Cosplay in Japan

Hello Darlings! 

Long time no post, but as usual, things have been busy. It's all ready mid-term, I can't believe it! My class had a huge speaking/video project, essay exam, and a 22-chapter long grammar exam all in the same week.

However, I've had plenty of opportunities to unwind and hang out with my friends in Japan. I've met a wide variety of people here, all with different interests and the same hobbies as me. One of my hobbies I'm really into is cosplay, but until recently I was too embarrassed to bring it up in front of people. By chance, I met a friend at karaoke one night who also happened to be a cosplayer, and last week, she took me to my first cosplay event in Japan!

Compared to western anime conventions, which can run $30-60 for admission, the cost of admission was cheap. 900 yen for a program, which was stuffed with ads for upcoming events, fan drawings, and cosplay shops.

That 900 yen cover got you into the arena, where vendors sold primarily hand-made goods, such as doujinshi (fan comics), fan art, handmade clothing and accessories, stickers and more. (Anime cons in the US usually have a section like this called the "Artist Alley", where only original hand-made goods can be sold.)

500 yen bought you a badge for admission into what I'd like to call the "Cosplay Pit"; the half of the arena roped off exclusively for cosplayers, photographers, and these babies:

Cars of all makes and models with custom made anime designs. I usually see these driving around Oosu or near Nagoya station, but had never seen so many in one place! I was floored by the detail! 

Trophies were awarded for the best designs. Many had displays inside the car windows or around the car, to keep with the theme. Even if you aren't an auto enthusiast, you would have enjoyed this part of the event. 

Back to the Cosplay Pit. As a cosplayer, you had to do little more than walk in and people would queue to snap your photo. Photographers of all ages and skill levels were there, some with cellphone cameras, others with arsenals of professional gear. 

After photos were taken, there was the exchange of meishi, business cards. This was something I had never seen before. Each cosplayer carried a mini portfolio of meishi, usually of different cosplays they had done. Usually they will let you pick the card you want, they're pretty friendly people. :) The cards may have a box you can scan with your cellphone to view their page online, or it may have their profile number for sites such as Archive or Cure. Photographers also carried meishi to keep in touch with the people they shot. 

In the US, I usually cosplay outfits from Visual Kei PVs such as The GazettE and Dir en grey. I hadn't gotten around to making an online profile yet. After this event, I made an Archive profile to keep in touch with my new friends. Archive's free cosplayer profile has an online meishi maker installed, which is easy and fun to work with. 

I'm starting to really get back into this hobby! And that's probably a really good thing, since starting this year, my home state of Hawaii will be included in preliminaries for the World Cosplay Summit

I know I'll have to leave Japan soon when this school year ends, but the World Cosplay Summit is actually hosted here in Nagoya every year! How awesome would it be if I could come back here to compete?

Till next time,


PS- ALMOST 100 FOLLOWERS, wow, thank you so much! I will have to do something special for my readers if I break 100!

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