For the second year in a row, a high-profile hotel in Japan played host to a Yamato 2199 public event. In 2013 it was the Yamato Summer Festival at the Portopia Hotel in Kobe (read about it here), and this year it was Yamato 2199 World at the Rihga Royal Hotel in Osaka.
From August 14-16, fans could immerse themselves in a variety of attractions. The 1/100 Yamato model was present, surrounded by professionally-built model kits and panel displays with anime art. Children could attend model building classes and get pictures of themselves as crew members in a Yamato photo booth. (Both shown above.)
Fresh from her live appearance the day before, Aya Uchida gave a talk show on the 14th, and the Osaka Shion Winds Orchestra performed on the evening of the 15th.
For her appearance, Yuria Misaki-themed cookies were sold for 5 “Royals” a set. (A “Royal” is the in-house scrip for the Royal Rihga Hotel.)
Osaka is also a city for cuisine, and there were several Yamato-based food options. The special “Planet chocolates” were covered in our last report, but there was also a revival of Café OMCS that served items from the ship’s menu such as Space Navy curry rice, Solar Wind fried rice, and hamburger with Astro Potato.
The Café OMCS menu displays the options and the three daily sessions when the coveted Magellanic Parfait is made.
Patrons could dine in view of Naoyuki Katoh’s live-painted Yamato murals.
Drinks-wise, there was Yamato beer, Yamato cider, and a sub-menu of drinks named after characters.
Fortunately for us, Yamato 2199 World was heavily attended by fans who shared their experiences on their blogs and Twitter feeds. Following are three different accounts that tell the tale.
The 1/100 Yamato model displayed in all its intricate glory.
Note the 1/100 Captain Okita figure standing in his quarters (at right).
Kikyouya Nomaki’s blog
As a member of the staff that organized and assembled the event, this blogger had a unique behind-the-scenes perspective.
He shared a collection of print ads here.
He said that radio promotion and digital signage in the Umeda district of Osaka (the “business” neighborhood) added up to a tremendous cost. He admitted that the profit-driven side of the event ran contrary to otaku sensibilities, but as a former otaku himself, he came to learn a lot about the realities of such an event as a behind-the-scenes participant.
See his first report here, which includes setup photos taken in June.
After participating in the 2199 Summer Festival of August 2013, he said that several new ideas were proposed for Yamato 2199 World, such as serving “Roast Rokrok Bird” and building a “Yamato Room,” but some were cost-prohibitive. On the other hand, more kid-friendly attractions were developed: the photo booth and model-building classes.
See his second report here, which includes setup photos from July 22.
On this day, an elaborate promotional display was built in the lobby of the Rihga Royal Hotel, including a showcase with model kits and other products.
Two of the themed menu items at Café OMCS: Hamburger with Astro Potatoes, and Space Navy Curry Rice.
Around the Earth Today blog
This female blogger attended the first day, Friday the 15th. See her blog here.
An overnight train ride delivered her to Osaka early in the morning and she arrived at the Rihga Royal Hotel at about 9am to find that others had already begun lining up an hour earlier.
She walked through the exhibit space with friends and managed to win a Magellanic Parfait ticket for the second round. (She previously had one at the Portopia Hotel in Kobe a year earlier.) Lunch at Cafe OMCS consisted of Hamburger served with Astro Potato. The hamburger bun was marked with a Yamato logo. She shared these to save room for the parfait, which she described as better than last year with some new ingredients.
The “Character Image” drinks menu. (L to R) Captain Okita (Coca-Cola), Shiro Sanada (cider with blue syrup),
Daisuke Shima (grapefruit juice & melon syrup), Susumu Kodai (Campari, grapefruit juice, tonic water),
Yuki Mori (lychee liqueur, pineapple juice, red wine).
Yamato Gawa blog
She hoped to score the Magellanic Parfait on the first round (it would only be offered at three time throughout the day, and just 30 would be served each time), but found a long line already in place before she arrived at 10am. Fortunately, she was able to score a ticket for one in the first round since high demand on the previous day had pushed the limit from 30 to 40 per round.
When entering the Yamato World event space, large movie posters and life-size panels of the main characters lead up to the 1/100 Yamato model. Around this was arranged professionally-built model kits and other display panels.
Lunch at Cafe OMCS was next on her agenda. It was set up in a banquet hall normally devoted to wedding receptions. Yamato music played on the PA while trailers and video scenes played on monitors. After dining on “Solar Flare fried rice,” she watched her Magellanic Parfait being assembled by the chefs, and she described it thusly:
It is slightly taller than 25cm (almost 10″), and the volume of the fruit and cookies were luxurious. And what about the taste? Oh, what a moment of bliss!
Mango sorbet and vanilla cream soda were sticked with a strawberry leaf and yogurt, and fresh mint on top. It was dusted with chocolate sauce and fruits such as blueberry, cherry, muskmelon and a pear which was cut into in a charming star shape. The sweet, round chocolate cookie is like a crispy pastry. To avoid sinking under the weight of the ice cream, it was embedded in the stack. Instead of ice cream at the bottom of the glass, there was mainly raspberry sauce and yogurt. If you eat all the way to the bottom, you’ll definitely be satisfied. I’m glad I only had a little of the fried rice.
Essential gear: “Royals” (hotel scrip) and a ticket for Magellanic Parfait, entry tickets from different vendors,
handout pack for attendees with newspaper, buttons, and a hand fan.
She also attended the Osaka Shion Winds Orchestra concert (the orchestra which maintains a partnership with 2199). Here again, tickets were limited to about 700, but she prevailed.
Conductor Hiroshi Tanaka received a big round of applause when he walked out in a Captain Okita uniform and began the program with Outer Space Expanding Into Infinity (a trumpet performing the vocal scat). This was followed by the Yamato theme. A representative of Production IG served as the MC, and explained that the orchestra was previously part of the Osaka Board of Education, but is now privatized as an official partner of Yamato 2199 with Akira Miyagawa appointed as music director. (Though he was not present at this concert.)
Yamato Launches was followed by the Cosmo Tiger theme from The New Voyage (but without the “Wandaba” motif borrowed from Ultraman – which the blogger preferred). The Garmillas national anthem came next, then Gathering the Fleet. Sortie, Yamato Maelstrom, and Great Love closed out the performance. She wrote glowingly about each song and wished the concert could have gone on much longer, wondering how exciting it must have been to hear the original live performances in the 1970s.
The hotel space had largely emptied out, but it was still possible to win three Magellanic Parfait tickets for the last day in a Yamato-themed bingo tournament.
The custom-made “Planet Chocolates” by Leclat (the hotel’s chocolatier) were sold only during
the three days of the event. They are scheduled to be made again at special events later this year.