the differences are, but I'll try to recall from memory what I saw. Feel free to correct me in a comment.

Anyway, this event was hosted by one of the maids from the AniMaid Cafe (or Funky Fresh Cosplay?) group who was showing off her Mary Magdalene style:

The first was an example of kuroi/shiroi (black/white):

Country style:



Wa-loli (Japanese):


The plaid makes me think punk on this one (though someone mentioned aristocrat):


More sweetness without a petticoat (this reminds me...I have a dentist appointment coming up soon...)


Sweet/Country (Meganekko?):



More country sweetness:

and more Punk:

Still more sweetness:


More classic:


Sweet with muted colors:

And one more sweet thing:

Then a final bow for the models...

At least I got my non-anime friend hooked now with this fashion show. I also learned that a lot of the items shown are available at the when will we get the Kogal fashion show!?!?!

Well that's all for now...

The 2010 Cherry Blossom Festival Southern California Part 5: The Art of Peace-Back to the Martial Arts Stage

The funny thing about the Cherry Blossom Festival was that there weren't really any cherry blossoms near any of the stages or booths. The only one I found was on the top of a mochi cake booth.

But back to guys handing out the hurt...On the second day, I brought another non-anime friend to Little Tokyo. However, he had a Ducks game to get to, so the day was short, but I really wasn't planning much.

Anyway, we started with the martial arts stage where the Aikido Center of Los Angeles kicked things off with an Iaido (sword drawing) demonstration. Like many martial arts, this one is all about skill (again, more exciting when you're in the first row within inches of the blade)...

There were more examples of sword drawing, but the pics came out blurry. Anyway, I wanted to see the aikido since I've only studied Yoshinkan aikido. Judging by their belts, I think these guys were Aikikai.

Entering throw (irimi nage):

Looks like a reverse hand throw (kote gaeshi):

Something from a two-hand grasp. I can't remember (breath throw, kokyu nage? leave a comment if you can figure it out):

A form of second control (nikajo):

Side entering throw (sokumen irimi nage):

And one of my favorite techniques, first control (ikkajo):

Again the difference between Yoshinkan, Aikikai, Judo, etc... for a technique that looks the same is how it feels. And there's really no substitute for feeling it first-hand.

Next was more Filipino stick fighting from NNG Balintawak International:

With a short demonstration between a balintawak practitioner and a practitioner of Russian systema:

Since neither of us wanted to watch the karate since they were mainly children in that demo, I showed him around the two Jungle locations where he learned quickly how expensive an otaku lifestyle can be with figures that can cost in the hundreds of dollars. However, when we stopped at the Kinokuniya bookstore before hitting the martial arts stage, he was contemplating dropping $50 on an art book that required ID to purchase until I suggested he get a t-shirt if he wanted a Little Tokyo souvenir.

When we returned to the martial arts stage, we were treated to a demonstration of training by the California Sumo Association.

It's amazing how far they can stretch. I heard the guy in the blue shorts actually ran the L.A. Marathon. It's also amazing how much weight they can take.

Now in sumo, you can push the opponent off or throw him down to win.

You can't punch or kick in sumo, but you can push with flat palms.

You can lift your opponent out:

You can even throw your opponent out:

There was more, but it looks a lot better in video...I'll probably edit this post later once my friend posts his videos up.

Coming up, catching the lolita fashion show before rushing back to Honda Center...

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The 2010 Cherry Blossom Festival Southern California Part 4: Closing Out Day 1 at the Martial Arts and J-Pop Stages

Pretty much I finished day 1 with some martial arts demonstrations. As someone who studies a little aikido (emphasis on little as I have a lot of things going on in my life), I like seeing how other disciplines work.

I walked in on some Atemi Ryu Jiu-Jitsu, where I noticed some of the things I have learned, like getting control of the hand that gets you and doing a reverse hand throw:

Or pulling one's fingers back...

Like NASCAR, martial arts is best enjoyed when you're a participant, so I won't post a lot of martial arts pics unless I think it can show a little detail about technique (or they look fun like some of the Judo pics I'll show later in this post...).

Now an example of Filipino stick fighting from Pakamut International...I'm not familiar with Filipino martial arts, but it seems to be a form of eskrima as they demonstrated both two stick and knife work...

Then I finished my martial arts feast for day 1 with some competitive judo from Goltz Judo Club:

Now in a competitive judo setting, one competitor would wear a white gi while the other wears blue in a similar way how boxers would wear different colored shorts to differentiate them. And sometimes, it's just not a fair fight to be bigger than the other guy...

After my martial arts fill, I went back to the J-pop stage where I caught the last bit of Makenai...

Followed by talented headliner R&B singer Masumi from Japan...

Since I couldn't find the booth, I'll have to find out where I can get her CD...

The last group for my day was the Hollywood based group Ajuku Girls...

I hope to see them again as the wind was picked up by their microphones which hindered their performance a little bit.

By the end of their performance, it was already close to the 6:30 pm closing time, and I was really hungry and tired, so I called it a day and went home and got dinner...

Up next, waking up early in the morning to pick up another non-anime friend to see guys get beat up and something super sweet before taking him back in time to catch a hockey game...