J-Pop Summit 2011

Hey guys! I hope you all had a great weekend. Ours was pretty awesome as we attended the 3rd annual J-Pop Summit Festival in San Francisco. It’s a street fair that covers a few blocks in the heart of Japantown with music, fashion shows, movies, and booths for goods. This year’s J-Pop Summit was hosted by New People, who runs an extraordinary three-story building that will fulfill all of your Japanese pop culture cravings. They even have a theater downstairs where you can watch a variety of Japanese films.

We first went into New People where we found an animated crowd in front of a TV screen. Turns out they were checking out Nico Nico Douga, which is a popular video sharing website in Japan. What makes it different from other sites is that comments are directly posted on the video so when other users view it, comments are played back as well. Nico Do was here to introduce the English version of the site Niconico.

We headed upstairs to find the store where they were selling Miku x SF Japantown goods among other things. The Miku collaboration goods were sold for charity and were designed by an artist from Japan by the name of Shiratama. Apparently, there was a contest for the design of these goods which emphasizes the participatory aspect of the vocaloid culture.

The third floor had a bunch of awesome (mostly lolita) clothing, and a small space to get your nails done with calgel.

After checking out the lolita clothing, we headed outside to watch the Baby, The Stars Shine Bright fashion show. Baby, The Stars Shine Bright is a clothing boutique that specializes in lolita fashion. They currently have two stores outside of Japan, one in Paris and SF. Many of the girls shown bellow handmade parts of their outfit and accessories which was quite fascinating.


The next act was Ikura and Kozue from Danceroid, which is a group of Internet dancers who dance to Vocaloid music. Initially gaining a presence on Nico Nico Douga, they eventually became a five member team and have performed at many Japanese pop culture events, including the Anime Expo. Their dance moves made it seem like they were actually 2-dimensional anime characters. They were followed by a DJ set with DJ Amaya and ZANEEDS. ZANEEDS is a four piece team, which includes an illustrator and designer, and they produce music of Hatsune Miku, Kagamine Rin and Megurine Luka.

Here’s one of their videos, Jyounetsu wo Upload (Upload Your Passion)




And then everyone just got up and danced.



We also got to try out the Hatsune Miku rythme game called Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA, arcade style. The graphics are pretty cool so much so that it’s also fun to just watch.

Here are some more pictures:




All in all, a pretty eventful weekend I would say.

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