Monthly Archives: October 2011

Yaoi-Con 2011: thoughts from the video room & manga library

Yaoi-Con 2011: thoughts from the video room & manga library

This post is part of my Yaoi-Con 2011 recap.

There may have actually been more than one video room, but I could only find one (yeah, the con’s set up was… lacking, in my opinion, in more ways than one), so that’s where I went for some anime! I watched all these titles subtitled unless otherwise noted.

Legend of Duo
Classified as “shonen-ai” and “vampires” this was right up my alley, except that I came in to it about two-and-a-half episodes late. I should check it out when (laugh; I meant if) I have the chance.

Hey! Class President
I’ve see this a couple times already, and I was trying to see something else, but the video room people switched it up on me, so I sat through this instead and completely missed the other thing. Not that I’m complaining, since the manga’s pretty good, too, actually, but I mean…

Axis Powers Hetalia: Paint It White! (dubbed)
I’ve never seen any Hetalia except the very first five-minute episode, which I thought was so awesome that I immediately showed it to my brother. He liked it so much that he immediately made Italy’s “Pasta!” the text message notification sound on his cell phone. All that said, Paint It White! was… racist. Or, at the very least, it walks a very fine line. I wasn’t offended by the portrayal of America, Princess Princess charactersfor example, but I’m not everyone, and the show obviously makes fun of other cultures, too.

Princess Princess, eps. 1-4
I liked the first few episodes of this so much that I bought the entire series in one of the Dealers Rooms. I think I’ve see the first couple eps. before, but I never got around to finishing it, so now I have that chance! I mean: boys dressing up as girls! What’s not to like, right?

Princess Princess [liveaction], ep. 1
I wasn’t as enamored with the liveaction version of Princess Princess as I was with the anime version, so I was kind of glad they didn’t show more than a single episode. (Then again, I go to an anime video room for anime, not liveaction, so that doesn’t surprise me.) It was all right. Not great.

Whaaaaaat? This was the most ridiculous thing I’ve watched in a long time. It’s a series of shorts (similar to Hetalia in length) about a dying black kitty who is granted eternal life by a well-meaning vampire who gives him a few drops of vampiric blood. It’s a play on “nya” which is the sound a cat makes in Japan. I have no idea if it’s yaoi, shonen-ai, or what, but whatever else it is, it’s ridiculous. I’ll not be pursuing it further, that’s for sure.

No.6, eps. 3-4
I really wish I’d seen the first two episodes of No. 6, too, but I was able to fill in most of the blanks (well, enough to not be completely confused watching eps. 3 and 4, at least). I’ve seen a lot of fanart that pairs Sion and Nezumi, so I was glad to see a little bit of the context. I don’t think No. 6 is, technically speaking, yaoi or shonen-ai, but half the fun in watching a TV show is finding your OTP… that’s decidedly not canon. ^_^;;

Shion and Nezumi from No. 6

The Postcard [Korean liveaction]
This was a sweet short film with a sad ending. I liked it, but I wanted a happy ending. T_T Life isn’t like that sometimes, I guess, so.

Close the Last Door
I’d seen this OVA before (I think at Yaoi-Con 2010, actually), but it was good this time around, too. I want to know what happens after the three men all meet in the main character’s apartment! Waaaaant. Maybe I should read the manga, right?

Junjou Romantica 2, eps. 1-2
I wasn’t sure at first if I’d seen any of the second season of Junjou Romantica, but as the episodes progressed, I realized I had. Made me want to watch it again, though. ^_^

The manga library was great, as usual. I really think that conventions’ manga libraries are completely underrated; they’re like diamonds hidden underneath a pile of glitter. Not that I don’t like glitter, but I mean: an entire room… with nothing but manga… that I can read for free… for as long as I want. Seriously, what’s not to like?

Great Place High School: Student Council 1 coverThe Devil Within 1 by Ryo Takagi
I picked this up because it’s about a girl who hates men (“They’re all devils!”), and I was confused as to how such a story could be in a yaoi manga library. >_> Turns out it’s not yaoi at all but is actually more shoujo. It was all right. Not what I was looking for, though.

A Capable Man by Hinako Takanaga
Chose this manga because I’ve read The Tyrant Falls in Love and Little Butterfly and wanted to see other things the mangaka’s written. (In fact, I read the entire Little Butterfly omnibus in the Yaoi-Con manga library in 2010.) This manga is also good. If I was the type of person who thought that I shouldn’t fix an unbroken thing, A Capable Man would be great. I like switching it up a little more, however, so I probably won’t be buying this manga since I already have some of her stuff.

Golden Cain by You Asagiri
I wish there was another volume of this ’cause I really want to know if the brotherly love I foresee developing… actually develops. ^_^;; Falling for a famous model is one thing, and it can have its own scandal, but I really want to learn more about the relationship between the main character and his amnesic older brother.

A Strange & Mystifying Story 1 & 2 by Tsuta Suyuki
I read the title at first as “A Strange & Mysterious Story” because the cover font isn’t the greatest. Mysterious isn’t the right word, as you’ll notice, but I think it fits just as well as Mystifying. The third volume of this manga was on sale in one of the Dealers Rooms, but I didn’t want to get it without having read the first two—which I really liked. Unfortunately, the third wasn’t also in the library and neither of the first two were on sale anywhere at the con that I could find, so.

Black Sun by Uki Ogasawara
I’d read this before—and I may even own it, though I’m not sure—but it was good this time around, too. I really like historical fiction, and this is the Crusades… with a healthy dose of yaoi… with story and art by a Japanese person. Talk about Gentle Cage covermulticultural. ^_^ I seem to pick up manga that lack happy endings, though, and this one is no different on that count. (It was the Crusades, after all; practically none of it was happy.)

Great Place High School: Student Council 1 by Naduki Koujima
“Possible objectionable content: Pornography”…??? Hahahahahaha. Don’t you realize that’s exactly why I’m reading it? Someone remind me to catch up on the original manga, too.

Fallen Moon by Toui Hasumi
I really liked this manga, but I thought that it wasn’t complete. I mean, the story’s done, but I wanted more… backstory, sidestory, something. I wanted to have the world that the author created filled out in my head and it wasn’t long enough (one volume of anything isn’t long enough) for that.

Gentle Cage [novel] by You Shiizaki
A novel with illustrations by Kumiko Sasaki. I’m going to be honest: I almost stopped reading three or four times. I’d turn the page and think “Really? Again?” when the characters did something cliched or seemingly out of character, and then I’d think, “Well, let me just finish this chapter at least…” I read seven chapters that way and when I finally had to put the book down to get some lunch and then somehow never ended up going back to it, I really regretted it. I’m going to have to find it somewhere and finish the story! It grew on me, obviously.

The Past Week via Twitter: 2011-10-30

  • Side note: bon dancing is awesome. #Hetalia at #YaoiCon #
  • Pretty sure this is the most expensive breakfast I've ever eaten… #YaoiCon ^_^;; #
  • omg I love cosplayers. #YaoiCon #
  • wtf Nyanpire #anime … ??? at #YaoiCon #
  • have I already seen Junjou Romantica season 2 #anime >_> I don't remember… ^_^;; #YaoiCon #
  • one of the bishonen was just proposed to at #YaoiCon .. and he said yes… lolwut, right? ^_^ #
  • a bishonen dressed as Sealand from Hetalia at the #YaoiCon raffle. XD #
  • on my way to the airport… good bye #YaoiCon ;_; #
  • @mageweavedesign you know @sophiavolpi? is that the same Sophia who attended @FandMCollege??? If so, I know her… how do YOU know her? ^_^; #
  • @mageweavedesign Nathan? nice. ^_^ not sure how I know you (well, know OF you) AND her and not not know that you know each other. >_> #
  • @mageweavedesign and at first, I read that with a comma: "I'm datin' her, bro!" & was seriously confused because you mentioned her marriage. #
  • @mageweavedesign and then I was like, "Whatever; I'm open minded" and then reread it and was like, "Oh. /facepalm" #
  • @mageweavedesign oops that first reply wasn't meant to have two "not"s in a row. haha ^_^;; "… and not know that you know each other" #
  • Supposed to be sent late last night: on my flight home from #YaoiCon .. look for my report this week (I swear!) #anime and #manga #
  • @donnatalarico haha, most of the country probably won't like that, if they've even thought about it at all. but I agree: Austin rocks. ^_^ #
  • @yaoipress compare to "Nuyorican" — a Puerto Rican from New York #
  • @estherium Amen to that. #
  • @Dredgly gonna be honest here: I don't really like 'em either. I think it's the whole "they eat (my) brains" part… not my thing. #zombies #
  • @Dredgly BUT, I will admit to playing this game and liking it: Rebuild 2 (kill #zombies & recapture a city!) #

Yaoi-Con 2011: general impressions

Yaoi-Con 2011: general impressions

This post is part of my Yaoi-Con 2011 recap.

the MC, Fusanasuke Mariya (Maiden Rose), and translator
the MC, Fusanasuke Mariya (Maiden Rose), and translator at Opening Ceremonies

All right, so I love conventions. I love the cosplayers; I love that I can walk by a sofa in the foyer of a hotel and see Grell, Mephisto, and Vegeta arguing—all in good fun, of course—about the best characters to slash together in Naruto (or Dr. Who, or pick whatever show you want). And, yes, I actually did witness such a conversation last weekend. But (1) I’m shy about getting pictures unless I really want that picture, and (2) I’m not a photographer anyway, so most of my images come out looking like I’m an amateur… which I am. (Everything always comes out blurry, for christsakes. What the hell, right?) I kind of feel like taking pictures—while most cosplayers don’t mind at all—is sort of an intrusion on… the atmosphere? Or something? I’m not even sure what I’m saying, but I just don’t take a lot of pictures like most people seem to think I should, so I don’t have many images from this Yaoi-Con. (I do, of course, have some…)

one of the bishonen with the MC at Bishonen Bingo
one of the bishonen, Ken, with the MC at Bishonen Bingo

I’m not a professional. I write professionally, but I’m not a reporter. I recap and review things, including conventions, because I love the subject matter and want to remember it, not because I’m looking for news so I can share it with everyone else. Therein lies the difference (well, a difference) between my stuff about Yaoi-Con and, say, Deb Aoki’s stuff, for example. Her stuff is good, too. Arguably better than mine, depending on what you’re reading any given article for in the first place. If you want news (industry panels, etc.), she’s your lady. Deb attends conventions as a member of the press; I attend simply as a fan. Well, I’d probably rank myself somewhere in between squealing fangirl and actual professional. Most likely. Now, with that said…

bishonen! at Bishonen Bingo
bishonen! their handles, from (far) left to right: Mephistopheles, Miku, America, Nero (policeman),
Marius, [unknown], Grell, [unknown], Ken

I didn’t attend a single panel this con. Seriously, not a single one. I had my eye on a few: “Why Can’t No Mean No?”, “Overcoming Writer’s Block 101”, “Being Queer in Yaoi Fandom”, “Slash, Yaoi and M/M Romance” (no, they’re not all the same thing), “The Limits on Online Fandom”, among others. I even went back to the panel rooms (way out of the way, if you ask me, and not really in a panel-friendly area), but I just couldn’t make myself actually go into any of the rooms. That sounds completely ridiculous, even to me, since I know the panelists would be happy to have more audience members, but I just felt so intimidated by the whole thing that I wrote them all off as a lost cause. I really wish someone (maybe someone like me who doesn’t have as many being-with-large-groups-of-people issues?) would take notes about each panel and then write up the notes for me, or videotape the panels so I could watch them later. Or, you know, just grab me by the arm and force me to attend a few of them. Jesus. I knew the minute I decided I wasn’t going to any of the panels that I was going to regret it, and I have regretted it. Also, the number of panels over the course of two days (not as many as I expected, generally speaking) made me think that if I had proposed a Gundam Wing panel, as I had wanted to, it may have gotten approved and then I would’ve had to attend at least that panel, right?

I eat sexy boys
his shirt read: “I eat sexy boys”

I did visit everything else the con had to offer, including the video room & manga library, and I’m glad for it. The manga library was sweet, as expected. The video room was not all night, unfortunately, but that’s a trend I’ve noticed with other conventions recently, as well. I even went to the gaming room and actually played a fighter game in arcade mode. Reminded me of playing Street Fighter when I was a kid in the Round Table Pizza place a couple blocks from my house. I even beat this one guy a couple times, and we joked around about all the women characters not having any clothing to speak of (more or less) and all of them fighting in high heels. Reminded me of that one video about real life women fighters’ clothing falling off, though I didn’t mention it at the time.

America and Grell
my two favorite bishonen this year. and one is… stripping the other.
/nosebleed /fangirl /squee

I attended the swap meet (a place for regular attendees to sell their old legal stuff for a couple hours on Friday), opening ceremonies, and Bishonen Bingo on Friday night. Pretty sure my favorite bishonen this year were America and Grell (not the same Grell as I mentioned above). They were both totally hot and also relatively in character… and they didn’t mind taking their clothes off for the ladies. ^_^ Oh, and the MC/announcer. He was my favorite last year, and that hasn’t changed. (Having long hair, kissing other boys, confidence, and just casually carrying around a flogger will do it for me, I guess. Hahaha…) Opening ceremonies was fine… The two guests of honor were Fusanasuke Mariya, who wrote Maiden Rose (wiki) (one of my favorite manga since I discovered the OVA last year); and Jo Chen, of Guilt|Pleasure.

regular Bishonen Bingo cards Five Star Round Bishonen Bingo cards
regular Bishonen Bingo cards (left) were 50¢ each; special “Five Star Round” cards (right) were $2.
yes, that is my notebook underneath the cards.

And they announced that Yaoi-Con operations will be handed over to Digital Manga, Inc. for next year and future years. Not sure how I feel about this; at first, it didn’t mean anything to me at all, but—as I said above—I didn’t attend the “We’ll answer your questions” DMI panel, so I don’t really know what the switch over entails. Someone later told me that they’re moving the con to Anaheim? (As I said: I didn’t attend the panel, so I don’t know whether that’s true or not. Nobody I spoke to at con liked the idea of moving the convention to another city at all, since they’re under the impression that the Los Angeles area has plenty of anime conventions already. Even though it would be easier for me to have Yaoi-Con in L.A., I have to agree with them; share the love, already!)

Bingo board penis
it’s blurry but, yes, that is a penis on the BINGO board; everybody was chill with it.
and yes, that blurry figure is a beautiful boy in nothing but his underwear; everybody was chill with that, too.

I’m breaking myself into all the “Bishies everywhere!” con stuff slowly (though it only occurs to me now that all this may change in the future and maybe I should’ve done it all while I had the chance), so I attended Bishonen Bingo on Friday evening and not the Auction or dance on Saturday. (Remember that thing where I have trouble with large groups? Yeah, that definitely played a part.) Bingo was sweet, even though I didn’t win anything, and I spent $25 on bingo cards. It was, basically, strip bingo. Except… none of the actual players had to strip. Every time someone won a round, that person won a prize, and one of the beautiful boys took off a piece of clothing. When the number “O69” was called (and it was called twice that evening), all the boys took off something. We played fifteen rounds and by the end of the night, there were probably 10 or 15 bishonen running around in nothing but their underwear. You know, not that anyone was complaining.

door greetings
hotel room door greetings (click image for larger); the blue reads:
“Welcome Yaoi-Con 2011! Draw us a doodle or leave a message! <3"

Although I bought a lot of manga and other cool shit in the Dealers Room and Fan Market, I don’t think I really liked either one (or rather, the set up of either one), and here’s why. They were both split into two parts in three totally separate parts of the hotel. Most of the Fan Market (the equivalent of Anime Expo’s Artist Alley) was in one room right next to the (main?) video room, but some of it was outside the second Dealers Room. And, you know, there were—semi-randomly—two Dealers Rooms, one for manga and one for plushies, they said. But here’s the thing. People who sold manga also sold plushies, and visa versa, so it at least seemed like just a luck of the draw how things were split up. Maybe there was a method to the madness; maybe everything had to be split up because of space restrictions (sometimes you just gotta work with what you have; I get that); but it seemed disjointed, confused, and kind of… not feng shui, you know?

Duo Maxwell, Gundam Wing
Duo Maxwell crossplayer; she glomped me!

Overall, though, I had a really good time—I saw more Preventers at this con than I ever have at all the other cons I’ve attended… combined. That was sweet. I was actually glomped by someone who recognized my cosplay (and then she asked me if I could help her pin her wig into place better and I had to admit that I know absolutely nothing about wigs, much to her chagrin), and another girl came up excitedly and said, “You’re a Preventer, too? Awesome!” while showing me her Preventers jacket. Made me happy… and made me really really want to remake my jacket so it’s awesome/spot on/perfect. I should start on that now, right?

Gundam Wing Preventers
Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz Preventers (click for larger);
Duo Maxwell, Heero Yuy, Trowa Barton, Quatre Raberba Winner, and girl!Chang Wufei (I think).

This is my favorite photo (above) from the convention. I literally screamed across the main ballroom and launched myself over three sets of rows of chairs to stop these cosplayers so I could get their picture. Don’t know what’s up with Trowa’s jacket, though; it’s special/mirrored/backwards for some reason. I wish like hell I’d asked where these cosplayers got their jackets (or what pattern, etc., they used to make them) because a Preventers jacket is basically the only cosplay I’ll ever wear and I need a new one.

The Past Week via Twitter: 2011-10-23

The Past Week via Twitter: 2011-10-23
  • @TweetsofOld way to be gender nonconforming, boys. go you. #
  • Ever read "The Yaoikuza" published by @yaoipress? #yaoi …tell me what YOU thought of it… #yakuza #
  • @TheYaoiReview I'm going. >_> tho, I suppose we don't know each other IRL, so that may not matter? who else ISN'T going? *looks accusingly* #
  • @TheYaoiReview which panel(s) are you doing, btw? #
  • @Dredgly I miss you. reading your tweet made me cry. I had the crappiest day Monday & it made me miss you even more. 🙁 #
  • @yaoipress if I get any bites, I'll ask permission to share and send them on over to you. ^_^ #
  • okay, I'm seriously not sleeping until I finish this damn #AnimeExpo recap. this is beyond ridiculous. #AX2011 #
  • I managed to finish my write up of #AnimeExpo ^_^ … only almost 3 months late >_> check it out here: #AX2011 #
  • now that I've been productive all evening: sleep –> get up & go to (paying) work –> see what I can make of the mess that's left. #
  • @tcaimi haven't been to Clay Pit myself, but my vegan uncle lives in Austin & loves the place. don't know if it's gluten free, too, tho. #
  • think I'm ready for #YaoiCon .. pretty sure… oh wait I have to pack clothing and stuff. garrrrr >_> #
  • about to leave for my flight to #YaoiCon #yaoi YAAAAAAY. going to do some #writing on the plane. it's gonna to be sweeeet. #anime #manga #
  • @donnatalarico is that time in Eastern Daylight Time? (good luck on your presentation!) #
  • Just went through one of those scary bodyscanner things at #LAX .. kind of felt like I was about get locked down in a prison. >_> #
  • don't think I'll have internet access for the weekend, though. I'll just take uber-great notes… ^_^;; #YaoiCon #
  • Should have brought some #manga for the waiting-in-line part… #YaoiCon #
  • Just announced: Digital Manga is taking over #YaoiCon in the future. #
  • #Manga library is pretty sweet, as usual. #YaoiCon #
  • Bishonen Bingo FTW… #YaoiCon best thing ever. #
  • omg America at #YaoiCon is sweeeeeet… <3 #Hetalia #
  • woo boys kissing on stage #YaoiCon #
  • right now in #manga library: Black Sun (801), Great Place High Sch. Student Council (June), Fallen Moon (Blu), Gentle Cage (June) #YaoiCon #
  • pretty sure I've read Black Sun before… maybe I own it? haha I don't remember what I already own lol… #YaoiCon #
  • Great Place High School Student Council is worth looking into further. #manga at #YaoiCon #
  • is it just me or is #Hetalia like, completely… racist? >_> #YaoiCon (I'm watching the "Paint It White" #anime ) #
  • @sammiguidera True, it does make fun of EVERYone… not sure I'm a fan, either. #anime #

Schedule of Reviews: Update

Schedule of Reviews: Update

As I noted (and expected) in my first Schedule of Reviews, I’ve had to re-evaluate how much I can review in a given period of time, given that reviewing isn’t the only thing I do in life (nor is it the only thing I want to do).

A few notes about my regular reviewing gigs. I still write opinions about Thomas Nelson books (but only on a “wow, I actually want to read that” basis), but Elevate Difference shut down at the end of March. In the meantime, I picked up reviewing some books for LitFuse Publicity on a semi-chaotic basis (one review in June, two in July, four in August, and none since), and I also read and comment on one Pagan-themed book per quarter for Eternal Haunted Summer (EHS).

In late July, I rolled out One Paragraph (more info here) and followed that up in early August with some Thoughts on Reviewing. Since I reviewed four LitFuse books in August and was basically trampled by real life, I’m counting it as an outright loss and just moving on. I managed to watch the first twelve episodes of Princess Tutu (see previous review schedule), but I haven’t done anything about writing any thoughts; The Sky Crawlers and Pohcahontas are down for the count.

In September, I finished up some non-reviewing work for this journal and started a couple college classes for interest. I didn’t watch Cowboy Bebop—or any other anime—though I did begin reading Boys’ Love Manga, a book of academic essays about yaoi and male/male romance across cultures. It’s on my list to review as soon as I finish it, but since it’s a lot of information packed into a relatively thin volume, my reading is slow going.

And now, it’s late October, and I haven’t done much in the way of reviewing this month, either… except that I’ve mostly been catching up on Anime Expo stuff (which happened back in July, for godsakes) because I swore to myself that I wouldn’t go to Yaoi-Con without having finished the AX stuff (which I did!)… and there was no way I wasn’t going to Yaoi-Con, so.

With all that said, here’s the new (still tentative) schedule of reviews, including any Thomas Nelson, EHS, or other “regular” reviews but not including any One Paragraph reviews I’ll write. I’m not limiting myself to these, of course, if I just feel the need to write about something I read/watched/experienced, but it’s a starting place; and if I don’t have time for anything else, that’s fine, too.

Yaoi-Con 2011
Princess Tutu, eps. 1-12

Pandora Hearts
Tin Man (Sci-Fi miniseries)
NaNoWriMo (also)

Ascent from Darkness
Princess Tutu, eps. 13-end
12 Moments in Anime

AX 2011: the Rundown

This is the main page, so to speak, for all my Anime Expo 2011 posts. I tend to be lackluster in writing up what I think about (and even just recaps of) the events I attended and cool things I saw, but my goal this year was to finish all this before attending Yaoi-Con, which is this weekend! I… have succeeded!

So, without further introduction, here is my multiple-post Anime Expo 2011 recap and review.

Dated: July
AX 2011: Day 0
AX 2011: the Loot

Dated: August
AX 2011: the Video Rooms
Video Rooms at Anime Expo 2011, over at Otaku Project

Dated: October (about time!)
AX 2011: the Panels
AX 2011: Anime & Manga Studies Symposium
AX 2011: the People!

More photos of the convention on flickr

AX 2011: the People!

AX 2011: the People!

[Note: this post is part of a multiple-post recap and review about Anime Expo 2011.]

Yes! It’s the part everyone’s been waiting for… the cosplay. You can find more photographs, including the ones throughout this multiple-post review over at my Anime Expo 2011 photo set on flickr, including (but not limited to): a tiny Link, a giant Death Note, the AX table top game room rules (“2. No rule lawyering” and “7. No openly arguing with event staff”), and the lounge. Which is all to say: this post is but the tip of the photographical iceberg. (Yes, I know “photographical” isn’t really a word, but you know what I mean.) Go and see more pictures!

Dead Leaves cosplayers

Characters: Retro (left) and Pandy
Anime: Dead Leaves
Notes: So, my sister, brother, and I (and probably a couple friends) went to see a showing of a couple episodes of Utena at one of the previous Anime Expos. (I don’t remember which year, but I know it was held at the Anaheim Convention Center.) After we’d settled in, we discovered that the crew was showing something decidedly not Utena, and though it was ridiculous and not really appropriate for children (my brother was pretty young at the time), we sat through it because the whole thing was like watching a car wreck—we couldn’t look away. Unfortunately for us, the end credits were completely in Japanese, so I never knew the name of the anime. Though I searched for it afterward, I could never remember enough about the plot or any of the characters names to help in finding it. That is, until this year. I saw these cosplayers and literally chased them up the stairs to get a picture because I recognized them immediately. Later, I witnessed another (unrelated) con-goer say to his friend, “Dead Leaves!” when these two cosplayers walked by and I wrote down the words, even though I wasn’t sure I’d heard them correctly. Luckily, I had, and now I can happily say that I can lay the “Mystery of the Anime That Was Not Utena” to rest.

Hetalia cosplayer

Character: Britain
Anime: Hetalia: Axis Powers
Notes: I’ve seen only the first episode of Hetalia, but the cosplayers are practically the most recognizable, especially when they carry their country’s flag, as in this case. Hetalia is an extremely short series in that, even though it has 52 episodes, each episode is only 5 or 6 minutes long. I showed my brother the first episode (“Pasta!” anyone?) and he just sort of… went away shaking his head in amusement.

Ouran child cosplayer

Character: Mitsukuni “Honey” Haninozuka
Anime: Ouran Koukou Host Club
Notes: Yes, this is an honest-to-God, life-size Honey cosplayer, complete with bunny toy. Seriously, if you’ve ever seen Ouran, you’ll recognize this cosplayer as spot on. Great job! (Great job, parents!)

Fullmetal Alchemist cosplayer and statue

Characters: Edward Elric (front) and Alphonse Elric
Anime: Fullmetal Alchemist and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
Notes: A couple of things. First, Alphonse (suit of armor standing behind the cosplayer) is actually a statue set up by the FUNimation booth in the Exhibit Hall. Quite a few Edward cosplayers, including this one, obviously, had their picture taken standing in front of the statue—sometimes more than one at a time. Second, and more interestingly, I think: this Edward is a pretty good example of a decent genderswap, which is a cosplay in which the person dresses up as a character as if that character is a different gender. Genderswapping should not to be confused with crossplay, which is a cosplay in which the person dresses up as a character of a different gender. The difference lies in whether the character switches sexes (genderswap) or the cosplayer does (crossplay). Genderswapping can also occur in fanfiction and fanart, while crossplay is limited to cosplay.

Utena cosplayers

Characters: Utena (left) and Akio
Anime: Shoujo Kakumei Utena
Notes: I found these ladies at the late-night showing of a couple episodes of Utena, of course. ^_^ On the left is Utena wearing her duelist uniform. To her right is a (somewhat short) Akio crossplayer. (That is, Akio is a male character, and this cosplayer is therefore a woman dressing as a man, unlike the genderswapped Edward Elric, above.) Cosplay isn’t complete, after all, without Utena.

Cosplayers, photo taken from the second floor looking down

Notes: Do you recognize all these characters? (I’m not asking tongue-in-cheek, either—I really don’t know!) Talk about a crossover, right?!

I also have to add in a couple images of my sister’s first Artist Alley table!

Artist Alley table 1

This is my sister, Bunny! She makes jewelry and creates visual art. You can find her on deviantart. Also, check out her etsy store! [Note: She’s still getting the store up and running, so there may not be much to see by the time I post this. But, check back! She’s got a lot of things brewing… so to speak.]

Artist Alley table 2

This is Angela, Bunny’s best friend, staffing the table while Bunny was getting lunch (or something). Since Angela is also an artist, they split the cost of the table and shared the space. You can find Angela’s work on deviantart, too.

Remember to check out the rest of the pictures on flickr!