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!

Viannah E. Duncan

Viannah E. Duncan is a writer and activist hailing originally from Los Angeles. She lives outside of Baltimore, Maryland, and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Wilkes University. She has a cat, Cleo.

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