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Okay everyone, I have a topic here that I have been meaning to post a while. I have been thinking of all of the information and the right way to put what I would like to say out there. A little background is that I have been into the anime culture since way before when. The Time frame is 1993 or thereabouts. That is when I started watching anime when it wasn’t fully mainstream in the United states and anime was either Brightly Colored with Magical Girl storylines, Dark and gritty like Akira or Gundamesc. I started going to conventions in 2005 with Otakon followed by New York Anime Fest in 2008, 2009 and New York Comic Con in 2010. The times have changed and the anime styles changed from the above mentioned to Harem, Echhi, Yuri, Yaoi, to the standards you see today like Dragon Ball, Sailor Moon, Naruto, Bleach, Death Note, Lucky Star, etc. It was in 2008 when I started to cosplay and got the itch to portraying some of my favorite characters. I did Gluttony from FMA and The Millenium Earl From D.Gray Man. Two series which were popular at the time. I chose cosplay’s to suited my body style and characters that may or may not have been my jam as far as who I could have portrayed, mainly because I felt that I would do better portraying my body style. After the NYCC in 2010 I stopped going to conventions, primarily due to money and not having the time to take off to enjoy my WEBDOM. But I have been following the anime Scene not as closely as some, but to an extent knowing that is some of the popular series are, and what’s trending. I have noticed that Cosplay has grown in popularity. More people portraying their favorite characters from anime/comics, moving into cross media cosplays Video Games, Movies and TV. It was a spectacle to see this happen, you have stars getting big like YaYa Han, Jessica Nigri , Gothic Sushi to name a few. You had a show on tv about Cosplay Judging on the SCI Fi Channel and you saw many people complimenting, complaining, and giving feedback of all sorts both positive and negative about certain cosplayers. To me it is weird. How did something so innocent start to go down hill where people are shaming other people for cosplaying someone even if it wasn’t their body style or gender. How about those who criticized people were Sewing challenged and bought their cosplay? Then you have the people who are angry if you made their cosplay look bad. TOXICITY in the anime community, in the Cosplay Community. It was moving everywhere. My reaction is WTF mate. How can someone be mean to someone else? Especially when they are just trying to support their fandom. Why is one fandom hating on another fandom? Why is one Cosplayer Hating another Cosplayer? I moved to NC in 2017 and I started attending local cons again in 2018. I went to Queen City Anime in August 2018, followed by IchibanCon in January 2019, and Queen City in August 2019. This past week I attended the 11th IchibanCon and had a blast. I saw many good cosplays. Enjoyed good company with other like-minded cosplayers, and anime fanatics and saw how well the community can be and the way it should be. The smaller conventions I think is where the true fans go and have a good time. The larger conventions are fun, but they are not as intimate as the smaller local cons. I like the fact you can strike up a conversation with almost everyone with no issues, be recognized by the work you do and effort you put into your cosplay, even if its from a series someone hasn’t watched in a decade or for someone not knowing the series. I feel cosplay is a form of expressionism. A form to be someone that either Fictitious or real. A form to be able together and share moments with people in the community. Share ideas. Share pointers. Work with others that might not have thought about working with such as collaborations, photoshoots, or Panels. Perhaps a form of escapism to feel how it could be that particular person. There should be no negativity. It shouldn’t be Toxic. People have the right to enjoy what they love and to enjoy it without being shamed. Being told that they should stick to their gender if cosplaying. Or perhaps being told to cosplay someone more of your body type or height or build. Or People being knocked down for not being able to sew but they are able to buy a costume, put work into making their favorite character come alive. Visiting the past 3 cons, I learned that this toxicity must go. I believe that anyone can cosplay who or what they feel like they want to cosplay as. If you want to cross play? Go for it. If you want to spend 1000’s of hours sewing a Victorian era Dress so that you can become the next Gothic Lolita? Have fun. If you want to purchase a ready made cosplay because you cant sew but you know other skills like makeup or prop building to make the cosplay complete? I have no issues with that. If you are a fluffy person like me and you want to cosplay someone who is of an athletic build? Do it. Do what you want to do to make your character come alive. I had a great time portraying the characters I did. I worked hard to become the Persona of the last cosplay I did of AINZ OOAL GOWN and I had a blast. I took the feedback of everyone who I talked to and improved upon my Character and I can see that happen with everyone’s cosplay. We all interpret our characters different. There is a reason why you want to portray your favorite character. If you connect with a character no matter who it is, go for it. Do what makes you happy. Forget all the negativity. You do you. What I want the community to do is come together. Help people out. Be friendly. Offer advice. Take advice. Give a helping hand. Help wherever you can. It doesn’t matter if it is just a post saying, you can do it. Or perhaps a post of Hey, I really like your cosplay. It's about community and we need to make everyone feel at home, no matter the fandom.
It is official. I Have taken my Millennium Earl Cosplay out of retirement. The jacket was stored well and is in good nick. It being washed on the Delicate Cycle then It will be tumbled dried on low. The Hat is nowhere to be found and the ears and glasses are pretty much destroyed. Looks Like I will need to purchase a Stove Pip Top Hat, Steampunk Glasses and new wood elf ears. Once that is done I can then adorn the hat and make it look like the Earls. I think this time around I won't have Lero, but instead have a walking Cane. I am still debating. It all depends on how much time I have. The last time I cosplayed as the Earl was back in 2009. Looks Like I will be making some improvements. Instead of the Pirate Boots which were uncomfortable and small, I will be using some SteamPunkeESC Engineer Boots. There will a traditional Stove Pipe Top Hat instead of that flimsy hat I originally had. I will resurrect the moon on the new hat and add some new adornments as the earls hat always changes. I'll Make sure I keep this thread updated as the Earl Takes Flight