Cosplay for fun and profit

Halloween has come and past. For many people that is an opportunity to dress up as a favorite ghoul, superhero, tv personality, etc.

For those with interests in sci-fi and anime and are convention attendees, it’s another opportunity (among many) to dress up as a favorite character. So, I did.

Work had a Halloween costume contest. Prizes were involved. I asked my boss: “Does this mean I can come to work dressed up as a magical girl?” His response was an emphatic “YES!”

So, of course, I did. I wore my “Man-doka” cosplay that I have worn to conventions this past year.

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 I will tell you…doing receiving in this outfit is no easy task…the heels are a killer after a couple of hours.

A bunch of my co-workers and friends already know about this cosplay I do, but to see it in person was a blast for many of them. Co-workers who I am not friends with on social media, and didn’t know I dressed up like this for cons, were taken aback and quite amused. It made a lot of people happy.

After a week or so, I found out that I did win the contest. That was awesome. Beyond the contest it got me thinking about cosplay and why I do it (to the limited degree I do), and the benefits of cosplay.

When I started going to cons, I was a newbie. I went for a day, then two days, then the whole weekend. Then I looked at cosplay and thought to myself: “why not?” It was another way to connect and immerse myself in an experience. At first, I did a few that were more “normal” for me to do. Older males, etc.
After a time I got to thinking, Puella Magi Madoka Magica is one of my favorite shows…Maybe I should cosplay something from that.

The idea amused me…for a couple of reasons. I make a horrible looking magical girl and it would embarrass my boys being the primary ones. I played around with the idea, pitched it to a couple of friends, and finally bit the bullet. My first magical girl cosplay was Mami Tomoe, I called my version “Manny Tomoe” and I spoke in a gravelly faux East coast (USA) accent. It was a lot of fun. After that, I did Madoka Kaname, or “Man-doka” where I walked around talking like a version of The Tick. Loud, confident, and superhero-ish.

Do I feel loud, confident, and superhero-ish? Absolutely not. I have to psych myself up to dress like this. It’s takes me summoning a combination of courage and an attitude of not giving a fuck. And then off I go. I’m happy I do it. If for no other reason than this:

It makes (some) people happy. People smile. Get excited. Want to take a picture. It brightens someones day just a little. A lot of people outside the con-going community might not understand this. For some people, Halloween is the only socially acceptable time to dress up in a costume, and that’s too bad. I think sometimes, as adults, we forget the power of play. Of simple ridiculous fun.

I’m not a good cosplayer. There are many who are absolutely awesome. They make amazing outfits. They are artists. I have a great respect for that. There are people who just want to dress up to represent their favorite shows, video game, movie, character, etc. This is also awesome. It connects and bonds you to others who share your interests. There are people like myself who like a show, and just like making people smile a little. And all of us are out there to forget about life for a little while.

That’s why I like to dress up on days beyond Halloween. That’s why I love the cosplayers, each doing their own unique thing. And that is why I will keep doing it. Beyond work prizes, I made some people smile and brightened their day in a small and silly way.


Until Next time: Happy Viewing!


30 Day Anime Challenge- Day 9

Best Anime Villain


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For anyone who has read my blog is this really a surprise?

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Kyubey, from Puella Magi Madoka Magica is my favorite villain far a few reasons. The first being that I don’t tend to watch a lot of shows with villains (I watch a lot of slice of life). The other being: Kyubey is a real bastard in the way the a corporate CEO or the devil is.

Kyubey offers an amazing deal to people (specifically, young teen girls) but will omit the details purposely to avoid sticky questions later. He chooses young girls not only for the emotional power benefits he’ll reap later, but also because critical decision making is not at their height at this age. When Madoka stalls, he pushes her often with statements like:”You could help them if you agree to become a magical girl”. He is knowingly manipulating her emotions to get her  commit.

When confronted with the magical girls horror and disillusionment of what has happened to them, he feigns innocence and rationalization.


Making a contract with Kyubey is very much like signing a contract with the devil: you may get what you want initially but eventually you’ll have to pay and it’s all laid out in the fine print (which no one ever reads).

That is why Kyubey is my favorite villain. Soulless, cute, psychotically logical.

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Until next time: Happy viewing!

30 Day Anime Challenge- Day 2

Favorite Anime You’ve Watched So Far.


 Puella Magi Madoka Magica and Bakemonogatari

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Both from Shaft, both favorites of mine.

Bakemonogatari was actually the first of these two that I watched. The art, well thought out story telling, and rapid fire dialog has made it a consistent favorite of mine.

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I initially resisted watching Madoka. I thought it was going to be too much of a “cutesy” magical girl thing that I wouldn’t like.

I was wrong.

I got to episode #??? (everyone knows! :D). And I was captured.

Now it’s a favorite without a doubt. I love the story. The art. The soundtrack.

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I truly love this show.
I even cosplayed a character from it!

Disturbing isn’t it? I called myself “Manny Tomoe”. My boys were delightfully embarrassed. I may do Madoka (or “Man-doka”) this year…

So that is my tie for favorite anime watched.

Until next time: Happy Viewing!

Evil: Who Wore it Best?

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Leviathans vs Kyubey.

Sometimes when I’m left alone with my own thoughts I go off on tangents that seem unrelated (and bit weird) on the surface, but make sense when given a little thought.

Aside from watching a fair bit of anime I have been slowly going through the Supernatural series. Currently I am somewhere near the end of the second season.

Last weekend I decided to re-watch Puella Magi Madoka Magica: Rebellion for no apparent reason (except that the Madoka series is one my favorite animes).

So, Monday morning, as I watched Supernatural and ate my breakfast, a thought occurred to me. The Leviathans on Supernatural and Kyubey (and the species of Incubators) are remarkably similar.

The thought came to me: They are both perceived as (and can be argued to be) evil. They, however, in both series can argue themselves to simply be pragmatists. Just doing what they need to do to survive.

Leviathans seek to fatten up the human race to use them as cattle for food. Incubators seek to use young teen girls as a power source that result in their death.

Now one may argue that the Leviathans are more evil because they want to eat everyone and that Incubators limit the damage: not so. Kyubey, by the end of the series, is looking forward to Madoka becoming the most powerful witch the world has ever seen, thus creating the largest source of power they’ve ever seen. BUT, her also becoming the most powerful witch also meant everyone on earth would be destroyed.  Kyubey viewed this as inconsequential, collateral damage.

Who is more morally corrupt? Leviathans or Incubators?

You may say: “But Incubators helped humans progress!!” True. Kyubey rationalized that the wishes they gave out helped forward humanity, thus they were being kind and treating humans well by allowing them to progress.

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Dick Roman, head Leviathan, also did things to “help” mankind. His agricultural company that he acquired  was tasked with making food additives (corn syrup, etc) safer and more healthy for people. His other companies were also acting to cure cancer and other diseases. Sure, it was also to make humans more tasty, but it was also done with the rationalization to “help” humanity.

Once again: Which is more evil? Still seems like a toss up.

There is also how they look:

Kyubey: Fluffy, cute, vacant eyes, weird ear thingys.

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Leviathans: Could be really anyone. The head one is Dick Roman. A handsome, well spoken, businessman/ humanitarian.
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Well…Leviathans are pretty creepy when they eat! True… but so is Kyubey when they eat their own corpse.
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Waste not, want not…I guess?

What about the trope that evil never dies? True. Leviathans are really hard to kill. Borax…decapitation. And Dick Roman they needed a bone, 3 kinds of rare blood: very complicated.

Incubators on the other hand don’t seem to be able to die. This is never made clear. Homura does manage to traumatize the hell out Kyubey by the end of Rebellion though.

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A final argument to say Incubators is less evil could be made suggesting that by the end of the original series that they are perfectly happy collecting energy via magical girls hunting wraiths. However, Rebellion nullifies this. The Incubators had trapped Homura before she became a witch and were seeing how they could harness they energy having her trapped in her own labyrinth. They were still basically seeing humans as lesser beings to be used as  a resource, much like Leviathans.

So…Who wore evil the best?

Was it evil?

This is what happens when the mind wanders.

Until next time: Happy viewing!


*images on this post are not owned by this blog*



“Manny Tomoe” Will Debut At ACEN


There is something wrong with me… I accept and know this.

I got this idea last year that it would be really funny if I cosplayed as a magical girl, but didn’t even try to pass as female.

So who did I choose as my cosplay? Mami Tomoe!

Now, don’t get me wrong. This is no instance of disrespect. I love Puella Magi Madoka Magica. It is one of my favorites.

So much to both of my son’s horror and my delight, I went through with it. I have the whole outfit now and I will be wearing it next week in Chicago at Anime Central for the first time.

There are a lot of people who have been wanting to see this so, not knowing if I’ll remember to take pictures of myself while I’m at ACEN, I took a few today.

So Enjoy! and if you’re at ACEN, say “hi”.


Puella Magi Madoka Magica: Rebellion- AKA “Because no one can be happy!”


I can’t tell you how badly I fanboy-ed when I found out “Puella Magi Madoka Magica; Rebellion” had been added to Netflix (yes, sad for a 40 something man). I had previously watched about half of it online on my computer, but knew it was something that needed to be experienced on a bigger screen if possible. How true that is.

This series has been a surprising favorite of  mine and (as many know) was put out by my favorite studio, Shaft.

I have now watched it twice. Once alone, and once with my boys.

It is beautiful, confusing, and wonderful.

First off. The animation is beautiful. You can tell the studio went to astound audience in a theater with the animation of the film. It is detailed, creative, and downright surreal at times.

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The confusing.

The story is confusing. This I’ll admit. I have read some of the criticisms and agree it could have ended half an hour earlier. However, after a second watch I found it more agreeable than the first time around. So to those who watched it once and got mad: Watch it again. You may come away with a different impression.

And there are things like the cake song that make you go: ????

The Wonderful.


It is ultimately a love story. If not a romantic one, a one of a deep love for your friends and those you care about. I won’t give too much away, but this scene was a great one that nearly made my older son cry:

And who can blame him? I came to tears as well. But that was true in many parts. As the title of this post suggests: “Rebellion” is not the feel good film of the year. It is sad, touching, and a bit maddening at times (hence my son’s loud declaration that “No one can be happy! Can there just be an AU where they can just be happy lesbians where no one dies or turns into a fucking demon?!”).

He’s got a point.

A dramatic, teenage, point.

But if it wasn’t good enough…There was another ClariS song: Colorful

and that is a good thing.—Colorful/75f7a0722dcd1fd52daf6281d20ae098

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Watch it. But if you haven’t seen the show, watch that first (and don’t bother with the first two movies).

They’re All Lesbians Dad…Accept The Yuri


At least that is what my 15 year old son said to me…

Puella Magi Madoka Magica was the first “magical girl” anime that I had ever watched. I am glad I did as it remains as one of my favorites.

I was not very familiar with “magical girl” anime, but was aware that it was a sub-genre at the very least.

I had started to watch it once because it was put out by Shaft (also responsible for Bakemonogatari, Mekakucity Actors, and Nisekoi) and I was a fan of their work. I got put off at first during the first episode thinking: “Oh this is going to be too cutesy for me.” So I set it aside.

Several months later I was looking for something to watch while I was folding laundry and thought I’d give it another try. By the third episode I was hooked and my perception was changed (all who have watched the series know why).


I am not going to say much about the story line except that is about some middle school girls who become magical girls to fight witches. This maybe a dull description, but the show is anything but dull.

The art direction is great and a real joy to watch(complete with Shaft head tilts).


It also features some great music from Claris and Kalafina.

But is it Yuri??? Maybe, I don’t know or care really. If there were middle school girls in love, it wasn’t illicit or exploitative. I know a lot of fans will say it is (and perhaps the 3rd movie Rebellion sheds some light on this) and that is fine. My son, who is gay, perhaps sees (rightly or wrongly) a relationship that I overlook or downplay. And I think this is good, that he sees something that positively reinforces his worldview.

I highly recommend Puella Magi Madoka Magica. Beautiful art, great story, good music, and Shaft head tilts. What more could one ask for? This is a show I definitely return to.

Attention Parents: There are some dark themes and a few deaths. Also, get through the show a little before getting your kid the cute Kyubey plushie. Just trust me on this.


And remember …..