Always a pleasure hanging out with Ilanena-san. We met up at the Nakano Starbucks and checked out some Broadway shops. Also had a chance to try out the Taiwanese vegetarian restaurant on the 2nd floor. I thought it was OK, and cheap enough for the noodle soup, but if you've got a bit of time, then you're probably better off exiting the mall to check out the restaurants in the alleys to the east of the complex.
After dinner, we wandered to another place and got there in time for some happy hour beer (350 yen for a glass of draft) - nice! Then Ilanena-san brought out some of his Dai Kaiju Card Monsters.
Really nice group here - the solid pink version is an earlier release from 2007. The gorgeous clear with inserts was a Beams exclusive. The amazing clear pink version is a one-off set which graced the cover of the Encyclopedia of Kaiju book released a few months back.
A close-up of the one-off from the book cover. (Make sure to click the pic to see the full size!)
This is the first time the set has been shot and shown publicly at hi-res close-up. Ilanena-san explained the paint layering technique he used to achieve the solid/clear counterpoint affect, as well as the "black light" effect of the color scheme. Fascinating to listen to the master explaining his craft. I just wish my Japanese were better!
We also talked about the state of the sofubi scene and how some younger collectors are getting involved. Here's a pic of some artwork given to Ilanena-san by a younger fan:
Look for sofubi releases from Ilanena-san at the upcoming Pachisummit, next year's winter Wonderfestival, and I'm sure plenty of stops in between!