The buzz over the Tupac hologram may have abated, but the reign of the holograms hasn't, especially at the annual two-day explosion of Japanese pop culture known as the J-Pop Summit Festival.
This year's theme is "Cyberpop Overload!," and fittingly enough, Saturday's big event is Vocalekt Visions, two fully holographic concerts starring the fully computer-generated Hatsune Miku. Unlike the Tupac hologram, Hatsune is not based on an actual flesh-and-blood person (living or dead) but is instead a hyper-sexy anime-style character -- and one which is far from the Uncanny Valley, thankfully.
Offering a more interactive experience is Real Escape Game x Evangelion, a kind of scavenger hunt in which players have to seek out clues and solve puzzles throughout Japantown in order to, well, escape. Familiarity with the blockbuster Evangelion film series is recommended but not required to solve the puzzles, and Evangelion has a strong presence throughout this year's festival, with an exhibit of production art, a stamp rally, and screenings of both films. J-Pop also offers fashion contests, comedy, dance-offs, no fewer than eight food trucks, and even a chiptune concert. Long may Japanese pop culture overload!
J-Pop starts August 25 at 11 a.m. (and continues through Aug. 26) at Japantown's Peace Plaza (Post and Buchanan), S.F. Admission is free-$30.