It’s really hot. I don’t want to go out. You know, if you happen to be in Japan now, you might hate this heat. I miss the cool summer in Canada…Although August will end soon, it would stay hot for a while. I guess it lasts till October. The heat is just an obstacle for cosplayers.
Anyway, I mustn’t be beaten by the heat! So my friend and I had a photoshooting outside since I found a nice place. It is a park, and there is a handsome temple architecture inside. Some cosplayers come to take pictures, so did we. I wanted to try out more gorgeous costumes, but because of the heat, I decided to cosplay a more simple one. So I did him.
He is Usami Akihiko(right guy) in Junjou Romantica. In fact this is my second time cosplaying him. But I hadn’t cosplayed him since last November, so it was long time no see to him. I haven’t found my Misaki and Suzuki-san(beloved teddy bear). Where are they?
Gothic Lolita is a kind of unique fashion style that originated in 1980’s, and linked to shoujo manga, Japanese rock bands, fujoshi, or even cosplayers. We usually say ゴスロリ[gosurori], but actually it is an abbreviation of ゴシックロリータ[Gothic Lolita]. The symbol mark is †[daggar]. Sometimes it puzzles me. Is this English? Because some people frown upon me when I mention Gothic Lolita. Even among English speakers, Gothic Lolita is like an otakish word?
Even if you haven’t heard of this fashion, it might ring a bell to you when you see it; a handsome dress features rococo or Victrian style and fabulous lace or frill. Leather boots and shoes with over knee socks(yes, makes 絶対領域[zettai ryouiki]). A headdress with a huge ribbon. Holding a big teddy bear or a huge lace parasol. Make-up is also important; blue or black lipsticks, fake eyelashes, loud mascara, color contacts, or even tattoo. This kind of fashion seems to embody destruction, aestheticism, darkness, heresy, death, or virginity.
Gothic is a kind of European style in the Middle Ages, and inspired lots of art including architecture or literature. Having said that, Gothic Lolita was born in Japan, so it is not technically a fashion from Europe, but those symbolism I have mentioned still remain. Lolita is…you know, such an immature girl or to love such a girl(shoujo). We say ロリコン[lolicon] or ロリータコンプレックス[Lolita complex]. But, Gothic Lolita is a combination of Gothic and a shoujo, so it seems to be different from lolicon. All in all, Gothic Lolita would embody a fin-de-siecle(decadant) girl in the Middle Ages. Does it make sense?
I am not familiar with Gothic Lolita, but to my surprise there are several variations in this style. For example, 黒ロリ[kuro loli] is to dress up in a black outfit, and 白ロリ[shiro loli] is to do so in a white outfit. 甘ロリ[ama loli] also known as sweet loli features pink stuff such as rose, strawberry or hearts. Looks like a princess. 和ゴス[wa-goth] is gothic with Japanese fashion(wearing kimono or that kind of thing). ダークゴス[dark goth] is more violent than 黒ロリ, like using eye-patches or bandages. Leather can be seen in Dark Goth, so well, Riku in Kingdom Hearts or most characters in Final Fantasy 7 could be called ダークゴス. Not really?
Meanwhile there was quite a famous rock band in 1980’s, that is AUTO-MOD. All of the members would dress up in such a gorgeous outfit with loud make-up. This kind of style got a lot of fangirls. At the concert hall, so many fangirls trying to copy their fashion, got together. Have you ever heard of Visual-kei[ビジュアル系]? Yes, it started around that time. Since AUTO-MOD got famous, some more Visual-kei rock bands such as BUCK-TICK, X-JAPAN, or LUNA SEA started to be famous as well. When I was a high school student, L’Arc～en～Ciel, SHAZNA, GLAY, or MALICE MIZER(Gackt worked as a vocalist) were quite popular. Those fangirls were called バンギャ[bangya]. I guess it is an abbreviation of バンドギャル[band gyaru], ギャル is a bit rude way to mean a young girl. Whereas I was not aware, Visual-kei became popular out of Japan 2000 onwards.
Gothic Lolita used to be a fashion style for girls, but it changed since Rozen Maiden came out in 2002. Because of this anime, Gothic Lolita started to be popular among otaku. Technically, Rozen Maiden is not really ゴスロリ although it quite looks like. Gothic style in shoujo manga actually has been popular for a long time. I can think of other shoujo manga like Angel Sanctuary. What about うみねこのなく頃に[Umi neko no naku koro ni]?
In Europe, Gothic Lolita is very popular. Even though it was born in Japan, it is influenced by European style as I mentioned. Even that, it seemed to be Japanese style for them. Before, I saw a TV-show in which a French girl tried Gothic Lolita because she was a big fan of Japan. She wanted to go out in Gothic fashion, but her mother stopped her in the end…To me, Gothic Lolita is kind of cosplay, but not really. Difficult to say. If you happen to be in Tokyo, go to Harajuku[原宿] or you will see a lot of Goth girls.
I have never been a fan of Gothic Lolita, but…I like the costumes. If I cosplay, I would do Kamui Gakupo in 刹月華[setsugetsuka]. I think this is 和ゴス[wa-goth]. Looks cool, don’t you think?
So my third anniversary ends like this. Well, I had a long-lasted dream that I really really wanted to make it come true. That is, to cosplay my beloved character, Nagisa Kaworu in Neon Genesis Evangelion. I have cosplayed him for a couple of times, but what I wanted to cosplay is his plugsuit which he wears when he pilots Evangelion. But actually his plugsuit is really hard to find because most cosplayers do either Ayanami Rei or Souryu Asuka Langley. If any, it is Ikari Shinji’s. Why don’t they want Kaworu’s plugsuit? I believe he is the most popular character in Evangelion. I am a big fan of him. My top 3 anime characters are Naoe Nobutsuna in Mirage of Blaze, Shironuma Tetsuo in sweet pool, and next is Kaworu.
If you want to know who Kaworu is, I strongly recommend you should watch Evangelion. Well, he is…uh, you know, a gay angel. But I so cried at the climax in the anime. I do wish Kaworu and Shinji could be happy. That is why most fangirls make a fan-fiction comic which the two have a happy conclusion.
At any rate, I found Kaworu’s plugsuit at auction, and it wasn’t so expensive that I bought it…I didn’t really care about my wallet. I couldn’t stop myself. もはや暴走モード（笑） But what I was worried about was the size. As you may know, plugsuits look tight. So when I got it at home, I couldn’t try it out right away. Well, it fits. Almost. So where should I take photos? I just tried to find a nice location…and I found it. It was a an old plant, yes this goes well with Evangelion.
I asked my cosplay friend who claims to be a fangirl of Kaworu x Shinji (yes she is a fujoshi), and went to the plant. She did a really good job because, once again, she is a fan of Evangelion. It is better that a photographer knows about the character the cosplayer features. I was right, she took a lot of beautiful photographers. Oh if you have 工場萌え[koujou-moe], I hope you like it. Please play the music, enjoy. Read the rest of this entry »