I was able to go to about half the time I attended last year at Sakura-con. The long days meant that I often was just unable to get back out of bed after a nap. But what I did go and see, I tried to enjoy and maximize to the fullest (and still managed to spend to the fullest…odd that). With Sakura-con being a fun fest for fans of all types and ages, often I did not know what character they played as it could be from games, anime, manga, film, Japanese unreleased manga, or products. For example, I don’t know what her costume represents except “YES!” and “Go Pink” (and a desire to take her for a drink).
Sakura-con has a full venue for the kids as well, and many parents brought children who were dressed in cosplay (including a 10 girl with a blood splattered apron and a giant knife/syringe tool – I hope that is a game?). Here is a young girl who was playing Edward from Full Metal Alchemist.
Crossdressed, or Cross Cosplay was very high among females this year, including at the Cosplay Chess. About 20-30% of females in Cosplay were portraying male characters, like Ginko, the spiritual wandering doctor of Mushishi (in manga and anime here). Mushishi are the spiritual aspects of nature, like the river, or mountain god, or man of the living spirits, as seen in the Ghibli Film Spirited Away (the white figures). Ginko, who has only one eye, and a hairstyle to hide this, cures maladies where humans and mushishi intermix with a poor outcome. This girl had not just his clothes, backpack and haircut but his cigarette too. While here is a furry game character, part animal, which I think is from Final Fantasy (oh, here comes the wrath on getting it wrong). I admire her dedication to the nails.
There were the ‘idol’ and ‘moe’ type girls, who come together to make the heart, which is familiar with intro’s on the Japan photo machines.But there were also crowds of Sweet lolitas. This year had a higher number of lolita’s because h.nauto, the designer of my wheelchair backpack had a stall where they sold western sized clothing (huzzah, we can be taller than 5’2”) and promoted the all girl visual kei band Exist stance. But more on that next blog.
I went to a large storefront which in the exhibitor list was ‘Man in a Dress’. I could find nothing on them online and I wondered if this was for the males cross crossplaying as females (only 1-3% this year, sadly). But I found a ‘sweet lolita’ dress shoppe. The worker there explained that the clothes were for girls but the designer and creator of each was male and tried on each style first so they ending up naming it ‘Man in a dress’. At this point the creator came by and verified that yes, he was the ‘Man in a Dress’. As it happened, there was a group of six sweet lolita’s walking by and I asked a couple to pose, this pair, with matching heights (thanks to 5 inch heels) and bows, one bio male and one female.
A last costume were these two girls, one who was dressed as Ceil from Black Butler (a very popular choice for girls doing cosplay) and the other is the classmate of ‘Zero’ in Code Geass (for females in Wheelchair the sister of ‘Zero’ is in a wheelchair, as is a character in To Hearts).
I had brought the manga of Jo Chen to Sakura-con for signing. Two volumes titled The Other Side of the Mirror, is a series I enjoy and recommend. I had emailed her to ask for her to hold her art book for me, but she was too busy the weeks before to check and answer me. But she still had some of the limited edition art books from her blog, which come with a limited edition postcard. I wanted to get the artbook as she is off for so many cons this year including Comic-con that I knew they would go quickly. I had several long conversations with her about how she broke into drawing for D.C., Marvel and the mainstream US comics (she drew Buffy 8, Runaways and more) which I will write about in a future blog. It was hard to catch her as she was also promoting her drawn doujinshi of boy love and between signings and panels, she was away a few times every day.
5:00 am and time to head to bed for the AMV contest tomorrow!
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