Future Cosplay Plans

As anyone whose read my little blog knows that I attend Anime conventions with my two boys. Again, this year, we will be attending several. We will be going to Anime Milwaukee, Anime Central, and Anime Midwest.

I have cosplayed in the past and last year got a devious idea. I thought: “What might be fun to cosplay, be funny, from a show I like, and embarrass my children at the same time?”

And then it came to me:

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Mami Tomoe! 

I could be a magical girl! Even better, I’m not going to shave my beard! Even better than that, I could let my beard get all burly! Even better than that with ice cream on top, I could walk around with a cigar in my mouth and call myself ‘Manny Tomoe’.

My children are horrified. I am delighted. The cosplay is on order.

Pictures to come later this year.

I’m such a bad dad….

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Cosplay With Kindness Documentary

Cosplay: Literally “Costume Play.” Dressing up and pretending to be a fictional character (usually a sci-fi, comic book, or anime character).

Cosplay is often a fun way to express your fandom. It helps show others what you like, escape into a character, and bond with other fans be it characters from sci-fi, comic books, or anime.

I have cosplayed. My sons have as well. I have done Kensei Ma from Kenichi The Mightiest Disciple and Yuugo Tennouji , aka “Mr Braun” (Steins Gate). My son has done Kululu from Sgt. Frog.

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It’s fun. And I have had nothing but good experiences, as has my son. In fact, earlier this year at Anime Milwaukee, my son got invited to participate in the Masquerade (Cosplay competition) where everyone was very welcoming and supportive to him.

This, however, is not everyone’s experience.

I became aware that bullying was a thing in the cosplay community last year at Anime Midwest while attending voice actor, Greg Ayres’s panel: “Why Your Fandom Sucks”. He told a few horror stories where some fans take things too far and ruin the experience for others. It was through Greg Ayres’s Facebook page that I became aware of the documentary: “Cosplay With Kindness”.

The film maker was inspired to do this documentary after attending Greg Ayre’s “It Gets Better” panel at Anime-Zap. It is to address, and hopefully combat, bullying in the cosplay and convention going community.

Please support this project if you are able.

Go like their Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/CosplayWithKindness

Or help support their gofundme:
http://www.gofundme.com/CosplayDocumentary

And please visit their website to learn more:

http://cosplaywithkindness.org/

Cosplay and conventions should be fun. I remember when I saw the “Why Your Fandom Sucks” panel Greg saying (and I paraphrase): “There is no wrong way to cosplay. If you are not the same size, race, or gender as the character that you are cosplaying as: Who cares? You are being a fan. If your outfit is not professionally perfect: It doesn’t matter. You are being a fan and sharing your love of something with others.”

That struck a chord with me. As a  parent, and as a bit of an outcast myself, I appreciated this message. Support this project.

And more than anything else: Be kind!

-As a side note. It was my experience at Anime Midwest and seeing the Greg Ayres panel in 2014 that inspired me to start this blog.

ACEN: Days 2&3

A night of poor sleep and breakfast (tip: bring as much of your own food as possible. You will save money which is a good thing at a con) we headed out to see a panel.

The first panel of the day was of interest to me: “Parents Guide to Anime”.  This panel was presented by Mr. David Rothman who is author of a book of the same name as the panel. He was a knowledgeable presenter who guide d the audience through a background in anime, it’s influences that western (American audiences) may find objectionable, and how to screen for things as a parent. He had a scholarly approach, but it was also very evident that he is a fan as well. It was an enjoyable and interesting panel. I had spoken to him the day before and I will be reviewing his book at a later date.

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After that it was time to wander and go to the merchandise room.

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Of course there were cosplayers of all sorts.

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Like from Devil is a Part-Timer.

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Dragons from  Yona of the Dawn.

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Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn.

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Eruka and Blair from Soul Eater.

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And of course Soul and Maka.

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Mayoi Hachikuji from Bakemonogatari.

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No convention would be complete with out Deadpools.

My younger son and I decided we were going to go out for lunch at Mitsuwa Market, but on our way back to the hotel to get the car we did see these guys.

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Mitsuwa Market is a Japanese supermarket chain that have a few locations throughout the USA. Each features a food court with several restaurants featuring Japanese foods.

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We had planned on going there for their ever popular ramen, but decided on something different. We instead opted to go to the place serving rice bowls. My son got Katsudon and I opted for the garlic pork rice bowl. The wait was long…very long…probably 1 1/2 hours to order and get our food. It was good though. Very tasty!

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And for desert from Releaf: Chocolate for him and a Matcha Parfait for me.

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After the long break we returned to the con to see The Funimation Industry panel followed by the Noragami dub premiere with a voice actor panel after featuring Micah Solusod, Bryn Apprill, and Alexis Tipton. It was a good dub and the voice actors were amusing.

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We encountered a few characters before and after our panels of course.

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Edward Elric from Full Metal Alchemist.

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These two from Kancolle (I did not envy them trying to maneuver through the crowds).

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La Muerte from Book of Life.

It was a long day and we headed back to the hotel to get some rest before a short day at the con on Sunday and a long drive home.

Sunday we hit the merch room one last time, watched part of a Anime Tearjerker panel and saw the Samurai Dan panel/ performance. If you get a chance: go see Samurai Dan and Jillian, they are a lot of fun.

https://www.facebook.com/SamuraiDanandJillian

We checked out of the hotel and headed home. Tired, but happy with a really enjoyable weekend.

I could put another picture up…

I have a few more…

maybe just one…

So,

Why not Zoidberg?

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ACEN 2015: Day 1

What  a long and entertaining weekend it has been.

This was my first trip to Anime Central, the largest and longest running (I believe) anime convention in the Midwest United States. It is held in Chicago at The Hyatt Regency O’hare and Donald Stephens Convention Center. It runs Friday- Sunday and attracts somewhere around 30,000 attendees. Guests this year included Scandal (band from Japan), fashion designers Akira and Mika Takeuchi, various DJs from Japan who performed at the raves, and American voice actors: Cherami Leigh, Micah Solusod, and Bryn Apprill. This is just a sampling: there were many more.

I took my boys and one of their friends down to the convention. This was our first year going. We headed out early and arrived at the convention by 10am. My younger son and I wandered one direction, the other two went off on their own.

We first watched the opening ceremonies where all the guests were introduced.

After that we went to watch the “One Hour Gundam Rant”panel and the left part way through for the “Meet Cherami Leigh” panel. That was a fun time, she was an entertaining, engaging, and friendly guest. She voices”Asuna”in Sword Art Online, “Lucy” in Fairy Tail, “Lizzie” in Black Butler, “Patty” in Soul Eater, and (the pressing reason for my son) “Natsumi” from Sgt Frog.

He even got a picture with her, along with the autograph on his head piece. She loved it!

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After that we headed to the merch room and saw the dizzying array of vendors and artists who were there selling everything anime related.

On our way we ran into a few things…

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Like a roaming pack of Skelators.

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A yuri bear (Yuri Kuma Arashi) and her super hero friend.

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Koro- Sensei from Assassination Classroom.

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Nudist Beach and Ryuko from Kill La Kill.

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And Elizabeth from Gintama.

After that we took a break back at the hotel room for a bit (which the two older ones had decided to do as well).

My younger son then decided he wanted to get in some “Magic The Gathering” card playing time, so we wandered down to the game room.

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He played a sound tech who had some down time and got beaten both times, but to be fair the guy had a really good deck.

While he was playing I spotted a cosplayer from Kancolle across the hall.

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Turned out to be a cross player, but that is to be expected at cons.

After that everyone was pretty tired. We ordered a deep dish pizza from Giordanos, had dinner and called it a day.

Oh…I cosplayed too. Who?

Steins Gate’s “Mr. Braun” of course…

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Well…If he had less muscles and was a ginger…

Day 2 coming soon.