Recently we were lucky enough to sit down with 'Kim' from Animangapop Management to find out their role within the event, what it takes to put on these shows and try to get any juicy gossip!

[AMP]:
Hi there! How have you been? To start this interview please could you give us a brief description of your role at Animanga Pop?


[Kim]:
I am the Stage and Content Manager for Animangapop! I sort out the Timetable, what kind of panels/workshops and performances are going on around the Event.


->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->

[AMP]:
Perfect, How long have you been going to the event and how long as a team member?


[Kim]:
Since the very beginning of Animangapop! back in 2014.


->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->

[AMP]:
What made you want to be part of the team helping run the Convention?


[Kim]:
Long long ago, the nations lived in har- wait... Wrong story. In 2013, I met Mark, at a small charity convention, and we started talking, and he mentioned he might be hosting a convention. I'd wanted to volunteer at a con for quite some time, so 2014 came along and well... I am still here.


->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->

[AMP]:
Recently it was announced that Animangapop is on the road and attending in new Cities, out of the new 3 locations, which ones are you most looking forward to and why?


[Kim]:
Easy... all of them!


->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->

[AMP]:
It can be difficult running such a large event with such a small team, but what do you find the most challenging part of the whole of AMP?


[Kim]:
I don't think there is anything too challenging, I do wish I could clone myself sometimes though, as the things I need/want to be done, are in my head and it is hard to get someone to do this VERY specific thing without using a lot of words, it's normally just easier to get it sorted myself, as, by the time I've explained what I needed doing, I could have just sorted it by then.


->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->

[AMP]:
Do you help out at any other Conventions? Or at least attend to any others?


[Kim]:
I do not help out at any other events, however, I do attend the local ones, show masters Cardiff, Exeter, MCM Birmingham, MCM London, I have also been to Raicon and I am looking at going to some other big ones.


->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->

[AMP]:
Outside of Con work, you cosplay a lot, What has been the favourite Cosplay you have worn? And what one is your most recognisable? (One that everyone associates with you)


[Kim]:
That is a hard one, probably Goblin slayer from the anime, Goblin Slayer. however it is about 5 different layers, including chainmail, it is probably my favourite as I am a Historical Fencer and I love how Blunt he is. different people associate me with different cosplays, some will probably say Godot From Phoenix Wright, Goblin slayer, Alphonse Elric ( Armour Form ) or even Rangiku from Bleach.


->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->

[AMP]:
I’m sure some people may have noticed in some of your Social Media posts, but you have been busy behind-the-scenes on new things for the upcoming events, are you able to give us a little hint on what you have been doing?


[Kim]:
Me personally? Project Totsugeki Love Heart.
Ore no Uta o Kike,
music is love
music is hope
music is life
music is mystery
music is energy.



->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->



Website: https://www.animangapop.co.uk/
Need Support?: https://support.animangpaop.co.uk/
Email me direct: kim@popnippon.com


Recently we were lucky enough to sit down with 'Claire' from Animangapop Management to find out their role within the event, what it takes to put on these shows and try to get any juicy gossip!

[AMP]:
Hi, thank you for taking the time to join us here, How has this long break been for you?


[Claire]:
It's been a busy one. Even though we're taking a year out from AMP, we've been very active in the background.


->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->

[AMP]:
Could you give us a summary explaining your role at Animamanga Pop and how long have you been working as a team member, please?


[Claire]:
My role at Animangapop involves managing our many exhibitors, I look after them from initial enquiries, all the way through to make sure they are where they need to be on the day and that they have everything they need. You'll also most likely see me running around to assist in other areas, like preparing panel rooms, assisting with stage events and making sure all areas of the event are running smoothly. I have been a part of the team for over 4 years now, but for the last 2 years, I have taken the role of 'Event manager', making sure everything part of the event runs smoothly.


->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->

[AMP]:
Amazing, You have quite a busy role then, what is your favourite part of the convention?


[Claire]:
My absolute favourite part has to be the cosplay masquerade. I am a passionate cosplayer myself and I love to see all the hard work everyone has put into their outfits. Year on year they get more elaborate and I'm always excited to see what our cosplayer come up with next!


->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->

[AMP]:
Are there any other Conventions you help out at? Or even just the cons that you attend?


[Claire]:
I actually run a smaller convention up in Weston Super Mare called Weston Super Sonic. I have been running this event since 2014. As the same suggests, this is a Sonic the Hedgehog convention that focuses all things related to "The Blue Blur"!


->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->

[AMP]:
Other than working for Animanga Pop, you usually have a stall at the event itself, you have your own business isn’t that right? What is it like being a trader at conventions, any tips and tricks for those who wish to sell at an event?


[Claire]:
I run my own little business called Class Toons. It's a furry themed company, where I produce my own comic series, as well as artwork and parts to create your own costumes, such as ears and tails. It can be a lot of hard work to set up your own business for conventions, but very rewarding. You also see the convention differently and understand how hard every exhibitor works to bring the best they have to offer to each show.

My advice to anyone looking to set up their own trading space is presentation is key. As well as having something unique to sell, think about how to maximise your trading space. Display levels, walls to attach items, lighting and colour themes. If you can make your table stand out and make your product easy to display, you'll be more likely to attract potential buyers


->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->

[AMP]:
I heard recently you had a trip to Tokyo, what was it like there? What was your favourite part of the city? Would you recommend anything in particular for anyone who wishes to visit?


[Claire]:
Going to Tokyo was an incredible experience. Nothing can fully prepare you for how much there is to do and see. I was there for 10 days and barely scratched the surface! I could never pick one favourite thing, as there was just so much I loved about Tokyo. Akihabara was an overload of joy for the anime nerd in me, but Odaiba was equally incredible for its shopping and incredible views of the Rainbow Bridge (and not forgetting the giant Gundam statue!). But I also loved Asakusa, for the escape from shopping to just enjoy the cultural side of the city.

If I had to enjoy one place that many people may not know of, I would recommend a little ramen shop called Jingu Ramen in Harajuku. I went there for a short lesson in ramen making and discovered my love for Japanese cuisine. The ramen was so good!


->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->

[AMP]:
You have quite a talent when it comes to cooking, especially Japanese cuisine, what is your go-to meal you would make someone, and what made you interested in this style of cooking?


[Claire]:
If I want to really impress someone, my prize meal is Tonkotsu Ramen. It's a pork bone broth, which is cooked for a ridiculous amount of time to extract all the goodness from the bones. This is topped with well marinated Chashu pork, bamboo shoots, spring onions, a soft boiled marinated egg and a whole variety of other toppings. It usually takes me at least 48 hours to make, but all the effort is worth it for a magical tastebud trip.

My love for Tonkotsu ramen started with my trip to Jingu Ramen in Harajuku and set itself in stone after watching a documentary on the plane home called Ramen Heads. I grew a respect for the art of cooking ramen and aspire to create the perfect dish both visually and in taste.


->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->

[AMP]:
Recently it was announced that Animanga Pop is on the road and attending in new Cities, out of the new 3 locations, which ones are you most looking forward to and why?


[Claire]:
I think Brighton would have to be the most exciting venture. Being closer to London, hopefully, we can attract bigger guests and a lot more traders, cosplayers, performers and put on the best show yet!


->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->



Website: https://www.animangapop.co.uk/
Need Support?: https://support.animangpaop.co.uk/
Email me direct: claire@popnippon.com



Recently we were lucky enough to sit down with 'Groups Manager' from AiDOLOXXXY to discuss the current situation in Japan and their goals for the year ahead.

[AMP]:
Thank you, 'Ragi', 'Yumu', 'Minami', 'Nana' and of course their manager for taking time to answer a few questions for our fans and followers.


[AMP]:
First of all, how is everyone? How are things in Tokyo at the moment with regards to the current COVID situation?


[AiDOLOXXXY]:
Tokyo is currently facing a 2nd wave of the COVID epidemic situation, so everyone pays significant attention to social activities. Therefore, so many events have been mostly cancelled, including many idol live concerts. Its seriously tough time. Some historical live houses already closed down businesses in Tokyo.

->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->

[AMP]:
People from the UK in recent years have started getting into the idol scene and started following a lot of different groups. For those who have yet to hear AiDOLOXXXY can you introduce yourselves?


[[AiDOLOXXXY]:
It is so nice to know people in the UK have started following Japanese idol groups! AiDOLOXXXY is a Japanese idol group produced initially by Japanese fashion brand Galaxxxy in 2019. (Now managed by BORDERLESS MUSIC PRODUCTION with Galaxxxy support in part of creative, such as costumes)

->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->

[AMP]:
AiDOLOXXXY has such a distinct feel to it and looks to have full creative support from the fashion brand “Galaxxxy”. How would you describe your sound and look?


[AiDOLOXXXY]:
AiDOLOXXXY places a lot of importance in its creative sound. Unlike other idol groups, AiDOLOXXXY changes its music composer for each new song. That gives a variety of sound to AiDOLOXXXY and acts as one of its core concepts which are “Diversity”. Similar to the Fashion brand Galaxxxy’s concept.

Like the first M.V “Galaxy Quest”, the sound is unique compared to other idol group sounds. It has a unique mixture of a pop sound and electro sound. You can also find the outstanding graphic printed costume in MV. The artist who produced the graphics is called MITSUME.

->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->

[AMP]:
I loved ‘Galaxy Quest’ as it has such an upbeat tempo as well as super-catchy. What has your favourite song been so far to date?


[AiDOLOXXXY]:
I do love ‘Galaxy Quest’ the best so far. Music producer CHI-MEY has made a great gift to AiDOLOXXXY with this. However, I like others too.

->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->

[AMP]:
As we are now half-way through 2020, Do you have anything exciting planned for the 2nd half of the year?


[AiDOLOXXXY]:
Sorry... that is a secret for now. He-he!

->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->

[AMP]:
What do you think about the current wave of streaming of live stage events that are happening in the world at the moment? Do you think they will have a place in the future and might coexist with real events?


[AiDOLOXXXY]:
Continuous cancellation of live stage events has been causing severe financial damage to most of the live performers. Some say 30% of idol groups in Japan will vanish because of this. To keep them alive, streaming live stage is one kind of solution for sure.

An increasing number of artists are streaming live stage, with better quality and more ideas of the streaming live stage will boost up compared to before COVID world. So...yes! It will have a place in the future.

->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->

[AMP]:
Apart from your Social media links and website. Is there anywhere that international fans will be able to see AiDOLOXXXY live-stream?


[AiDOLOXXXY]:
Sorry, not at the moment no. We hope in the near future.

->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->

[AMP]:
Once the world is out of this current situation, will AiDOLOXXXY be looking to perform at events nationally and internationally?


[AiDOLOXXXY]:
We are definitely looking forward to performing at overseas events in the future!

->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->

[AMP]:
Once again, thank you for taking the time to talk to us, and we really hope and look forward to seeing you soon.


[AiDOLOXXXY]:
We are so glad to have opportunities to introduce AiDOLOXXXY ourselves here. We strongly hope to see you all soon. Thank you so much!



You can find out more above Aidoloxxxy and their awesome songs by following their social media and/or visiting their website. All listed below.

Website: https://www.aidoloxxxy.com/
Twitter: https://www.aidoloxxxy.com/





Recently we were lucky enough to sit down with 'Yu Katayama' from Listen Flavor to discuss the current situation in Japan and their goals for the year ahead.

[AMP]:
First of all, how are you? and how are things in Tokyo at the moment with regards to the current situation?


[Listen Flavor]:
I'm good thank you. I'm even busier than before the COVID situation.
The situation in Tokyo is somewhat weird. Although we were once relieved from the state-of-emergency declaration, the number of patients is still increasing day by day and it became even more than before the declaration! For that reason, people are avoiding coming to Tokyo.

The shops and restaurants are re-opened as before, but the customers are not coming back as they used to be. Most people are still keeping staying at home and afraid of being infected. On the other hand, the people who got tired of staying at home are going out a lot.

It is a kind of ironic that the people going out are spreading the threat of infection but also helping the shops not to go bankrupt.

Nobody can tell which is right and which is not.

Everything seems to be unpredictable as the situation changes every day much faster than our expectations.
However, we are struggling to find a way to ‘live together’ with the virus.

->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->

[AMP]:
Everyone is dying to know how did one of the most famous Harajuku Brands in fashion start out? When was the beginning of the road for you?


[Listen Flavor]:
Before we opened the store in Harajuku, the founder of the company started his business as a T-shirt speciality brand for retailers. It was nothing special at the beginning. We started as a small company with a small business.

Shortly after a while, I (a designer) and Yu-san (a director of the brand) joined the company.
From that point, the way our brand should go became much clearer. The name of the brand ‘LISTEN FLAVOR’ came from the graphic of the T-shirt that I designed which became the first small hit from the brand founded before LISTEN FLAVOR. At that time, the former brand name was not officially registered yet, so we changed it to... LISTEN FLAVOR.

It was a kind of funny story that one day in the morning, the founder of the company went out, and when he came back after a few hours, he said he found a good location for a new store in Harajuku. I didn't even know what he went out for!

For a small company which had just launched its business, finding the vacant property in Harajuku, especially around Takeshita street, is almost like a miracle as we all knew how hard it is. However, it happened by chance.

That is how we started ‘LISTEN FLAVOR’ as in the shape of the brand you may all recognise today.

->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->

[AMP]:
Listen Flavor has such a distinct feel to it, a lot of UK-based fans of your brands would love to know where the inspiration for the collections comes from?


[ListenFlavor]:
This is a frequently asked, yet ‘hard to answer’ kind of question because the source of inspiration comes from everywhere.

It is like gathering particles of raw culture floating around the streets of Harajuku. We mix, mash and stir them up together and extract the essence from it.
The extracted essence is always containing what people are interested in right now, what is striking their hearts, and how they adapt it to their lives. What we do is to bring that to the shape of fashion. The most important thing is to catch up with the ‘real’ and ‘raw’ culture born just now in the street of Harajuku.

->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->

[AMP]:
As with most companies, the current situation has made people think about diversification in certain areas of their business. We can see you have moved into the production of masks. Is this a product line you think will be a trend that you will keep moving forward after the pandemic? Would Listen Flavor also look at potentially diversifying into Bags and Footwear?


[ListenFlavor]:
About the masks, we are not sure, to be honest. Because the world we want to live in is the world we can live without masks. But until that day comes, yes, we will keep producing them as it is becoming a part of fashion, at least for now.

Regarding Bags and Footwear, we always have been thinking about producing them. To tell you the truth, we were making them in the past. However, the product line has been suspended for many reasons but it is always in our minds. So it will be coming someday in the future.

->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->

[AMP]:
As we are now half-way through 2020, Do you have anything exciting planned for the 2nd half of the year?


[Listen Flavor]:
I really hope so. We had to change all the schedules for this year. And some ‘surprising’ plan was also postponed. We are still re-scheduling all the plans, including new collaborations. I can't tell if they can be announced within 2020 or will be 2021 but it is definitely coming in the near future. Besides that, the forthcoming regular collections will be exciting as well as the other surprising plans. So please expect that too.

->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->

[AMP]:
As we know, Listen Flavor has sponsored on many occasions our event ‘Animangapop’ for which everyone is truly grateful. Up till this point did you know much about the Japanese POP-Culture Scene in the UK?


[Listen Flavor]:
We knew that Lolita Fashion is quite popular in the world, especially in Europe. However, when it comes to the POP-culture, I never knew it is that much popular until we collaborated with ‘DANGANRONPA.’I then realised how much The Japanese POP-Culture is loved by so many people when I was invited to the Anime convention in the US.

So I am very much looking forward to seeing the Japanese POP-Culture fans in the UK someday. Personally, the UK is a very special place for me because London is the place where I studied Art for four years. I am expecting to ‘come back’ to the UK one day.

->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->

[AMP]:
What do you think about the current wave of streaming Conventions that are happening around the world at the moment? Do you think they will have a place in the future and might coexist with physical conventions?


[Listen Flavor]:
In a way, Yes, I think it depends on what they provide. For instance, the subject which can go well with internet-based technologies like Games and Music that can provide the ‘experience’ would succeed in that way too.

However, for the subject in which you can get more information from physical contacts, such as Cameras, Cars, Musical instruments, and Fashion! The proper place to touch and try them will be required. But even for these subjects, the streaming Convention is attractive enough to draw people's attention.

Therefore, I think the coexistence of streaming and physical Conventions is rather preferable for the future.

->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->

[AMP]:
We know that Listen Flavor has attended some conventions in the US before. Do you attend local Japanese events to showcase your brand?


[Listen Flavor]:
I have to say NO to that question.

In fact, there are not many events related to fashion held in Japan except for the so-called 'High-Fashion.' Meanwhile, well-known events like 'Design Festa' are mainly open for individual artists and designers. The other famous events for fashion are only open for companies. So there are not many chances to introduce our collection in a particular event.

Instead, as some of you might have already noticed, Social Media has become the greatest place to introduce the brand. Recently we are pouring more energy into it. So please check out if you haven't.

->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->

[AMP]:
We understand that our parent company ‘POP Nippon’ had organised 2 x Fashion Shows for Listen Flavor this year in Spain and Germany but due to the Pandemic these had to be cancelled. Are you looking forward to meeting some of your European fan-base when we are through this current crisis?


[Listen Flavor]:
Of course! By all means! Almost everyone around me who had a plan to attend the overseas event had to cancel their participation this year.

I can imagine how much they were disappointed with the situation as I was disappointed so much. Even though nobody can predict what the situation is going to be like next year, most of us are believing things will be settled in a good way. No matter when it will be, we will be there for sure.

->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->

[AMP]:
Thank you for taking your time to talk to us and we really hope and look forward to seeing you soon.


[Listen Flavor]:
Thank you! I hope I will see you all soon.



You can find out more above Listen Flavor and their awesome range of products by following their social media and/or visiting their website. All listed below.

Website: https://listenflavor.com/
Blog: https://ameblo.jp/ilovelistenflavor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/listenflavor
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/listenflavor_harajuku/
Hi there! I see you have stumbled your way to the Cosplay Corner. You may be wondering "what this is all about?"

Here you will be finding lots of different things all to do with cosplay!
From the History on your favourite hobby and the invention of cosplay and cons,
to exclusive interviews with you!

Look out for this spot, because bi-monthly I will keep you up-to-date with anything you all wish to know.
If you wish to take part in any interviews, First, make sure you are part of the Cosplay-Pop! group on Facebook which is always filled with all of your hard work and all of your inspirations! Then Email info@animangapop.co.uk asking to be part of an exclusive interview for the blog. From there you will be asked a few questions and then just wait and look out to see yourself in your very own segment!
Visit us!
Calendar
Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su
31 1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 1 2 3 4
Sept 2020