Kinokuniya and Kumoricon

Not a good cover pic for a post but oh well… I guess I had a bit of an exciting day today. As probably none of you would know, Kumoricon (Oregon’s anime convention) is starting tomorrow. A couple of months ago, I was asked by the manager of Kinokuniya if I could help them set up for Kumoricon. I thought this might be a good experience to practice my Japanese in a real Japanese working environment and see some cool stuff so I took the offer ^^.

*rewinds to the beginning of the day* Went to downtown to wait for the only bus that stops in front of Kinokuniya’s location. Didn’t feel like taking my car…

It was pretty quiet downtown…

The bus and MAX (train-like thing) runs on the same street and this can sometimes can cause major traffic jams and such because obviously, the MAX will have priority in traffic over everything else. This is one of the main reason I’d never drive downtown Portland… or any city for that matter ^^;.

The one and only (small) Kinokuniya is inside a Japanese supermarket…

Salmon onigiri before I start work. I love “Sekai no Kitchen” drinks! This time it’s “Salty Lime” from Mexico…. mmm… Japanese drink of Mexican origin. So after walking inside Kinokuniya and met up with the manager, I was brought to the office for some 自己紹介。 As expected, just about everyone there had trouble pronouncing my name (“Z” became “Ji”) to which the manager just suggested “Zeto” XD. It was only until I told them the Kanji for my name then they understood my name ^^;.

*fast forward* So after packing like 3 pallets of stuff into a truck at the market, we drove to the Hilton hotel’s parking lot in downtown. When we first got there, the other dealers were still not there yet and so the place was sorta dead…

Of all places downtown, they chose to host the con at a hotel and the dealer room in a parking lot…

Err… I thought I would look pretty obnoxious if I was taking photos when everyone was working so I put my camera away during the whole time until it was finished ^^;. From start to finish, everyone only spoke in Japanese and I can just barely follow along >_<. I need to train myself to speak more humbly (should use “参ります” instead of “行きます” and ーおります for -ing) and use keigo without thinking! Though I did managed to stay in polite/distant form (“desu desu desu!”) the whole time toward everyone. It was pretty fun unpacking the boxes and see stuff like anime books, mangas, figures, magazines, Japanese CD/soundtracks/DVD, and random Gundam things (saw a copy of the Hobby Japan that comes with the 1/144 base) ^^;. Well, I’ll be back here on Labor day Monday to pack what is left of the booth.

Now the other dealers are beginning to set up their booths and some are already done. What’s nice about coming as a dealer is that you can usually get first dibs on things from other dealers… most of them don’t care when you buy it as long as they have it and you have the cash :). Sadly, I never see anything I want every time I go… >_>

I probably should’ve picked up the Nintendo “I’d hit that!” Mario shirt that I always missed out on though…

Plushies and manga shelves galore

Nourishment for the weeabos and otakus. I’ve sold ramune and pocky during Kumoricon before… them folks are fanatic over this stuff! o_o These will all be gone by the last day.

Lastly, the usual not-so-great selection of Gundam models from one of the very few dealers that care to bring them.

Seems like people are already lining up to wait… for something *shrugs*. I got to attend Kumuricon every year for free and I still think it is mostly a waste of time (still better than nothing I’ll admit) so I’ll pass on it this year. Besides, I already had a blast at Anime Expo back in July so I’m not missing anything at all :D. I hope everyone who is going to Kumoricon will have a great time though!

I’ll be working the next three day so I won’t have any time to work on my next project. Later~!


18 thoughts on “Kinokuniya and Kumoricon

  1. reminds me of the Philippine Toys, Hobbies and Collectibles Convention (or Toycon) as a lot of products are on sale.. and WHATS THAT???? a VF-25 SUPER MESSIAH OZMA LEE CUSTOM?

  2. “Lastly, the usual not-so-great selection of Gundam models from one of the very few dealers that care to bring them.”

    I had to chuckle when I read that (though not to the point of literally typing it out as well). With a couple of exceptions, it looks to be that way with the multiple 1/144 and 1/100 Endless Waltz model kits in that picture, especially. (I wonder if we’ll get new ones for the EW “Glory of the Defeated” manga/comic as was said for the “Frozen Teardrop” novel…? *shrug*) It’s as if the dealers ordered from GSAM and were one of the lucky early-bird-gets-the-worm people that got ’em before they were quickly sold out. With products like MG Victory Gundam, however, I guess it isn’t quite accurate.

    But I was on the lookout for a 1/144 TAG model in that picture, just to see if it was the guy robbing me of a backup model (though it can’t be helped; given GSaM’s availability of TAG models). Not that I could ever build it; I rarely have the time and motivation, given current circumstances in my own corner of life. (I was so close to the sweet smell of a first MG before my life became a tossed salad of sorts.) Now I’m regulated to figures in the near-future, though that’s not quite so bad with amazing ones like my RD Turn A.

    I’ve digressed big time, but since I don’t have much of any related experiences (especially recently), I can’t help it. :)

    1. heh… I think your description appears pretty accurate. If they were a real gunpla retailer, i would assume they would bring out the hottest models… then again, when I was walking around I saw another booth that was carrying all the recent models that the above didn’t have (but still very few selection).

  3. Not-so-great selection? I’d get that Red Frame and a couple of others in a heart beat…if i had the cash and if i live near Portland…LOL xP

    1. even if you have the cash, i’m sure you probably wouldn’t want to fork out the money for the price that they were selling it for haha…

  4. Haha you went downtown?
    I’d love to spot you walking downtown Portland.
    Or maybe catch you in Uwajimaya.
    Yes, I was in Beaverton, but moved to Portland.

  5. I wouldn’t sweat on the keigo since you’re not going there to represent yourself as a member of a supporting company. Desu-masu goes along just fine! If you used keigo in a situation like that, you’d just come off strange haha.

    1. hm.. that’s a good point ^^. I don’t think they cared about it either since everyone was pretty close too and there was more of a friendly atmosphere than a work atmosphere.

  6. The kinokuniya is new york is quite pricey and swanky, but a very nice place. I didn’t see any gunpla there, but their second floor is also manga/plushies/artbook galore.

  7. Wow, I ace to admit, it must have been pretty neat to work on the opposite end here. I’m surprised atthe amount of stuff Kino actually has available in the states. Of course I’m jealous you even have a Kino in your area. Nothing like that in the Midwest.

    Oh, on Japanese, deau/masu form is absolutely fine for what you are doing. not a lot of people say なになにして参ります, it’s more of a mail thing. Also you say it and おります more towards when you are dealing with people like other companies and such. Its strange to use it with people you are working with in a team.

    1. Hehe… yea I think it was just a first-time jitter thing and got a bit too scared about screwing up or something along such lines. Now that i think about it… I think using keigo would’ve come off a bit weird since everyone was joking around with each other and I noticed it was very direct. Thanks for the advice though!

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