Saturday, June 4, 2011

Cosplay Interlude: Animazement 2011

A week ago, I had the pleasure of attending Animazement 2011. For those of you who may be unfamiliar, Animazement an annual anime convention held in Raleigh, North Carolina that (like any anime con) is very heavy in cosplay. It's quite a unique environment; I'd expect very few other instances in which people can take pictures of one another without sounding like a creep or get someone's attention by calling out the name of their character. It was definitely a different breed of fun than I'm used to.

I'd gone to Animazement once before 12 in 2009, but this one was slightly different in that I actually decided to coordinate some costumes with a group of friends rather than pick some obscure video game character. After some deliberation, we settled on characters from the shooter/survival-horror game Left 4 Dead. I hadn't actually played Left 4 Dead before we came to this conclusion, so naturally I spent the evening or two before Animazement familiarizing myself with the (quite good) source material. I ended up deciding to cosplay the Hunter, while my friends settled on the Witch, the Smoker, and Bill (bah, humans).

(1) Right-to-left: Smoker, Witch, Hunter (me), Bill

The couple of days before Animazement were a haze of costume-part-shopping. Goodwill, Dollar Tree, and Michael's (all three of which, for the record, are amazing) saw plenty of our business as we gathered clothes and art supplies for our costumes. My Hunter costume wasn't too bad to put together; we were able to find the black hoodie (or rather, two layered black hoodies), brown pants, shoes, and face paint/blood splatter material fairly easily. Bill's costume was also mostly from Goodwill, with the exception of some felt and (very convincing) spray-painted weapons. The Smoker costume was probably the most difficult to construct, mostly due to the tongue and large boils on the side of its face. We ended up finding an awesome foam sword at Dollar Tree for the tongue, which we painted in decaying-flesh colors, and using cotton balls, dust masks, and paint for the boils. The Witch costume was all done by my friend, so I don't have anything but praise to say about hers. All in all, I think we did an admirable job for our time and artistic constraints.

The con itself was a lot more fun for me than when I went two years ago. It's an oddly satisfying feeling when people ask for our pictures, particularly given the fact that we were cosplaying characters from a Western video game at an anime convention. The majority of our day was spent wandering around and taking pictures/having our pictures taken. We did attempt to eat lunch in full costume at one point; in the process, we accidentally wandered into the "normal" part of town and garnered quite a number of strange looks before we decided to eat back near the convention center. :P Here are some pictures of us from the convention:

(2) Bill getting ambushed by a Hunter.

(3) Oh snap, he startled the Witch!

(4) Smoker attempts some strangling action.

(5) We thought this abandoned parking lot a good place for a photo shoot.

(6) Hey, zombies have to eat lunch, too. Mediterranean food, evidently.

Given the fact that I hadn't actually watched much anime before the con, I wasn't actually familiar with many of the costumes there. (My more anime-savvy friends, however, had a field day.) The full collection of my Animazement photos are here, but here a few that I recognized:

(7) Mortal Kombat, Scorpion & Subzero.

(8) So many Mandalorians. They just kept coming.

(9) Pyramid Head of Silent Hill 2 fame.

(10) Okami!

(11) C.C. from Code Geass, although I hadn't seen the anime at the time.

(12) Johnny Cage costume, complete with (hopefully fake) tattoos.

That's all for now! Until next time (hopefully soon)!



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