EDITOR’S NOTE: “DISPATCHES” is a semi-weekly column, written by Red Mendoza (@knightkira on Twitter), where he shares his personal views & opinions regarding the Japanese pop-culture scene in the country, particularly Anime, Cosplay and the Events scene. The views and opinions expressed by the writer do not necessarily reflect the views of Anime Pilipinas, its members, partners and colleagues.
My first column piece was supposed to be about what would you expect on my return to the commentary scene, but recent events triggered me to write something in which I won’t allow myself to keep silent.
So here comes another Ozine Fest event, which was touted to be their last event of the year. Naturally, I always go to events because there’s always something out there to cover. I do expect, as I always normally do, that some newsworthy thing will happen whenever I go to anime events (sometimes, with unexpected results).
Sure, I had my own taste of the international event scene through Anime Festival Asia 2014 in Singapore last December, but the urge and the thrill of covering anime events still goes into my veins, and yes, it was still my duty to go there and cover them, because I loved doing it.
Anyway, going back to my experience, I was not supposed to go to the first day of the event because of a family matter but I was going to do some business at the nearby Shangri-La Plaza Mall, so might as well go take a peek into it.
But even before going in, I saw posts on social media about the volume of people converging near Megatrade Hall 3. I gasped in disbelief when I saw this post about the situationer at the Fifth Floor at SM Megamall.
When I finally arrived at Mega after I did my business at the Shang, I couldn’t believe what I saw. People were converging at all fronts near the Megamall’s Fashion Hall, plenty of costrippers, weeaboos and jejetakus who I swear to god, just used the event to cram themselves up. If I was there a wee bit earlier, I think I might have an asthma attack.
I looked at Hall 3 where the event was being held, and I was seen by one of the organizers who told me that “they were not expecting this crowd” and “it was not like this last year.”
Oh really? They never expected this to happen?
As I walked towards the area where the Megatrade Halls are located, I could see the people just loitering along the corridors and hallways. More security guards were placed at the area, so you can only imagine how hellish the area outside Megatrade Hall has become, packed with free loaders, weeaboos and jejetakus.
Because of the unexpected surge of people going to Megatrade Hall 3, which was the venue reserved for them, the Megatrade management decided to open up the vacant Megatrade Hall 2 as the entry point, which I will explain why later.
Since I had some other business to attend to that Saturday, I decided to come back the next day and to see if there will be any improvements since they will open Megatrade Hall 2 as an extension.
Was I ever wrong about expecting improvements…
Sunday came and, being prepared for the best, I simply went in. Before I went up to the Fifth floor, I asked some cosplayers who were at the ground floor to ask if they went to the event. They replied, “Marami na pong tao,” and that made me dumbfounded.
When I went up finally to the Fifth floor to finally get a hold of the situation, and I was really surprised at the human traffic for Ozine Fest – Anime Figure Special.
I never expected that Day 2’s human traffic would be at its highest, and, much more, at its worst. So worse that they had to open up Megatrade Hall 1 as a holding area for those without tickets so that mall goers can cross towards the Carpark!
Imagine that… They should have just opened ALL THREE HALLS in the first place!
As I entered Hall 1, which was free to enter, I noticed a crowd that was enough to fill the hall to the rafters. My estimate is that around 2,000 to 2,300 people were converging inside Hall 1.
There were also some jejetakus, led by a particular Facebook group and that relatively unknown e-magazine who made a ruckus when they roamed over, and yelled showing off their tarpaulins.
All in all, I was fed up with what I have seen, and instead of spending PHP120 for entering the “gates of hell” of Ozine, I simply went down to the food court and ate, which turned out to be the best decision I made.
So what went wrong… again? Haven’t they learned from the lessons last April, during Ozine Fest 2014? Haven’t they heard the commentaries and the problems and that solutions that they needed to address?
No, I don’t think they ever listened, and worse, they lauded the event as a “successful” one and simply shrugged off the criticisms.
Frankly, why are they still creating events that could become public hazards in the long run? I mean, Ozine Fest Anime Figure Special was already the thing that will break the camel’s back because of being an event that could be a recipe for disaster. There could be a stampede, or someone might collapse because of the huge human traffic.
Or, as Otakuzine Anime Magazine Editor-in-Chief Dennis Uy would say again, “a learning experience.”
Face it, they will never learn from their mistakes, from delaying opening times (for at least 30-45 minutes, I heard) to allowing an extra hall to be opened even though the excuse was somebody forgot to sign their reservation for Megatrade Hall 2 during the holidays.
For sure, there will be that usual blame game on who made the biggest lapses, and for sure, the SM Megamall Security team will always be the the ones taking the blame for an otherwise thankless job that they always do, even during the holidays.
And then, there are still some people, despite the fact that they were already being disenfranchised and being a part of this hazard, still take the time to say that Ozine was “the most awesome event ever?”
Come on, open up your minds people. Were you being paid to do this? Come on, there’s always that “spin” whenever we hear some negative brouhaha about Ozine, yet the organizers keep their smiles because they took in a record crowd and took home the most of the money we paid for them.
The issues of tickets is one that I would reserve for future columns, because it is a larger issue altogether.
And the lack proper decorum from anime fans, My God! Things really had changed from 10 years before, where friends met and had a good time.
Now, young people, acting like “otakus” and coming from those Facebook pages like “TGOOK”, “AGCP” and “Forezine”, are making a ruckus and making meet ups that disrupt the already tension-filled mood.
And why the hell are you yelling “fap” and “oppai” there? To quote a famous quote from the McCarthy hearings, “Have you no decency?” These kids (yes, these kids, I stress) needs some scolding for the unruly and improper behavior that they had.
Again, It’s always the same banana every single time Ozine holds events, and with their blandishing of being the “first ever event of the year” with Otaku Expo and, in a few months off, Ozine Fest 2015, I ask: Are these guys from Ozine Events do ever learn from their past mistakes?
No, I guess not. They do not learn, and they will never learn. They will just do it again and earn their keep, while the people who attend their events suffer the most.
When will you ever learn, Ozine Events?
Comments are welcome on [email protected], Hope to hear from you soon!
The views and opinions expressed by the writer do not necessarily reflect the views of Anime Pilipinas, its members, partners, and colleagues. If you have comments or reactions, please email at [email protected].