Well, another year has come and gone, and as I stated in my last article, I think I speak for most when I say this was probably one of the best Tokonatsus ever!
It certainly was from my perspective, which can sometimes be a bit too focuses on the events that we are running and ensuring that they go off smoothly. Since becoming a member of staff some years back, helping to bring you all these events has honestly been such a fulfilling experience.
The entirety of the staff and the gophers really pulled out all the stops this year, putting in many hours to come up with new ways to make the same events more exciting, and to ensure they all run like clockwork.
So, thank you to everyone behind the scenes, you all rock, and you all help make my job easier!
If you would like to give your own feedback to Tokonatsu on how you think we can make things better going forward, click HERE to have your say!
I’m going to break this article into two parts this year, as I feel there is a lot more to talk about than in previous years, so this one will be spent thanking the staff of Toko-R for their part in helping our team run as smoothly as it did, and the second part will involve my personal highlights from this amazing weekend.
I’d like to start by thanking my Co-lead/founder in Toko-R, Michael (Mpro). If it wasn’t for Mike, we wouldn’t have the Anime Cinema back in the format that it’s in, and we wouldn’t have such a good relationship with MVM (go so them some love here! https://www.mvm-films.com/)
He sources all the anime and then spends many hours preparing it for airing at the Festival. All of the equipment used is his, and the airings give a nice relaxed place to chill and check out some new anime as well as discovering some older ones you may have missed.
Mike also manages the website in its entirety, and is our team photographer, taking 99% of the pictures and video that go up on this site! (Note, these are separate from the official photos taking by Tokonatsu).
You will also have seen him at the ZONBIDOGGU Games, as one of its co-creators!
Then we have the team mad Scientist, Jay (Hoshino_Draco). Jay got very stuck in this year working to bring together This Little Shrine of Mine after we took it on fairly late into the planning, as well as hosting the Science Panel (slime!) and assisting with the creation of the Toko-Quizes (both paper and live).
You would have also seen her with a white-board hanging from her neck most of the weekend as probably the main hand-in point for house points. This has been the case for the last couple of years, so it’s likely anyone fighting for their house will have spoken to Jay at least once!
She also has had a hand in ZONBIDOGGU, and I think was at least at one of the games Marshalling (I have yet to personally make it to one of these…) Unexpectedly, she also helped out during the Matsuri festival.
Alex (Hoshino_Okami) comes next, our teams’ handy man, being able to McGuiver anything from anything. This year he took on the Writing competition and helped out with ZONBIDOGGU and the Yakisoba Noodle Stand. Being on hand most of the time to run errands as needed in a speedy and effective manner, Alex is a valued member of our team!
He also provides the tags for ZONBIDOGGU as well as helping Marshal it as well. The game was mostly the brain child of Mike, Jay and Alex, and they put a lot of work into taking your input from each game and using that to make the following games better.
Anyone attending the Martial arts panel will also have delighted at getting to see Alex used as a ragdoll during the demonstrations! I jest, he was a brilliant sparring partner for Harry (Dragonwolf) and lent some sound experience of his own to the panel.
The third member of the Hoshino clan, Sally (Hoshino Libra) this year took on Toko-Pictionary, which now falls under Toko-R’s remit. Putting together a list of Anime that everyone had fun drawing from, and hosting what was a fun game, she has taken away some notes to further improve things going forward!
Also handling helping with the Writing contest and running the Art contest, this marked the end of both these events being in my hands (small tear) and I couldn’t be prouder of both Sally and Alex with how they ran these this year. They had very little input from myself, and Sally chose all of the prizes that our winners received this year. We received some of the best feedback we have ever gotten in this regard, with the prizes being well matched to the competitions.
And then we have our newest member, Ryan (Rebby). A member of our team now for a couple of years, he has been helping us out in many ways before this. Hosting the Japanese culture panel (which I have personally very much enjoyed both years I’ve attended!) he has also run the Quiz at Tokonatsu for many, many years, which now also comes under our team!
Ryan also is a massive help with anything that needs doing. Need a bit of research done? Ryan’s on the job. Need someone to run boxes of food back and forth between locations? Done! He has never complained about anything we have thrown his way, often being the first to volunteer for a job. We love you Ryan and thank you for joining our team!
Now I will attempt to thank those that have been a massive help in general, and I’m sorry if I miss anyone!
Coral, you were amazing. Between getting our wee troop there, the help with the tent, and your boss level skills at dealing with a large quantity of veg, you helped make this one of the smoothest running Tokos.
Thank you to all the judges of the competitions that gave their time. Especially with the writing contest!
To my Yakisoba Noodle Stand crew that were thrown together at the last minute! I don’t know all of your names, but they include Tiffany and friends, Sean, Kazenone, Ryan, Coral, Harry, The kind lady that took over as money handler, Alex, Sally, Mike, Adam, Colin, Darling, and everyone else who through together the stand, helped at boss levels in the kitchen, and made it seem like such a simple, smooth run operation on the night.
To Café Kraken and Nikkita/Jen for lending me your wash area, supplying me with SO MUCH that I needed and didn’t know, and being so supportive.
To Kurt who was manically trying to get me the last of what I needed on the day.
To those I’ve undoubtedly forgotten!
You are all stars!
To everyone that turned up to my noodle stand and said such wonderful things about them, thank you!
To all those that led panels this year, they were all amazing! Ryan, Harry, Jay, Anna, Russell and Paal, you put on great, entertaining shows, and I hope you’ll all be up for similar next year 😀
Tiffany, your Art work as always is amazing, thank you for the stock art, and everything else you helped us with over the weekend! Mobilizing your friends really saved my bacon with the above 😊
To Drango for your stories and for making me laugh and being one of the most helpful set of hands on site.
To Adam and Colin, for being there to answer SO MANY questions that we have had throughout the year.
To my darling wife, for being so supportive of me abandoning you with our child for a weekend so I could go play in a field with my friends 😀
Greeny, for the cup of lemonade while I was stuck at a hot stove 😉 FOR THE EMPEROR!!!
To Jay (Irish one), YEET!
To Tubbs, you beautiful fox demon you. 😉
And to all of the Toko staff, for all of your contributions in bringing together what has been to me one of the main highlights of every year since 2005, and just continuing to make it better.
Once more, if I’ve missed you out, it’s not because you aren’t important, or because you didn’t leave an impact on me. You did, you help make the weekend great in everything you did. I just suck at remembering everything 😀
Well, Till next time!