It’s still freezing in Japan, but I am sure Spring will come soon and we’ll see cherry blossom in full bloom. I am doing alright. I always say the same thing, but I am sorry that I haven’t come here for long. Okay, let’s start.
My friend and I paid a visit the abolished school last month. Yes, it was a cosplay event. Even at such an abolished school, a cosplay event happened. You know, cosplayers have been more serious in taking better pictures. If you cosplay a student character, the best location would be school. So what if you cosplay a basketball player? Yes, the best location would be a gym. So I cosplayed him.
He is Rukawa Kaede[流川 楓] from Slam Dunk. If you have seen this anime, you might be around the same age as me. Ask anyone basketball series, or most people would mention this anime. Slam Dunk was aired from 1993 to 1996, and it has 101 episodes. The comics are translated and published in many countries. Maybe you could find it by your language. What is so special in this anime? So many good-looking boys? No, you could feel as if you were watching a real basketball game even when you read this comic. Of course, you can see how wonderful the friendship is, and enjoy the real basketball drama.
Rukawa doesn’t speak at all. He is always smart while he is playing. He and the hero Sakuragi Hanamichi hate each other, but actually inside they are mutually trusting.I really like the way they are because I have never been a basketball player. I am just an indoor geek, you know. I wish I could be a sport guy. My friend, Hajime-san and I love Slam Dunk, so we really had fun in having a photoshooting at this place. Even though so many cosplayers were inside the school, almost no one was in the gym. Hajime tried a lot of angles from lower to upper. It was freezing because I was wearing just a basktball uniform. But I didn’t care. The better location, the more exciting. Actually, we had a Slam Dunk cosplay before. It was at the abolished school as well, but there were too many cosplayers to take pictures. So we could do our best, we really did. Read the rest of this entry »
A happy new year, everyone! How was 2011? I wish you have a nice year. Around my place, we had a very first snow yesterday. Not I don’t like the cold, but I wish spring could come as soon as possible. Because I am a cosplayer, summer and winter are not good for me. Anyway, let’s begin my first entry in 2012.
If you think of any otome games, what would be coming up? Uta no Prince-sama, Heart no kuni no Alice, Vitamin X, Wand of Fortune, Miracle Train…it’s countless. In particular, we call any otome games from KOEI, Neoromance game [ネオロマンスゲーム] such as Harukanaru toki no naka de, Kin’ iro no Corda, or Angelique. You can abbreviate it ネオロマ [neoroma], and fangirls who follow those games are Neoromancer. Yes, I am.^^ My first cosplay is from Harutoki, and next I also cosplayed someone from Corda. However, I had never cosplayed anyone from this game, Angelique.
Angelique is actually the very first otome game in the history. This game was born in 1994, and there was no otome games before that even though bishoujo games were everywhere. In this game, the heroine is a schoolgirl who faces to the trial that decides the next queen in the universe. Needless to say, she is surrounded by several good-looking guys who help her. You can choose your favorite, enjoy dating, and pass the trial. I have played this game, but I must say this is the most complicated and difficult because those guys are moody and selfish. Normally, typical guys in the otome games are nice to the heroine. But the guys in Angelique often turn down even if you ask him to go out. Or else, he would forget about the promise you made and have fun with another girl. Whereas he helps you, he would do the same thing to another girl. Can you believe that? I used to get mad while I was playing this game.
At any rate, I have a friend who really loves this game, yes we call those fangirls アンジェリーカー[Angeliquer]. She is a cosplayer who can make costumes herself. When I told her I am also a Neoromancer, she asked me to cosplay someone from Angelique. Even got me a costume? I was on it on the spot. The character she suggested me is this. He is オスカー[Oscar], the guardian of Fire. You know, there is at least one playboy(we say タラシ[tarashi]) in this kind of game. Yes he is. He always addresses the heroine お嬢ちゃん[ojou-chan] or Miss. I swear no guys say something like this. Well, he is something you see in the old American movie. But…for some reason I like him the most.
The costume she made was really great. I had never tried on such a handsome outfit. I just got a wig and styled it myself, and went to the photoshoot with my friend. There is very few Angelique cosplayers because this series is old. In particular, Oscar cosplayers are quite rare. I fall for something like that. Read the rest of this entry »
Today is Years’ End. Oh no how come time flies like this? If you have been following my blog all this time, let me say, thank you so much. I have no idea how long I could keep this blog, but if there is one person who could enjoy my blog in this world, I would like to keep going.
So, today’s cosplay is so special because this character is my friend’s favorite. In fact, she suggested me to start this blog. I took up her suggestion and started…this is how I started my blog. Cosplay came after that, though. The character she really loves is him. He is Akidsuki Youjirou[秋月耀次郎] from Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto[幕末機関説いろはにほへと]. Have you heard of this anime? I doubt so many of you haven’t because this anime is not that popular. Speaking of Bakumatsu anime, I can think of Hakuouki, Rurou ni Kenshin, Peacemaker, Bakumatsu Renka Shinsengumi or that kind of thing. For some reason, Bakumatsu era is something so many women feel romance. There is always a young girl and several good-looking guys surround her. Why do they love something like this?^^ But, in this kind of genre, you can always see how strong those men were, and how wonderful the friendship they share with is. You can even see how great the spirit of samurai is. This anime, of course, shows such a strong spirit of samurai. You can see the storyline here.
I wanted to do this cosplay again because I was not fully satisfied with my previous cosplaying of him. I bought a new wig and styled myself because I could not do this before. And I found a better location for this character, and asked the photographer to come with me. It was so freezing with this costume in December, but I didn’t care. We cosplayers always have to bear the heat and the cold, that’s why.
Lastly, let me say have a happy new year! Read the rest of this entry »
It’s December, and this year is going to end soon. Looking back, so many things have happened…good things and bad things. Of course, I mustn’t forget about the terrible earthquake. But luckily, I am alive and doing okay.
I have cosplayed so much, maybe too much. Of course I shouldn’t forget what I am supposed to do here in my blog, yes I’ve got to introduce a new term, haven’t I? Okay, let’s start. Because I am a cosplayer, we are aware of what series are the most popular. Tigar and Bunny, Ao no Exorcist, and Uta no Prince-sama(I want to cosplay Tokiya) were really popular. Also, there is an unforgettable series, isn’t it? Yes, that is 魔法少女まどか☆マギカ [Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magika]. 魔法少女 [Mahou Shoujo] means a wizarding girl. Yes, there are a lot of anime which follow mahou shoujo, but Magika is absolutely particular. You’ll see what I mean if you watch it.
Put aside the outstanding storyline, let’s review the history of mahou shoujo anime series. Mahou shoujo is, needless to say, a genre of moe bishoujo anime, and always attracts a lot of fans. A cute girl who can conjure is charismatic for most girls and always grabs men’s hearts. Long time ago, in such an anime just the heroine is a mahou shoujo. If you think of mahou shoujo anime, would there be more than two or three mahou shoujo? But when I was a kid, only the heroine was a mahou shoujo, and she always helps people with her magical power. Speaking of such a heroine I might say Sally from 魔法使いサリー [Mahoutsukai Sally], or Mami from エスパー魔美 [Esper Mami](she is a psychic, though). They go to people who need help, and save them. For what purpose do they use magical power? That is to help people.
But in the next generation, mahou shoujo evolved out of what they used to be. There are more than two mahou shoujo in the series. They would quest the world and use magical power to fight against the evil. Yes, I would definitely think of Magic Knight Rayearth in which three wizarding girls quest. Before, what a mahou shoujo has in her hand is mostly a broomstick or a wand, but they might have a weapon like a sword or a bow and an arrow. Mahou shoujo not only help people but fight for justice. Speaking of which, Mahou shoujo Lyrical Nanoha has more than two wizarding girls although just Nanoha is in the title. Meanwhile, there is a type of genre called 戦闘美少女[sentoubishoujo] or a fighting girl. In this genre, there are always girls who battle with evil. Maybe they can use magical power. Like I mentioned Magic Knight Rayearth, they could be either Mahou shoujo or Sentou bishoujo. I shall leave it to you. Sailor Moon or Precure could be both. Anyway, why are there more than two wizarding girls after 1990’s? I assume that most girls wish they could fight like boys and adore a strong friendship such as One Piece. So this genre is something most girls want to follow. If the series have several unique girls, it might last very long like Precure or Oja Majo Doremi. Even my niece really loves Precure series.
Having said that, here is a definitely different type of Mahou shoujo, yes, that is 魔法少女まどか☆マギカ [Mahou shoujo Madoka Magika]. I don’t want to give away any spoilers in case you haven’t watched this anime, but there are two terms to introduce. Both coming from the episodes, so please mind spoilers. The heroine, Kaname Madoka is a normal school girl who has a gentle dad, mom, and a younger brother. One day, a new girl named Akemi Homura transfers to her class and for some reason she warns Madoka not to be a mahou shoujo. Soon after, Madoka encounters a cute creature named Kyuubee, and it says 僕と契約して魔法少女になってよ！[boku to keiyaku shite mahou shoujo ni natteyo!] or why don’t you have a contract with me and become a mahou shoujo? This contract is too fateful, but if you have a contract with Kyuubee, you can grant one wish of yours. But you have to be a mahou shoujo. Once you become a mahou shoujo, your daily life would end. Kyuubee doesn’t explain what will happen to a mahou shoujo. Yes, he is so cruel though he doesn’t even care. In this way, lots of mahou shoujo have sacrifised their own lives. That is why Kyuubee’ line got so popular out of the series. You can replace mahou shoujo by anything else.
Meanwhile, there is one more thing which made this anime so popular. That is what happens in episode 3, meaning Mami’s death. Yes, she dies in the middle of the battle. It happens in one moment; the monster bites off Mami’s head when she gets careless. Here comes another term, マミる[mami-ru] meaning this kind of situation. Don’t let your guard down, otherwise you would die in a moment.
So far we have seen encouragement, friendship, and justice in mahou shoujo anime, however, everything is not necessarily good. Fighting against evil is very dangerous. Magical power is not only to save people but to use for your own. You can make your wish come true, but you have to give up so many things once you become a mahou shoujo. Little girls would say like I want to be like Cure White when I’m grown-up, but mahou shoujo is a steep and horrible world. If you want to keep your daily life, don’t get yourself into such an extraordinary world. In many ways, this anime is absolutely a new type of mahou shoujo anime. So what type of mahou shoujo would come next?
Lastly, since I am a cosplayer, I have to say this; 僕と契約してコスプレイヤーになってよ！[Why don’t you have a contract with me and become a cosplayer?] No, don’t get a contract!
Viewers’ discretion is advised. This post contains boys’ love contexts. If you don’t like it, do not read this entry. Read the rest of this entry »
I am sorry that I haven’t uploaded for a month. October is going to end soon and this year is also going to end soon…how fast time goes by. But my life is the same as before, I mean, work and cosplay…meet people, that’s about it.
This year, I made friends with a couple of photographers, and have had some photo sessions with them. They are not professional, but to me, they are because they make really wonderful cosplaying photos. I truly realise cosplaying photos are not like portraits. Professional photographers surely take photos very well, but that is not enough. We cosplayers are trying to be a character from fantasy, which means those photos have to be something from fantasy. If you cosplay someone from your favorite anime, you have to find a good location. Location is very important. And you have to learn about the character, which means what kind of pose is required, which angle looks good the most, how much the lighting is, how you photoshop, or that kind of thing. In this way, you can make a cosplaying photo. People who can handle these things so well are, of course, the fans who love the character. When I cosplay, I always try to find someone who knows the character I cosplay. Otherwise, good photos won’t come out.
This year, I haven’t cosplayed new characters a lot because I want to re-do my old characters to make much better photos. I usually ask which character my friends want to take before the photo session. The character I have cosplayed the most this year is absolutely him.
He is Hijikata Toushiro[土方十四郎] from Gintama[銀魂]. I don’t think this anime is that popular out of Japan, but it really is here. Especially among young girls including fujoshi. It’s not like Tiger and Bunny, but why do fujoshi love Gintama? Anyway, in this anime Shinsengumi is depicted as police. Hijikata is the lieutnant who always smokes and carries mayonnaise with him.
I shall upload the photos taken by the two photographers, Yoru and Aya. They are a big fan of Gintama, and asked me to cosplay Hijikata. Yoru took my Hijikata at Japanese Garden, and Aya did at the sea. I had two sessions with Aya because she wanted to use the sunset. But unfortunately, the weather was not good first, so she changed the plan. She asked me to run in the waves, and swing the sword in the air. Next tiime, finally the beautiful sunset came.
I really want to say thank you to the two photographers because I have never seen such wonderful photos before. If you want to make a film, you need a director and an actor. A photographer and a cosplayer are something like that. Read the rest of this entry »
Typhoon is coming. Because of that, it has suddenly cooled down here. Today, I need to grab a jacket to go outside. What’s goin’on? I don’t like the heat in fact, so well…it’s not bad.
This year, I have made friends with some cosplayers and photographers. Thanks to them, I could improve my cosplays. You know, I am a man so it is pretty hard to find a photographer because most photographers don’t take guys, but girls. So I bought a better camera, learned how to use, and started to ask out my friends for photoshooting. This is how I could improve my cosplays. But meanwhile, I had been trying to find a photographer who could take my cosplays. First I signed up for such a community where models and photographers could get to know each other. A couple of days later, one young girl named Yoru spoke to me…and that was the beginning.
She claims herself as an otaku photographer. Not only portraits, but cosplayers she wanted to take, that is why she spoke to me. Actually she is a big fan of Gintama[銀魂]. Her best guy is the main hero, Sakata Gintoki[坂田銀時], and next is Takasugi Shinsuke[高杉晋助]. She wanted to create her work with Gintama, so I wanted to help her. Not help, but create together. I don’t have Gintoki’s costume, and I know I don’t look like him. But there is still possibility I could cosplay Takasugi…so I borrowed his costume from my friend who cosplays Takasugi.
Yoru and I visited a certain themed village to take Takasugi cosplay. Since we wanted to create such an artwork, I chose the best location. Gintama is a hybrid of fantasy and samurai drama. But sometimes it gets so serious and cool. Such a gap grabs fans’ souls. Takasugi is a mad terrorist. He’s so evil and dark-hearted. Before, he and Gintoki used to be study together. However, he has changed himself since his beloved mentor was killed. Always grinning, and smoking…we never know how he feels and what he desires. He says he wants to destroy this world, but is that what he really wants?
He reminds me of the song named Desperado by Eagles. Takasugi loves to kill people, and never trust anybody. He never shows the real him and sees people with the icy gaze. How long will he keep fighting? When does it end? What drives himself? We never know. That is why I want to follow him, watch over him. It was so difficult to act him as I have no idea how he feels. But I want to cosplay him again! Read the rest of this entry »
I am so sorry that I haven’t updated my blog. It’s been a month since my last entry! Darn it, let me promise I will make another entry tomorrow. Well then, I have been working on Saturday and Sunday since this July because we need to save power. It’s all because of the earthquake happened in March. Meanwhile, I am off on monday and tuesday. That means I can’t join any cosplay events because most events happen on weekend. I can’t even see my friends…so I wish this summer could end as soon as possible. From next month, my holidays are going to be on weekend as before. Oh here comes a new term to introduce, 生きつら[ikitsura]. 生きつら is an abbreviation of 生きるのがつらい[ikiru no ga tsurai, or tough to live on]. This means as it is, but lately I have seen this a lot everywhere. In my case, it’s too tough because I can’t cosplay with my friends. But don’t get it wrong. Actually when we use this, you have someone you really really love in your favorite anime or manga. Because your love only exists in the fantasy, it is too tough for you to live on in the real life…So mostly we say like xxxが好き過ぎて生きるのがつらい[xxx ga sukisugite ikiru no ga tsurai, or love xxx too much to live on]. Here is one more thing. Suppose here is something you are really looking forward. Maybe next week or next month it will happen. So that is why it’s tough for you to live until that happens…Maybe I would like to say like 来月まで生きるのがつらい[raigetsu made ikiru no ga tsurai, or it is so tough to live until next month].
Anyway, as I have said, I can’t join cosplay events so the left ways are a private or outdoor photoshooting. Luckily, my friend asked me out for the private photoshooting. We cosplayers share the studio for one night as it is much cheaper than daytime. Last saturday, as soon as I finished the work, I went to the studio and had a photoshooting all night long…and I cosplayed him.
He is Saeki Katsuya[佐伯克也] from Kichiku Megane[鬼畜眼鏡]. In fact I have cosplayed him before, but I wanted to improve it. I got a new wig for him, actually I cut and styled myself this time. When I cosplayed him before, I didn’t know how to do make-up. Now I do. And Katsuya is a salaryman so I wanted to place him in such a setting. At this studio, there was a computer on the desk and a bar. Both shows in the game, I took them. And…since it was a indoor studio, I wanted to make it more erotic. So please, viewers’ discretion is advised. Read the rest of this entry »
It’s been so humid since the typhoon was gone. God, please end this summer as soon as possible. Now some companies are even working on Saturday and Sunday because they have to save the power. Of course so does my company. Instead of working on weekend, I am off on Monday and Tuesday. It’s not a good thing to me because I can’t join any cosplay events. Almost no events happen on weekdays. Even that, I do cosplay. It’s hard to find a photographer who can help me on weekdays, but I have to.
Anyway, this year I decided not to cosplay new characters because I bought a new camera. I prefer to take my old characters than cosplaying new ones, but…I cosplayed him.
He is Tedsuka Kunimitsu[手塚国光] in Prince of Tennis[テニスの王子様]. You know, this is so popular not only in Japan, but in Taiwan or Sounth Korea. Besides, this series has a live-action drama and a musical on stage called Tenimyu[テニミュ], which a lot of young good-looking actors show. It’s hard to choose who to cosplay because this series has too many boys. Tedsuka is the manager of Seigaku Tennis Club that the lead characters join. I must say other schools are far popular than Seigaku such as Hyoutei or Higa. Poor the hero Ryoma! Who is the real hero?
Put aside almost all the characters do not look like a junior-high. Still, Tedsuka looks like a salaryman no matter how many time I try to think he is actually 14 or so. Well, it is good to me because I am a salaryman. Even though this was my first time cosplaying Prince of Tennis, it was so challenging to me. First I have never played tennis, so I had to see how the cosplayers strike a pose. Also, I wanted to do this cosplay at a tennis court, so I went to my alma meter to ask a permission. First their reaction was negative, but I countinued to negotiate so they said yes.
So my friend and I went to the school around 16:00 or so because they appointed the time. When I changed and stepped into the court, some players surprisingly looked at me. It was a bit embarrassing, but we did our best.
I shall dedicate this cosplay to tasukihoneybunny. Enjoy. Read the rest of this entry »
Omg, OH MY GOD! It’s my 4th anniversary for this blog! I don’t believe it…no words to describe this feeling now. All I can say right now is, thank you very much for following my blog. If you happen to be a lurker, I would like to say hello and thank you as well. I still remember when I started this blog like yesterday. The regular visitors those days, alas, are all gone. Well I don’t know. I wish they were still interested in my blog. Anyway, although it is still July, so many things have happened this year. Maybe it is too much. So I nearly forgot my anniversary. Just like the 3rd anniversary, I got an interview hours ago.
–Hello, bangin. Nice to meet you. Shall we start?
Yes, nice to meet you too. Sure we can.
–First, happy 4th anniversary.
Thank you very much. I am quite happy that I could keep this blog so far…I can’t realize even now.
–I must say I am terribly sorry about what happened in Japan. That earthquake, I mean.
Well…yes, I shall accept your words. Of course I feel so sorry for those people who are living in that area.
–So, what I would like to ask you this time is, about your cosplay stuff. I am sure you have been a cosplayer for almost 4 years because I know your first cosplay happened just after you started this blog. I noticed you have been cosplaying a lot lately. Have you had a change or something in your mindset as you have cosplayed so far?
When I started to cosplay, I just enjoyed wearing the costumes I wanted to wear or act as I like. As I told you last year, I did an actor thing for two years and a bit. So I really like to be in the character I cosplay. That never changes no matter what.
–Why I asked above question is because your pictures have been better than before. Better than those photos shown last year.
I think that is thanks to the camera and the photographer. One of my best photographers is Hajime who is also a cosplayer. She spoke to me because I cosplayed Naoe Nobutsuna in Mirage of Blaze which she really really loved. She helped me with my cosplay because I had almost no photographers at that time. And the photos she took were very nice. Her camera was Nikon D40 which was far better the camera I had. She loves to take “cosplaying photos,” not portraits.
–What do you mean by that?
I didn’t see the point at that time, but now I see. You know, cosplaying photos are pictures which clearly shows the mood of the series you cosplay. Not only a model, but a location, a camera thing, and photoshop have to work together. If you cosplay someone from Evangelion, the photos have to show that neutral mood of the anime. That is a cosplaying photo. I think that is an artwork. As I worked with Hajime, I started to love those photos she could take for me. But even that, I didn’t have such a skill like her because I didn’t have a digital single-lense reflex(DSLR). So I decided to buy it. This is how I bought my camera, Nikon D90 with a single focus lense.
–Sounds so expensive.
It is. But not so much. Because the latest version is Nikon D3, D90 got the price down. Anyway, I seriously learned how to use it in order to make cosplaying photos like Hajime did for me. But that was not enough.
Actually, I tried to find some more photographers who could help my cosplays. I could find one or two. I hate to say, but none of them were good. Even though they were using a much better camera with a better lense, those photos were unsatisfying. The reason is only one. They are not otaku. They don’t know who I cosplay, that’s why.
–So you saying, otaku or not. Is that such an important thing?
Absolutely. Those photographers sure take good portraits. But it doesn’t mean they are good cosplaying photos because, once again, they don’t know who I cosplay. They don’t love who I cosplay. Hajime loves the characters I cosplay, that is why she can create cosplaying photos. How could we take out the mood from the cosplayer? Only those who love the character know how to.
–Ah, so love is everything for cosplayers.
Yes, love conquers all. We say 愛[ai] to mean love. If you are just a consumer, all you need is 萌え[moe], but if you want to create something, you need 愛. We cosplayers love characters we cosplay more or less. In order to make such photos, we do whatever. Sometimes, I had to ask people for a permission to take cosplays, or go to so a faraway place…That is because I love my characters. Having said that, Hajime doesn’t know all of my cosplays. So I had to find someone else if she didn’t know my character. Not anyone is good. They have to love the character I cosplay as much as I do.
–I see…so this is why your photos have improved.
Thanks to my friends, I could make it alright. I told you before, I was always a minor character like a waiter A when I was in the drama group. After all, I was never the lead. But I wanted to be all this time. That is why I became a cosplayer. Because cosplay always makes my wish come true. However, I found cosplay is not something I can do myself. Because you need someone who helps you with your cosplay. To create an artwork called cosplay.
The chime is ringing.
–Who is it?
I have no idea…I’ll go and see.
Takano: Hey man. Can I come in?
–Excuse me, sir. Are you the editor-in-chief of the Emerald department, Mr. Takano from Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi?
Takano: You are having an interview. Should I come back later?
–Oh no, it’s okay. We are almost done. What do you have in your hands?
Omg, Takano-san…is this…
–That is very sweet. Why don’t we toast together?
Oh yes. I gotta go and get a glass.
Series: Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi [世界一初恋]
Character: Takano Masamune [高野政宗]