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American origin cosplays

#1 User is offline   OneWing 

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 07:35 PM

So last year Bioshock won an award. Am I missing something or is Bioshock of some Japanese/Korean origin or inspiration? To my knowledge it should not have even qualified for the masquerade. My benefit of the doubt is that because of the big decline in Japanese media there weren't enough things, or even not enough Japanese/Korean entries to fill the masquerade. Even so, what's the deal? No hostile tone intended, just something I'm passionate about!
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#2 User is offline   stuffedpandastudios 

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 07:43 PM

View PostOneWing, on 03 January 2012 - 07:35 PM, said:

So last year Bioshock won an award. Am I missing something or is Bioshock of some Japanese/Korean origin or inspiration? To my knowledge it should not have even qualified for the masquerade. My benefit of the doubt is that because of the big decline in Japanese media there weren't enough things, or even not enough Japanese/Korean entries to fill the masquerade. Even so, what's the deal? No hostile tone intended, just something I'm passionate about!


I was really curious about that myself - I just assumed it had some sort of Japanese origin that I was unaware of.

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 11:35 PM

I'm going to go ahead and say the person who checked you in didn't know any better. We do not know everything that exists. We don't look everything up to make sure everyone is following the rules.

We assume everyone who enters is aware of the rules and following them.
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#4 User is offline   sabre 

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 10:55 PM

Bioshock is Australian-based -- and yes, they were an at-con sign-up accepted by someone who either: A) thought they were Japanese/South Korean or B) was really short on sleep.

We try to avoid that whenever possible though! (And we'll make sure folks know about Bioshock this year...)

#5 User is offline   Sir Viver 

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 02:35 PM

Acen staff really should do a better job with the screening process, to make sure the on-stage masquerade doesn't become saturated with non-Japanese (or Asian in general) cosplay. Perhaps a few 'judges' for approval of on-stage presentation, to get a well-rounded batch of knowledge for what's Asian and what isn't. I'm all for anyone cosplaying as whatever they want in the hallways though, within the boundaries of taste. For example, I enjoy Marvel vs Capcom, and while it would be kind of cool to see a massive MvC crossover group patrolling the halls, even I'd be iffy about seeing all the Marvel cameos on-stage in a MvC group for craftsmanship. It could potentially open the door for all Marvel characters who didn't even appear in MvC to compete for craftsmanship. American (or Western in general) characters appearing in a skit, however (ex: as a joke of some kind), may not have this kind of repercussion, nor would it result in (justified) purists' backlash.

This post has been edited by Sir Viver: 21 February 2012 - 02:36 PM

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#6 User is offline   meef 

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 02:41 PM

I'd personally love to see Homestuck in the masquerade, but I'd be happy if Acen screened their cosplay entrants more closely too. I've seen everything from Harry Potter to Venture Brothers to original characters in the show. If Homestuck isn't allowed, they shouldn't be either.

#7 User is offline   Sir Viver 

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 02:51 PM

Maybe if Homestuck, Venture Bros, etc. were in a skit with mixed Japanese media? Depending on how well-implemented they are, how well-written the skit is, and how well it's presented, it could be quite humorous. Opening the door for Homestuck or other western media to actually compete for craftsmanship or even go onstage without being part of a skit would give rise to a lot of things. For one, the huge rush for all fans of (insert title of popular American media here) to sign up for the masq would leave little room for those cosplaying actual Japanese media, especially if the aforementioned American media has any kind of hive-mind.

This blow could be lessened, however, in some ways. Limiting a certain number of entrants from any series could work quite well, for cosplayers from any media. Is there anything like this already? It would still be a bad idea if not paired with some kind of standards, though. Requiring at least one photograph of the cosplay being worn by the applicant, and a screening process. People may take offense if their costume "isn't good enough," but if someone who spends dozens of hours on their costume doesn't get in because someone closet-cosplaying a character from the same series signed up one second before they did and filled the quota for that series, then there's a problem perhaps even more serious than just letting anyone in.

In the end, I suppose it could be subject to what con chairmen want for the image of their con, though if the masses vote in the inclusion of non-Japanese media and open the doors for Acen to become a general comic/ sci-fi/ etc. con, then it may be smarter from a business standpoint to allow it. While I'm more of a "Japanese media only in the masquerade" type myself, technically if they make a decision that loses 200 ultra-hardcore "weeaboo" purists the following year and gains 2000 new attendees, it would make $ense, and if the people want it, then "whatever," says I. Heck, Kollision Con has become my favorite convention, GeekKon in Wisconsin last year was amazing, and the crowds for both were some of the friendliest I've ever encountered at any convention.

One must also consider how thin the lines between Japanese and American media have become. From Marvel vs Capcom to Kingdom Hearts to Kia Asamiya's "Batman" comic, crossovers have sort of paved the way for loopholes and exceptions of all kinds in the masquerade. Allowing media of complete non-Japanese origin would first mean allowing all American characters who have ever cameo'd in something Japanese. Piro has been a guest of honor at Acen on-and-off for about a decade and (to my knowledge) Megatokyo still hasn't been allowed into the masquerade. Other times, like Hermione, the aforementioned Bioshock, or even the occasional horrendous ORIGINAL CHARACTER DO NOT STEAL have somehow wormed their way in.

In the end, it's subject to the screening process, if any, regardless of whatever requirements are posted since some people choose to ignore them or just plain don't read them. Tightening it and allowing only Asian-originating media is the quick, easy answer. A more thought-out, somewhat-strict screening process (ex: must be part of a skit if it hasn't appeared in Japanese media, or if it did have a cameo then it must be part of a group with the Japanese characters he/she appeared alongside) is, to me, a good balance. Allowing something which did not originate or appear as a promotion in Japanese media is on the opposite extreme of "Asian-origin media ONLY," and stands give less incentive to attend the masquerade for many long-time Acengoers, but if this option wins by a consensus of all who wish to vote for or against it, then so be it. Even then, it should be subject to a potentially brutal screening process, to keep "flavor of the year" saturation to a minimum, and allow those who actually worked on their costumes (both within and outside of said "flavor of the year" crazes) a better chance to compete.

This post has been edited by Sir Viver: 21 February 2012 - 07:09 PM

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#8 User is offline   meef 

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 02:54 PM

I whole heartedly volunteer to be part of the Homestuck walk ons if Acen ever starts a system like that. :D

#9 User is offline   Dark Spellmaster 

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 08:26 PM

I don't see why Western Cosplay is deamed lesser. A lot of Western animation, styles and such have become influenced by Anime, and most if not all shows have been dubbed and imported to Japan. This also brings up a good question then, what of shows that were created for american audiences but are made by japanese studios? See the new Funimation orignal series that is coming out about wearwolves. Or what of a show that was influenced heavily by asian or Japanese art? Avatar? Or what of shows that are based on Western animation and were created to air in Japan then brought over here? The Marvel series that were in japan. Or lets take the vocaloids, there are western vocaloids, does that mean that the westen vocaloids would not be allowed into the Masque becuase they were produced here and not in Japan?

I understand the idea of not wanting to become a mixed convention, but if a place like ComicCon can manage to have a Phantom of the Opera Red Death (Hand made by the way apparently) and book series, why not allow craftsmen to do the like at ACEN? Or let me ask you this. Would you rather have a very well crafted handmade Avatar cosplay, or a bought Haruhi cosplay? Honestly I would rather see cosplay that were well made and clearly a labor of love of any series, then see a weak bunch of cosplay that are just anime. Cosplay it self just means costume play, and if people love and care about something that much that they take the time to work on something, even if it's western, then by gosh it should be celebrated and respected just as much as someone who passionately worked on a piece that was from the East.

I keep thinking of a lady I saw a year ago who commented to me after seeing a young woman dressed up as Jane from Tarzan, how it was sad to see so many non anime cosplayers running around. Then I looked at the Jane costume and was amazed at the detail in it, and asked the Jane cosplayer if she made it. She told me she and a friend had worked on it for months, and was very proud of how it turned out. So again, why not honor all Cosplayers and their hard work. Anime is just another word for Animation after all, and Cosplay is just Costume play. I've never seen any defention of it that says that it's strictly Anime or Eastern only.
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#10 User is offline   Sir Viver 

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 11:49 PM

View PostThatOneChick, on 10 January 2012 - 11:35 PM, said:

I'm going to go ahead and say the person who checked you in didn't know any better. We do not know everything that exists. We don't look everything up to make sure everyone is following the rules.

We assume everyone who enters is aware of the rules and following them.
Sadly, the system is still abused, and while almost everyone who enters is aware of the rules, not all choose to follow them. While you and the people in your department don't look everything up just to be sure, that doesn't mean they shouldn't. If they literally don't have time to (read: this is understandable), it doesn't mean they can't find someone who does. If we base the regulations for Acen masquerades off of incidents in the past, then Western video games like Bioshock, Western media like Harry Potter, and even original characters of Western origin are already allowed in.

View PostDark Spellmaster, on 21 February 2012 - 08:26 PM, said:

I don't see why Western Cosplay is deamed lesser.
But this isn't about what's "lesser." It's about what's appropriate for an anime convention. Technically, allowing cosplay of Japanese media other than anime (games, for example) into the masquerade is straying from the "anime" theme, regardless of the game's aesthetics, but it seems widely accepted that commercial Japanese media in general is appropriate.

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This also brings up a good question then, what of shows that were created for american audiences but are made by japanese studios?
A very good question, seeing as the distinctions can range from collaborations (Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust, The Animatrix) to the myriad of American cartoons animated in Japan or Korea due to outsourcing. I suppose the former would fall into the second category while the latter would fall into the third, but that's just my own hypothesis. There are many gray areas in-between.

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what of a show that was influenced heavily by asian or Japanese art? Avatar?
Third category, if they didn't cameo in actual Japanese media. Aesthetics aside, they'd technically be no more elligible than, say, X-Men. Actually, less so, since the X-Men actually appeared in Japanese games and various Japanese manga spin-offs. ("Snikt," for example.)

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Or let me ask you this. Would you rather have a very well crafted handmade Avatar cosplay, or a bought Haruhi cosplay?
Sadly, the bought Haruhi cosplay would be more eligible for a walk-on than the Avatar cosplay, however well-made it was. However, it's a known fact that bought cosplays aren't allowed to compete in craftsmanship awards. Whether or not the person wearing the bought costume wins anything is up the standards (or lack thereof) of the judges.

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Honestly I would rather see cosplay that were well made and clearly a labor of love of any series, then see a weak bunch of cosplay that are just anime.
Personally, I feel the same. I love mixed-media cons. However, Acen advertises itself as an anime con. Opening the floodgates for all Western (regardless of official crossovers) without first reaching a congoer-wide consensus would be an act of sheer folly.

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Cosplay it self just means costume play, and if people love and care about something that much that they take the time to work on something, even if it's western, then by gosh it should be celebrated and respected just as much as someone who passionately worked on a piece that was from the East.
This is true, but again, it's not about what's "superior" or "inferior." It's about what's deemed appropriate for the convention.

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I keep thinking of a lady I saw a year ago who commented to me after seeing a young woman dressed up as Jane from Tarzan, how it was sad to see so many non anime cosplayers running around. Then I looked at the Jane costume and was amazed at the detail in it, and asked the Jane cosplayer if she made it. She told me she and a friend had worked on it for months, and was very proud of how it turned out. So again, why not honor all Cosplayers and their hard work. Anime is just another word for Animation after all, and Cosplay is just Costume play. I've never seen any defention of it that says that it's strictly Anime or Eastern only.
For the record, I'm completely on the same page here, at least when it comes to hallway cosplay. I roll my eyes every time I hear someone piss and moan about how many Stormtroopers, Deadpools, fursuits, and Jokers they see wandering the halls. Guess what? There's no official guidelines for hallway cosplay aside from keeping your naughty bits covered. To these people, I will always say, quite simply, "Deal with it." However, the Acen masquerade has a long-standing tradition of Japanese media only, and has only deviated from this on sparse occasion.

Dark Spellmaster, above all else, I hope you don't take my posts as confrontational. You brought up some really good points, and I'm just giving my wall of text two cents on what sort of category they'd fall into and the sort of backlash that an official decision about any of them would give rise to. For example, my backlash against the karaoke last year was unfounded in hindsight, since the Japanese have been singing American music in the true nature of "karaoke" for many decades now. While many (myself included) may see this as Acen losing one of their traditions... who are we to redefine the meaning of a word?

My overall view on the subject is this: I'd see no problem with it. As stated, I love "general" anime/sci-fi/fantasy/gaming/etc conventions. However, it's not my call, or anyone's but those who run the show. If a more lenient masquerade program is important to you, convince them. I'd even vote for the masquerade becoming a mixed bag of media, because at least then, the rules would be more concrete than they are now.

This post has been edited by Sir Viver: 22 February 2012 - 12:21 AM

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#11 User is offline   Dark Spellmaster 

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 02:11 PM

View PostSir Viver, on 21 February 2012 - 11:49 PM, said:

Sadly, the system is still abused, and while almost everyone who enters is aware of the rules, not all choose to follow them. While you and the people in your department don't look everything up just to be sure, that doesn't mean they shouldn't. If they literally don't have time to (read: this is understandable), it doesn't mean they can't find someone who does. If we base the regulations for Acen masquerades off of incidents in the past, then Western video games like Bioshock, Western media like Harry Potter, and even original characters of Western origin are already allowed in.


Maybe what might help is two types of shows? I know this seems a bit silly but it might help. Have an earlier Masque on say Friday evening for the "Western" or non Traditional Cosplay. Then have the Traditional "Eastern" cosplay on Saturday. This way both groups would be happy. But make it so that there are rules in place, ie: You can't have Bioshock in Saturday but you can have it on Friday, and you can't have Black Butler on Friday but you can have it on Saturday. And enforce this. Also maybe have a pinned thread for help regarding western and eastern games, and animation. For example ask us to list the name of the company, the show, and where it orignated.

Example:Portal -Company: Valve -Oringanted: Western Developer in Seattle, USA

Then from there compile a list of characters from said series and thumbnail pictures of them or just their names and a short discription.

Example: Character: Gordon Freeman, Age: 29, Tall male with brown hair, wears glasses, mostly scene in a labcoat or with a orange/grey hazmat suit and weilds a crowbar.

Something like that might help you when you sign people up.

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But this isn't about what's "lesser." It's about what's appropriate for an anime convention. Technically, allowing cosplay of Japanese media other than anime (games, for example) into the masquerade is straying from the "anime" theme, regardless of the game's aesthetics, but it seems widely accepted that commercial Japanese media in general is appropriate.


My only issues is that Anime tends to be all encompassing in some cases. Teen Titans in regarded in some circles to be Anime due to the nature of the show and the style. Avatar has a similar problem becuase of the facials...and Samurai Jack...well that's pretty much influenced by samurai movies and anime. So Anime as a theme would qualify as it's style wouldn't it?

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A very good question, seeing as the distinctions can range from collaborations (Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust, The Animatrix) to the myriad of American cartoons animated in Japan or Korea due to outsourcing. I suppose the former would fall into the second category while the latter would fall into the third, but that's just my own hypothesis. There are many gray areas in-between.

Third category, if they didn't cameo in actual Japanese media. Aesthetics aside, they'd technically be no more elligible than, say, X-Men. Actually, less so, since the X-Men actually appeared in Japanese games and various Japanese manga spin-offs. ("Snikt," for example.)


This get's worse though with shows like Power Puff Girls Z, given that it's a Eastern show based first on a Western show. Which boggles the mind if it can be seen as qualification since it's Japanese now, but was first American based on stylized Japanese influence. @_@ (I think I just hurt my head a bit on that one.)

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Sadly, the bought Haruhi cosplay would be more eligible for a walk-on than the Avatar cosplay, however well-made it was. However, it's a known fact that bought cosplays aren't allowed to compete in craftsmanship awards. Whether or not the person wearing the bought costume wins anything is up the standards (or lack thereof) of the judges.

Personally, I feel the same. I love mixed-media cons. However, Acen advertises itself as an anime con. Opening the floodgates for all Western (regardless of official crossovers) without first reaching a congoer-wide consensus would be an act of sheer folly.


On the first part, I agree with you, maybe bought costumes should qualify for a smaller show? Or at least have two different catagories then regarding this factor: "Best of show presentation: Hand crafted" and a "Best of show presentation: Best wearing non hand crafted" or something shorter then that.

Mixed-Cons are fun, maybe they should have a survey about it, see what the congoers think? There are more and more non anime cosplay out there among the main anime cosplay. And, as cosplay becomes more accepted as not only an art form but as a fun event more people are trying to do it and are finding it entertaining. So maybe it's honestly time to do away with "Exclusive" cons and focus them on all branches of Animation, be it Japanese, European, American, South American, etc. and games. Heck there's even live action that are coming out here.


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This is true, but again, it's not about what's "superior" or "inferior." It's about what's deemed appropriate for the convention.


Shame that there's, again, not two shows that would allow western and eastern competition.

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For the record, I'm completely on the same page here, at least when it comes to hallway cosplay. I roll my eyes every time I hear someone piss and moan about how many Stormtroopers, Deadpools, fursuits, and Jokers they see wandering the halls. Guess what? There's no official guidelines for hallway cosplay aside from keeping your naughty bits covered. To these people, I will always say, quite simply, "Deal with it." However, the Acen masquerade has a long-standing tradition of Japanese media only, and has only deviated from this on sparse occasion.


It's funny how people complain about how, "Cosplay is looked down upon" and then be moan it when someone wears a costume that they feel comfortable with that isn't anime. Maybe it's time for a show like the hallway cosplay only ment for western cosplay? Might help keep the Masque for traditonal, and gives the spotlight to people that might not be into Anime as much as they are another game, or show.

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Dark Spellmaster, above all else, I hope you don't take my posts as confrontational. You brought up some really good points, and I'm just giving my wall of text two cents on what sort of category they'd fall into and the sort of backlash that an official decision about any of them would give rise to. For example, my backlash against the karaoke last year was unfounded in hindsight, since the Japanese have been singing American music in the true nature of "karaoke" for many decades now. While many (myself included) may see this as Acen losing one of their traditions... who are we to redefine the meaning of a word?

My overall view on the subject is this: I'd see no problem with it. As stated, I love "general" anime/sci-fi/fantasy/gaming/etc conventions. However, it's not my call, or anyone's but those who run the show. If a more lenient masquerade program is important to you, convince them. I'd even vote for the masquerade becoming a mixed bag of media, because at least then, the rules would be more concrete than they are now.


Never saw it as confrontational, I enjoy debating with you, and reading your wall of text (two cents)was entertaining for me. :) I remember the whole incident regarding the karaoke, and I have to agree, we really can't redefine it. I would say it would be more up to the people that participated in Masque and what they wanted. If more and more request to do mixed cosplay that turn out really nice, then well, they should go for it. I hope that, in the future maybe Acen can consider doing more then one Masque or at least do a smaller show or something like the Hallway cosplay.
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#12 User is offline   Sir Viver 

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 02:40 PM

View PostDark Spellmaster, on 22 February 2012 - 02:11 PM, said:

Maybe what might help is two types of shows? I know this seems a bit silly but it might help. Have an earlier Masque on say Friday evening for the "Western" or non Traditional Cosplay. Then have the Traditional "Eastern" cosplay on Saturday. This way both groups would be happy. But make it so that there are rules in place, ie: You can't have Bioshock in Saturday but you can have it on Friday, and you can't have Black Butler on Friday but you can have it on Saturday. And enforce this. Also maybe have a pinned thread for help regarding western and eastern games, and animation. For example ask us to list the name of the company, the show, and where it orignated.


Holy crap, I didn't even think of this, despite having the exact same standpoint when it comes to Karaoke. Excellent idea, this would give western character cosplayers not feel discriminated against (due to the western characters that have slipped into the masquerade before, it's likely that more now want a piece of the pie) and keep the purists happy on Saturday night. Screw all of my spiels in this thread, this is the really simple answer that would make everyone happy. Here's hoping Acen does this next year.

The only exception to the "Friday = western, Saturday = eastern" rule that I don't feel would harm the show would be crossovers during skits. Things like Marvel vs Capcom, Kingdom Hearts, as well as other official and unofficial crossovers would have a place here. However, if western characters being present at all on Saturday night would bother more people than not, then maybe these crossover skits could be kept to Friday night, since (no offense to Acen purists) western cosplayers seem a bit more lax on the subject. It might be more appreciated on Friday night than Saturday.

I personally find it more amusing when a well-implemented western character shows up in an eastern-themed skit than vice-versa, due to the novelty, but that's just me. Such a thing would be the decision of the DH. If nothing else, I think crossover skits and official crossover walk-on groups should at least have a place on Friday. In the case of an official crossover walk-on for Friday, I'd personally say the ratio of western-to-eastern characters should be at least 50/50, if not more western than eastern. Vice-versa on Saturday if official west/east crossover walk-on groups are allowed, but again: Not my call. Just an idea.

In all honesty, I think this is the only "gray area" and would be very easily solved based upon the group origin's percentage and the discretion of the DH on west/east crossovers being allowed on Saturday night; You pretty much solved the problem to keep future Bioshocks/Hermiones from appearing on Saturday night again outside of a skit, with a really simple idea that would make more people happy than huttburt.

This post has been edited by Sir Viver: 22 February 2012 - 02:47 PM

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#13 User is offline   meef 

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 02:47 PM

sounds good to me!

#14 User is offline   Dark Spellmaster 

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 07:12 PM

Sir Viver, a great idea! Sounds reasonable and honest. Skits are a hard thing to judge, but I like your idea. I think it could be easily implimented. I'd go to both events to see what people created.
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#15 User is offline   linlindesu 

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 07:20 PM

View PostDark Spellmaster, on 22 February 2012 - 02:11 PM, said:

Maybe what might help is two types of shows? I know this seems a bit silly but it might help. Have an earlier Masque on say Friday evening for the "Western" or non Traditional Cosplay. Then have the Traditional "Eastern" cosplay on Saturday. This way both groups would be happy. But make it so that there are rules in place, ie: You can't have Bioshock in Saturday but you can have it on Friday, and you can't have Black Butler on Friday but you can have it on Saturday. And enforce this. Also maybe have a pinned thread for help regarding western and eastern games, and animation. For example ask us to list the name of the company, the show, and where it orignated.



Maybe I'm just playing devil's advocate here , but why don't people that want to compete with Western costumes just go to one of the several entertainment/ comic/ pop culture cons we have in the area? I do understand acen hasn't always been tight on the rules but it has at least TRIED to stick to anime japanese culture. Though with some of the panels this year that may be slipping away as well...
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#16 User is offline   Sir Viver 

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 10:52 PM

View Postlinlindesu, on 22 February 2012 - 07:20 PM, said:

Maybe I'm just playing devil's advocate here , but why don't people that want to compete with Western costumes just go to one of the several entertainment/ comic/ pop culture cons we have in the area? I do understand acen hasn't always been tight on the rules but it has at least TRIED to stick to anime japanese culture. Though with some of the panels this year that may be slipping away as well...

I know it might bother some, but I really don't see a problem with it. They've let things slide before, from the occasional western masquerade entrant (or winner, in Bioshock's case, and I believe a Hermione won a judge's choice award at Acen as well) to the karaoke finally encompassing music from any country. From many a western webcomic artist guest of honor (from the long-time favorite Piro to more recent guests) to several western-media panels. The name "Anime Central" could still remain as an homage to the basis of its foundations, but really, Acen may as well be honest with itself here.

View PostDark Spellmaster, on 22 February 2012 - 07:12 PM, said:

Sir Viver, a great idea! Sounds reasonable and honest. Skits are a hard thing to judge, but I like your idea. I think it could be easily implimented. I'd go to both events to see what people created.
As would I. :)

This post has been edited by Sir Viver: 23 February 2012 - 12:45 AM

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 01:11 AM

View Postlinlindesu, on 22 February 2012 - 07:20 PM, said:

Maybe I'm just playing devil's advocate here , but why don't people that want to compete with Western costumes just go to one of the several entertainment/ comic/ pop culture cons we have in the area? I do understand acen hasn't always been tight on the rules but it has at least TRIED to stick to anime japanese culture. Though with some of the panels this year that may be slipping away as well...


Well lets consider it this way, Anime has always been more resonable with the idea of cosplay then some Pop/comic/entertainment cons. ACEN bills it'self as the Midwests largest, and because of this it attracts more cosplayers and more people in general. C2E2 is fairly new, and most smaller cons, while wonderful, don't have the same allure. Also, and correct me if I'm wrong on this, it's only more recently -past five, maybe ten, years -accepted for people to cosplay more at conventions like Comic Con, which was mostly male for a long time. Males, and again correct me, aren't as willing to cosplay as females are. Acen attracted, and still does, a larger female crowd of cosplayers.

I also think that another reason is that some of the mixed conventions are far more expensive and usually have higher costs. C2E2 isn't too bad, but given the location and the cost of the hotels downtown that can add up. There's also the matter that Animation in general, particually the style of Japanese theamed animation, has expanded in how it looks, moves, and feels in the west. Also more and more cosplayers are people that are reliving their childhoods from the 80s and 90s, and like showing off what they remember. While Anime is a big part of the 90s group, the 80s into the 90s generation tend to want to mix and match, and teens that grew up with say: HP or ATLA, prefer dressing like that then some very new series that they can't always watch on TV. That's another huge factor, I think. Less Anime on TV has given rise to more people discovering that Cosplay is not just for Anime Characters, that you can cosplay all sorts of characters and still have fun with it, which honestly I think is great. :thumbup:
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#18 User is offline   ThatOneChick 

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 07:09 PM

You are coming off as a little insulting. There is no possible way that we could have knowledge of every single series that gets entered. We're not going to treat everyone like babies and double check what they are entering is American based because of a couple people who slip through the cracks. Myself and my DH work more hours than most people who work at the convention. We put in our hour quota well BEFORE the convention even starts and I really do not appreciate it being insinuated that we don't work hard enough or that we are not doing a good enough job because some people didn't read the rules clearly enough or decided to defy the rules even after knowing them. We don't have to spend hours answering e-mails and forum questions. We do it because both of us are passionate about what we have built here and try to offer the best show possible.

Also don't appreciate other people trying to use this as a way "in" for us to change the rules for their skit specifically.

The people who volunteer for our department usually know less about it than we do. I run the Hallway while my DH is running the Masquerade office. So it's him and whichever volunteers he hires for the year checking in EVERYONE, reviewing EVERY skit and helping people with their blocking and acting so that they look their best on stage.



All of this being said, we can try to keep a better eye open for people trying to snake by the rules, but it's not going to be perfect. Next year we are going to try a much more "high tech" way to check people in and hopefully it will eliminate this problem.

As far as everything else goes, we are sorry if it's caused anyone distress that people were allowed to break the rules. I'm sure in most cases, if not all, they just didn't read the rules carefully enough. This show is for you. We do a lot of bending backwards to make you guys happy. You guys have absolutely no idea what goes into this show and how much we sacrifice for it.

As far as a separate Masq, we have to fight really hard for the one we have and ACen's schedule is completely booked up.
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Posted 23 February 2012 - 11:16 PM

ThatOneChick, I think you need to take a step back a little bit and try not to take any of the comments quite so personally. After reading your post I went back and read a few of the posts preceding it because yours was the only one that really struck me as confrontational, and that was quite confusing.

Reading through the thread I see a lot of good discussion but unless I've skipped over anything in particular, I'm not really seeing any accusations or slams against you in particular or your fellow staff. Have costumes that are technically against the rules slipped through? Yes, and that's a fact, but anyone would be silly to assume you guys know every series out there and can catch and bar every single costume that's not based on Japanese media. You're people, just like everyone else, and people aren't perfect.

What I'm mostly seeing here is a lot of interest for more open costume regulations. It's true that anime fandom has quite a lot of spillover into game, comic, and non-Japanese "geeky" media. It's why you see a lot of hall costumes at anime conventions across the country that aren't necessarily Japanese in origin. The reverse isn't really as true, though. There is some spillover from "scifi con" type fans to the anime fandom, but not nearly as much as there is vice versa. That and the large corporate feel to a lot of the scifi/comic conventions makes them a little intimidating for novice cosplayers. ACen in particular has always had a very "local" feel to me in comparison. It's not excessively huge, it's very personable, and so it's easier to cosplay whatever you want without feeling overwhelmed by the convention itself. I think that the masquerade could benefit by opening up to more overall geekery. Certainly not this year since I imagine things have been in the works for a long, long while, but maybe in years to come?

It's be neat to try a more open Masquerade for a year to gauge the reaction. I understand there would still be a main focus on anime and manga themes in the masquerade but I think it would help spice things up and keep things interesting. And if fans prefer the old way, then the rules can be reversed.

Anime Central is a much more "open fandom"-oriented con than it was back in 1998. Now it's got gaming rooms with games of all sorts, not just ones from Japan, and there's been a lot more variety in the panels. It's made the convention stronger overall. :)
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Posted 24 February 2012 - 12:22 AM

A couple different items:

1) I have allowed costumes of non-Japanese origin into skits -- as long as well over 50% of the skit's costumes/entrants met the requirements: there are those skits which really need that.

2) I (and a couple others) take a look at the rules every single year with the idea of making a few small changes. There's always things we want to do, but we don't want to go too far too fast; there's room for improvement, but on the whole we like the "feel" and don't want to lose it. We'll look into the origin thing as we look to 2013. I'm not going to guarantee anything, however: I'd need to be able to clearly define the changes, and sometimes that's very tricky.

3) We are always learning. Bioshock is Australia-based (oh goodie), and assuming we're somewhere that has decent cell service, we'll try to check series origins if we aren't sure. That said, sometimes things get crazy: we had ~160 masq participants last year, and people check in with us in clumps and groups.

#21 User is offline   linlindesu 

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 12:43 AM

View PostDark Spellmaster, on 23 February 2012 - 01:11 AM, said:

Well lets consider it this way, Anime has always been more resonable with the idea of cosplay then some Pop/comic/entertainment cons. ACEN bills it'self as the Midwests largest, and because of this it attracts more cosplayers and more people in general. C2E2 is fairly new, and most smaller cons, while wonderful, don't have the same allure. Also, and correct me if I'm wrong on this, it's only more recently -past five, maybe ten, years -accepted for people to cosplay more at conventions like Comic Con, which was mostly male for a long time. Males, and again correct me, aren't as willing to cosplay as females are. Acen attracted, and still does, a larger female crowd of cosplayers.

I also think that another reason is that some of the mixed conventions are far more expensive and usually have higher costs. C2E2 isn't too bad, but given the location and the cost of the hotels downtown that can add up. There's also the matter that Animation in general, particually the style of Japanese theamed animation, has expanded in how it looks, moves, and feels in the west. Also more and more cosplayers are people that are reliving their childhoods from the 80s and 90s, and like showing off what they remember. While Anime is a big part of the 90s group, the 80s into the 90s generation tend to want to mix and match, and teens that grew up with say: HP or ATLA, prefer dressing like that then some very new series that they can't always watch on TV. That's another huge factor, I think. Less Anime on TV has given rise to more people discovering that Cosplay is not just for Anime Characters, that you can cosplay all sorts of characters and still have fun with it, which honestly I think is great. :thumbup:

Comic Conventions, Sci-fi conventions,Ren faires. Those were here before anime became something easily accessible
There were people wearing funny things long before we learned what "Dragon Ball" is but I digress.
again I have no issue with non japanese based costumes but this is still an anime convention.
Also, less anime on TV.... no. When I was growing up there was Sailor Moon and Gundam and even less aimed towards an older audience. Now Adult Swim picks up titles like loose women at a dive bar and the audience has expanded.
If someone is dead set on entering in an American costume, there are other options.
Look at the changes occurring to the panels... It is a little disappointing. I'm hoping Acen tries to stick to some of its roots before it loses its purpose..
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Posted 24 February 2012 - 12:37 PM

View PostSapphy, on 23 February 2012 - 11:16 PM, said:

Anime Central is a much more "open fandom"-oriented con than it was back in 1998. Now it's got gaming rooms with games of all sorts, not just ones from Japan, and there's been a lot more variety in the panels. It's made the convention stronger overall. :)

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 12:52 PM

See, I would say it made the convention stronger, but I just keep seeing everything goIng downhill each year guest wise and such. 10th anniversary was the last great con In my opinion.
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#24 User is offline   Dark Spellmaster 

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 05:35 PM

View Postlinlindesu, on 24 February 2012 - 12:43 AM, said:

Comic Conventions, Sci-fi conventions,Ren faires. Those were here before anime became something easily accessible
There were people wearing funny things long before we learned what "Dragon Ball" is but I digress.
again I have no issue with non japanese based costumes but this is still an anime convention.
Also, less anime on TV.... no. When I was growing up there was Sailor Moon and Gundam and even less aimed towards an older audience. Now Adult Swim picks up titles like loose women at a dive bar and the audience has expanded.
If someone is dead set on entering in an American costume, there are other options.
Look at the changes occurring to the panels... It is a little disappointing. I'm hoping Acen tries to stick to some of its roots before it loses its purpose..


I'm sorry to disagree with you on the anime front. There's a rather large difference in the shows that are airing now then there was a few years ago.

Toonami (including all incarnations) Ran: Sailor Moon, Voltron, Robotech, Dragon Ball Z, Gundam Wing, G Gundam, Gundam 08th MS Team, and Outlaw Star, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Gigantor, Robotech, Martian Successor Nadesico and Dai-Guard (five day special event), Naruto, Yuyu hakusho, Kenshin, Rave Master, Duel Masters, Gundam SEED, One Piece, Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo, Zatch Bell, and Pokémon Chronicles. Plus addtional movies, I'm not counting Jetstream as that's part of the netstreaming and not network tv. There was also, Zoids, Yugioh, .//hack series, Idaten Jump, Knights of the Zodiac, Pecola, Tenchi Muyo, etc.

Cartoon Network programing as of this date and time:BeyBlade, Bakugan, Pokemon: B&W. From Adult swim right now airing only on Saturdays (Used to be Fridays at an earlier time) Bleach, Durra, Big O, Kekkashi, Ghost in the Shell,FLCL, FMA, and Inuyasha. And they are airing them in repeats, so that means same exact programs are runing for a total of 6 hours on Saturdays.

Toonzai seems to be airing more, but a lot is reruns: Sonic X and Yugioh with not that great anime shows.

Nicktoons have: Voltron, Dragon Ball GT and Kai, and the new Masuno.

And that's about it...That's not a lot of broadcast anime.

The thing is, Acen needs to evolve in some ways. More and more joint ventures of American/Japanese work or Europe/Japan/Korean work are coming out. I would think that, because there are so many shows that are a mix maybe it's time to let the mix come into different contests. I'm not saying we can't keep most of the traditions, I'm just saying over all allow for some broadening but keep the main theme.
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#25 User is offline   Hoshigumo 

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 11:58 PM

Please take this worth a grain of salt. It's my opinion on the argument of American versus Japanese cosplay, based on my experience, and not a rant directed at any one person, least of all the amazing ACen staff that manage to do this huge event every year on a volunteer basis. If anyone knows what works and what doesn't for this convention, it is definitely the staff. Whether anything changes regarding contest rules is in their hands, and I'll be happy with their decision (though I personally lean towards an Eastern-Western split as previously suggested). Again; my feelings, coming from a need to vent about this topic.

I apologize for it turning into a novel.

---


Earlier, Sapphy mentioned a 'spillover' of sci-fi into anime, but a lesser amount of anime creeping into sci-fi. I would say the same applies American cartoons and comic series. There's plenty of imported Japanese pop culture to be had here and now in the US, but our exports--specifically animation and graphic novels--are very imbalanced. There's a trade deficit, if you will. Is it bad? Not particularly. But it does mean that we'll see far fewer American-origin cosplay at a Japanese convention, in Japan, than there are instances of Japanese-origin cosplay everywhere else in the world.

For Americans, this gives us the opportunity to cosplay American-origin characters more easily and in greater diversity. These are characters we grew up with--in my case, GI Joe, Jem, Rainbow Brite. Dressing up as Baroness or Canary Yellow is probably easier, more appealing, and more meaningful to me as an American cosplayer than a Japanese cosplayer.

I'm not at all suggesting American cosplayers eschew all things Japanese for the sake of preserving respective cultures. In fact, personal experience has taught me that trying to please everyone by trying to stay within the bounds of my own culture is doomed to abject failure, and is a pervasive form of reverse racism. When I try to practice my terrible Japanese language skills with my Japanese friends, I get flagged as 'weeaboo'. When I wear one of the thirty-odd kimono I've sunk a fortune into, I'm labeled a 'Japanophile'. Then, the people associated with diversity-promoting groups smile and say, "Well, isn't that little American girl so adorable. But she really ought to be more...you know. White." I don't do any of it because I'm out to prove I can, or that I'm blindly in love with Japan, or secretly wish to be Japanese. I do it because I enjoy it. I'm happy being an American, and I find kimono dressing and tea ceremony meditative and relaxing. And heaven forbid I learn a second language.

That's the reason why we do cosplay, too, isn't it? Because we enjoy it.

It shouldn't matter what country your favorite character was dreamt up in--do it. It shouldn't matter what color your skin is, or where you were born--cosplay is now a world-wide hobby. It's not some sacred ceremony that can be traced back to the Muromachi period, that could potentially cause someone somewhere offense for being racially or culturally insensitive. It's fun. It's inclusive. It doesn't exist solely as a means to preserve Japanese culture, because the Japanese already have one of the best preserved cultures in the world. We can learn all about the weird, unexplainable cultural things we see in anime at a convention panel hosted by someone really driven to educate people, just like most Renaissance faires have interactive teaching sessions about arms and armor. Does the educational side of the faire force everyone dressed as fantasy characters to leave the park because they're just not quite realistic enough? No. Everyone's welcome.

Everyone should be welcome to play whomever they want at an anime convention, too, and ideally not be barred from participating in the same skill-based contests that Japanese-origin cosplays can enter. Origins of a cosplay don't determine how well a costume turns out, the skill of the person sewing, gluing, vaccuforming, carving, shaping, sweating and bleeding over it does. It takes talent and creativity to bring an imaginary person to life. We are artists and actors, and origin has nothing to do with any of our labors final product.

We all get obsessed with our favorite characters. We all spend beyond our means to emulate them for a weekend--for some people, many weekends out of the year. We all put some amount of effort into our cosplay, whether it be earning the money to pay for a commissioned costume or spending sleepless nights hovering over a sewing table. We all get the same rush walking into the doors on Friday for the first time and wonder how many new friends we'll make this year.

We should all recieve the same courtesy and consideration.
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Posted 25 February 2012 - 01:04 AM

@Hoshigumo: I couldn't agree with you more. A wonderful post.

@ThatOneChick: I did not mean any disrespect to you or the Acen Staff that works so hard to put the shows on. You guys do an amazing job, it's just a bit sad, at least for me and maybe other congoers, to see really well thought out works (Like the winning Bioshock peice) not be allowed to compete in the main competion. I understand why, it's just a shame that there's not an additional show or something where the same people can show off their stuff. Again, I never ment any disrespect to anyone with my posts, and if it came off that way I am sorry.
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#27 User is offline   chompzie 

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 11:35 PM

I agree with Hoshigumo completely.

We're trying to celebrate Japanese pop culture... part of Japanese culture is the collectivism that is at its core. The Japanese borrow and embrace ideas from all over. A lot of their cosplay is focused on Japanese characters and shows/video games because they are from Japan.

And I know I'm playing semantics, but "Japanese anime and manga" is kind of silly. There's just anime and manga - it's a specific art style/story telling style. Anime and manga from Japan would be more accurate, as the anime and manga art styles/story telling styles are heavily based on and influenced by Western media and ideas. It is not uniquely Japanese and it's pretty silly, once one understands art and globalization as a whole, to keep insisting it is.

Art breeds art, inspiration breeds inspiration, and all artists borrow from other artists. Wood block printing is largely regarded as one of the earliest inspirations for modern-day manga (which inspired anime, kinda)... and a lot of the wood-block printing during the Tokugawa and Meiji eras were heavily influenced by Dutch painters (Dutch specifically because the Japanese disallowed pretty much everyone except for the Dutch and Chinese from trading with them). Those Dutch painters were in turn inspired by the wood-block prints in Japan.

Anime and manga are not uniquely Japanese, they never have been, they never will be, they never can be, because no culture is "pure" in that sense.

Disallowing other-origin costumes, anime, and manga is ridiculous when you look at it that way, unless the convention only wishes to acknowledge the anime and manga that comes from Japan (as in, is produced there and exported to other countries).

Anime Central is described as being a convention celebrating "anime, manga, and Japanese popular culture," so maybe they don't mean to celebrate the values of the culture, but I would think that is an important part of understanding the culture enough to be able to celebrate it.

I think the Western media is part of the Japanese culture, because it influences Japanese culture and the shows are aired there too, I'm sure.

I think I'm rambling but I guess I am just trying to dissect the whole cultural purity thing, I don't know.
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