Tales of Festival isn't in full swing yet, but the day before sure is busy. Here is a very informal recounting of the day's events as experienced by yours truly.
In some ways, it was different from last year, in others, not so. For one, it was not raining. That's for tomorrow, Saturday, according to the weather report. Which, I suppose, we all have Annie to thank for.
As usual, the morning lineup was busy, with people queuing up as early as 4am today (in previous years, people were allowed to line up only around 5am, when the first trains start). While Friday sales don't tend to be as congested as Saturday sales, queuing up on this day or one of the Festival days is a toss up, as traditionally, Fridays do not seem to stock as much goods as the actual Festival days.
The event goods are all lined up as you queue up to request the goods you want. And just like every year, I ended up having a few impulse purchases upon seeing them in person. This year, it was the Luke and Asch perfume with its cleverly designed packaging.
In terms of the merchandise this year, there was a lot less variety, with a lot of illustrations being reused to great levels. For instance, the chibi illustrations for the art theme were used in at least four different types of merchandise, and a lot of the "new" merchandise for this year simply use old illustrations but in different formats (i.e. the big acrylic stands and can badges were once used in rubber straps and keychains of a different style).
With regard to upcoming merchandise, the design for the promised Tales of Glasses have been unveiled. They come with a microfiber towel and acrylic stand as well.
There are also newly announced Tales of Festival Memorial Goods that will be released on June 16 (Sunday) from 9pm at the Asobi Store. Namely, a diorama acrylic stand and character towels. More information can be found here.
Two additional sets for the Tales of Festival Memorial Icon Badges have been announced as well, and samples for the sets available next month have been displayed alongside some newly released merchandise.
There were no new figures announced or exhibited in the hallway leading out of the merchandise hall.
After having lunch and getting a few trade meetups out of the way, I decided to check out the merchandise hall again...
...which turned out to be relatively empty, perhaps thanks to the multitude of sold out event-exclusive goods.
After which, I paid a visit to the temporary Kotobukiya store at the venue.
Pictured above is the shop's purchase bonus and exclusive paper bag for the festival. Some of the older items were being sold at big discounts--a perfect time to score some good deals.
Enticing as the merchandise and deals were, I ended up buying nothing--mostly because my wallet had already suffered with all the trading box sets I had to buy, as well as preparation for a more interesting thing...
...which is the Tales of Kitchen--or rather, this year's version of the Tales of Cafe. As you can tell from the photo, they already ran out of peach pie by the time I queued up. More or less, all that meant is that I couldn't proceed with my plan of having one of each dish, which I suppose my stomach was thankful for.
The purchase bonus for this year are all A6-sized clear files with already previously released illustrations. This year, there are no drinks or macarons or original illustrations. Perhaps because it's not run by ufotable, which used to do the Tales of Cafe in the previous years. On the questionably bright side of things, all the of items were of the take away variety, so no one had to hang around the food stalls to eat, and the lines moved relatively fast as a result.
I had the mabo curry bread and the chicken bowl. They were pretty good! I didn't have room for the calzone so I just took it home, and will perhaps snack on it tomorrow on the way back to Yokohama Arena.
Overall, it was a fruitful day for my Jade and Abyss-related indulgence. I am also quite happy with that perfume impulse buy, even if my wallet isn't. Either way, do watch out for our coverage of the event, which we will be covering as press this year as well! Stay tuned in the coming days for more exciting Tales of news!
And not just my personal ramblings about this event.