ACen 2013 was only my second time capturing cosplay in photo form (C2E2 2013 being my first) and I feel the same now as I did then; it is essentially a meta game of the convention. Think of it as being a bit like Pokémon Snap. You have to stay constantly alert because you never know where and when these strange creatures (I say this lovingly!) will appear, and when you see one pop out, you need to act fast or you may lose your chance.
Two of my biggest failures (which would definitely have made my list had I gotten the photos) were a pretty wicked Viewtiful Joe that strolled right past me and disappeared into the crowd before I had time to react, and a huge Koffing that I saw from a distance, figured I would run into again, and... never ran into again.
Still, I managed to do a pretty decent job of it, I believe.
This isn’t simply a top 10 list, however. I decided to make it a combination top 10 list and general cosplay photo feature, so I’m throwing in a bunch more photos at the bottom, including non-Nintendo and even non-video game stuff.
Enjoy! And make sure to let me know in the comments which ones are your favorites!
Vega has always been one of my favorite Street Fighter characters, even if I totally suck using him (or anyone else for that matter.) This guy pulled off a pretty slick Vega, in my eyes.
Blue Pikmin (Pikmin series)
I noticed this Blue Pikmin girl while eating lunch, and I knew that I had to get a picture, so I hastily shoved down the rest of my food and chased her down. I swear I wasn't stalking you Blue Pikmin girl!
Pikachu and Gengar (Pokémon series)
I'm not the biggest Pokémon fan (boo!) so perhaps one of you can explain this to me... why are Pikachu and Gengar boxes? Is this a thing from Pokémon or were they just taking some creative liberties? Either way their costumes turned out pretty neat.
Deku Scrub Link (The Legend of Zelda series)
I tend to gravitate towards the costumes that took some obvious work from head to toe, and this Deku Scrub Link was a pretty neat one. The jar was a nice little touch.
Phanto (Super Mario Bros. series)
Ok, I get that this wasn't really a costume so much as a sprite map printed out on a big piece of paper and held in front of his face. But it's Phanto, yo! And it really stood out from a lot of the other cosplay that I saw, so it makes the list.
Travis Touchdown Twins (No More Heroes series)
Two Travis Touchdowns for the price of one! Both of them pulled it off pretty well, although in retrospect, I should have asked them to cross swords with each other. That would have made for a pretty epic photo!
Ms. Pac-Man (Pac-Man series)
I have a lot of respect (and concern) for those who go around in costumes that restrict the movement of their arms. This was a pretty sick Ms. Pac-Man too, although I wish that I got a better angle.
Chef Kirby (Kirby series)
This one might not seem very impressive at first, until you realize that it's a full-grown man in a 3 foot tall costume. It doesn't look like much when he stands up, but when he crouches and waddles it is a damn fine Kirby.
Midna (The Legend of Zelda series)
I'm not sure if this was the infamous Midna cosplayer that many of us have seen before, but whatever the case, she nailed it. Gotta wonder how tiring it gets to walk around with that huge thing on your head though.
Mr. Game & Watch (Game & Watch series)
Oh yes. Behind the costume was a man who was clearly having a lot of fun playing the character, interacting with the crowd in many fun and hilarious ways. It's a little weird that Mr. Game & Watch's feet are a full 6 inches above his own feet, but whatever. It's Mr. Game & Watch!!!
@ploot I see! I have never seen that show, I suppose that someday I should.
@Mr_Mustache Rest assured I was only interested in capturing the people that I was taking pictures of, I wasn't even paying attention to the background. But there are, of course, attractive women anywhere that you go, so they will end up in the backgrounds of the photos from time to time.
Sailor Bubba. He's a fixture, a treasure, of our humble convention. There are probably many more stories than I know about him. Here is a short one.
Anime Central is held at the Hyatt Regency O'Hare, and at the adjacent Donald E. Stevens Convention Center. These are massive structures, built to house professional conventions, trade shows, and seminars. Today, the Hyatt Regency O'Hare has a broad flight of stairs leading from its ground floor to its atrium lobby level. The stairs are made of frosted glass.
They weren't always. Originally, that staircase was fully transparent glass. There are two flights, one going down to the ambiguously named "International" level below ground, and one going up to the atrium lobby. They're oriented the same way and they're in a perfect column, which means that as you descend to the basement, the people walking up to the atrium lobby are directly overhead.
Fandom conventions like Anime Central attract cosplayers. All sorts of people wear all sorts of costumes--not always matching their gender, sex, personality, or body type. The common theme, of course, is that the costumes are from some media or game that's an element of geek culture, particularly anime and video games. And what element of visual character design is ubiquitous, in a patriarchal world society, and especially in sexually frustrated Japan? Skirts.
So, the inevitable was obvious. Less scrupulous types, or perhaps unfortunates who had not had the social adjustment and education to know their boundaries, would gather on the lower flight, and gaze at the upper. It was a problem; ACen is a family convention, and regardless it's important that congoers feel safe and secure so they can enjoy their time there.
Today's ACen is kept safe and efficient by the Incident Response Team, or IRT. We take our jobs seriously. We strive to uphold standards of professionalism, respecting the boundaries of our role, the need for oversight and restraint, and the congoers' legal rights. Our procedure would have been simple: post a pair of guards under the stairs and have them politely talk to the voyeurs, escalating any noncompliant persons to the hotel's security force.
Today's ACen, like today's Hyatt staircase, has changed since then. What became IRT was then "Security Division", or SecDiv. Now, for all its "jack-booted thug" reputation, I haven't experienced SecDiv firsthand, so I won't try to make a comparison between IRT and its predecessor. But evidently, they were both creative and twisted.
Sailor Bubba. An overweight, bearded man in a heroically stylized schoolgirl costume a la Sailor Moon. A curiosity? A freak, set out in the open like a gargoyle to frighten evil spirits away? A travesty against femininity? A shining exemplar in defiance of gender boundaries? All of this, perhaps. But to SecDiv, he was one more thing. A living weapon.
He was not a member of the team, but he was all too happy to cooperate with their plan. And once Sailor Bubba had exercised his shapely, shaven legs on the Hyatt's upper lobby stairs a bit, ACen found that its voyeur problem had been allayed, and a special, savory kind of justice had been served.
The hotel learned its lesson. One hopes the voyeurs learned theirs. But Sailor Bubba, like the gods, is unchanging, pure, iconic. Beyond learning. Inevitably, his mortal frame will die, and a piece of our culture will be ungently torn from our hearts ... but he will take his place in the night sky, and there, fastened (too) tight by song and fable, he will live, forever.
The girl who is sitting down is Alice Margatroid from the Touhou series. Touhou is a vertical bullet shooter, and the fans think that Alice and the character of the doll she is holding (Marisa Kirisame) like each other. At least Alice does. :P Check it out on wikipedia to know more about touhou~
Question: How does Alice (or any other characters) really tie in to the "bullet hell" side of things? Seems like characters like these would be much better suited for an RPG of sorts. For instance, the guys in Contra don't really have elaborate backstories.