Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Cosplay Interlude: Anime Central 2013

About three months ago (yayyy for being on time), I had the pleasure of attending Anime Central 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. With nearly two years (lol) of anime experience under my belt, I found this con experience even more exhilarating than Animazement 2012. The more shows I've watched, the more I enjoy and can identify with everyone at these conventions. Or at least, that's a pretty convenient excuse for me to watch even more anime. :P

As always, I went to this anime convention with a group of wonderful friends, and we decided again to attempt some group cosplays. After juggling numerous options for the full-group cosplay for the five of us, we finally settled on the fantastic 2010 show Katanagatari. In particular, we decided to cosplay characters from the Maniwa Ninja Corps, a group of hapless villains (of questionable degrees of actual malice) who inevitably get slaughtered over the course of the show's twelve episodes. For my character, I chose Maniwa Kamakiri, the mantis-themed ninja of the Insect Squad who meets his fate during episode 4.

Kamakiri's costume was definitely the most intricate I've ever attempted; completing it involved the help of several friends and multiple late nights, and it was definitely often a struggle. Nonetheless, I was able to pull off something passable in the end, and I've definitely learned a lot about cosplay (and particularly sewing) in the process.

(1) Maniwa Kamakiri of the Insect Squad: the green guy on the left.

(2) Some concept art of Maniwa Kamakiri. The final design was a little different.

(3) My Maniwa Kamakiri costume. Photo credit to Chou-Wa.

Unfortunately, Katanagatari wasn't quite as popular as I thought it might have been, what with the re-air and all, and there weren't a ton of people who recognized us. Nonetheless, we scheduled one photoshoot for the group with Chou-Wa Photography, whose photos can be seen here. However, the best part of the Katanagatari-cosplaying experience was undoubtedly the meetup. Although we'd arranged on the forums to meet up with another group of two Katanagatari cosplayers, it still didn't prepare me for the excitement of actually meeting other cosplayer-fans. (I think there was an even greater sense of camaraderie since our source material was relatively obscure.) We took a ton of fun photos, and were even lucky enough to receive a free impromptu photoshoot from the amazing M1photo, who was himself a Katanagatari fan. You can see the photos from our shoot with M1photo below.

(4) The whole Katanagatari group! Photo credit to M1photo.

(5) Compilation of individual character shots. Photo credit to M1photo.

Apart from the Katanagatari cosplay, I also put together a costume from the horror anime Shiki in a two-person group. (Photos for that costume are still pending, but I'll put them up as soon as they're sent to us.) Cosplay aside, however, the highlight of the convention was certainly the Kalafina concert (see my review). I've been fond of Kalafina ever since I heard the Madoka ending song Magia, and seeing them perform in person was nothing less than magical.


As always, I'll end this post with a bit of photo-vomit. I didn't actually take too many pictures this time around so there aren't many, but feel free to check out my Facebook album here if you're interested in seeing the complete set.

(7) Our cute lil' Maniwa Corps headpieces. :)

(8) Super Sentai Gokaiger!

(9) Our whole group! Cosplays represented: Shiki, Adventure Time, Shingeki.

(10) Ergo Proxy!

(11) The cuteness of HomuHomu knows no gender boundaries.

(12) Artist working live on chalk art. T'was ridiculously impressive.



(15) Some R&R with the Maniwa gang.

(16) A Mirai Nikki group! #represent

(17) Katanagatari photoshoot, in which Nanami MURDERS US ALL ._.

(18) Mufufufufu

(19) The completed product of the aforementioned chalk art. Beautiful.

(20) Mahou Meganekko Madoka Magica XD

That's all, folks! Don't forget to say hi if you're a fellow Anime Central 2013 attendee!

Until we meet again,


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