Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Change in cosplay plans

Well I wanted to go all out for my first real cosplay, but I couldn't find one of the most important items after searching through about a dozen thrift stores. So I settled on something much simpler. Hint...I plan on wearing the standard (fall) school uniform for this character at a summer convention. Since my next con is during the winter, it's only natural that I try to cosplay in a summer uniform at this time. Hopefully the critical item I need arrives in time for me to stitch it on.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Maybe this should be like a price guide...

Okay so I started writing a list of characters for my scavenger hunt, but after only listing 10 anime series/games, I already am up to 134 characters...Maybe I should focus on say, the top 10 games and top 10 series as listed in some outside website like Anime News Network, American Cosplay Paradise/Experience, etc...Or I can make it like a master score guide, like a Beckett's for cosplay listing as much anime and game characters possible, though the point value of a character has been based on a random number generator.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Odd Place to See Cosplay

I took an out-of-town friend to see the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Cats yesterday because she never saw the show before (and if you're wondering, we're not dating...we're just friends who like anime and cosplay...so I'm available ladies...). Well going into the theatre, there was this one girl who was wearing tights and had a tail and cat ears, but she definitely did not look like she was a member of the cast (the show was to start in 45 minutes, so I doubt that they would let an actor out of the backstage area). But maybe she was a member of the merchandise crew because it looked like she was trying to promote souvenir programs. I've never seen anyone dress up for a musical, though I have contemplated in the past to wear a cape and a mask for The Phantom of the Opera, though my friend thinks that would be tacky.

Anyway, after the great performance (which cut out the song, The Awefull Battle of The Pekes and the Pollicles, probably because of the use of a pair of words that could be considered offensive. I really think the song should've stayed because we were treated to an extended Jellicle Ball dance sequence instead), we saw these two girls in gothic lolita attire as we were heading out of the theatre...Odd. Now thinking about it, goth-loli would probably have worked better at a performance of Phantom of the Opera.

I wish I had pictures of these girls, but someone who's been to many performances at this theatre know that cameras are a no-no.

I promise to put some pics up after attending Anime L.A. in two weeks.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Cosplay Characters I'd Like To See

It seems like some cosplayers would only take the most recognizable outfit to wear at a con, but here are some characters in different outfits I would like to see:

Kagami Hiiragi (Lucky Star) as Miku Hatsune (Vocaloid) or in one of her casual outfits (like something where she wears a necktie, especially when she looks like Triela from Gunslinger Girl in episode 14 of Lucky Star)

Tsukasa Hiiragi (Lucky Star) in her overalls (which really looks like what Ayu Tsukimiya wears in the final episode of Kanon 2006)

Haruhi Suzumiya in gym bloomers as in the opening credits of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (really, bloomers would be interesting to see on anyone)

Kaname Chidori (Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu) in a kimono as shown in the flirting episode

Hikari (This Ugly Yet Beautiful World) in the beach cafe maid uniform (I've already seen Kaname Chidori bikini cosplay, so why not this, too?)-I threw this in so to show that I do watch shows that are not animated by Kyoto Animation.

Well I seem to be waking up earlier and earlier because of the excitement associated with the holidays (and days off from work) coming up.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Okay...Events to go to in 2009, Jan-July

Okay, I should assess where I'm going next year...

Anime LA, January 2-4, Los Angeles, CA-Already paid for membership. Changed mind after finding out there's a scavenger hunt.

Chibi-Fest, April?, Las Vegas, NV-hometown event, but I haven't seen anything advertised for this.

London MCM (Movies, Comics, Media) Expo, May 23-24, London, UK-Depends whether I have people going with me to Japan. If any of my friends decide it would be more fun to go to Japan in the fall (and find the super giant Pocky sold in Osaka), then I would have to not plan for this. This would be part of a longer vacation in London, of course. I gotta see the London Eye, British Museum, and what not.

Anime Expo, July 2-5, Los Angeles, CA-OF COURSE!!!!, already made hotel reservations just in case I forget to book from the AX block of rooms.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Highlights from PMX 2008

Okay, what do I remember from last weekend:

-Asian Food Challenge: Wasabi, silkworm larvae, bitter melon, tiny sardines, fish paste, oh my
-An artist in Artist Alley who actually is a fan of Kanon and Clannad (he was selling fan art of Sayuri Kurata ahaha~, but he didn't do Ayu Tsukimiya's uguu).
-A representative of one artist in Artist Alley that my friend hired for $2/hour to carry her backpack.
-Trying dango for the first time (I bought at Mitsuwa and shared with my con buddies during a screening of Korean drama I really, really like you).
-SickStep panel
-Spending way too much in the dealers room (two Lucky Star Figures, three gothic neckties, Haruhi messenger bag, six Clannad keychains, again this was a 2 1/2 day event)
-Midnight madness watching Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya hoping to win free stuff only to find that you had to win in a Hare Hare Yukai dance-off, which I was too tired for.
-My friend falling off a chair during a screening of K-drama Full House while sleeping. It took two medics and a volunteer to wake him up after we put him back on a chair.
-Freebies including a Robotech t-shirt, beach ball, Korean drama post-it notes, Korean drama DVD.
-Many visits to Karaoke, including a memorable appearance by The Tall Guys, a guy doing a strip tease to the Full Monty soundrack, and L from Death Note singing the Pokemon theme song.
-Dropping way too much change in the Pop 'n Music machine at the arcade.
-Hmmmm, I can't think of other stuff right now, I'm still tired.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Pacific Media Expo

Still a little tired from PMX 2008, but I'll try to post my own trip report soon. It's so much easier to upload pics on my MySpace at www.myspace.com/mfbtrojan.

Monday, November 3, 2008

First Attempt at Rules for Cosplay Scavenger Hunt

I guess it's easy to take pics of cosplayers without their consent, but I think it's more fun if you actually get in front of the camera once in a while and interact with them. With that in mind, this will be my personal guidelines for trying to complete the cosplay scavenger hunt:

1. I (or my teammate if I have one) has to be in the picture with the cosplayer. If it interrupts the pose that the cosplayer prefers, maybe have him/her hold a specific prop like a fan in the pic.

2. I will have to come of with some means of remembering what character the cosplayer is dressed up as (write it in a notebook and place a timestamp in the pic since con attendees are not allowed to carry signs).

3. I will give my meishi (name card shown above) that contains contact information to the cosplayer. If you've ever got one from me and wondered where I got them in such an odd size (about the size of an Altoids gum tin), I got them at http://www.moo.com/. They're a really good deal. Better now that Moo sells Mini-card cases. No more putting stickers on mint tins!
4. Full points are given to the first instance of a character. Each additional instance (say in a group photo) is only worth 1 point. Even in a group photo, Rule 1) applies. No points are awarded for any other pics of the same cosplayer in the same costume.
5. While I am tempted to use the scoring system my high school physics teacher gave for tests where you got points based on what elements of the problem solving process appear in your answers, I will not assign points based on what elements of the character appear. For example, full credit is awarded for a pic of Haruhi Suzumiya whether or not she has the Brigade Leader armband, headband, etc...There just has to be enough elements to clearly indicate that an otaku can clearly identify that the cosplayer is indeed Haruhi Suzumiya.
6. If a cosplayer is doing a mash-up of characters (such as Lucky Star's Konata Izumi cosplaying as Miku Hatsune), total score for the pic is half the point value of each character represented.
I'm not sure what other rules should apply that are not common sense (like don't break the rules of the con in order to get the pic, etc...). But I guess this is a start.

Friday, October 31, 2008

If Only I Had My Camera...

Since this a costume play blog, I gotta post something on Halloween. Well I'm getting ready for a bento picnic with a friend tomorrow. At the Japanese store I went to today to get some bento meals (since I don't know how to cook any bento dishes besides rice), there was a costume contest. Too bad I didn't have a camera, and all the announcements over the PA were in Japanese. But at least I have something to say for Halloween.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Some of my favorite pics from my first year of attending cons Part 3 of 3

And finally here are some of my pics from Autumn Dream (Ani-Magic) at the Antelope Valley Fairgrounds.

Some of my favorite pics from my first year of attending cons Part 2 of 3

Add VideoHere are more of my favorite cosplayers from Anime Expo 2008.

Some of my favorite pics from my first year of attending cons Part 1 of 3

Since it seems like I won't be going to any more events before New Years (I won't be in town to go to Anime L.A. either), I might as well post some of my favorite cosplay pics. I took a lot, but these would be probably my top 15. For my first year, I only went to two events, Anime Expo 2008 in L.A. and Autumn Dream (formerly Ani-Magic) in the Antelope Valley in Lancaster (if you're not from California, it's a little town near Edwards Air Force Base where the space shuttle sometimes lands)

Above are some of my favorite pics from Anime Expo 2008 held at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Cosplay Scavenger Hunt List Attempt 1: Anime Only

What are some anime series/movies that would make an interesting scavenger hunt?

*I've actually watched at least one episode

Princess Mononoke*
Kiki's Delivery Service*
Death Note (but not L)*
Coyote Ragtime Show*
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya*
Full Metal Panic!*
Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu*
Full Metal Panic: The Second Raid
Naruto (if I decide to go mainstream)*
Code Geass: Lalouch of the Rebellion*
Gurren Lagann (I guess I should watch this one for reasons beyond Yoko)
Porco Rosso*
My Neighbor Totoro*
Pani Poni Dash*
Panyo Panyo Di Gi Charat*
To Heart*
Excel Saga*
Nerima Daikon Brothers (I'm surpised I saw a girl dressed as Inspector Widget at AX)*
Lucky Star*
Gunslinger Girl*
Elfen Lied*
Nanaka 6/17*
Sailor Moon*
Please Teacher
Chromartie High School
This Ugly Yet Beautiful World*
Dirty Pair
UFO Ultramaiden Valkyrie*
Oh My Goddess*
Hare + Guu*
Chrono Crusade*
Gundam franchise
Tenchi franchise
Tokyo Majin
One Piece*
Ninja Nonsense*
Neon Genesis Evangelion*
Azumanga Daioh*
Vampire Knight
Fruits Basket*
Prince of Tennis
Slam Dunk
Yu Yu Hakusho
Comic Party
Urusei Yatsura
Trinity Blood
Sakura Wars
Cardcaptor Sakura
Yu Gi Oh
Twelve Kingdoms
Sgt. Frog
Rurouni Kenshin
Tokyo Mew Mew
Comic Party
The Third: The Girl with the Blue Eye
Saber Marionette
Ninja Scroll (only because this was cited as inspiration for the film adaptation of Daredevil with Ben Affleck...Director's cut is so much better than the crap that was release on Valentine's Day weekend)

Hmmm...I'll only have as much as four days (minus possible time taken by volunteering) to try to find one character from each of these series at a con. I really should whittle this down since I also want to have video games represented...

Friday, October 24, 2008

What Is A Cameko?

Okay, if you're reading this, the first two questions that probably come to mind are

1) What is a cameko? and
2) What is the point of your blog?
3) Why a cosplay scavenger hunt?

Here are my answers:

1) According to the book, Cosplay Girls: Japan's Live Animation Heroines (published in English by Cocoro Books in 2003), cameko are "amateur photographers at cosplay events, are mostly men in their twenties and thirties who have a special affection for the characters the cosplayers portray...Although they generally behave themselves, there are invariably those who see it as a chance to snap a few 'dirty' pictures." Now this book shows interviews with some cameko whose ages ranged from 27 to 46, and all of them had digital SLR cameras. I however believe in the philosophy that a great picture does not come from the equipment, but from the skill of the photographer. Along with the fact that I don't want to carry a large camera around, I take pictures using just basic point-and-shoot cameras. I have some pics taken with my point-and-shoot cameras on Flickr under mfbtrojan if you wanna see samples. Two of them were added to Schmap guides, one of the Rose Quarter of Portland, OR, and another of Santa Monica State Beach near Los Angeles....Great, I'm now rambling after answering the first question.

2) Now I set up a blog so I can post my thoughts about cosplay (costumed play) and taking pictures of cosplayers. I want to have a focus on anime since I prefer anime and video games to manga as I'm a bigger fan of the moving picture as opposed to the written word (except for the short story). My original motivation of this blog was to document my efforts to come up with a master cosplay scavenger hunt list that my friends, who have never been to a con, let alone watch anime, can use.
3) My inspiration for a cosplay scavenger hunt comes from a reality series and a movie. The movie, Scavenger Hunt released in 1979, was one of the funniest movies I ever watched. It's about a scavenger hunt devised by a rich toy/game magnate to determine who would get his fortune. The maids and butlers had to search around town for these items, which included a fat guy (bonus points), in order to collect the most points.
The reality series that comes to mind for inspiration is The Amazing Race. I remember many Roadblocks and Detours where the teams had to find something that was unfamiliar to them, like last Sunday's episode where the teams had to match the face tattoos on the Maori warriors.
Now the scavenger hunt list would be a way to guide me as to what I want to take pictures of (and introduce me to new series that I have never heard of) and a way for my non-anime/non-cosplay friends to meet new people and hopefully change their perceptions of what anime is about. I knew some had misconceptions of anime when I showed Best Student Council (Gokujou Seitokai) to a friend of mine. His older sister asked what we were watching, and I answered that it was anime. She only thought of anime being ripoffs of Sailor Moon.
Now the advantage of a blog is that I can get feedback from my readers of my blog as to what series and video games to try to look for. I plan to periodically post a list of characters and point values. Hopefully the reader comments can help me determine the point values to assign each character (as there is no guarantee that every character on the list will appear at a con...I so wanted to see someone dressed as one of the girls from Kanon at AX08, but it didn't happen, I did see Nabeshin, though).
I hope this is a better introduction than my first post.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Amateur Cameko Has a Blog.

Well I just set this up right before bedtime. Maybe I should start working on this when I'm well rested.