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This is the part of the Tokyo Anime Fair where the sequence of events started to break down and time started to run together.

TAF Public Days (Three & Four): March 24-25, 2007

These two action-packed days went by like a complete blur. 45,764 visitors on the first public day. 37,595 on the second. It was absolute madness, but very VERY fun.

We walked in on Friday a half-hour early for the show, and the line-up of fans looked something like this:

AbbyShot at the Tokyo Anime Fair 2007We quickly set up the booth and waited for the waves of people to come in. We were not disappointed! 10 am on Saturday looked like this:

AbbyShot at the Tokyo Anime Fair 2007We called it “The Running of the Otaku” – it was surreal! As you can see from the pic, cute girls in white coats were hired to politely slow them down as these hardcore fans ran in to see the latest from their favorite anime studios.

It didn’t take long for the crowds to pour in, and soon enough every aisle in the place looked like this:

AbbyShot at the Tokyo Anime Fair 2007
It was so wild that our buddy Gerard had to practice his deadly moves:

AbbyShot at the Tokyo Anime Fair 2007
Luckily, lethal force wasn’t necessary – fans from all over Japan (and the world) were instantly happy and excited as soon as they saw the incredible clothing that AbbyShot has to offer!

The big hit at the Tokyo Anime Fair: The AbbyShot Elric Coat!

The fans loved trying this one on and everyone immediately turned into Edward Elric, doing all the cool moves from Fullmetal Alchemist.

AbbyShot at the Tokyo Anime Fair 2007 AbbyShot at the Tokyo Anime Fair 2007 AbbyShot at the Tokyo Anime Fair 2007 AbbyShot at the Tokyo Anime Fair 2007
Not only did the fans love him, Elric was also a hit with the ladies. Who knew?
AbbyShot at the Tokyo Anime Fair 2007 AbbyShot at the Tokyo Anime Fair 2007 AbbyShot at the Tokyo Anime Fair 2007
The booth was constantly busy for two days straight, so of many of the AbbyShot classics were very popular as well.

And how could we forget our earliest anime inspired garment, the timeless trenchcoat worn by Vash the Stampede in the series Trigun. It’s an older anime, but still very recognizable among the hardcore anime fans. It really made an impression, especially in leather!

AbbyShot at the Tokyo Anime Fair 2007 AbbyShot at the Tokyo Anime Fair 2007
Myself, Julia, and Gerard were always busy talking to fans in the booth, but that didn’t mean that we couldn’t take a few breaks for a bit of fun at the show. Especially on the last day (Sunday), there were definitely a few things we just HAD to do.

So Julia met a Ninja Turtle, we both hung out with a pink blob (?!?), I followed in the footsteps of Pac-Man, and Julia tried on some sweet 3D eyeglasses.

The ultimate, however, was a meeting that has been twenty years in the making. Ever since I was a little tot watching crazy Japanese anime on Saturday morning TV, I’ve always wanted to meet my childhood hero: ASTRO BOY! I can now happily cross this off the list of things to do before I’m 80.

AbbyShot at the Tokyo Anime Fair 2007The final Public Day ended with a meeting between AbbyShot and the owners of the costume retailer CANDY ONE, who we mentioned in our previous “Japan Report” blog post. This company makes beautiful, detailed costumes from such diverse anime as The Galaxy Railways and Ikkitousen: Dragon Destiny. The owner of CANDY ONE was very impressed with all of our AbbyShot gear, especially our beautiful leather garments, and wanted very much to sell AbbyShot clothing in his Tokyo shop! He wanted us to meet him at his shop the following day to discuss the details.

We couldn’t be happier – our first business deal in Japan was underway! What a way to end an awesome show!

The Final Day in Japan: March 26, 2007

Our last full day in Tokyo was a pleasant one, despite the fact that we had to leave such a beautiful city! Our main priority for the day was our meeting with CANDY ONE in the growing anime district of Nakano. The CANDY ONE retail shop was located in a complex called “Broadway” which, to our surprise, was absolutely packed with people on a Monday in the early afternoon.

AbbyShot at the Tokyo Anime Fair 2007This shopping centre was full of excellent shops both big and small, with many catering to anime fans – including two floors of Mandarake, an excellent Japanese chain that sells all types of manga and collectibles.

CANDY ONE was located on the 3rd floor of this busy complex in a small but well-stocked retail shop. There were lots of amazing costumes on display and we were very impressed by the attention to detail that went into each one. Each of these costumes is spot-on, 100% EXACTLY from the anime!

Suffice it to say that our meeting was great, and we are so happy to say that CANDY ONE is now an official AbbyShot agent in Tokyo, Japan!

AbbyShot at the Tokyo Anime Fair 2007We left a Kill Bill Jacket and a Leather Stampede Duster (see it in the picture above?) for them to display in their shop because they really loved our leather clothing, and many plans were made for this new partnership between AbbyShot and CANDY ONE. It’s an exciting new alliance that is being developed every day, and there’s already another blog post in the making with more news, so stay tuned!

With business being done, we stopped to have the best sushi EVER on the main floor of the Nakano Broadway:

AbbyShot at the Tokyo Anime Fair 2007Mmm… raw fish. Then it was off to Shibuya to check out the stores and drift between the crowds.

AbbyShot at the Tokyo Anime Fair 2007That’s as good an image as any to leave you with as we end our report on AbbyShot’s fantastic, surreal, and above all FUN trip to the Tokyo Anime Fair (and beyond!). It’s been a blast getting our observations down on this blog and hopefully it was as fun to read as it was to write. Hopefully the pictures were cool at the very least! AbbyShot is already following up on lots of great leads in Japan, and who knows, maybe we’ll be back someday. You’ll get the news here first! This is Mark, signing off.

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