Anime, the Japanese term for animation, refers specifically to animation from Japan or as a Japanese-disseminated animation style often characterized by colorful graphics, vibrant characters and fantastical themes. The industry consists of over 430 production studios. It has a cult following in America, with a number of expositions annually, including Anime Expo in Los Angeles
And we are lucky enough to have attended many times. 🙂
What distinguishes Anime Expo from Comic-con or WonderCon? The costumes. Anime Expo attendees love to dress up. Sure, you’ll see folks in costumes at other events, but not nearly as many as you’ll see at Anime Expo. And not just anime costumes, but just about any costume you can imagine.
Or can’t imagine.
This fellow has a seemingly gruesome tattoo, but if you look closely, the anime creature in the center appears unconcerned. Perhaps she is the leader and the creatures behind her are her evil army of the night. Or…?
All we really know is that it’s very, very cold where she is. 😳
Our Glorious Leader was defending anime before it was cool.
Pikachu, even when a bit demented and sad, can light up the dance floor with hip-hop. No twerking, please!
Is this a threat? An invitation? There is so much I don’t understand about so much. 🙁
This young lady shows improper use of a flotation device. Please do not follow her example.
This fellow auditioned to be President Obama’s spokesman, but the rainbow did not exit the desired orifice.
No need to pay major $$ to watch a video when you can watch a traveling performance theater give a live showing, with fabulous 3-D effects!
Gosh, there is a lot I don’t understand about these characters. But my best guess is that the girl wants to be a cardboard-cut-out model, and this fellow is carting her around.
Donuts: is there anything they can’t do?
Sorry, but all I can think is, “When I asked you to sit on my face, this isn’t what I meant!”
And in the midst of the wonderful chaos, a violinist finds a moment to soothe our savage breasts.
When I first read the character’s shirt, I thought it was a play on words, and English-language insult. Then I looked up Fakku and saw that, no matter how much I know, there are still fun and interesting things to learn about this wonderful world of ours.
But an Anime Expo is not just vaguely unexplainable costumes and circumstances. If you pay attention, there are patterns and themes that emerge.
Groups of Things
There are many groups of things, anime and non-anime characters coming together for the common good.
Typically, groups of things pose iconically. If this is how they are portrayed in anime, then this is how they pose.
Some anime is personified by particularly bad hair.¯\_(ツ)_/¯ But at least they have a Drew Barrymore look-alike, right?
It should be Y-Men and X-Women, right?
Things of Color
Anime includes many colorful things, properly called “things of color” if you wish to be politically correct.
This young lady, besides being fangy and horny, is quite red. I wonder what happens when she blushes.
Is this a purple female Dr. Lazarus? I don’t know, but she looks serious.
Is that her hat or her skull? Like, is she super chic or super smart? Either way, Pretty in Pink, eh?
Now that world leaders can be orange, this fellow is one of the cool kids.
Things on Leashes
Some things are wilder than others and those things need to be restrained.
My guess is that the girl in white bit the nose of the girl in black, and is on a leash for our safety.
This green thing seems friendly, but check out its owner: she is sporting a 4-point spear. Keep your distance, friend.
Except that it has whiskers — three on a side — I would think this is just a girl who enjoys being leashed. There is a lot I don’t know about a lot.
The creature has a bindi, so I suspect, despite being blond, she is Indian.
Things with Buttons and Knobs
Anime characters have a wide assortment of button and knobs. What they are used for is not always obvious.
The original R2D2 had blue highlights, so I suspect this is a cheap knock-off. Still, it rolls about, chirping and buzzing. I stay out of its way; it can shoot electricity with a little piece of metal!
This might be a Decepticon. I don’t know why it has buttons…
Is that a steering wheel? An orbit with a planet and a banana? A halo with knobs?
I so want to Select Start. Sadly, I don’t think it’s an invitation. 😐
This young man looks stoned. I hope he finds a designated driver.
Does the button turn them on or turn them off?
Things with Ears, Fangs, and Horns
Anime abounds with creatures of exaggerated features and exceptional growths, particularly on or about the head.
Despite this creature’s come-hither look, I would be careful putting anything too close to that mouth.
I think those horns are really a two-way radio.
You know, those could be antlers rather than horns. And the way she is stroking the tip is, well, intriguing.
This is what happens when milkmaids go bad.
She’s cold-blooded. Or at least, cold.
This girl frightens me a little, but in a good way.
Things with Glasses
Many anime characters sport glasses. They might have a purpose, like Cyclop’s glasses, or they might just help someone see better.
You know, I’m not sure this fellow is even an anime character. He might just always look this good.
Do these glasses hide his identity or allow him to better inoculate his patients?
She wore these glasses just to be cute. Well, cuter….
Even mechanical creatures need eye-wear.
Things with Watches
There are times when an anime character needs to know the time. Having the right time-piece is important, all the time.
This young lady appears to be waiting for someone, and not happy about it. Whoever he or she is had better have a good excuse.
I expect she is never late for anything.
This creature has two watches, each telling a different time. Perhaps that’s why she’s embarrassed.
Things with Wings
Anime critters have wings: leather wings, gossamer wings, hairy wings, and wings of unknown substance.
When your wingspan gets to be more than a few feet, you have to be careful not to damage the more delicate creatures.
She’s so cute, I just want to eat her up!
At first I thought this was a tail, but after looking at the photograph long enough, I decided they are wings.
The pretty ones are always the most deadly.
Anime Expo has a HUGH vendors hall with more cool stuff than you can imagine. The secret is to get in right when it opens or about an hour before it closes; otherwise, it’s a zoo, and not in a good way.
Be sure to have a backpack or a bag for all your stuff. Gas masks are optional.
I typically don’t photograph vendors. I made an exception.
Question: is the redhead wig vendor wearing a wig?
Some corsets make a girl look thin by squeezing her waist. Other corsets make a girl look thin by making other parts look larger. I think I prefer the second method.
I hope she doesn’t fall over.
Anime is fantasy, and some vendors cater to that fantasy. (I’ve been told: before purchasing a previously-owned anime doll, inspect it with an ultraviolet light.)
Things Coming and Going
There are two side to every story, but not necessarily to every costume.
At first glance, an unassuming costume.
On second glance, well, I think I’ll keep my assumptions to myself.
You are probably wondering what I’m wondering: is that glued on?
If everyone dressed like this, well, everyone should dress like this. Amirite?
We’ve shown you all kinds of creatures and critters, and barely scratched the surface. There are big things, things in gowns, medical things, things that are the same, things in pink, and much, much more. We’ll return next week with Anime Expo, Part 2!