Despite the name of the site, I'm just not THAT much of an otaku. At least, not in the sense assumed by most internet denizens.
Nowadays I'm writing random music and working on lectures rather than watching the latest and (not necessarily the) greatest anime out there. My overall video game playing skill has dropped precariously in the last year as I've focused more on things like: studying Choroscript and: washing dishes.
But then I do random and not so random things like take pictures of Magic Knight Rayearth cosplayers in a national forest and drive 2 hours to get to an arcade and play IGS beat'em ups and Puzzle Bobble 3 (since the Puyo Puyo Fever machine was out of commission).
In just under 48 hours I'm going to hop on a plane and hit Otakon... and quite honestly I have: no idea what I'm going to do there.
All right. That's not true. I'm pretty certain I'll do my fair share of people watching and hanging out with friends I've made over the years. And I'm really looking forward to our pre-Otakon dinner plans at Obelisk. But what of the stuff provided by Otakon? What panels, concerts, events am I REALLY interested in?
At the moment the answer would have to be: none. But that's mostly me being in teacher mode and splitting time between writing this quick update and writing a mid-term exam for my students.
So this makes now a good time to talk about the photo that heads this article.
This photo was taken just over 10 years ago and remains my favorite among all the photos of cosplay I've taken. The cosplayers in the picture above are portraying characters from the Saber Marionette anime series as they walk the halls of Otakon 1999. And they look absolutely fantastic. Nevermind the fact that you really can't see that much detail in their costumes (the combination of a slightly crappy photographer dealing with a slightly crappy lens and relatively slow film)... but forget about that. These girls are: having fun. People around them are seeing these girls: having fun.
(And then there's the artistic aspects of the photo. Lines and eyelines. But I don't care about that at the moment...)
Otakon 1999 was a hugely fun experience for me, and this picture, more than any other picture I took, represented how much fun it was to be there.
I'd really like to take more pictures of cosplayers: having fun. Allow me to go ahead and push that a bit to: I'd really like to take more pictures of cosplayers being people in costume, people having fun, rather than simply models struggling to reach the iconic ideals presented on dead trees and LCDs.
If only they'd allow me to do that! Because: heaven forbid I catch them cracking an out-of-character smile or chatting with their friends who aren't similarly dressed. If I had to choose between taking pictures of interesting people doing interesting things and the most utterly beautiful drop-dead gorgeous stylishly accurate cosplay ever made... I'd choose the pictures of people.
And please don't think that this means I disrespect cosplay; in fact, I love cosplay and would love nothing better than to show cosplay, the entire process of cosplay, in a really positive light to fans and non-fans alike.
Okay... I guess that's one thing I'm still incredibly otaku about. I thoroughly enjoy taking pictures of people pre-con/at con/post-con, doing the con thing (aka having fun), and I look forward to seeing all the people that will be hanging out, rocking out, making out, passing out, and anything else you can think of at Otakon.
If you see a guy with a black photovest stuffed with camera equipment shooting pictures at Otakon, you've probably found me. Feel free to say hi. If you rock at Asuka 120% Limited or Garouden: Fist or Twist, even better. I'm looking forward to hitting that game room as well...
(This was originally going to be a post about 2 cosplayers who screamed at me for a minute for taking their picture, but thinking about it just depresses and frustrates the hell out of me, so I'd rather not write about that.)