Fierce Diety Link, this is the first time I've ever seen someone cosplay this incarnation.

Fierce Diety Link, this is the first time I’ve ever seen someone cosplay this incarnation.

Kyouko and Sayaka from Madoka Magica

Kyouko and Sayaka from Madoka Magica

They also talked about the things that they’re bringing to Neon Alley, the digital Viz channel. They have the rights to show K and it will be dubbed in English. They also will be bringing the anime for Accel World to Neon Alley also dubbed in English.

I hadn’t checked out Neon Alley before, so I was a bit surprised to see that all the anime on there is English dubbed. That’s great news for people who have trouble following subtitles in movies/anime.

Now, I’m going to admit, I’m a huge Nana fan. I love the manga and the anime. I’ve been waiting for some new Nana to come out for a couple of years. The mangaka (artist/writer) had been very ill, so I was wondering if there was any new news on that front. Unfortunately, there wasn’t. But it was nice to have someone be able to give me whatever news they knew… since the only other info I had was from an online forum.

While leaving they handed the people who were leaving a 5 page survey to fill out. I think that it took a whole of maybe 5 minutes or so to fill out. At least they were generous about it and handed us a lot of free merchandise. I thought it was quite generous of them to do so. Sure, we became a focus group. Some of the stuff they gave us would retail at about $50 or so. I’m not going to complain when someone is handing out something that generous.

After the Viz panel I had a bit of time to kill, so we went back to the room so I could change my outfit and get something to eat for lunch.

After a brief lunch stopover in the hotel room which included excited puppies that got upset when we left again, I wound up heading out alone to the panel on Body Image

Aqua from Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep

Aqua from Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep

and Cosplay.

I must say, I enjoyed this panel completely. It was done discussion style. This was done by each panelist doing a brief introduction for themselves and why they were there, then the panel was opened up so the people in the room could talk about their body image and cosplay issues. Many of them focused on weight and body shape, something I can surely relate to. I brought up issues related to age. After all, I am on the older end of the cosplay scale being in my thirties. Since anime doesn’t fairly represent many people older than say… 18, it’s often hard to find characters to dress as that would be age appropriate. The only series that I can think of that consistently have really good more adult characters both male and female is Gundam. To a certain degree I could also say Cowboy

Hawkeye, Mustang and Lust from Fullmetal Alchemist

Hawkeye, Mustang and Lust from Fullmetal Alchemist

Bebop and Ghost in the Shell as well. But a majority of the cosplay being done is of and by people younger than the age of thirty. One of the panelists (I unfortunately can’t remember who) told a story of a more mature woman with a walker who had cosplayed as Riku from Final Fantasy X. She had a sign that said, “Riku at 80”. It’s refreshing to hear that even women in their older years are still willing to cosplay.

It was also interesting to hear what others have gone through when it comes to body image in cosplay. I wasn’t alone about weight issues. That I wasn’t alone on being a perfectionist. In many ways it confirmed something that I knew to be true. People who are heavier or older become largely invisible. Even if you make a wonderful and beautiful costume. Even if you take the time to emulate the character, you are still invisible. Photographers are only looking for young, thin and hot. Of course, there’s the flip side of the coin where you get people who are naturally thin being told that they’re too

The Travis Touchdown Duo!

The Travis Touchdown Duo!

thin.

In many ways, I’m glad that I’ve been largely invisible. At the same time, I wish that people would notice me. Maybe that’s just a fear I have… I don’t know. Maybe it’s something that I’ll get over. It was nice to be in a room full of like-minded people who have dealt with similar issues.

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