Thursday, June 14, 2012

Cosplay Interlude: Animazement 2012

May 25-27 marked Animazement 2012 at the Raleigh Convention Center, and I was fortunate enough to find some time off from research to attend. Although this marked the third time that I've attended Animazement, it's actually the first time that I had any knowledge of anime (apart from, say, Pokémon). As a consequence of me-knowing-what-the-hell-things-were, I enjoyed myself immeasurably more this year than at past Animazements. Who knew?

Like last year, I attended Animazement 2012 with a group of great friends, and we decided to put together some group cosplays. Friday was our Mirai Nikki day. Not being a big fan of most of the main male leads in the show, I opted instead to cosplay Takao "Third" Hiyama, the lovable serial killer whose life is tragically cut short in Episode 1. With the rest of my friends cosplaying a number of other characters (Fourth, Ninth, Twelfth, Deus, and Murumuru), we had a fun little Mirai Nikki group for the day.

(1) Takao Hiyama concept art from the Mirai Nikki anime

Given that Mirai Nikki had just finished airing, we weren't particularly inundated with photo requests, so the random convention wanderings were pretty low-stress. To make the most of our Mirai Nikki experience, however, we ended the day with a photoshoot led by our awesome, talented photographer Katsuya Weller. I'd never been in a photoshoot before this, but I had lots of fun working with Kat and my fellow cosplayers. The full collection of photos (so far) is here, but I've added a couple of Kat's photos below.

(2) Takao Hiyama glamour shot O_o

(3) Our full Mirai Nikki group.

For Saturday, a number of my friends from our Friday group decided to cosplay Black Rock Shooter, and I wasn't quite ready to handle the big guns (both literally and figuratively). Instead, a friend and I chose to cosplay All of the Goats, a character from the visual novel Umineko no Naku Koro ni. The goat costumes weren't terribly complicated, but I thought their outfits looked pretty snazzy. There were three other Umineko cosplayers at the convention, all of whom we were fortunate enough to bump into. Finding other cosplayers in our own fandom, particularly a slightly-obscure one like Umineko, is gratifying in a way that's difficult to describe.

(4) Our Umineko goat costumes (photo courtesy of Adam Howell).

Like at past Animazements, we spent most of our convention time walking around, exploring the dealers' room, and food-hunting rather than attending specific events. That said, however, we did catch a few specific events. On Friday night, we stopped by "Name That Anime Tune," a competition where participants tried to identify as many anime theme songs as they could. We didn't get there early enough to participate, but it was fun to spectate; plus, it showed that I really need to touch up my knowledge of anime music. The big event on Saturday was of course the KOTOKO concert; see my last post for details. Finally, we caught the later half of the Masquerade on Saturday night, but we only got there in time to catch the awards. From what I hear, we missed a better-than-average Masquerade year.

Not much more to say here, so I'll just close out with some photos I took at the con. These are just my favorites; the full album is here.

(5) So much Valve in one place. O_o

(6) Magical girls Madoka and Homura (and Kyubey?).

(7) A gang of Twelfths from Mirai Nikki! For reference: this.

(8) Katamari. So cuuuuteeee V_V

(9) I'm no costume expert, but these Alice cosplayers were awesome.

(10) Mawaru Penguindrum group. I WANT THOSE PENGUINS.

(11) My friends Mako and Korra, with fellow Fire Ferret Bolin :P

(12) My friends' badass Black Rock Shooter costumes.

(13) Not only is this guy's spoon too big, but he's also a banana.

(14) One of our fellow Umineko cosplayers. Represent.

(15) My friends' Sunday cosplay: Soul Eater.

(16) .......

That's all for now! Feel free to drop a comment, especially if you're a fellow Animazement 2012 attendee; it's always nice to meet fellow anime fans. :)

'Til next time,



  1. Your "Third" cosplay looks amazing! I'm trying to make one too, maybe you could give me some advice?

    Did you use a paintball mask? Which type is it? I can't find a matching design and they are very expensive.
    Is this a real knife? It looks very realistic.

    Thanks ;)

    1. Thanks for the comment! I did use a paintball mask -- mine was a black Tippman mask, but unfortunately I'm not sure of the specific model. I found it used on eBay, which helped cut costs a bit. A cursory search shows that you can probably find some masks in the $20-40 range. It's difficult to find one that looks exactly like Third's mask (mine is certainly not perfect), but there are a few that should be close enough with a few modifications.

      As for the knife, I actually made that out of a piece of foam posterboard, which I painted with metallic paint. I would have preferred using a more realistic knife, but I think the posterboard knife worked well enough for what I needed.

      Let me know if you have other questions, and I'd love to see your costume when it's complete. Cheers~