Tuesday, February 19, 2008

katsucon '08

It is strange to think that prior to three weeks ago I was completely ignorant that this group of people even existed. Every year thousands of people worldwide create elaborate costumes based off of anime characters and dive into the fantasy world called Katsucon. Katsucon is an annual anime convention held in and around D.C. These actors if you will, put on their costumes and embody the character itself. These character impersonations are called cosplay. At these conventions, cosplay becomes theatrical with a cosplay masquerade when impersonators write short skits based off a cartoon and perform it.

I left with so many questions and a few theories...
I noticed that none of the anime impersonators were taking pictures. Why? Is this like the red carpet for them? On the red carpet, you'll never see a celebrity take out their camera and start snapping pics like a tourist. Does this cosplay make them feel like celebrities?

I have this theory that anime has a lot of philosophy/ancient Asian folklore in it (I could be wrong). If this is true what has happened to these philosophies since anime has become so westernized?

How has anime become westernized? One video that helped me in seeing the difference between anime and other imitation cartoons was this short flick: http://members.cox.net/penguinjoe/SCAD/presentation.swf

An interesting look at the lives of those who have an otaku for anime is a photo essay called "The Anime Within," by photographer Elena Dorfman.

If anyone who happens to stumble upon this posting knows the answers to any of these...I'd really appreciate any thoughts.