Since I started working on the first costume for my cosplay project, also my first major sewing project, I’ve been noticing women’s fashion with what I’ll call a deconstructed view. No longer is that skirt just nice, or that blouse oh so sexy. Instead I’m seeing front and back patterns, interfaces, and fused linings! OMG! It’s full of fusible web! I certainly have a new appreciation for the work that goes into designing and making clothes, especially women’s fashions. So thanks mom for all the work you did making clothes for me when I was little!
It’s been a week since ACEN 2006 started and now I bid it a fond farewell. One thing I’ve noticed this year is that it seems that there is a lot more after-con interaction going on. The ACEN forums are still fairly active and there seems to be a thriving year round community there. As for me, my fun meter is still pretty full, and after going to 3 cons last year, I’ve decided to throttle back a bit this year and skip Otakon. Next year’s Anime Central will be the 10th, so I want to do something special. I’ve enjoyed taking pictures of cosplayers so much, that I think it’s time to join them! So as a parting bow, here’s a shot of one of my favorite cosplayers at ACEN 2006!
I’ll probably write more later, but another Anime Central is in the books. This was my third ACEN, and overall, I would say its the best one yet. The ACEN staff did a great job, and the Hyatt Regency staff were just fantastic. The only real bumps were mostly of my own making, but still it was a great con and my family had a good time. My oldest daughter even won 3rd place in the Children’s Art Contest! And the band Tsu Shi Ma Mi Re picked up a new fan (sore ga ai deshou…). They really rocked! Here’s a picture of me and the band.
Needing some distractions, I finally got the cosplay pics I took at Reactor 2005 up on the web. Despite a lot a of complaints, it really wasn’t a bad convention, just a work in progress. If there’s another one next year, I’ll probably just go solo.
Here’s one of my favorites, Lupin III and Jigen.
Well, Otakon 2005 is over and only the afterglow remains as life settles back into its normal pattern. Or at least as normal as it gets for me! First off I’m happy that the money I invested in auto repairs paid off as I had nary a hiccup on the way out or back, despite low tire pressure on the outbound trip. The only real travel problem I had consisted of some wheel vibration at speeds over 80MPH (129KPH), so I need to get the wheels balanced before the next major trip. Once arriving in the Baltimore area, the next challenge was really just the traffic due to construction. I got lost on the way to the hotel, but it was no big deal and over the course of the convention I learned my way around quickly.
Right from the start, I did a lot of things that I would not normally do. I’m not the most social person in the world, but that did not keep me from meeting up with a bunch of cool people from the MegaTokyo forums that I frequent. This is the first time I’ve ever gone out to meet people who I only know of via the internet. And I don’t normally get up in front of a bunch of strangers to sing songs in a language of which I only have the barest understanding, but I did! In fact I sang a total of 4 of my favorite songs during the convention, Shell, Shizukana Yoruni, All the Way, and Take It Shake It. None of these songs are particularly well suited to my voice, but I’m told that doesn’t matter in karaoke!
One of my favorite things to do is take photos of the cosplayers. I got a lot of them at Otakon and I had a really good time talking to the cosplayers as well. Click here to see all of the pictures I took for Otakon. The one below is one of my favorites, but not just because she’s an attractive woman. She told me that this was her first convention and that she’d come alone. Wow! Nice costume for her first con and coming alone says a lot too. In particular, the fact that she’s a young black woman makes me believe that the Japanese Pop invasion has had a more profound influence than one might suspect on the surface. In all of my years of attending SF, Star Trek, and now Anime conventions, generally I was one of few African Americans on the scene. Well it looks like those days are over. There were a lot of young black people at Otakon and few of these people had the classic geeky/nerdy look to them. So while I would not say that anime and manga have gone mainstream, I would say that it has reached a broader part of the popular consciousness than sci-fi ever did.