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Kickstarter Fundraiser Launched to Support Brainwave Controlled Tail

Kickstarter Fundraiser Launched to Support Brainwave Controlled Tail | Cosplay News |

Following the craze of brainwave controlled "necomimi" ears, there are have concept videos aboout brainwave controlled tails to go along with them. Now, "Project Tailly" has been launched to make it a reality.

Currently, there's a a prototype of the moving tail, “Tailly”, which uses sensors on the inside of the belt to measure the user’s heart rate. The project seeks to raise £60,000 ($96,000) by January 6th in a crowd funded Kickstarter campaign to complete the development of the product.

Tailly 's Facebook page:

Normally the tail hangs down, but when the user gets excited and their heart rate increases, the tail starts wagging, and when they calm down and their heart rate decreases, the tail swings slowly.

Tailly is not just a toy, nor is it a fashion accessory or a gadget. It is those three items combined, and, since it reacts to the heart beat rate, an extension of the users’ body. Tailly is fun to wear to parties, while out with friends or playing with kids. You could even wear Tailly on a date and express your true feelings through the wagging tail. Even better, your partner could also wear one for the both of you to add a level of subconscious communication between the two of you

The basic color of the tail is white, but the tail is interchangeable, and we also are offering covers in Black, Gray, and Golden Brown.

If we meet the fundraising goal, we will aim to deliver “Taillys” to our kind supporters in August 2013. We plan to produce 3000 Taillys by August 2013. If there are more backers join us, the rewards which are limited will have priority.

I, Shota Ishiwatari, the creator of “Tailly”, have previously developed prototypes of “necomimi” for neurowear.

Thanks to NeuroSky, “necomimi” has successfully shipped to the market and has reached numerous customers. I am very happy about this and am immensely grateful to Neurowear and NeuroSky. As a matter of fact, the idea behind “Tailly” was born after those who bought “necomimi” have repeatedly asked when a matching tail would be available to complement their playful outfit.

However, this time around, I do not want to only create the protoype, but also see through the product design and production by myself.

To make this possible, I need to raise £60,000 in order to cover the manufacturing costs for the production of the first lot. That is why I have launched this project with Kickstarter and am asking for your kind cooperation.

It would have been possible to set the target sum lower and thus improve my chances of reaching my goal. However, rather than letting it all end after the completion of this Kickstarter project, I would like to make this a chance to continue Tailly’s production, and to work hard to have my products lined up on store shelves, available for more people to purchase.

If we reach our target, I will attach a Premium label on the “Taillys” sent to those who invested in “Tailly” via Kickstarter, in order to distinguish them from the “Taillys” made commercially available afterwards.

I am very excited to be using Kickstarter for this purpose to make the product accessible to the whole world from day one. As availability of the product I have been working on previously is limited in some regions, I hope to show that the all users are equally important to me with Tailly.

There are always risks involved in designing and manufacturing new products. We would like to take on the challenge of overcoming these risks, and we feel that there are two major challenges with “Tailly”:

1) Measuring heart rate
With the prototype we were successful in measuring our heart beat, but we cannot guarantee that it will work with people of all ages, body types and races in all living conditions.
We aim to develop “Tailly” so that it can be used by as many people as possible, but since this is not a project for developing medical equipment, it might not function perfectly under all conditions.

2) The strength of the product.
We are carrying out our product design and looking into trial production, and we are giving careful thought to the strength of the product, but since “Tailly” is built with plastic and motors there is a limit to its strength - we can’t guarantee that “Tailly” will not break if handled roughly or if you sit down awkwardly whilst wearing it, although we will do our best to try and make it as durable as possible.

We have already started thinking about product design and manufacturing, but only after the completion of the Kickstarter project will we go into full-scale action.

When deciding upon our target sum and deadline, we have done our best to allow for any delays and price fluctuations, however, we cannot deny the possibility of late delivery due to unforeseen circumstances, such as the availability of factory space or material shortages. However, if a situation like that does arise, we’ll do our best to overcome the situation as smoothly as possible.

The current prototype is holding up really well, but there are always cases in product design when concerns arise regarding the product’s durability or safety. In such cases the problematic elements must be fixed, which of course has a knock-on effect on production and delivery.

We will, of course, keep our supporters in the loop with regular updates on the production of Tailly.

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This Lady Cosplays in Cute Outfits and Then Shoots Deadly Assault Rifles

This Lady Cosplays in Cute Outfits and Then Shoots Deadly Assault Rifles | Cosplay News |

Japan seems to have an idol for everything. Besides all the typical singing schoolgirl idols, there's a glasses idol, a retro gaming idol, and even an "ugly" idol. So you can bet there's also a military idol.
Meet Mii Aihara. She got her start working at a Mia Cafe, a maid cafe in Tokyo's geek district Akihabara. But somewhere along the line, she started appearing in military toy gun mags and showing up at survival games. Before she knew it, she was a gun nut.

In 2009, she acquired her first airsoft gun and the following year, she got a permit to own a shotgun. She not only poses with assault rifles in camo bikinis, but she even dresses up as video game and anime characters and fires said weapons.

Aihara isn't just an idol, she's a "Military Idol" (aka a "Milidol") or a "Sniper Idol" (aka a "Snidol"). She seems to be a good shot! Check out her videos, courtesy of Hyperdouraku (via Rocket News) in the above gallery. She unloads round after round at a shooting range in Guam. Apologies for the pantyshots!

This is niche stuff. But in Japan, a segment of otaku (geek) culture is very interested in military weapons and outfits. Otaku aren't only video game and anime related; there are military otaku shops in Akihabra and Den-Den Town, which is Osaka's version of Akihabara. It is possible to own hunting rifles and shotguns in Japan (handguns are outlawed), but regulations are incredibly strict. Thus, gun enthusiasts and military otaku often collect replicas or airsoft guns. Hardcore enthusiasts even visit places Hawaii or Guam to fire real weapons. This is the segment of geekdom Aihara has in her sights.

If you do love guns and are ever in Akihabara, Aihara still works as a maid in Akihabara. Maid by day, deadly sniper by night!

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Will the Korean Pop Culture Boom Have Legs?

Will the Korean Pop Culture Boom Have Legs? | Cosplay News |
Is K-Pop now bigger than J-Pop and what does Gangnam Style have to do with it?

A month ago, on a riotously lovely morning in Orange County, California, I stumbled into perhaps the most convincing display I’ve yet encountered of the potency of hallyu – a Korean term that literally translates as “The Korean Wave.”

I’d been invited to be a panelist at KCON ‘12, which billed itself as “the first-ever large scale convention dedicated to the hottest entertainment coming out of Korea.” The event was conceived of and organized by the cable channel MNET America, the U.S. branch of the hugely popular Korean music network that might be called the “MTV of Korea” (except that MTV is in Korea and MNET is way bigger).

I’ll admit that my initial response was skeptical. Even as I accepted the invitation to speak, I suppressed a nagging fear that MNET was forcing into existence something that wasn’t there, trying to engineer a need among K-Pop fans to gather as a collective from the top down, rather than letting it spring up from the grassroots.

It’s a concern that worried the executive who spearheaded the event, too. “We knew that the fandom was out there. We’d seen these fan gatherings spontaneously manifest at other events we’d sponsored,” says Ted Kim, EVP and U.S. chief of MNET America’s parent company, CJ Entertainment America. “But we were struggling, because it’s very hard to get good data when it comes to phenomena like this. You’re just not able to quantify things. And at some point, you just need to make a leap of faith.”

That leap entailed booking the Verizon Amphitheatre in Irvine, California, for an event that combined workshops about organizing fan clubs and breaking into K-Pop, karaoke showdowns and dance-offs, autograph sessions, food trucks and merchandise booths and a grand-finale concert featuring some very attractive young people and a Technicolor SFX lightshow that could probably be seen from space.

“We kept on debating about how many people we should expect,” says Kim. The number they finally hit upon was 10,000. “We thought to ourselves, if we can get that many people to come out for this, well, that’s wildly successful. That’s fabulous validation that the fandom does exist and that they do want to gather together. But I’m going to say right now that there was tremendous nervousness. Behind the scenes, we were secretly whispering, ‘What if throw the biggest party in the world and no one shows up?’”

They needn’t have worried, and nor should I. Walking from the parking lot toward the Amphitheatre’s fairgrounds, I soon found myself in a delighted mob of fans, many of whom had been lined up since 8:30 am. Some had handmade signs: I LIKE LUHAN MORE THAN FREE WIFI, said one. They were well behaved, queuing quietly without complaint, despite most events and kiosks being crowded beyond belief or comprehension. The exception? The beer stand, whose two disgruntled-looking vendors said had sold exactly two brews all day. That’s because the vast majority of attendees were too young to drink, and looked even younger. The mostly teenaged crowd was also mostly non-Korean, and probably half non-Asian. Kim’s hoped-for headcount had likely been reached by midmorning, with more attendees (and their parents) arriving throughout the day.

“It wasn’t just the numbers, it was the energy,” says Kim. “On a scale of one to 10, I don’t think it dropped below eight all day. The fans…I had this one woman come over – 19 years old, a white woman from Oklahoma – she told me she drove 27 straight hours to got to KCON. And then she lifted up her sleeve, and showed me a Band-Aid and a bruise on her arm. She said she’d sold her blood in order to afford the trip. I was kind of horrified. But…that’s the kind of dedication you’re talking about.”

Now, don’t get me wrong: I never questioned the size of K-Pop’s audience. I’ve been covering its emergence for years, and am fully aware that K-Pop’s audience is huge and insistent both here in the U.S. and globally, and that Korea is now unequivocally the wellspring of Asia’s most popular and influential pop cultural phenomena – supplanting Japan as the primary source of Asian cool, as my friend Euny Hong, lifestyle editor of The Atlantic’s new online business mag Quartz, asserted in a provocative essay this past Friday.

K-Pop is here. K-Pop is now. And, riding the consumer dollars of its burgeoning tween-teen fanbase, K-Pop will thrive for the foreseeable future. There are real and educational reasons for its rise, some of which I’ve written about in the past, and some of which Hong details in her story, “Why it was so easy for Korea to overtake Japan in the pop culture wars.”

But I’m just not as convinced as Hong that K-Pop in its current incarnation can sustain itself as a long-term global phenomenon. Japan’s pop culture primacy spanned two decades, and while it is has fallen off its peak, it has hardly vanished completely. On the contrary, in fact: J-Pop has simply become so mainstream, so infused into the DNA of global pop culture that it has become immanent, and thus invisible. The aesthetics of J-Pop, its conceits and conventions, have become so much a part of the fundamental language of contemporary design, technology, entertainment and fashion that they’re no longer easily distinguishable as Japanese in origin, as opposed to in influence.

That’s also why I feel compelled to question some of the assertions Hong makes in her “king is dead, long live the king” piece detailing Korea’s dethroning of Japan from the top of the pop pyramid.

First there are the metrics that she cites as defining K-Pop’s ascent. PSY Oppa’s 770 million YouTube views. Google Trends showing that searches for “K-Pop” skyrocketed past searches for “J-Pop” beginning in 2010. Japan’s flagging recorded music industry revenues, which (like the rest of the world) have fallen every year from 2009 on, while Korea’s have grown. And then, the slump in revenues for Sanrio, parent company of Hello Kitty, among others.

Statistics obviously can be found to support just about any position, and more of them don’t necessarily translate into a stronger case. And these in particular are a bit questionable. PSY’s viral YouTube success is arguably not only exceptional, it’s actually a counterexample to K-Pop’s rise: Oppa is, quite consciously, the antithesis of the standard Korean pop poster boy, with a look, musical style, career history and attitude that make him an anomaly among the sleek, pretty, possibly bioengineered lads of the K-Pop Machine. His success is both welcome and puzzling to Koreans, and even to PSY himself: “I am not sure how I became so popular in the U.S., because [in Korea] I am a B-rated star,” he said at a press conference in September. PSY has drawn attention to K-Pop, but he’s a unique quantity, and still has to prove that he’s even able to duplicate his success himself. (I, personally, have faith.)

Regarding Google searches for K-Pop versus J-Pop: The trendline shows that searches for J-Pop were never very high, even at the peak of Japanese pop culture glory…because most fans of Japanese pop culture don’t use the term “J-Pop” for anything other than Japanese pop music, which has probably the smallest footprint out of the Rising Sun’s various fan-favorite emanations. Here’s an alternative Google search plot that’s a more relevant comparison.

Searches for anime and manga absolutely crush those for K-Pop. On the one hand, this could simply reflect the fact that Google searches are a pretty poor metric for determining the relative popularity of broad-spanning phenomena. On the other, it could be an indicator that anime and manga, here in the United States, are no longer imported culture – they’re part of the landscape. Go to any library or bookstore (there are still physical bookstores, right?) and you’ll see that manga has an enormous dedicated section all to its own, larger than many of the other genre sections, and generally surrounded with clusters of absorbed youth lounging like they own the place. It’s not a teen fad, it’s a teen consumption category: Snacks, fashion, manga.

Hong goes on to list a half-dozen reasons why Japan has fallen off in the pop culture game relative to Korea. The first is that Japan has become increasingly idiosyncratic in its cultural output – that “Japan makes stuff only for Japan.” She cites comparisons of Japan to the Galapagos Islands, where Darwin first noticed the unique divergent evolution of finch populations on separated atolls. For what it’s worth this isn’t a very apt metaphor for Japan, given that it would imply the presence of a great diversity of ideas and products within the Japanese archipelago; a more relevant one might be Australia, a place whose species were isolated from other continents for so long that they evolved in drastically different and weird ways, e.g. koalas, kangaroos and platypuses.

But it’s not clear that this is a liability in global pop-culture competitiveness. In fact, this eccentricity is Japan’s strongest remaining asset. The more blandly similar a nation’s output is to your own, the less likely it is to tempt you to seek it out – it’s the sense of novelty, of fresh stimulus, of strange and fabulous dissimilarity, that leads us to explore alternative pop-culture horizons, after all. Which explains the popularity of PSY: Gangnam Style is weird. It’s weird in Korea, and it’s weirder in the U.S. And totally awesome.

Hong also states that Korean pop culture has the advantage of being “puritanical,” a reflection of Korea’s clean-cut and sexually restrictive society. This is a hard argument to make to anyone who’s watched a video by any Korean girl group. Yes, there’s no overt or even implied sexual behavior. But there are also legs that extend from the ground to the sky, propped under miniskirts that could probably do double duty as wristbands, and the dance routines invariably include plenty of pelvic thrusting and catlike stretching (and ugh, I feel like a perv just having written that). The primary difference between sexuality in Korean pop and Japanese pop is that the former is focused on willowy teens on the proper side of pubescence, while the latter – well, let’s just say that middle-school uniforms seem unaccountably popular in Japan. But intimations of sex are there in both cases, all the more suggestive because of the repressive mores of both cultures. And you’ll never convince me that the secret to global pop dominance in this day and age is virginal purity. Hips don’t lie, people!

Another reason that Hong gives is that Americans are seen as heroes of the Korean War, and as a result, Korea has been more “closely influenced” by U.S. pop culture than Japan – noting that even today, there are still 30,000 American soldiers (actually, around 28,000) permanently based in Korea. Yes, but there are also over 35,000 American soldiers permanently based in Japan, plus another 5500 military-employed American civilians and 10,000 American military spouses and dependents.

Did Korea embrace American pop culture more readily than Japan because the U.S. was seen as heroic? That’s not clearly the case. Despite, or more properly because of its defeat, Japan after World War II actively sought to immerse itself in the culture (especially the popular culture) of its triumphant occupiers, leading to a rapid “Americanization” period in which the media fantasies and material goods of the U.S. vision of the “good life” were prized above all. As Rikyo University law and political science professor Akio Igarashi notes, “In the immediate postwar period, what a majority of Japanese hoped for was the realization of a rational and affluent society… The spacious rooms and the big white refrigerator in the comic strip, Blondie, helped people to imagine the affluence of the American lifestyle….For Japanese at the time, America’s prosperous culture of consumption, symbolized by chewing gum, chocolate, and women’s fashion, represented ‘the American Dream.’”

Korea embraced American ideas, media, fashion and consumer aspirations after the Korean War too, but in the ensuing decades, a sharp and growing sense of ambivalence has emerged toward the U.S. Panmi, or anti-American sensibility, has generally strengthened since the Eighties, peaking in 2002 following controversy over short-track speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno’s Olympic gold medal over South Korean rival Kim Dong-Sung, and the accidental deaths of two Korean middle-schoolers under the wheels of a U.S. military vehicle. (This was the year in which a RAND survey found that over 60 percent of South Koreans felt “unfavorable” attitudes toward the U.S.; meanwhile Japanese favorability toward the U.S. has remained over 50 percent for decades and is the second-highest in the world right now, after only the U.S.’s opinion of itself. 2002 was also the year singer Yoon Min-Suk released his cult-hit song “F*ckin’ USA,” to massive media attention.)

And it’s not even obvious that embracing American ideas is necessarily the path to pop-culture export success for Asian countries anyway. In the U.S., Asian performers and products that have attempted to ape American sensibilities for the sake of global crossover have universally failed. Dozens of Japanese performers, from Seiko to Utada, Hong Kong’s Coco Lee and Korea’s BoA, Se7en, Wonder Girls and Girls Generation have all made runs at breakthrough success by singing English-language songs and engaging in massive media and PR campaigns, all without much to show for their hard work. The exception to this rule, PSY, was a pop-culture land mine who blew by accident, refusing to be anything but himself and performing a song with Korean lyrics that are incomprehensible to non-Koreans even in translation.

In fact, the most successful Korean pop exports that Hong cites, from its idols to its films and dramas to Samsung’s effervescent avalanche of consumer electronics and VOOZ’s winsome licensing franchise Pucca, all represent evolutionary improvements on Japanese templates — not American ones. Korea has effectively dominated the pop culture cosmos by out-Japanning Japan, and, as Hong points out, doing so even in Japan itself, which is still in the throes of a Korean-pop obsession.

The question remains, however, whether Korea’s impressive winning run can continue indefinitely, or even long-term. I’m not yet convinced that’s the case.

Japanese pop culture has come to the American landscape in the form of visual media — primarily anime and manga. (Games too, but up until very recently, Japanese video games came to the U.S. with most of their unique cultural context flensed away so as not to freak out American parents.) Because those media forms were naturally produced and presented in Japanese, J-Pop fandom erupted organically and grew epidemically out of a kind of language-hacking Underground Railroad of pirate BBS’s that offered downloadable English script translations and VHS-tape-trading marketplaces.

In short, fandom flourished because the only way to enjoy authentic J-Pop in that early era was through connections to the fan community. (In fact, the hardest-core fans eventually became the U.S. anime and manga industry, launching the first legit English-language distribution houses, and thus laying the foundation for a subsequent generation’s total immersion in Japanese cultural products.)

K-Pop fandom is centered around music. (Yes, Korean live-action dramas and movies are popular as well, but they appeal to different demographic segments, and don’t tend to generate the fannish intensity that Korean pop idols do…unless they happen to star Korean pop idols). K-Pop fans don’t need translations of their music to enjoy it; as Ted Kim notes, when Mnet asked their viewers if they wanted their music videos to carry subtitles, the response was horrified: “No way, they told us, we want to see them the way they’re shown in Korea.”

And because music is auditory, not visual, it’s a medium that lends itself to addictive consumption and maniacal appreciation, but not the kinds of collaborative phenomena that are the pillars of most pop-culture activity and community — things like cosplay (dressing up as favored characters) and fan fiction (extending or re-envisioning beloved works through original fanmade stories and art).

All of these factors point to the reality that K-Pop in its current modes isn’t a very blendable medium. Its fans want to consume it in as pure and unadulterated form as possible — with incomprehensible language, odd visual idioms and untranslatable nuances entirely intact. The visual media of J-Pop have been culture-hacked and hybridized from the very beginning, often in ways that have caused hard-core fans to grit their teeth — but this flexibility has also allowed it to readily mainstream into U.S. culture, even to the point where even American-made homages (like virtually every cartoon now airing on kiddie TV) are as popular as the Japanese originals. By contrast, I don’t think it’s obvious that an American artist emulating K-Pop tropes can succeed either in the U.S. or abroad (though it’s not for want of a few earnest artists trying).

This would seem to sharply limit the market upside of K-Pop, and its ultimate long-term influence. It’s ironic: K-Pop’s recent success is in no small part because it has played on its own terms. But its long-term future depends on its ability to cling to the things that make it unique while relaxing its purist Koreanness. For it to become a truly global phenomenon, it needs ambassadors who are idiosyncratic but have universal appeal, who can speak English fluently but wear their cultural pride on their sleeve. It needs artists who can collaborate with foreign performers and who inspire mash-up creativity among overseas audiences.

There’s only one star in K-Pop’s constellation who could possibly fit that bill, and he’s the unlikeliest one of all. PSY Oppa: Please report to headquarters. Your mission, should you choose to accept it….

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News Programs In 1982 Didn’t Understand Cosplay Any More Or Less Than They Do Now

News Programs In 1982 Didn’t Understand Cosplay Any More Or Less Than They Do Now | Cosplay News |
Long before we were calling it cosplay, sci-fi fans were attending conventions in costumes of their own making. The BBC covered the trend in 1982.

Long before we were calling it cosplay, sci-fi fans were attending conventions in costumes of their own making. The BBC evening news program Nationwide covered the curious trend in a 1982 segment of their “Look North West”. They interviewed Roy Evans and George Barnes, who were dressed as spacemen, about the convention they were organizing. The event they were plugging, the delightfully-named “Scouse Con”, was held in (where else?) Liverpool on February 12th of that year.

The news program isn’t nearly as panic-driven as that “Nintenpendence” silliness of the last news clip we posted. Instead Nationwide was focused on the quirkiness of the costumes, enlisting Martin and Stephanie to model their Zaphod Beeblebrox and Princess of Mars costumes, respectively.

Some of the outfits seen here were on loan from the touring Theatre Clwyd stage show of ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’, including the silver ‘Marvin’ costume, seen in the opening and closing moments. Author Anne MacCaffrey was Guest Of Honour that weekend in Liverpool, and one of the animators from ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide’ BBC TV series, Kevin Davies, gave an illustrated talk. The hostess with the mostest was the delectable Anne Page. The event was a huge success, with a spectacular pyrotechnic gun fight in the middle of the fancy dress parade when Space Pirates from “The 42nd” raided the event. [MrAnelight]

It’s kind of amazing to note how little interest this group seemed to have in Star Wars at the time. But some other things remained constant. The props still malfunction, the women’s costumes are skimpy, the cosplay will involve painted cardboard somehow, and the news anchors will express smug incredulity at these craaaazy superfans. At least we don’t see as many silver plastic jumpsuits at conventions these days. My eyes (and olfactory senses) are thankful for that.

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Why we go to cosplay conventions

Why we go to cosplay conventions | Cosplay News |

Do you ever wonder what’s so cool about cosplay conventions? It’s more than just seeing your favorite animé characters springing to life. Though that alone is a great motivation to go, there are many other reasons why people find it awesome—from art, to entertainment, and even business!

Cosplay conventions are a great place to learn about the arts. Our very own photographer for this article, Kenneth “Ken” Chan Bona, started out shooting cosplayers in conventions, and went on from there. Ken describes the cosplayers thus: “The costumes they bring are really colorful and a treat to the eyes. They put on their makeup skillfully. They come here to pose, and you both have a good time with the shoots.”

Ken was able to shoot different subjects in conventions—as small as a toy, as tall as a model, or as large as a crowd cheering a band. This helped Ken develop his skills.

Aspiring models and other artists can learn a lot, too. Austine Espino, a third year Chemical Engineering student of Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, shares her experience. “People here come from different backgrounds, and are able to give you different tips and advice. They taught me how to pose well and how to exaggerate. Sometimes you think a pose has enough exaggeration, but it actually needs more. Everyone here can learn from each other, from cosplayers to congoers to photographers.”

Unique experiences

Compared to toy conventions or food conventions, cosplay conventions involve more unusual experiences. You can always ask Papa to buy you toys, and Mama to eat with you in restaurants, but you can never tell your pals out of the blue, “C’mon, let’s take pictures of our favorite childhood characters” or “C’mon, let’s wear costumes and hang out with other people in costumes.”

I was surprised to find out that the merchandise sold in cosplay conventions are rare, too. “The accessories you find online that are expensive to ship and take months to deliver, you can buy here,” Austine says. “The things you have a hard time finding can be found here!”

You can also experience both nostalgia and contemporary pleasure in cosplay conventions. A few years ago, people were cosplaying the awesome animés I watched, the merchandise in sync with what’s in. A few years later, comics and memes started raging across the Internet. I was both glad and surprised to see someone cosplaying Trollface and finding a forever alone keybie.

And yes, the characters of the animés I watched when I was younger were still there! The cycle repeats after each convention, and layers and layers of all the things you like will be seen in conventions. I don’t think you can find that kind of experience anywhere.

If you’re a young person (or young at heart), are into cosplay culture and want to start a business, cosplay conventions seem like a good place to begin. “People come and they’re going to spend. It’s profitable, especially when they’re with their parents,” says Kristell Lim, a well-known cosplayer and the owner of Authority Hoodie, which sells cartoon-theme hoodies.

Kristell describes the market of cosplay conventions. “The cosplay community continues to grow. The fandom for animé, games and cute things are endless since there are always new franchises coming out. As long as you know what people want or are looking for, you’ll win their interest.”

In running the business, Kristell advises, “Make your prices affordable, unless you’re selling animé figures or collectibles. Majority of cosplayers and convention-goers range from high school to college students. Know and treat your customers well, as they will usually come back after a purchase, and you will regularly see them in other events.”


Cosplay conventions can be great for art, entertainment, or even business, but perhaps the greatest motivator for one to go would be the camaraderie and spirit among cosplayers. Ken says, “It’s something you will never see in other conventions.” Lianne Ponio, a second year high school student of Holy Trinity High School, says, “I feel happy here. Aside from the people being very colorful, the people here are very kind and approachable.”

Austine describes her experience: “I come here to enjoy with my friends. I meet new friends who share the same interests. At school, we usually talk about school stuff, but here, this is the place where we stay to talk about our other interests. Dito ang mundo mo. This is where you belong.”

Cosplay conventions really have a lot going for them, and can surprisingly appeal to more people than we think. As Lianne says, “Lahat nandito na.” Hope to see you in the new set of cosplay conventions next year!


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When The Black Cat Was Sexually Harassed At NYCC

When The Black Cat Was Sexually Harassed At NYCC | Cosplay News |
Mandy of Beautilition on Etsy wrote the following, posted with her permission; At Comic Con today, I went as Black Cat.
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Best New York Comic-Con 2012 Cosplay Ever - Saturday

Best New York Comic-Con 2012 Cosplay Ever - Saturday | Cosplay News |
As you know from our weekly Best Cosplay Ever feature, we are big fans of cosplay at ComicsAlliance.
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And now, sex-swapped Khal Drogo and Daenerys cosplayers

And now, sex-swapped Khal Drogo and Daenerys cosplayers | Cosplay News |
Because every character in the history of fiction is destined to be subjected to Rule 63 — I call dibs on any and all "Marty Worth" fan fictions, by the way —...
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Extreme Cosplay Photography Is SO EXTREME

Extreme Cosplay Photography Is SO EXTREME | Cosplay News |

A recent geek gathering in Guangzhou, China brought out the cosplayers—as well as the photographers to take photos of said cosplayers.

Photos of the event are circulating on Chinese social networking sites. This EXTREME cosplay photography, it seems, happened, with three dudes getting up close and personal, while trying to get the best shot. Not sure if this was a gag, or an honest moment captured for all eternity.

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Seven Days' Worth of the World's Finest Cosplay

Seven Days' Worth of the World's Finest Cosplay | Cosplay News |

It can sometimes be rough trying to find enough quality cosplay to feature in this weekly roundup. Not this week.

This week has just about everyhing you could want, from a high-fashion take on Star Wars to a Final Fantasy wedding, via the Pyro's psychotic dreamland before winding up with some amazing Dragon's Lair cosplay. Yup. Dragon's Lair.
To see the larger pics in all their glory (or so you can save them as wallpaper), right-click on the "expand" icon on the main image above and select "open in new tab".


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Turn Your Face Into A Portal Turret With This Badass Mask

Turn Your Face Into A Portal Turret With This Badass Mask | Cosplay News |

We've seen artist TwoHornsUnited come up with some Portal referencing gas masks before, but this one is even more creepily awesome.

I also get the impression that I would look like a Valve-inspired Transformer if I wore that, and then my brain goes on from there to invent wild action sequences where I'm flying through the air shooting lasers at Decepticons while the Autobots cheer me on as their secret weapon and savior.

Is that the door right there? I'll just let myself out.

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Gundam SEED's ZGMF-X10A Freedom Gundam

Gundam SEED's ZGMF-X10A Freedom Gundam | Cosplay News |

In the above photo, cosplayer Mushrooshi portrays a to-scale ZGMF-X10A Freedom Gundam from the anime TV series Mobile Suit Gundam Seed and Mobile Suit Gundam Seed Destiny. Piloted by series protagaonist Kira Yamato, the mobile suit is described by one of the characters as "the most powerful mobile suit out there," and is designed for ranged combat.

This photograph was taken at San Japan 5, which took place on August 10th-12th, 2012, held at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, San Antonio, TX.

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League of Legends Cosplay That's so Good it Doesn't Look Human

League of Legends Cosplay That's so Good it Doesn't Look Human | Cosplay News |

Britthebadger is one of the best cosplayers going around. But even by her lofty standards, this League of Legends Orianna costume is a special piece of work.

The amount of detailing and engineering required to build something this at all, let alone get it in a state where you can wear it (while still looking like the character) is mind-boggling. Yet here it is. Looking astonishing.
We caught a glimpse of it in action at PAX East, but the thing is so good it deserves a second, proper look.

Also worth a look is another of her recent LoL outfits, for Sejuani (complete with Bristle).

You can see more of Britt's cosplay here. All photos below were taken by Bill Hinsee.


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The Colorful World of My Little Pony Cosplay

The Colorful World of My Little Pony Cosplay | Cosplay News |

Any My Little Pony fans in the house? Any, dare I say, Bronies? Friendship isn't the only magic. Cosplay is, too.
Children of the 1980s remember the splash the ponies made when they were first introduced—and are now perhaps pleased to see My Little Pony get the smart animated series it deserves.

My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic has also spawned a new generation of fans, eager to show their affection for all things Pony, whether that be through art or cosplay.

Most of My Little Pony cosplay is heavy on Pony personifications—though, there are, of course, the standout fursuits. The personification cosplay does open different levels of interpretation and expression.

This gallery shows off some of the internet's best Pony cosplay, though not all! Have a look as you try to figure out who pulled off the best My Little Pony cosplay.

Click Through to See The Images

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Stay Puft Marshmallow Baby is the Ghostbusters' most adorable foe

Stay Puft Marshmallow Baby is the Ghostbusters' most adorable foe | Cosplay News |

What if, at the end of Ghostbusters, Ray Stantz had, instead of a giant man made of gelatin and sugar, envisioned a giant baby? Puppeteer and voice actor Dan Milano answers the question we never thought to ask by dressing his daughter in the Stay Puft sailor suit and unleashed her on the plastic proton pack-wielding denizens of toy New York.

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Review Of ‘Steampunk: An Illustrated History’ Plus A Steampunk Cosplay Gallery

Review Of ‘Steampunk: An Illustrated History’ Plus A Steampunk Cosplay Gallery | Cosplay News |

This week Voyageur Press released Steampunk: An Illustrated History of Fantastical Fiction, Fanciful Film and Other Victorian Visions, because of course a coffee table book about steampunk would have a palaverous, olde-timey 13-word title. I'll be giving a very brief review of the book, followed up by using it as an excuse to post several pictures of steampunk cosplay. You know how we do.

Steampunk is written by Brian J. Robb, who has also written nonfiction books about numerous geeky fields of interest (Doctor Who, Philip K. Dick, Star Wars, Star Trek). The foreward was contributed by James P. Blaylock, a name you'll already recognize if you like steampunk, as Blaylock is one of the originators of the steampunk sci-fi genre. Jonathan Clements (who often writes about Victorians and Edwardians) also contributed to the book.

This hardcover book is 192 pages long with over 300 color images. On the downside, a large percentage of those illustrations were the covers of books or the posters for movies, rather than a specific visual example of a steampunk design. The coverage of cosplay, for example, consisted of one short chapter near the end. If you're searching for something to use as a "steampunk lookbook" of sorts for design inspiration, this definitely isn't it. This is the coffee table book for when you want an illustrated encyclopedia covering the history of steampunk, namechecking important inventors and artists, and pointing out books and movies that may be of interest to steampunk fans.

But getting back around to what we promised at the start of this post, cosplay!

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Why We Cosplay | Arts and Culture | Philadelphia Weekly

Why We Cosplay | Arts and Culture | Philadelphia Weekly | Cosplay News |
When we select our Halloween costumes, we are consciously choosing how we wish to be seen.

There’s a scene in Mobius’ acid-tinged graphic novel Airtight Garage where one character, bundled up in an extravagant coat of purple fur, turns to his companion, The Archer, and asks, “Why do you wear that mask?” The Archer, who’s decked out in a dream-logic version of a superhero costume, complete with underwear on the outside, responds simply: “So that I can be recognized.”

It seems counterintuitive. Especially in this age of online handles and anonymous comments, when we’re constantly hearing about trolls and identity thieves hiding behind false facades. Surely masks and costumes are not meant to reveal ; they exist to hide, to obscure, to transform.

And yet, when we select our Halloween costumes, we are consciously choosing how we wish to be seen. We want to be recognized, not as schoolchildren or underpaid interns or office workers living lives of quiet desperation, but as the scary, sexy, colorful people we know we are on the inside. We don’t want to disguise ourselves—our very selves—we want to unveil them.

For example: When I was 6 years old, I wanted to have a tail. I discovered this because my mother made me a devil costume for Halloween, with an attached forked tail, and I loved it. The costume also had soft, felt horns, which were nowhere near as cool as the tail. I liked having a tail so much I asked for a dragon costume the next year, which I wore long after Halloween ended. It was an adapted dinosaur pattern, with a full jumpsuit and upright scales down the back. And the tail! The tail on that costume was thick with polyfil stuffing, and wagged like a tail ought to when I moved my hips. It was a proper tail. I grew too tall for the costume that summer, my shoulders no longer slipping into the scaly sleeves. Just as well, really; the next Halloween, I wanted to be Robin Hood.

But for that short period of time, it felt right to be a boy with a tail.

Halloween, as we celebrate it, is perhaps the most American of holidays, cobbled together from the autumn festivities of a variety of cultures, all gussied up with bombast and a sympathetically egalitarian message: You can be whoever you like for Halloween. While the holiday itself remains identified with a ghoulish tint, your Halloween finery need not be limited to ghosts and goblins. With costumes, at least, everything is permitted.

This pick-your-persona spirit has spilled out from the holiday into the year-round hobby of cosplay. Cosplay enthusiasts enjoy dressing and inhabiting characters; think of it as Halloween without having to wait until Oct. 31. It’s motivated by that impulse to be recognized—not just as fans of the characters whose clothes they wear, but as people who share something deeply spiritual with those characters’ essences. Something that’s important to them. It has to be; cosplay is a hobby that requires a great deal of time, money and attention to detail. Anything that motivates a person to go through all that effort has got to affect them personally.

I speak from experience. I don’t even want to think about the hours I’ve spent on my ever-evolving Batman costume, much less the huge amount of cash I’ve sunk unto it. Since its first iteration back in 2004, the Batman suit has gone through five masks, four pairs of boots, three pairs of gloves and two capes. I have sewn and resewn spandex unitards; hand-stitched pleather glove-fins; and glued with various adhesives an array of bat-silhouettes on my chest. I paid dearly for a top-of-the line, hand-sculpted and -cast urethane cowl that was simultaneously a work of art and a torture device, turning out to be such a poor fit for my oddly-shaped melon that I was unable to breathe properly.

While I have worn this costume to Halloween parties and science-fiction conventions, I didn’t make it for any one specific event. I made it because I want a Batman suit. Which of course really means this: I want to be seen as Batman. Sure, I’m not a vigilante champion of justice—but I do help the people I meet, in my own small way. Giving $10 to someone on the street or helping a friend get a job is not the same as saving the city from deadly laughing gas, I realize. Which is why I don’t don the cape and cowl every day.

RuPaul once said, “We are born naked. Everything else is drag.” We are all the costumers of our own wardrobe, but we’re hampered by the dictates of our daily lives. The oft unspoken yet unarguable rules about what is “appropriate” attire for school, for work, for public, suppresses our individuality in our dress. It can be hard to be recognized when you’re dressed like everyone else. Which is why Halloween and cosplay are such a release—why these costumes, frivolous and insubstantial as they may be, are so important. They allow us, if just for one night a year, to be ourselves.

Jared Axelrod is a Philadelphia-based author, illustrator, graphic designer, sculptor, costume designer, podcaster and quite a few other things. His graphic novel The Battle of Blood and Ink was published by Tor Books in 2012.

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A Compendium of Cool Comics Cosplay: Kick-Ass Women of Comics Edition

A Compendium of Cool Comics Cosplay: Kick-Ass Women of Comics Edition | Cosplay News |

It's time once again for our Friday comic book cosplay feature, casting the spotlight on the best comics related costumery from the cosplay community. This week is a little different, as we're presenting our anticipated Kick-Ass Women of Comics theme week, celebrating female characters. We'd like to thank all the cosplayers and photographers who submitted pictures for our enjoyment.

So, get ready and enjoy some awesome cosplay of Black Widow, Power Girl, Laira, Ms. Marvel, Rogue, Hawkgirl, Black Canary, Dani Moonstar, Catwoman, Psylocke, Nubia and more!

Gamma Squad is committed to giving a voice to the cosplay community that thrives in groups like our friends at Each week we spotlight our favorite costumes and in addition we also host a regular cosplay contest, with the results forming a special theme week. We invite cosplayers, costumers and photographers to submit pictures of their work that relates to the theme (or any cosplay in general!) to our Flickr group to be considered. We’ll then pick our top choices and post them on Gamma Squad for the adoration of all.

For now, enjoy this week's selection!

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io9 Halloween Costume Show Week 2: A Bungee-Jumping Buzz Lightyear, a Handmade Vampire Diaries Dress, and More!

io9 Halloween Costume Show Week 2: A Bungee-Jumping Buzz Lightyear, a Handmade Vampire Diaries Dress, and More! | Cosplay News |
Welcome to the second week of io9's annual Halloween Costume Show! Last week, you guys knocked our fluffy animal slippers off with your incredible, creative costume show.
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The Cosplay Of New York Comic-Con, Day One

The Cosplay Of New York Comic-Con, Day One | Cosplay News |
The Big Apple's biggest nerd-fest is in full swing and Kotaku's on the scene to soak up as much cosplay, gameplay and horseplay as we can handle. In the gallery below, you'll see the sharpest and silliest costumes we've spotted so far.
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Cosplay At London’s Entertainment And Media Show

Cosplay At London’s Entertainment And Media Show | Cosplay News |

Went to the Entertainment And Media Show at Earl’s Court Olympia today with my eldest daughter Eve… so she could meet her favourite writer Dan Slott (she loves Alpha) and see Matt Smith. Both sorted. And along the way, saw all sorts of cosplay. Though it was mostly Doctor Who. We were also very impressed with the Ghostbusters who bought their own Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.

The show is on again tomorrow… if you’re in the area it’s well worth a trip. More to come, after the cosplay.


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"Ruined Spanish Fresco Monkey Jesus" is 2012's hot Halloween costume

"Ruined Spanish Fresco Monkey Jesus" is 2012's hot Halloween costume | Cosplay News |

You may remember how an eighty-year-old Spanish woman lovingly trashed the fresco Ecce Homo in a failed art restoration attempt. Reddit user Spinjump took inspiration from this "very hairy monkey in an ill-fitting tunic" and recently debuted this gold-star costume at Anime Weekend Atlanta. We anticipate a veritable Planet of Deformed Messiah Apes come October 31.

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Little kids cosplaying as Walter White and Jesse are the cutest little meth cooks

Little kids cosplaying as Walter White and Jesse are the cutest little meth cooks | Cosplay News |

I am the one who knocks and then says, "Trick or Treat!" I'm assuming it was the parents, rather than the kids, who devised these Breaking Bad costumes. Walter White is pretty awesome, but I feel like Baby Jesse needs a little something, maybe a plastic tub and a jar of chili powder? Then again, perhaps a little wide-eyed twitching would do the trick.

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Here's Some of the World's Best Cosplayers (Live and In Person!)

Here's Some of the World's Best Cosplayers (Live and In Person!) | Cosplay News |

Tonight at the Tokyo Game Show, some of the best cosplayers in Japan—and around the world—gathered for Cosplayers' Cure Night.

It wasn't a competition or a contest to see who put on the best outfit (or the best show), but rather, a gathering of cosplayers—and members of Cosplayers' Cure, a hugely popular community site for cosplayers.
On hand were big name Japanese cosplayers as well as international cosplaying superstars, such as Alodia Gosiengfiao, Yaya Han, and Riki LeCotey.

If you've spent time in the internet, you've seen their work. Their work is great.

And so is all the cosplay on display here—the outfits, the props, and the poses are all top notch. So here they are, performing their cosplay right before your very eyes—live.

Above, cosplayer Alodia Gosiengfiao is Trish from Devil May Cry. Have a look at the gallery for the rest.


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The World's Saddest Cosplay is a Real Downer

The World's Saddest Cosplay is a Real Downer | Cosplay News |

If you've ever been to Hollywood, you've seen them: the low-rent "cosplayers" wandering around the Walk of Fame, stopping constantly for photos with those not put off by their often shabby outfits.

These types are the focus of a collection by LA photographer Nicholas Silberfaden, who wanted to use them as a way to highlight the social and economic slide he feels the country is experiencing at the moment. So he photographed them looking sad.

Sure beats pictures of closed factories.


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