Tag Archive | "cosplay"

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Anime Fans At Their Best – Kumoricon 2011

Posted on 12 September 2011 by pocketninja

It had already been eight years since attending my first anime convention, and not much has changed: high energy, anime fans clad in finely crafted cosplay, and random waves of laughter erupting from behind closed doors of events and panels. Every aspect of Kumoricon was foreign and little bit scary to me back then (I was also afraid of being caught for sneaking in because I couldn’t afford a pass). But here I stand, almost a decade later, craving to attend an event that has refined itself and has grown tremendously in attendance over the years. 

Opening Ceremony
There are two events that I make sure to always attend at every Kumoricon: Cosplay Contest and the Opening Ceremony. Why? Because the most unpredictable and hilarious things happen at these events. This year was no different, as the audience watched another captivating video of “Convention Rules” produced by the local group, The Anime Hunters, who had announced their retirement at the ceremony.

Cosplay Panels
My first panel of the weekend was “Wig Styling: Beginner”, which turned out to be very informative and entertaining (the girl who hosted the panel was very sweet and knew a lot about wigs). I learned that materials like Kanekalon and Toyokalon are the best fibers to look for when purchasing a wig, and never to comb through a wig when it is wet. There were also demonstrations of how to style wigs with different techniques. The wonderful thing about the people who take their personal time to host these panels is that their love, passion, and experience of their subject shines through in their eagerness to share with their audience. 

Photo Shoot
I believe that one cannot fully enjoy the experience of attending an anime con without cosplaying (to dress up in the costume of an anime/video game/comic character). This year, I cosplayed as Homura Akemi from Puella Magi Madoka Magica, an anime and manga series. A photo shoot was held out in Esther Short Park where it reached a high of 90 degrees. Aside from a little sweat from wearing a full wig and thick fabric, I had a great time. Next time, I will definitely plan my cosplay for the weather.

 

Cosplay Contest
This event was serious: attendees waited so long in line that the “maid squad” walked down the entirety of it with cups of water for anyone who might be thirsty. For the lucky ones who got into the event, the wait was worth it. Amazing costumes with incredible craftsmanship were displayed as each entry walked across the stage, judged by a panel of special guests. The whole spectacle was like a beauty pageant that I actually wanted to watch. Then came the skits, each written and performed by fellow attendees, some groups only having met each other the day before. 

There is a special place in my heart for Kumoricon. After all, it was the first anime convention I’ve ever attended, and it is held (mostly) in my hometown of Portland, Oregon. People who are used to the bigger anime cons such as Anime Expo and Sakuracon might find that a con of this size would be lacking of certain things, but if you take a closer look, you will find that the people here have hearts big enough to fill in that empty space.

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Sakura-Con 2011 Gallery – Cosplays

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Sakura-Con 2011 Gallery – Cosplays

Posted on 02 May 2011 by ClassicMoments

No matter how many anime cons you attend, you can’t never be bored of being with great cosplayers from all over the world!

As we stated from our Sakura-Con 2011 overview, overall quality of cosplayers has definitely been upgraded.

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Sakura-Con 2011 – Overview

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Sakura-Con 2011 – Overview

Posted on 27 April 2011 by GillRider

As many of you might already know, Sakura-Con is the largest anime-related convention in the Pacific Northwest. Very cool Guest of Honors, panels and fellow cosplayers whom may satisfy your thirst for anime and Japanese culture. In simple words; if you love anime, you can’t go wrong with Sakura-Con.

If you’ve read our past event coverages, we’ve concentrated on hot cosplayers and then some. This year, we’ve decided to try something different. Hot cosplayers are nice, but this year we decided to actually attend some of the panels to get the full effect of Sakura-Con. Before we jump into our article, we would like to give special thanks to Jessica, the press coordinator of Sakura-Con for making this coverage possible at such short notice.


Opening Ceremonies
ClassicMoments: Opening ceremonies was cheerful and exciting as usual. One of my favorite part was the performance by the Evergreen Glee Club. The idea of a choir singing nostalgic anime theme songs isn’t much new to me since I watch a couple of Korean variety shows, but nonetheless, it was my first time ever to experience anime theme music by a live chorus, and I think Evergreen Glee Club did more than what I’d expect from the Sakura-Con opening ceremonies. Too bad I was only one of few old fans who actually recognized these classic anime tunes to appreciate it.

Philosophy: What a great start to the con! Minus the technical difficulties that always pepper these kind of events (sound problems, schedule hiccups), the opening ceremonies not only introduced the guests and events of the weekend, but also highlighted traditional Japanese cultural and entertainment. It set the mood for the weekend and made us all glad we’d gotten there early enough to attend.

GillRider: As we mentioned above, Sakura-Con this year was was a different experience for all of us. I couldn’t help but notice a heightened sense of awareness and sincerity. This was very apparent from the get go at the opening ceremony, which was a treat, albeit, as Philosophy mentioned, plagued with technical difficulties. The ceremony opened with a messages from a representative of the Hyogo Business and Cultural Center, thanking all participants, and SakuraCon for all of their support for the earthquake relief in Japan. The Consul General of Japan in Seattle, Kiyokazu Ota, also gave a message of appreciation, but in a more humorous tone, fully clad in a suit of Japanese armor. These messages were a great way to kick-off SakuraCon 2011. I believe, to a certain extent, that these messages inspired in many of the participants, including myself, a sense of pride and joy to be a part of this movement to support people in need, whether it be financially or emotionally. It was just the right amount of seriousness, sincerity, and humor. But I’d have to agree with ClassicMoments that my favorite part of the opening ceremony was the Evergreen Glee Club performance. Just watching a group of middle-aged Japanese men sing what was most likely they’re favorite childhood anime theme song was awesome, not to mention heart warming. It just filled me with nostalgia. You can find out more about the Evergreen Glee Club here. All in all, the opening ceremony was great!


Roland Kelts’ Panels
Philosophy: Roland Kelts held several panels throughout the weekend, and we tried to attend as many as we could. Besides being well-read on the history of anime and manga, his casual presentations were easy to listen to and glean information from, and his first-hand experience with the melding of US and Japanese culture helped guide the discussion. His panel on apocalyptic imagery in anime and manga was particularly interesting, as world destruction plays a key part in a surprisingly large part of my anime library.

GillRider: To me, Roland Kelts’ panels were the highlight of Sakura-Con. I truly enjoyed listening to him speak. Check out my main article on Roland Kelts.

ClassicMoments: A very insightful lecture about Japanese culture. I didn’t expect such an intellectual discussion in Sakura-Con. When I spent my preteen years in Korea, obviously I learned more things to hate about Japan, with so many political complications between two countries. Then I spent more than half of my life in the U.S., lucky enough to learn that multiple cultures can co-exist without hatred. And through Roland Kelts’ panels, it made me understand better about Japan’s culture and its history. And such breakthrough always helps me enjoy more about Japanese pop culture such as anime. A big win-win for me.

 


Cosplay

GillRider: Ah~ cosplay. You could almost argue that cosplay is at the heart of Sakura-Con. We’ve enjoyed seeing cosplayers very very much in the past. However, I couldn’t help but feel that there weren’t as many cosplayers, and sadly, even less eye-catching ones. Don’t get me wrong, there were some awesome cosplayers out there; just not as much. And I don’t know, maybe I’m just not in the loop anymore, but there were so many characters I didn’t recognize. But I did get to see some great cosplays of characters from some of my favorite animes that I hadn’t seen before.

ClassicMoments: Maybe I’m too old, or maybe I just don’t watch enough anime, but I didn’t recognize many of the costumes. The overall quality of costumes may have risen, but my guess is that many people just buy their costumes online instead of make their own or purchasing and customizing it to their taste. Or maybe I didn’t pay much attention as I should. Despite my bitterness, I did witness handful of skilled cosplayers and I also enjoyed the Cosplay Costuming Contest very much. Too bad it didn’t go as smooth as participants might have expected.

Philosophy: Cosplay is one of the funnest cultural elements of conventions, and it sure makes people-watching more entertaining. We even attended one of several cosplay related panels which was a well put together discussion on craft and creativity. While storebought costumes are getting more popular these days (and possibly because of this), there is definitely a movement towards more obscure characters and series. There were a large number of costumes I didn’t recognize, but on the other hand I was very excited to see some of the more obscure characters from my favorite shows. It also seems that the trend of crossplay is on the rise, which is something I support. I actually saw quite a few men dressed as female characters this year, which was in some cases a compelling interpretation and in other cases a little bit horrifying.

And of course, we will be posting an article with bunch of cosplayers’ pictures so stay close!


Other activities / Overall
ClassicMoments: Even if I didn’t purchase anything, scouting the merchant booths is always fun. It was my first time staying late at a convention event, and moonlight just puts anime fans into a different mood. Dramatic opinion exchanges on favorite animes and its philosophy, yelling out silly stuff, yet all in the name of anime fun. What more can you expect from an anime convention? I definitely enjoyed it very much and I would do it all over again, next year of course!

Philosophy:  I try to keep a finger on the pulse of the anime/manga business in the US, so I attended all the industry panels I was available for. Although piracy continues to be a problem, it looks like the current trends of digital distribution and simulcasts will continue, which is good news for fans. I’m also positive the toy and trinket dealers present at the con are doing well because I made more than a few personal contributions. But aside from the toys, the DVDs, and the samurai swords, Sakura-con left me with a new-found sense of fandom and appreciation for the comedy, romance, and drama brought to us by Japan. There’s something about conventions that make them entertaining and compelling all at once, and although this was my first time at Sakura-con, that recognizable energy was there in droves.

GillRider: As I mentioned above, Sakura-Con this year was a different experience for me. Despite the abundance of technical difficulties, and few eye-catching cosplayers, I enjoyed Sakura-Con this year more than ever. I think this was mostly because we actually tried to experience all that Sakura-Con has to offer. Attending panels, hearing heartfelt messages and watching so many people talk/shout/sing about something they love so much. After it was all over, it left me wanting to be more in touch with anime, more involved with the earthquake relief for Japan, and excited for next year.

 

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Anime Expo 2009 – Cosplay Gallery 3

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Anime Expo 2009 – Cosplay Gallery 3

Posted on 19 July 2009 by ClassicMoments

Was it bigger than ever? Yeah.
Did we have hard time covering the events due to lack of support for press? Mostly.
Did it suck then? Nah.

Many people shared same idea with us about being too crowded, but they all loved the event in the end. After all, they participated AX to show their support for their favorite anime/gaming love, and AX did have many of them to satisfy their otaku-ness. And we got some pictures to prove it. This is Gallery 3 of our Anime Expo 2009 coverage.

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Anime Expo 2009 – Cosplay Gallery 2

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Anime Expo 2009 – Cosplay Gallery 2

Posted on 19 July 2009 by ClassicMoments

Was it bigger than ever? Yeah.
Did we have hard time covering the events due to lack of support for press? Mostly.
Did it suck then? Nah.

Many people shared same idea with us about being too crowded, but they all loved the event in the end. After all, they participated AX to show their support for their favorite anime/gaming love, and AX did have many of them to satisfy their otaku-ness. And we got some pictures to prove it. This is Gallery 2 of our Anime Expo 2009 coverage.


If you see yourself on the picture, and want the picture, you can contact us by going to our forum.

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Anime Expo 2009 – Cosplay Gallery 1

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Anime Expo 2009 – Cosplay Gallery 1

Posted on 19 July 2009 by ClassicMoments

Was it bigger than ever? Yeah.
Did we have hard time covering the events due to lack of support for press? Mostly.
Did it suck then? Nah.

Many people shared same idea with us about being too crowded, but they all loved the event in the end. After all, they participated AX to show their support for their favorite anime/gaming love, and AX did have many of them to satisfy their otaku-ness. And we got some pictures to prove it.

There are many more to come (we’re thinking about 3 galleries total), so visit our websites frequently to see which gallery has your pictures on.

If you see yourself on the picture, and want the picture, you can contact us by going to our forum.

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This was my first… part 2

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This was my first… part 2

Posted on 06 May 2009 by GillRider

After retrieving our Press passes, the first panel we decided to see was entitled “Kaiju and Art of Making Monsters”, with guest speaker Hideo Okamoto. I don’t know how many of you are monster movie fans, but I was stoked to see him. Okamoto has designed monsters for films like Godzilla vs. Destroyer, and the Mothra movies. We arrived a little late and missed a portion of it, but it was very exciting to see some of the sketches he had done for various anime and movies.20090506babydestroya

We then made our way to one of the main events of the day: The Cosplay Contest. Like I mentioned before, I’d never been to anything like this before, so I didn’t know what to expect. The first chunk of the contest consisted of various cosplayers catwalking on and off the stage. Some of them were obviously very impressive, while others really just looked like they could be picked up at a  Japanese 7-11. Though the cosplays were definitely awesome, the latter half of the contest was where things really picked up.

For me, the skits were really what it was all about. For the last 2 hours or so, the stage was graced with shakespearean tragedies, epic battles, truly random encounters and downright silliness. The skits definitely had a lot of surprises. It was very entertaining to see Sora embark on an adventure in search of Kairi, while bumping into familiar faces like Naruto, Snake, and even the hammer dude from Silent Hill. Another memorable scene was Master Chief hitting on Samus. That is quite a couple. It was pretty hilarious.20090506sora_naru1

And the contest held even more surprises at the end! Nozomu Sasaki was there! As ClassicMoments has already posted, Nozomu Sasaki is a famous Japanese voice actor for such anime like Akira, Yu Yu Hakusho, Deathnote, and Rurouni Kenshin. At first, I didn’t recognize him, but when I heard that he had done the voice of Urameshi Yusuke, I was SO excited!20090506soravshammer

I was also very impressed with Mr. Sasaki. His English was excellent! It was actually funny because on stage were the two MCs introducing him, Nozomu Sasaki, and a lady in a suit. At first I figured she was the interpreter. But then Mr. Sasaki started speaking in English, and it was very very good. I suppose she might have been there just in case, but still, I felt kinda sorry for her, just standing there in her suit, with nothing to do.

Anyhoo, he performed two songs; one was the ending theme song to Yu Yu Hakusho, and another from an anime called Ushio to Tora. It was sweet.

After the Cosplay Contest, we decided to hit the streets!… of the Convention Center to scout some cosplayers!

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This was my first… part 1

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This was my first… part 1

Posted on 01 May 2009 by GillRider

Oh man. It’s been a long time since I’ve posted. I apologize for the absences. How’s everyone doing?? It’s freakin’ May already! I know it’s a little late, but here’  my post on Sakura-Con! I know our head honcho, ClassicMoments, has already posted most of the pictures, so I thought I would provide a little background story to them. I also thought (I did a lot of thinking) instead of making one LONG post, it might be easier to read it if I divided it into smaller posts. So here’s one!

First of all, let me tell you that this was my first Anime/Japan related convention ever. Actually, come to think of it, this was my first “convention” ever. Being brought up in Japan, I obviously grew up with anime and knew what cosplay was, but I never understood what people actually did when they suited up. Well I definitely got one answer: Hang out with other cosplayers!

gotei-jusantai-21

As soon as we got off the freeway heading towards the Seattle Convention Center, we saw people in all sorts of cosplays out and about on the streets. It was quite a sight to see a horde of Konoha ninjas and Shinigamis eagerly waiting for the light to turn green. As I watched them cross the street in front of me, all I could think was “This is CRAZY!… and SWEET!”

By the time we made it to the Convention Center I was stoked. I was ready to embark on my journey into anime-fandom!

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sc2009_cm_29

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Sakura-Con 2009 Cosplay ‘CM version’

Posted on 29 April 2009 by ClassicMoments

What’s CM Version?
Our editor, ClassicMoments (that’s me!) processes the pictures not as it should be, but how he wants it.

If you see yourself and want to get the original picture, just let us know by posting request on our forum.
Enjoy!

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sc2009_ec_145

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Sakura-Con 2009 Cosplay Gallery

Posted on 26 April 2009 by ClassicMoments

Cosplay, cospre, kosupure, コスプレ, 코스프레..
Whatever you want to call them, you got ‘em.

The quality of cosplay actually did surprise me, though I wish that the photoshoots were organized better. In fact, we couldn’t find many spots for photoshoots so we just walked around and throw my business cards as we take pictures of cosplayers. But in the end, it was all worth it.

These galleries so far are only half of the story. We got more pictures coming from my (Classic Moment’s) own taste of image processing, to be uploaded here in near future. We also gotta hear GillRider’s (one of our editor) side of story and his thoughts about Sakura-Con 2009. So keep your eyes on us until we poke ‘em hard!

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sc2009_ec_092

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Sakura-Con 2009 Cosplay Chess Gallery

Posted on 26 April 2009 by ClassicMoments

Chess, boring.
Cosplay Chess, awesome.
Simple as that.

To be 100% honest with you, I heard that the last year’s show was better, but I wouldn’t believe that statement (and still can’t) until many people agreed because this year’s show was awesome as crowd went wild. Not girls-gone-wild, but very close indeed.

Though it didn’t end how it’s suppose to end, we understand that playing plain chess is hard enough, so kudos for everyone who participated.

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sc2009_ec_058

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Sakura-Con 2009 Stage Gallery

Posted on 26 April 2009 by ClassicMoments

As we stated before, we were a bit late to the show, but we could still caught up to the good stuff.
We wished that the stage was cordinated better towards the press, so we could take better pictures for the stage.

If you see yourself, and don’t like it, blame the SC staff, ha! (J/K, you guys did okay..)

I didn’t witness 100% of the show, but I can surely tell you this; the performers and the crowd were lot more.. ‘pleasing’, or nicer than the most of the conventions I’ve visited. More enthusiastic, too. No matter how cheesy, bad, good or sometimes even boring it was, people cheered, and so did we.

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Alltop, confirmation that we kick ass




Fun Gaming Facts

It took the movie industry about 100 years to develop to maturity, but it only took video games 35 years, from the first baby steps of Pong (1972) to the virtual realism of Halo 3 (2007) (and of course, they’re still growing)