5.02.2005

Cosplay

Ever go to a comic book convention? C'mon, don't lie. Usually, after about an hour of being jostled by fat pony-tailed guys in black t-shirts grasping feverishly for Golden Age Stan Lee dross you start to realise that the stuff you're into is also the preserve of some seriously geeky people. Seriously geeky. Thinking you'll be safe from the otaku onslaught if you avoid the Marvel stands you head for the exit, only to be confronted by a horde of Spocks with bad posture, overweight Xenas and, in the worst case scenario, a Gandalf or two.

OK, I like comic books. I like anime. I like a lot of collectible pop cultural stuff. But since I was 12 I stopped wanting to actually be Batman. Or Lobo. Or Judge Dredd. But it's cool. If these people want to dress like this from time to time who am I to stop them? I just wish they didn't have to look so bad. Pot bellies and acne are not, unfortunately, the domain of the comic book and fighting fantasy milieu and a forty-five year old ale drinker sporting a mullet in a Spiderman suit just isn't right. Play to type for god's sake - the Rancor Keeper or a wookie or something.

But I like cosplay. The Japanese just seem to pull this off. Years of manga and anime and arcade beat-em-ups have conditioned me to feel that Japanese people just look right with blue hair and spandex or whatever. Cosplay, as I'm sure you don't need me to tell you, is an annotation of costume play, and though I've known about this for years, I really only get to see it in Osaka.

Outside Tennoji station there's usually a bunch of Pikachu smoking fags under the raised walkway. They do not look so good. Neither did the Winnie the Pooh I saw. But the Gothic Lolitas or EGLs are very cool. And so are the Little Bo' Peep girls you see from time to time (which I suspect are still actually Gothic Lolita). Admittedly, there is a theme here. Japanese girls. They just make these looks work somehow. The guys. Well. It's not quite the same. Although I've seen a couple with a look similar to 'Colourful Punk' featured in the slightly odd (and admittedly, not Japanese) Donnie Yen/Yeun Woo Ping breakdancing/kung fu curiosity 'Mismatchable Couples' which came off pretty well.

Comic book conventioneers please take heed. Look like what you can look like. A six-foot tall Yoda is no ones idea of a good look. Neither is a Buffy with a large and hideous camel toe. Do it right and you won't get laughed at on the train home. Unless you start reading back issues of Thor or get your sword caught between the carriage and the platform.

3 Comments:

Anonymous clayta01 reckons...

Some people don't even have to attempt to dress up as the Rancor Keeper. I am constantly reminded of this each and everytime I look in the full length mirror of a morning. Keep on the Draught and I'll morph into Jabba. Not the deleted Irish fella from ep4 either.

5:02 午後 JST  
Anonymous TX reckons...

Did Yuen woo ping ever get that chicken.

11:57 午後 JST  
Blogger pik reckons...

I'd forgotten about that chicken.

10:30 午後 JST  

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