Sunday, November 28, 2010

Quickpics...Disneyland at Thanksgiving

Now when family visits for Thanksgiving weekend, we go to Disneyland so often that I pretty much stopped taking pics, but I did find some neat things the other day...

Like all-you-can-eat BBQ in Frontierland (my normal Disneyland Resort buddy can't eat anything they serve at the place whose name suddenly escapes me, so this was a treat...)



Anyway, we did find people you don't see everyday outside of Halloween around the Haunted Mansion....



The one in black had also a neat makeup job, but since I didn't know enough Japanese to ask for a pic, I could only safely get a pic from behind...and they were getting churros too...I should've been like that other girl in the churro line and just took out a cell phone to take the pic...

Friday, November 5, 2010

New Game Idea: Cosplay Assassins

I started this blog with the intent of building up a list for a cosplay scavenger hunt, but I think I found another cosplay game that might also be exciting...Besides, my anime/manga tracking has not caught up with recent trends to pick characters that one would actually find in a large convention. And I was looking forward to finding people cosplaying as Akira Kogami's friends from the Lucky Star manga, Oohara, Nakatani, and Otonashi...

Getting inspired by reading a post for the idea of a LARP (live action role-playing game) at Anime Expo and my experience participating in a game of assassins when I lived in a dorm, I think hosting a cosplay assassins game at an anime convention could work, especially since the time frame to complete the game would be much smaller...

Goal: Tag the most assigned targets within the given time frame (within say 72 hours).

Number of players: maybe 50-60 plus a team of game masters to oversee the game. Ideally, the players would not know each other in advance. Each player should have a cell phone capable of taking pictures and sending and receiving picture messages. Unlike an assassins game you would find on a college campus, you have fewer resources such as a student directory at your disposal, and it is likely that your target would be disguised in cosplay (except for the armband or other player identification that is described below). To make it more difficult, it could be required that the target must be in a specific cosplay when the player tags him/her. Such a rule could lead to cheating, though.

Rules:
1. Prior to the start of the game, players will meet for a briefing by the game masters about the rules, locations of safe zones, and be assigned their first targets. This will be the only chance that players will get a chance to see who may be their targets or who may be hunting them. Players should take notes about the other players, particularly what cosplays they may be doing, planned activities. If not done before, the game masters should take pictures of the players and get badge information.

2. To ensure that only the participants and not other attendees get bothered by the game, all players will be given armbands that would be surrendered to their assassins when they are tagged. All players must conspicuously display the armband until they are tagged. With only a short amount of time finding someone among a crowd of thousands, the game needs to be a little easier with the armband. The armband doesn't have to be worn on the arm, but it has to be as visible as the convention badge and lanyard.

3. The game master team would designate which areas are safe zones where no one can get tagged (e.g., restrooms, screening/panel rooms, exhibit hall, artist alley, etc...) and hours when the game masters will respond to messages about confirmed tags.

4. About an hour after the briefing has ended, and all the players have scattered about, the game masters send a picture message to each player showing his/her target.

5. When a player has found his target, the player tags his target by saying a designated phrase (like "The happy squirrel likes to ride in itasha...") to the target and taking a cell phone picture with the target to send to the game master. Once the game master confirms the tag, the target surrenders his/her armband and those the target has collected prior to being tagged. The game master will then then send the pic of the next target to the player. The player will receive one point for the tag. A bonus point is awarded if the target was in cosplay when he/she was tagged. If the player tagged the wrong target, he has to surrender his armband to the target along with any of his other victims' armbands.

6. At the end of each night, the players return to the starting point to turn in their victims' armbands. A few of the eliminated players are selected at random to return to the game to take part in a different challenge...These eliminated players would be informed by text message to return at a later time to be given their special armbands.

7. In the morning, the remaining players will receive a bonus assignment in addition to the last assignment received the previous day. The bonus assignment is to tag one of the eliminated players who were selected to return to be bonus targets. If the player is the first to tag the bonus target before a designated time, that player will receive bonus points. The bonus target will have a special armband. If the bonus target is able to avoid being tagged and returns his/her special armband by the designated time, he/she gets a special consolation prize. To add difficulty to this bonus challenge, the bonus assignment will only be identified by their cosplay without a picture.

8. At the end of the last day of the game, all players return to the starting point to turn in their victims' armbands for the final tally. The top scorers will then be awarded their prizes.

Just trying to bring the game of assassins to the next level. I would've suggested some version of The Matrix game, but you can't find pay phones anywhere anymore...

Hmmm...maybe a cosplay scavenger hunt is less complicated...

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Story of an Hour: OC Japan Fair



Just because the weather was nice the week before doesn't mean you should cut the number of umbrellas to rent...

Because I was curious, I went to the OC Japan Fair a few weeks ago in the Great Park in Irvine (still a rather arrogant name since this former military base has yet to really be transformed into a real park...)...

Because it was really hot, and there was very little shade, I stayed there for about an hour, where all I did was try some plum wine to get a free gyoza sample and ate a rice bowl while watching Toyokuni Honda create a sumi-e piece while Jodaiko (UC Irvine's taiko group) provided a soundtrack...





I did see the AniMaid Cafe booth and viewed some art created by the late film director Akira Kurosawa...I really wanted to see Shin Koyamada's (The Last Samurai, Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior) performance, but it was just too hot.

I saw a few cosplayers, but again it was way to hot to wait for the cosplay contest or take pics beforehand...

Maybe if they made this a winter event, this would be nice...

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Is This You?????

Saw this on Cosplay in America's Flickr...

Which con-goer are you ?

Yeah, hardcore cosplayer, crossplayer (I've had this theory that straight guys crossplay in order to sneak into the girls restroom, but crossplaying may be linked to the kabuki tradition of having men playing the female roles...), and the anime critic (the guy who thinks all anime was crap after -insert title here-) are missing from this list...

As for the chaperone description in the chart...I have met a mother who was manning her daughter's artist alley table at AX last year, and it seems like her concern was how much her daughter was spending on this interest, which is probably why her daughter had a table in artist alley to earn some cash. On the flip side, I met the mother of a Lucky Star cosplayer who seemed to want to relive her teenage years...Curse anime for making us think life ends at 27 (two examples are Lucky Star and Hidamari Sketch) or even 20 (Strike Witches)...I dunno, but I do feel comforted to see parents and other older adults at these events...I'm sure the dealers are comforted too...

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The 2010 Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend: Running in Costume...



Considering that I grew up in Las Vegas, and I enjoy anime, you would think I would be spending Labor Day weekend at Anime Vegas, but I don't as I found something that I find really rewarding because it combines two of my original loves, volunteering and Disney...The Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend, which was celebrating the 5th anniversary this past weekend...

During the weekend, there is a 5K Family Fun Run that goes through both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure on Saturday (which I ran for the second time this year) followed by the half marathon (13.1 miles) held on Sunday which winds through both parks before heading out to the city of Anaheim where they pass by Honda Center (formerly called Arrowhead Pond where the Anaheim Ducks NHL hockey team plays home games) and Angel Stadium of Anaheim (where, despite the terrible name, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim MLB baseball team plays home games) before returning to Downtown Disney at the ESPN Zone where the finish line and spectators are waiting...

Runners who participated in every half marathon since the inaugural race in 2006 were called legacy runners...I guess I would be a legacy volunteer as I've volunteered in some way every year, at least always with the half marathon portion.

But anyway, I felt like posting about this year's weekend because I mentioned in a previous post that you usually see a lot of costumes during the half marathon. This time, I've been able to take a couple pics...though not a lot because I'm a runner/volunteer first before I'm a cameko...

I was surprised to see some actual cosplay during the 5k that was beyond just the typical Peter Pan outfit or fairy wings or Minnie Mouse running skirt...Since I didn't want to risk dropping my nice camera, I decided to bring my old 3MP Sony Cybershot DSC-P72...At least it had a flash so I could take these pre-dawn pics...



If you looked closely at the ninja's outfit, you'll notice a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse print...Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is part of Playhouse Disney, shows geared towards toddlers...

During the 5k, there were photo spots which would eat up your time if you're a serious runner, but I want to run in 5k events in interesting locations...

Here's a typical costume (I so wished I took the pic of the girl who did Buzz Lightyear with light-up wings...)...



Of course, my goal was to improve my time, so I don't wear costumes when running...



My time was slower than last time I ran in this 5k, but that's because I wasn't training as much as I did last time due to work and general laziness...

Now I really enjoy volunteering during the main event that is held the next day, the actual half marathon...Now that I've been a volunteer team leader for a while, I've learned to let the younger volunteers I supervise do the fun job of interacting with the runners while I stand back and work on the cleanup tasks that make breaking down the station after the race faster...But that means I've also been able to take some, but not a lot, of pics (I really love doing the work that helps make the event run smoothly, especially after all the praise both I and the other team leader received last year for being very efficient at cleaning up our station)...

Most costumes you see in a race are really overlaid on running outfits, like a green skirt for a Tinkerbell or a pair of Mickey Mouse ears or a pirate hat for Jack Sparrow, but some go all out, like this Stitch...



Of course, for safety reasons, the head didn't cover his face...

I guess Disney pajamas might be the next trend in runDisney (the new name for Disney running endurance events that include the Disneyland Half Marathon and Walt Disney World Marathon) costumes...


(a Mickey Mouse print and a Disney Princess print)

Now this does not seem like a costume...



Until you see some famous characters wearing the same tracksuits (I took this when I ran in my first 5k two years ago...the girls happened to be standing in line behind me so I asked them to join me as I never saw anyone run in happi coats at a Disney race before that time...)



I may try a Mickey Mouse ninja costume for next year...who knows...seeing some amazing runners always inspires me to improve myself and be creative...

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Nisei Week 2010 Part 2: The Grand Parade

Well it would be too much work to describe what went on at the Grand Parade last Sunday, so here's a slideshow of the pics I took at the parade from the starting line...pretty much the same as last year, but with Ban Daisuke as a special guest for the cosplayers...High school marching band has taught me to avoid walking in a parade unless I'm on a float, so you'll prolly never see my Meito at this...Enjoy the pics...


Monday, August 16, 2010

Nisei Week 2010 Part 1: Stage Hopping for the First Weekend



If the style looks familiar, it is because the artwork is by TokiDoki...

Well I wanted to put up a 10 commandments of cosplayer/cameko as a closeout to my Anime Expo 2010 articles, but that can wait...

This is the 70th year of Nisei Week in Little Tokyo in downtown Los Angeles. Since I had fun spending two weekends at last year's festivities, I came again this past weekend, but with the promise of making sure I don't buy souvenir t-shirts that I don't wear later on...

I'm not sure how to organize these pics I took over the first two days as I hopped from the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center to Japanese Village Plaza to the Japanese American National Museum all the time, so maybe I should organize by where I was...

So let's first take a look at what was going on around the Japanese American National Museum (whose original building next door, I was told, used to be a bus departure point for Japanese Americans who were sent to internment camps during WWII)...

This was the second annual Tanabata Festival. Like last year, tons of paper crafts were present...



Including one inspired by Pokemon...



On stage were some ondo dancers who taught the audience some moves...





There was also a magic show...



Over on the stage at the Japanese Village Plaza (where Anime Jungle is located)...there was Gary Jung, the Japanese Elvis...



There was also meditative drumming on Saturday, which attracted some cosplayers (who made an appearance in the parade on Sunday...)



Which seemed to attract more of them...



But when the drummer went into a 3-beat time from common time, they appeared lost...



And then the drummer asked for a volunteer...



At the stage near the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center, I saw some girls from I guess another maid cafe cosplay group, Mochi Cafe...



Apparently, AniMaid Cafe (Funky Fresh Cosplay) was doing something at the Tanabata Festival earlier...

I stepped inside the JACCC to see if there was anything new...well I did see some of the items that are sold by Samurai Store International, a seller of handcrafted Japanese -made samurai armor manufacturer with an office in Los Angeles that sells to collectors, decorators, and anyone with a couple thousand to sell...the armor they had on display ranged from $1,800 to $12,000...


Iaito sword: $638 (on display with rows of iyozane, scales that make up the armor, on the left and a kabuto, helmet, that was under construction)...


1500s style armor designed to defend against firearms: $1,820.


Edo period style (1600s) armor: $10,750


Warring States period (1467-1573) style armor: $11,680


Not sure what style, but this one costs only $2,240...

On the JACCC stage, there was also a demonstration by South Bay Shorinji Kempo, which I saw last year, but this year, I got a glimpse into how they teach a technique...



Now I did most of my dining in Japanese Village Plaza, with some blueberry jam from Yamazaki Bakery...



Conveyor belt sushi from Frying Fish...



Some mochilato (I think it was raspberry cream and peaches and cream) from Mikawaya...



I did go off to Koreatown for a late lunch at Soo Won Galbi...

(I did have meat at this Korean BBQ place.)



Now while I didn't buy a t-shirt, I did get something while I was in Little Tokyo...



And I felt like splurging and didn't get just one (because Anime Jungle had only one box left, and I needed to buy a set in order to get Miku. However, I think Meiko is my favorite one now...)...



Up next, some pics from the Grand Parade with (last year's) nebuta...