Jump a train to Nerima, Tokyo, Japan!

Sean Ranma sketchWhile on vacation, I met a man who quite possibly has the largest collection of merchandise from popular 1989-1992 anime Ranma 1/2, or らんま 1/2 if you are from Nippon.

When he told me that he needed help fulfilling the bucket list entry visit a real life location from the aquatic gender bender comedy, as a fellow fan, I had to help.

So what location in Nerima was this? Furinkan High? The Tendo Dojo? Shakuji-Koen Park? Hah! No. We went to the famous fence alongside the river that was used in many episodes, especially when walking to or from school!

Ranma Fence

While most of the photos were taken with his camera, here are some of the results that I captured from this trip to the real fence seen in Nerima!

River walk in Nerima.jpgOne path on each side, one lane street in between. Not much to see, or too much? Who knows. This was an interesting place for a cosplay photo shoot.
Nerima with Ryouga.jpg

This area is west of Oizumi-gakuen station along the Seibu Ikebukuro line. While to many, this may not seem like a worthwhile excursion, I actually had a lot of fun going along!

Wait… why was Urusei Yatsura’s Lum in one of those pictures?! The Oizumi Gakuen station is the closest station to Toei, known for shows like Dragon Ball and Sailor Moon, so naturally this is known as the birthplace of anime!

Oizumi Anime Gate

They have statues out front from Astro Boy, Tomorrow’s Joe, Galaxy Express 999,  and even one of that obnoxious alien from Urusei Yatsura!

Urusei Yatsura Lum statue

Astro Boy

Tomorrow's Joe

Galaxy Express 999Also, I got to see the Galaxy Express 999 train! Or rather… a train promoting this 1977-1981 Manga and Anime!

Galaxy Express 999 trainEven if the photo shoot would have been a bust, which it was not, the station alone made the trip completely worth it!

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Ikari Warriors throwback Thursday

18056_419056375525_4413961_nI cosplayed as Ralph Jones, from King of Fighters as well as The Ikari Warriors! I did this… man… A long long time ago. This picture was done in 2007 at the first Anime Matsuri! Remember in the long long ago, when we had high hopes for that convention, and thought people would not get harassed by one of the convention owners? Ah… good times.

Anyways, so yeah… Ralph from KOF… look it up.

Me and you… Breeding…

pokemonbreederHello lovely people! This throwback cosplay Thursday, I thought I’d share my Pokemon breeder from the original Pokemon Ruby/Sapphire games. This is one of those short lived cosplay for me, from Oni-Con 2009. It was very casual, and weird as heck that I did not already have a plain white t-shirt and pair of blue jeans already in my closet.

I sprayed my hair blue for this one, but it’s not readily apparent, unfortunately. If I ever cosplay as him again, I will try and make it more blue. I also wish that I had purchased one of those giant eggs too, but oh well. Anyways… maybe someday soon.

Cosplay from A-Kon 29

DSCN0165“You do not go to A-Kon for the panels. You go for the cosplay.”
-A cute Cosplayer, A-Kon 2018

The picture to the left is a random one that I took, that I feel needs a caption that I am not witty enough to give. A-Kon 29, the Terribly Awesome convention in Fortworth, Tx, is over… and yet I am just now starting to post my pictures…. in other words, guess who started using burst mode on his new camera!

Below are some of my favorite cosplay photos I took from A-Kon 29, with their album listed below that.

While I’m still going over and editing photos, here is the album I put on my flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/netsenshi/albums/72157697969531005

A-kon 29 was Terribly Awesome.

DSCN1996 - 1I want to start out with an explanation, so you know that we are not starting strong here. A-kon was Awesome… but everything that would have made it that was in a terrible way?

This year’s A-Kon was 4 days, but it was Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday so I had to request 3 days off in one week and one in the other, so I lost money from work. But 4 Days! Except that registration was not the noon time the e-mail said, and it opened maybe a couple hours late… but count it… 4 DAYS! I was in line for 5 hours, and we ended up not being able to actually do anything that day. What do I mean?

DSCN0155Well, V.I.P.’s had their own line, unlike people who pre-registered, and since I actually went down into the line at 5pm wanting to wait for things to die down a little, I ended up obtaining one at 10pm.   We could have gone to the masquerade which was going on for another hour or two, but we would have to go back to our hotel across the street and get ready, and we would have to leave early to re-pay for parking at our respective spots. So we got food instead.

dscn0447.jpgDealers room/Artist Alley was no open on Thursday at all.Neither was The Game Room. We kept coming back to this weird ‘Why did we pay to be here today?’ conclusion, and when we did… there would be people arguing for A-Kon saying that today was Day-0 of the convention.

No, Today was a paid for day that was advertised that I missed work for, woke up early to get to from Houston to get there when they said registration was going to be, and yeah… A-Kon straight up lied to us.

MAGFest is also a 4 day convention, and guess what? THE FIRST DAY IS THE FIRST EFFING DAY! I’ve been to both of these conventions in years past a day early, Wednesday for Mag 2016, and Thursday for A-Kon 16, and you don’t charge people extra just to be able to pick up their God damn badge because it’s more convenient for you.

On the plus side… we got to watch Dragon Ball’s Funimation Dub that night in one of the 2 hotels that are also connected to the convention center [but not physically] … that’s something, right?

One cosplayer explained to me that people do not go to A-Kon for the panels, but are there for the awesome cosplay. There is a lot around the convention center, and in that aspect, this entire area is a cosplayers and a photographers dream come true!

These are all, technically, different locations all within close proximity to each other. They are so close that you can be in one spot, zoom your camera and snap a great photo from a different one, like I constantly was.DSCN0247 - 1.JPG

DSCN1275Awesome, right? Well… this technique, sniping, can be cool… but I felt bad as I was constantly doing it. Also, there were groups fighting for spots no matter how well it was organized ahead of time. Speaking about time, sometimes one location was too dark by the time the shoot rolled around so a location change was needed.

Also, I feel like I need to emphasize that all of this is free. You could just go to the convention every day, not even stay at A-Kon’s hotels or even over flow hotels, and not give them a penny for it all. That’s… terribly awesome and it happens at other conventions.

Hopefully no one ever discovers this truth in mass. I spent a lot of money to be at this 3-Day 4-Day convention. It is sad though, as A-Kon probably put on a really great show.

The dealers room was huge and had tons of dealers, which might have been detrimental over all. I wonder if that helped Artist Alley sales? I did see two panels while I was there, one on Japan’s role during WWII put into context which was quite informative, as well as a Japanese tea ceremony on Sunday. There were people in them, but it wasn’t full… which given the population of A-kon… I guess they were taking pictures of cosplay?

20180610_005431_Burst01An outside rave is an amazing thing, but one with a noise ordinance? How about a different rave that is easy to get into with girls making out and posing like they are ready to get it on? That’s pretty awesome, but what if I said that this all ages rave was one of the most brightly lit raves I’ve ever been to, so if anyone is under 18 and can see that… well, that’s pretty damn awesome.

The game room was 100% fighting games on consoles, while the arcade games were… lackluster? at least two of these machines where multiple arcade machines that were… you know… technically illegal… but on the plus side, I did get to play a Japanese only puzzle game with a mermaid in it?

DSCN2013Video gaming and table top were in the Omni, which was the hotel that I was in, while a viewing room and some panels were in The Sheraton, and there was a places in The Convention Center that I was only discovering by Saturday night when I was traversing the bottom left of the convention center to try and get to the top right of to get to the rave. There is just too much of the convention that is too hard to care enough about to find casually because it is just too spread out.

In short, A-Kon 29 is hard to review on a 1-10 scale… so I’m just going to leave my originally short description: A-kon 29: Terribly Awesome.

Expect an update with cosplay photos this week.

Poisonous Throwback Thursday

transitionI will never be the cosplayer I expected myself to be, sadly. I just… don’t have it in me. My first cosplay was one that I really loved doing, The Poison Mushroom from Super Mario Bros. The Lost Levels.

Not only is this my first cosplay, but I honestly would not have met one of my best friends if not for this one, Marzgurl, as I remember first posting about it on Kamikaze con’s message board, and then her introducing herself to me at the convention.

Let’s take a look at this costume through the couple of years it was in active rotation.

 
I do want to point out one thing about the last picture. It was at O-Chibi-con in… 2006 maybe? I was only there for a day. Some of the people in this photo, I really expected to be life long friends. Bottom right? That’s a buddy of mine from High School, Blake. That guy was pretty cool, and we went to some of our early anime conventions together. I haven’t spoken to him in years. The only person left is Kaylyn, and that’s a little sad to me.

There was also a variant I did of The 1-Up Mushroom! Less popular, but I found it fun.

I even got a friend to cosplay as 1-up as I went as a cosplay from SNK… that being said, the thing about life is that you never get to hang out with people as much as you would like, and so true is cosplay… I wish I had cosplayed 1-up more and hung out with my friends more.

Maybe one day I will cosplay these magnificent bastards again, and who knows… maybe I will get my fungi army this time around. Probably not though.