Hello, my dear readers! 💖 Pardon the lapse in posts… RL has been doing quite a number on me, and it’s caused me to take a step back and think about what needs to be done to move forward. But that’s not what I’m going to talk about today! I’m going to talk about the marvelous event that the wonderful folks at Idea Factory International prepared for otome and Hakuoki fans. And they did a fantastic job for their first time holding an event like this!
Let’s take a tour of what the event was like!
The drive from where I was to the event’s venue was a pain to get to thanks to the lovely California traffic! I don’t think I’ve ever been on the road and not have to wait in traffic. Thanks to that, I missed the opening ceremony. 😩
The opening ceremony consisted of a warm greeting, the Hakuoki localization team saying a few words about their involvement in the games and a reading of a letter from the Hakuoki producer, Tunekiyo Fujisawa. The letter itself was one of surprise; no one expected the event to be sold out! But being the first of this sort of event to be held officially with promise of exclusive goods to be sold, I was sure that the otome community would get on that like there’s no tomorrow! 💪
After the opening ceremony, it was finally time to experience what this festival had to offer!
Lines immediately formed everywhere for each area of the room, most notably, the merchandise booth.
I must confess, I almost bought one of each item that they had! 💸 I didn’t get the posters because I honestly don’t even have room for any new posters or prints. They sure looked tempting though!
After buying a lot of pretty samurai vampires swag, I checked out the pamphlet to see where to go next. Each area had an activity to be done, which after it’s completed, you get rewarded with two adorable little badges!
I started by making my way to line up for the Husbando Photoshoot, where you get to pose with your favorite Hakuoki character to have your picture taken! 📸
If only they sold the standees…I would LOVE to have my own Kazama standee! I would put hats and scarves on him. 😁💖 (Psst, Idea Factory…you listening?!)
After I got my picture taken, I went to the Love Notes Wall, where you could write sweet nothings for your husbando, declare who the best guy is or write a message to Idea Factory International or the otome community!
There were SO MANY messages already! Everyone was pouring out their love for otome and Hakuoki! Wonderful! ✨
Next stop, the Best Boy Poll, where you can vote for which Hakuoki guy is the BEST!
I bumped in Idea Factory International’s own Ari! We got to express our outrage at the current standings of the Best Boy Poll:
Next to the Best Boy Poll area was the Omikuji Fortunes area, where you could draw a fortune featuring your husbandos!
I got Harada’s good luck fortune! He’s my second favorite, so I was quite pleased with this result. 😍
You could choose to either keep the fortune or tie it in the back. Since you could get multiple fortunes whenever, I’m sure a lot of people opted to collect as many different fortunes as possible.
In the middle of the room, a table was set up with a GIGANTIC Hakuoki cake surrounded by adorable little macarons made by the talented folks at Honey & Butter!
Near the sweets display was the Info/Social Media Booth, where you can ask anything about the event and get more cute buttons by tweeting your festival experience with the #HakuokiFesCafe2017 hashtag. I’m willing to bet that a lot of people voiced their support for this kind of event, feedback and the desire to have more events like this in the future! (Fingers crossed! ✨)
At this point, the cafe was ready for those who were lucky enough to secure those tickets. Thankfully, I was among those lucky people! I’ve worked up an appetite after going from booth to booth, so I was ready to refuel.
The room was quite big, complete with big round tables and an area to make your own bento lunch box. The food presented were based on the favorite dishes of the guys, which was a really nice touch!
What impressed me a great deal is how they presented the tables where attendees would be sitting at:
And to top it off, the food was absolutely DELICIOUS! 🍱
Good food and good company! I got to talk to otome fans and it was really fun getting to know more members of the otome community! I would love to experience this again someday.
Back to the main room I went! I got in the very long Survey Booth line. The survey asked questions about what people thought of the events and areas to improve upon, among other things. It took quite a bit of time because there were only 2 iPads for attendees to take the survey where an event of this scale could have used at least 4 of those.
I decided to check out the Love Notes Wall again to see if it got more lovely messages from fans:
Watching this wall at different intervals of the event was quite the experience; more and more messages were written along with cute or funny drawings! I really enjoyed reading all of the messages that people wrote.
I mustered up the courage to try out the Sake Ring Toss, where you could try and toss these plastic rings on sake bottles. If you were successful, you got a raffle ticket for the chance to win one of the cute Hakuoki macarons!
I managed to get a couple of successful tosses, but I was also gifted with raffle tickets from others, so I was quite lucky! ✨
As the event started to near its end, we were given cake and the results of the Best Boy Poll were announced. And, of course, let’s not forget about the raffle for those darling Hakuoki macarons!
Top 3 Best Boy Poll standings:
- Hajime Saito
- Souji Okita
- Chikage Kazama
As expected… Saito won the poll. BUT…!!! Kazama made it to the third spot! TOP 3, BAYBEEEE!!! 🎉 I was so happy to see so many Kazama fans at this event!
Though I didn’t win any of the Hakuoki macarons, having a Saito cosplayer win the Saito macaron was the CUTEST thing and we were all so very happy for her!
I used the remainder of the time trying to get through the biggest line of them all, the Photobooth line.
The biggest reason why it took forever to get through this line was due to there only being one photobooth, but it also offered the ability for people to choose from several accessories to pose with, which made this whole process take twice as long because there were just SO MANY items to choose from. In the end, we were given the buttons even if we didn’t get to do the photobooth activity, but I braved the line anyway to finish all the activities this event had to offer.
And so the end of the event arrived and it was time to say our goodbyes. 😢
The event was a huge success! I got to meet fans who traveled from other states and even other countries to attend this event! It was such a great experience to talk to various fans and take part in these activities together as we celebrate our love for Hakuoki and otome games. 💖
However, it being the first official event of its kind, it wasn’t without bumps on the road. The venue for the event was great, but the room itself was too small for the number of activities that Idea Factory International had planned for fans. A bigger room would not only mean more room for more activities or extra booths for a higher volume of people, but it would mean that they could have more tickets available for sale.
As detailed above, the Survey Booth took a very long time due to a very limited amount of iPads that were available for people to use. And for an event like this, absolutely EVERYONE wanted to leave their feedback. Increasing the number of devices should help in fixing this issue for next time.
If people didn’t get to buy the tickets for the special cafe, their choice for food was extremely limited. I was told there was only an ice cream truck in the area… Which that isn’t really lunch. Having more food trucks outside for people who couldn’t take part in the cafe would really help people who wanted to stay nearby while getting a bite to eat. Along with that, having a water station where people could properly hydrate without leaving the room would be a huge plus as well. I brought my own drink, so I was good to go, but I didn’t want to think about others who didn’t drink much liquids in the duration of the event.
And the biggest problem of all… The Photobooth area. It took me SO LONG to get those pictures! The only reason I did it was for the sake of activity completion, but man, I was about ready to bail because I was so tired of standing! As I said previously, while the ability to have a ton of items to choose from so you can make a memorable post is great, but the number of the items for only on booth was too much. People took too long selecting an item to pose with. And in between shots, they switched items, which made this whole process last longer. For this activity, I feel like they needed a setup of at least two or three booths to help the line move along faster. And even then it would take long due to the ability to choose from a huge variety of items to pose with. So to add to that, maybe shorten the amount of available items; this would make people decide quicker on which item to pick.
Even with these issues, the event was a hit with fans, and it served to bring the community a bit closer. This event really served to give a clear picture of how big the otome game community is and how in demand these games are. I hope that Idea Factory International considers holding another one of these events in the future! 🙏
If you didn’t get to attend this event and you were really wanting to have some of the merch that was sold there, worry not! Idea Factory International has some of them for sale on their online store:
- Hakuoki: Kyoto Winds Body Pillowcase
- Hakuoki: Kyoto Winds Sticker Sheet A
- Hakuoki: Kyoto Winds Sticker Sheet B
And if you haven’t gotten the Kyoto Winds game yet, the sweet Limited Edition set is still available on their online store!
Want to get a closer look of the Limited Edition set? I did an unboxing post about it!
Until next time, goodbye and goodnight!