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Japan: Taking Cosplay to a New Level 

cosplay

Shiguma Aika, second from left, talks with other cosplayers at a broadcasting studio in Osaka.

OSAKA — Keisuke Uranishi reports: An Osaka-based woman is amping up her creativity in a bid to make a difference as a cosplayer.

Shiguma Aika is a famous cosplayer who became known outside Japan about 10 years ago.

“I believe cosplay is a culture Japan can be proud of. I want to be even more creative than now.”

“We can overcome the language barrier and quickly get along with foreigners — that’s one of the good effects of cosplaying,” she said to listeners at the end of an internet radio program late last year.

Sporting bright white hair, Aika appeared on the show with three other cosplayers. Seated in a broadcasting studio, they looked like they had stepped out of an anime world.

“We can overcome the language barrier and quickly get along with foreigners — that’s one of the good effects of cosplaying.”But Aika is not content just to get into a character by cosplaying. She also uses it to express the world the character lives in and share its allure with spectators and other people. She aims to perform “creative cosplay,” shedding new light on the work in question and make it shine more brightly.

“In reality, wars are always going on. I had fun cosplaying, but then I thought I might be able to go a step further and use cosplaying to express [more serious] themes, such as the nature of war and love for humanity.”

For example, Aika and her fellow cosplayers performed a scene from a popular game inspired by the Shinsengumi samurai warrior force at a festival about Japan in Shanghai in February 2012. The Shinsengumi fought for the Tokugawa shogunate in the years leading up to the Meiji Restoration in 1868.

[Read the full story here, at The Japan News]

The performance won huge praise from the audience as they demonstrated a theatrical sword fight on stage filled with the passion of Shinsengumi members, many of whom died at a young age.

The festival was a formal event and commemorated the 40th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic ties between Japan and China. But the organizers, which included the Japanese Consulate in Shanghai, recognized cosplay as an important cultural field that plays a role in the “Cool Japan” promotional movement, and decided to invite Aika and her fellow cosplayers.

Aika said she gained a lot of confidence as a cosplayer at the festival.

Love and war

Aika comes from Osaka, and became fascinated with cosplay in her adolescence. She devoted herself to it more and more because she felt that trying to look like her favorite manga characters would bring her closer to them in mind as well. Read the rest of this entry »

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[VIDEO] Tokyo Comic Con 2016 変態東京コミコン「グラビアポーズしてください!」

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Tokyo Comic-Con Bans, Then Un-Bans, Men From Cosplaying As Women Characters 

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Brian Ashcraft reports: This December, the Tokyo Comic-Con kicks off. The event should be similar to its San Diego counterpart, attracting celebrity guests and hordes of cosplayers. However, at the Tokyo event, there’s a significant difference: Men cannot cosplay in women’s clothing.

Update – October 27 5:00am: The Tokyo Comic-Con has reversed its ban on male cosplayers dressing as female characters.

As Anime News Network points out, the official site clearly states such under the “regarding cosplay outfits” section, writing that is “prohibited” for men to wear female clothing (男性による女装は禁止です). The ban uses the Japanese word “jyosou” (女装), a word which is defined as “wearing female clothing” and which has the explicit nuance of referring to men wearing women’s clothing. Read the rest of this entry »


[PHOTO] Belle + Taco Bell = Taco Belle

taco-belle

Belle + Taco BellTaco Belle, fast food princess and puntastically awesome cosplay by master costumer Olivia Mears, aka Avant-Geek.

It all began in 2012 when Mears went to Taco Bell dressed as Belle from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.

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Then she made a stunning dress out of Taco Bell taco wrappers last year:

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Now she’s combined the two in a stunning satin ballgown. The tacos are made of hand-painted card stock, tissue paper, and felt. The flowers and ruffles are made from Taco Bell wrappers.

To check out more of her gorgeous costumes visit Olivia Mears’ DeviantArt portfolio or Facebook page.

[via Neatorama]

Read the rest of this entry »


[PHOTO] Steampunk Artist Dr. James Avelgaard’s Playable Battle-Axe Bass Guitar

axe-guitar

What is that, some kind of lute? Nope. It’s an awesome, completely playable reproduction of the battle ax-turned-Ax Bass belonging to Marceline, our favorite Vampire Queen, from Adventure Time. It was handcrafted by San Francisco-based steampunk artist Dr. James Avelgaard.

This is actually the second working Ax Bass that Avelgaard has made. The first one was made as a working cosplay accessory. Click here to listen to it play(and while you’re at it, here’s Marceline playing hers).

Click here for additional photos of this fantastic instrument. It’s currently available for purchase via the Avelgaard Etsy shop.

[via Reddit]


[VIDEO] 人間かと思った! Wonder Festival: Meet Asuna, the Hyperreal Android

Wonder Festival is a semiannual Japanese convention dedicated to model and figure-building which attracts all manner of pros, amateurs, and cosplayers from across the country(read more)

RocketNews24 

人間かと思った! 日本企業が作った美少女アンドロイド「ASUNA」ちゃんがリアルすぎる


[VIDEO] Reason TV: Comic-Con, Flesh, Fantasy, Cosplay, and Self-Expression

Reason TV ventured to Comic-Con International in San Diego to check out the booming culture of cosplay, in which people dress up as their favorite superheroes, literary figures, or fantasy icons. Why do cosplayers dedicate so much time, money, and energy to their alter egos? Its fun, they say, and its a powerful form of self-expression…(read more)

Reason.com