Anime You Should Be Watching: Gate


I don’t know about anyone else, but when I was a kid, teen, young adult, and now older adult, I’d often fantasize about being able to go back in time with a modern military and just be some kind of unstoppable juggernaut.  Imagine bringing a machine gun to the Revolutionary War, or even a trained sniper squad capable of picking off the enemy generals the minute they peeked their heads out of a door.  Well, what if a portal appeared in the middle of New York City and out poured an army, comprised of fantasy blend medieval times soldiers (orcs and dragons along with humans, but only armed with swords and shields and bows and arrows)?  No doubt there would be a good amount of civilian deaths in the first chaotic moments, but when the national guard would be mobilized, there’s little doubt that it would be a complete rout.  This is more or less the idea behind Gate, which came out in the later half of 2015.

gateThis is very much a “wouldn’t it be cool if…” sort of anime.  You just need look no further than the protagonist, Yoji Itami.  Our first encounter with him makes us believe that he’s your average, everyday otaku, in Ginza for a doujinshi event when the portal opens and the army from another world appears.  But he’s obviously more than your average otaku, because while everyone else is panicking, he more or less takes control and directs the civilians on where to go and tells the police pretty much how to do their jobs, even going so far as to kill one of the enemy soldiers in hand to hand combat.  We soon find out that he is an JSDF officer (Japan Self Defense Force, think National Guard because Japan hasn’t technically been allowed to have a military since WWII) and through the course of the show we find out that not only is this slacker a soldier, but he’s also gone through Ranger and Special Forces training.

Japan sends approximately a brigade sized force through the gate to the other side, where they set up their base.  Naturally, the native forces do not fully comprehend just how much a disadvantage they’re at until the Battle of Arnus Hill.

Following this slaughter, Japan proceeds to set up shop, and because they’re Japan and not the US, Russia, or China (these three nations are also shown here, as less than noble as one would expect from a show made in Japan) instead of moving to conquer the region, they strive to win the hearts and minds of the populace and seek a peaceful solution to the situation that the Empire has brought upon itself.  Needless to say, the Empire doesn’t exactly want to admit they’re beat and it takes many more displays of overwhelming might before they realize that they’ve made an enemy of a force that they just can’t win against.

Now, this would hardly be a “Wouldn’t it be cool if…” scenario unless the main guy was fawned over by half the females in the land, and sure enough he gets his harem in short order.  First him and his squad rescue an elf girl, Tuka Luna Marceau, whose village was wiped out by a Fire Dragon.  Immediately after he meets up with a young female mage, Lelei La Lelena, and then an immortal female demigod of war, Rory Mercury, who happens to have essentially stopped aging at the age of 16 or so.  She also seems to be the favorite girl for people to cosplay as, possibly because of her affinity to dress in gothic lolita clothes, and also because she’s just plain badass.  Later on his harem adds a dark elf and even a princess from the Empire, in addition to many lesser characters who are more than happy to fawn over him.  For the most part, while he’s not unaware of their interest in him, he is fairly ambivalent towards  their affections.

What really makes this show tick though is that while yes, it kind of is a love letter to the JSDF, and its primary purpose is to show off all manner of military hardware, there’s also a lot of political machinations going on behind the scenes.  A lot of it is showing how the Japanese bureaucracy can make even simple decisions take far longer than it should, although that is a problem with any sort of government really.  But it also shows how the rest of the major powers in the world, in this case the US, Russia, and China, would react if a country like Japan were to come across a vast, untapped resource like this world that can easily be dominated with our modern military might.  They were all too happy to let Japan test the waters and cross the gate first, but once it was found out that they were fighting bows and arrows with Abrams and Cobras, they too wanted to try and get a piece of the action.  The show is 75% military and 25% political, which gives it plenty of action, with some intellectual maneuvering thrown in to keep it all interesting.

Even though I enjoyed quite a bit of it, it does still have its faults.  Like 90% of all anime produced these days, it does suffer from the lack of a real ending.  It’s based on an ongoing series of light novels written by Takumi Yanai, so the ending is basically “Do you want to see more?  Maybe we’ll have another season, but otherwise go read the light novels!”  I’ve long come to accept that this is the way of the industry, but it still leaves you feeling unsatisfied.  Many of the plot threads that were left unresolved probably are being wrapped up as the light novels are written, but that doesn’t really help with the anime, which just kinda swept them under the rug and hoped you forgot about them.  There are also a few scenes that could very well creep some people out, most notably where a 12 year old noble girl becomes infatuated with one of the Japanese diplomats, and during the civil war in order to save her, he announces that she is his fiance, then continues to announce that he fully plans to marry her when she turns 16 (the age at which girls can marry without restriction in Japan).  It’s not being forced on her since she had long been saying she wanted to marry him, but it still reeks too much of otaku wish fulfillment and trying to appease the lolicon crowd.  I don’t have a huge problem with it since it’s all fictional, but it just seemed a bit unnecessary to me, and the story could have advanced just as easily if she were already of age.  It also tends to over glamorize the Japanese SDF, making them out to be nothing but the most humane people in the world.  Well, except when they’re slaughtering their enemies.  It’s kind of understandable, since Yanai is a former JSDF member, but it still kind of comes off as ignoring the faults of any military organization and making them out to be infallible knights of justice.

Still, at the end of the day, it left me wanting to watch more.  The likelihood of more anime being produced is probably low, while it did get a 24 episode run, the disc sales were decent but not stellar.  Unless it’s determined that the light novel sales could be boosted by another season, I don’t expect to get to see more of this in animated form.  Which is a shame, because it deserves a proper ending to one of the more interesting shows to come out in recent years.

Anime of the Year:2016


I gotta admit, of everyone here, I am definitely the guiding light when it comes to anime.  This doesn’t mean that I watch everything and my word is gospel (Ok, my word is always gospel, because I said so) but I do watch a decent amount of every year’s offerings, in the realm of 1/4 to 1/2 of everything that’s been released (but since there’s been 180 titles released this year alone, and I can manage to watch at the most 20 shows a season if I’m super diligent, which anyone here will admit I’m not) the best I can do is 80 shows.  So it’s always possible that something has fallen through the cracks.  But, I like to believe that I have a good finger on the pulse of things that are good.  Hence, while I’ve long heard the cry for Re:Zerorem-x-ramHonestly, I hated the protagonist to death (anyone that’s watched the show sees what I did there) and I cannot in good faith pick that show as my favorite for the year.  But if not this show, then whom?  Yes, there have been multiple shows that are worthy of a high ranking.

Could I have gone with another highly rated show, Erased?

erasedWell, since I’ve brought it up right now, everyone should know that no, this isn’t my top show.  But, let me say that it was high on my list.  The thing about anime is that shows that appear in the fall and winter seasons tend to be much more highly ranked because they are much more recent in the otaku consciousness.  The fact that a show like Erased, which premiered in the winter of 2016, has managed to keep itself in my otaku brain, speaks volumes for it.  However, as much as I loved this show, it still is not #1 for the year in my expert mind.

Frankly, I could lead you, the viewer, on through many, many more shows, and honestly you’d be better off knowing about them, but really, that’s just not my style.  The last two shows I told you about are ones that I felt everyone reading this blog should experience, whether you’re a fan of anime or not.  Anime fans will have watched all these shows and then some, because that’s what us otaku do.  But for the otaku crowd, who may or may not have been reading this far to see what I think is the creme de la creme, my vote goes, without a doubt, to KonoSuba, or as it’s known in its full name, as Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku o!

konosubaSee, the thing about this show is, it has everything that a proper otaku loves, and it knows it.  It’s a complete parody of the whole “Loser otaku gets transported to a fantasy world and manages to kick ass while he’s there” trope, but it still manages to play it off and make it fun.  Totally different from Re:Zero, where the protagonist is flawed, to the point you hate his guts and want him dead.  In KonoSuba, the protagonist is certainly flawed, but in a way that’s completely believable, yet hilarious.  While with Re:Zero, naturally you can look at the situation and agree that, yes, if you or I were put in that situation, we’d likely behave in a very similar way, Konosuba instead says “To hell with realism, isn’t this how you’d want to act?”  And the thing is, the vast majority of us don’t want actual realism in our anime.  We want escapist fantasy.  KonoSuba gives us that in spades.  It’s a total parody of the whole “loser dropped into the fantasy world” premise that so many of us desire, without getting into the more realistic aspects that Re:Zero provides, like the fact that the loser dropped into the fantasy setting will remain a loser.

Again, let me tell you, this list is completely subjective.  If you follow my god-like opinions, then KonoSuba is the obvious choice for Anime of the Year in 2016.  However, if you’re a heretic, and would rather listen to the words that the godless believers would spout, then by all means, check out Re:Zero.  It’s probably better than I plan on listing it, because I cannot stand the kind of protagonist they give us, but maybe you, the readers, have a lot more tolerance than I do.

Horror AMV of the Day: Children of the Grave (Gakkou Gurashi)


gakkuo-gurashi

Here’s a little horror anime music video to help decompress after last night’s very nihilistic and emotional draining season premiere of The Walking Dead.

It’s from amv creator Xophilarus and combines Halsey’s song “Control” with the horror anime Gakkou Gurashi (surprise it’s about zombies!). The series itself was reviewed by site anime contributor pantsukudasai56. Yes, for some the zombie subgenre has started to feel overplayed and overused. But if there’s one thing the two co-founders of this site never truly get tired of are good zombie fiction and Gakkou Gurashi is such a thing.

Anime: Gakkou Gurashi

Song: “Control” by Halsey

Creator: Xophilarus

Past AMVs of the Day

Horror AMV of the Day: Homura’s Seven Devils (Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica)


homuras-seven-devils

It’s that time of the year when all things dark, terrifying and horrific invades the halls and corridors of Through the Shattered Lens.

While many who hear the term magical girl and colorful-costumed girls fighting evil won’t think dark and disturbing well they’d be dead wrong. The magical girl genre of Japanese animation have always had that undercurrent of darkness which makes these so-called kiddie anime series more adult than that many people realize.

In 2011, the magical girl anime series Puella Magi Madoka Magica (aka Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica) came out and it finally explored that very undercurrent of darkness in the magical girl genre that people discussed about. The series was still cute, but also disturbing in how it explored the cost these teenage girls would incur in gaining magical abilities to fight evil.

The latest AMV of the Day takes Madoka Magica (especially the three films which followed the series) and it’s two lead character in Homura Akemi (girl with the dark hair) and Madoka Kaname (girl with the pink-hair) and their very complicated relationship that transcends not just their friendship, but time and divinity itself.

What better song to pair up with Madoka Magica but none other than “Seven Devils” by Florence + The Machine.

Anime: Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica

Song: “Seven Devils” by Florence + The Machine

Creator: Kinnsao San

Past AMVs of the Day

AMV of the Day: Moonlight Requiem (Sailor Moon Crystal)


moonlight-requiem

It’s almost that time of the years when Through the Shattered Lens switches gears and goes into full dark fantasy and horror. While there will be the smattering posts that doesn’t dabble in all things dark and scary, it’s a month that’s become a yearly tradition and one that several writers on-site seem to enjoy. Though no one enjoys October at Through the Shattered Lens more than co-founder Lisa Marie Bowman. She’s the dark mother to all the writers at the site.

While it’s still not that month of darkness here’s a small taste of the sort of dark themes many of the posts will end up having during October.

The latest AMV of the Day comes courtesy of video creator Chiisus. The video manages to take the dark aspect of what too many outsiders to the anime scene as a light and kiddy cartoon: Sailor Moon Crystal.

This particular amv (anime music video) is titled Moonlight Requiem and combines the more dark fantasy side of Sailor Moon Crystal with the symphonic metal band’s Within Temptation and the melodic vocalizing of it’s frontman Sharon den Adel. The song chosen by Chiisus is one that many other amv creators have used in the past: “See Who I Am.” In fact, it’s the song to one of my all-time favorite anime music video: “Alchanum” by Rider4Z.

This time the song is used for Sailor Moon Crystal and, boy, if the song doesn’t fit in well with the scenes chosen for the video.

Anime: Sailor Moon Crystal

Song: “See Who I Am” by Within Temptation

Creator: Chiiisus

Past AMVs of the Day

Convention Report: Kawaii Kon 2016


DSC_0174This is a delayed live report from Kawaii Kon in Honolulu, Hawaii! (As in I’m writing this several days after I’ve returned from said convention, because I don’t get paid to travel to conventions and report live)  This is the first time that I, pantsukudasai56, and by extention Through the Shattered Lens, has been to this convention, so what you’re getting here are my completely initial reactions to this convention.  This is actually a big deal, because first impressions really are everything.  The first time I went to Anime Expo was in 2005, and today I’d probably have to be paid to go back again because it’s too crowded.  My first Anime Boston was in 2006, and again, currently I’d have to be paid to go back because of the hostile environment the city of Boston has fostered towards the convention.  But, in both those cases, I went to their conventions much longer than I normally would have because I had such a great time initially.  Did Kawaii Kon give me the same impression?  Well, I’ll save you a lot of reading and tell you straight up now, yes, yes it did.  Oh sure, I know you’re thinking that after flying myself out from the east coast of the United States that I’d force myself to enjoy my time after spending 13 hours on a plane, and you might not be terribly off course for thinking such.  However, let me tell you something straight up.  Since I was staying in Honolulu, and more accurately a mere mile away from the famous Waikiki Beach, if I wasn’t enjoying myself I’d have had no problem turning my convention vacation into a regular tourist vacation.  The fact is, I never once made it down to the beach, because Kawaii Kon knows what it’s doing, and after 12 years, they’re doing it well.

First, let’s get one thing out of the way.  When I go to conventions, in almost every case, save for a certain semi-local convention, I go to see Japanese guests.  Generally speaking, the larger, and especially the larger west coast conventions are the ones that attract the most Japanese talent.  The king of this is Anime Expo, mainly because they have the money and the attendance figures to drive this.  However, the #2 convention for attracting Japanese guests this year so far has been Kawaii Kon with an astounding 10 out of 24 guests being from the Japanese side.  Why is this so amazing, you might ask?  Well, to put it in perspective, Kawaii Kon had an attendance of 11,597 unique attendees.  Compare this with larger cons like Anime Boston which had 26,975, and Sakura Con, which has yet to announce 2016 numbers, but had 23,419 in 2015, and both those cons only had about the same number of total guests, and less Japanese guests, with over twice the attendance numbers, and you can see that Kawaii Kon makes more of their budget than any other convention out there.  Even big name conventions like Otakon barely surpass the guest list.

But sure, guest lists don’t mean anything if they’re a bunch of no name people, right?  Well, for those who follow anime, there definitely were some Who’s Who type of names coming to this convention.  The biggest name I’d drop is Toshio Maeda.  He’s well known as the Father of Tentacles, what with him being the creator of La Blue Girl, and most famously, Urotsukidoji.  If anyone reading this has ever watched a tentacle porn hentai, then Mr. Maeda is the man you want to thank.  And not only is he awesome for creating one of my most favorite genre, but he’s also super thankful towards his fans, to the point that he’s quite happy to come and take a picture with them, like he did with me.

DSC_0178Let me say that not only was he happy to do that, but I also got a signature for site founder Arleigh, and he wasn’t fine with the rough sketch he made that I bought, but insisted upon taking the time to improve it and make it look nicer.  Plus when I was checking out of the hotel two days after the convention, I noticed he was checking out at the same time and went to thank him, and he remembered me from the first day of the convention!  This man is a legend, and he became one of my personal heroes just from doing small things like that.

But there were many other great Japanese guests at this middle sized convention.  For fans of the Idolmaster franchise, there was the voice of Ami and Mami Futami, as well as the voice of Len and Rin Kagamine, Asami Shimoda (She sure has a proclivity towards voicing twins, doesn’t she?).  Here she is signing an item for me

DSC_0231Thankfully I had the foresight, and the bank account, to sign up for a VIP membership, which allowed me to skip to the front of autograph lines, because she was easily the most popular Japanese voice guest as far as autographs was concerned.  Immediately following her autograph session was a Q&A session, and some poor fools were begging for her autograph, and she had to sadly inform them that all her sessions were done.  I did see her one more time after the convention was over when we shared an elevator down to the lobby, but since my Japanese is extremely limited, I didn’t want to bother her even though her interpreter was standing nearby.  Besides, that would have just been for my own satisfaction, and I never want guests at these conventions to feel like they have to be inconvenienced just for us fans sake, even though I know she would have been extremely polite towards me if I had.

But I did say there were 10 Japanese guests, no?  Let me shoot straight, just because they’re Japanese doesn’t mean I’m gonna be an instant fan, but for most of the guests that does hold true, so next on the list is Yumiri Hanamori.

DSC_0206I do apologize for the side profile shot, but my other pictures didn’t come out as well as this one.  I wish I were a better kameko.  Let me say one thing about Miss Hanamori.  I was a fan of her works prior to meeting her, and I am more of a fan after meeting her because when I got her autograph on Sunday, she remembered me from Saturday, even though I was in cosplay then and looked fairly different.  Honestly, it’s little things like that that make me respect a voice actor all the more and I’ll definitely be looking forward to her future works.

Next on the list of guests that I really wanted to meet was a duo from one of my favorite animation studios.  I got to meet Shigeto Koyama and Hiromi Wakabayashi from Studio Trigger, who were personally involved in several of my favorite anime, including Little Witch Academia, Kill la Kill, and Ninja Slayer.

DSC_0189(Shigeto Koyama is on the left, Hiromi Wakabayashi is on the right)

These two gave probably my favorite panel of the convention, in which they gave a lot of insight towards what happens behind the scenes in an animation studio.  Luckily I had the foresight to take these pictures of them because during their panel they were showing video that hadn’t even been shown in Japan yet, so all recording was forbidden.  All in all I wound up becoming even more of a Studio Trigger fan, if that was even possible!

Speaking of Kill la Kill, another guest that the convention brought in was the musical group Garnidelia, who sang the second opening song to that anime.  In addition to Shimoda-san and the Trigger duo, this was another group that I used my VIP status to jump right to the front of the autograph line, which was good since even though it was a Friday, which is typically the slower of the two major days (Friday and Saturday), there still was a huge line to get their autograph.

DSC_0185But admittedly I am a guy, and so my focus was primarily on Maria, aka Mai Mizuhashi.

DSC_0186In most Japanese pop groups consisting of male and female performers, the females tend to get a lot more attention, largely due to their fans being lonely otaku.  But, hard not to see why when these groups have such lovely ladies in them.

Finally, the last autograph I got was of Natsuko Hara.  She’s definitely a newcomer in the anime scene, one that I haven’t really seen many roles of her, but everyone is a newcomer at some point, and you never know when someone is going to become super famous.  Here’s me getting a picture taken with her

DSC_0279Yes, I look much different from my picture with Maeda-san.  That picture was taken on Friday, this was on Sunday, and on Saturday I cosplayed as King Hippo from Punch Out, hence the shaved head (and shaved chest and stomach.  TMI?)  But honestly, I love getting autographs from lesser known talent like that, because you never know if they’re gonna get that one big role that puts them on the map.  And if they don’t, well who cares, it was fun anyways.  So fun, that my next pic with her winds up looking like I have a Hentai Woody face.  What’s a Hentai Woody Face you might ask?

DSC_0280That’s a Hentai Woody face.  That was totally random, but it just wound up looking bad.  For the record, this is the original Hentai Woody.

Hentai WoodySee the resemblance?

But enough about me, in addition to the great guests, there’s always an abundance of cosplay.  I myself did some cosplay, as I mentioned before, even though I was censored (Thanks staffer Jacob, for singling me out.  Yeah, funny how it was such an important rule for people to not have topless cosplay, except for all those tanned buff guys that were walking around without shirts.  I get it, I’m not super great to look at without a shirt on, but you didn’t have to be so obvious), so after that bit of complaining, let’s get on to the good cosplay that I saw!

DSC_0172First off, on the first day, within the first couple minutes of me getting to the convention center, I came across this spot on Saitama from One Punch Man.  I alway approve of people who go the extra mile to make their cosplay perfect, and the fact that this guy went and shaved his head makes it all the better. (or maybe he’s naturally bald and he’s just rolling with a cosplay that works with that.  Either way, good for him!)

DSC_0176This is Shinoa Hiragi from Owari no Seraph (Seraph of the End).  A fairly recent show, as it started last fall, I suspect there will be a lot more females doing cosplay of this, since the show is very popular amongst women due to its implied BL (boy’s love) leanings.

DSC_0177This was a really cute Mortal Kombat cosplay that I saw.  You often see plenty of single characters, especially Sub Zero, walking around any given convention, but what make this one special was not only it being a family cosplay, with the mother and her son doing it, but the fact that they made it look like the video game with someone holding the status bar.  Really well done and a great example of cosplay being a good family activity.

DSC_0208This is a Nagisa from Assassination Classroom.  Since this was a medium/small convention, I was more surprised that there was someone doing this cosplay rather than surprised there weren’t more.  I did see a Koro-sensei (someone dressed like the doll she’s holding), but unfortunately I was in a hurry to get to an autograph session, so I couldn’t pause to take their picture too.  Expect to see a lot more of this cosplay during the summer conventions.

DSC_0209This is a cosplay that is no doubt near and dear to both me and Arleigh.  This is an Umaru from the recent anime Himouto Umaru-chan.  This was a very divisive character in the anime community, in that you either loved her, or hated her with the passion of a million burning suns.  There was no middle ground.  Personally me, and I know Arleigh, both adored her, but I can certainly see where her antics would rub people the wrong way.

DSC_0210This is one of those characters that I’m familiar with, but I haven’t actually watched the anime that she comes from.  She’s one of the most popular girls (and waifu candidates) from the fall and winter seasons of Gate, and her name is Rori.  Since the spring season of anime is looking slow for me, perhaps I’ll give this show a shot.  I would also like to give this girl a lot of credit, because when I was trying to take her picture my camera wasn’t interested in focusing properly, so it took me almost 30 seconds to get the picture.  Thirty seconds might not seem like much to most people, but when you’re posing, it’s an eternity.  It’s amazing she could keep her smile for that long!

DSC_0214This is one of the more famous characters that I took pictures of.  The male is dressed as Spike Spiegel, and the female is of Faye Valentine, both of Cowboy Bebop fame.  This is one of cases where the anime was possibly more popular in the United States than it was in its homeland of Japan.  The best part of this is, I didn’t see Man Faye.  Don’t know who Man Faye is?  Good.  Don’t Google it.  Don’t. Google. It.

DSC_0216Another blast from the past.  Back when I was really starting out as an anime collector, there were very few options.  Unlike today, where there are over 100 new anime released each year, back then we’d be lucky to get 30 anime.  I know, this makes me sound like one of those grumpy old anime fans.  Trust me, I hate them too.  But this really is from a classic, Ranma 1/2.  Here we see Ranma in his female version (for those that don’t know, when Ranma is normal, he’s a boy, when he’s splashed with cold water, he’s a girl and won’t revert until splashed with warm water), and the one holding the giant spatula next to him is the best girl, Ukyo.  See, Ranma 1/2 was also probably the first, or at least the most well know among western anime fans, of the harem genre.  This is where one guy has multiple girls who are vying for his attention.  In Ranma’s case, he had 4 girls actively going after him, with a couple others that had passing interests as the story required.  Good times.

DSC_0220This is another blast from the past, and probably the first yuri (lesbian) series that most anime fans are familiar with.  This is Utena and Anthy from Revolutionary Girl Utena. When I say it’s a lesbian series, I’m not talking super overt and very explicit, but it’s very obvious as the series goes on.  There’s a ton I could say about this particular show, especially how it was pretty revolutionary (no pun intended) in how it stretched a paper thin budget that could barely support 13 episodes out to a 39 episode series.  I don’t use the term classic lightly, but this is definitely an anime classic.

DSC_0221This is from a show that I’m frankly surprised hasn’t inspired more cosplay.  This young lady is cosplaying as Erza Scarlett from Fairy Tail.  To be more specific, she’s cosplaying as Erza equipped with her Heaven’s Wheel armor.  Of Erza’s many many armors, this is one of the more complex ones, so I give her a lot of props for pulling it off.  Really, you can go to many conventions, and you just plain don’t see much Fairy Tail cosplay.  There also was a Gray Fullbuster walking around too, but I’m not a huge fan of taking pictures of guys, and I saw him walking around shirtless after I had been told to cover up, so I was feeling kinda bitter.  Sorry Gray, you came at the wrong time.

DSC_0225This one should be very familiar to anyone that was even passively interested in anime and watched it on broadcast TV.  This is the Dark Magician Girl from the anime Yu-Gi-Oh, and for a lot of newer anime fans, she was the first waifu they ever had.  I probably should explain that a waifu is an anime character that people have strong feelings of attraction towards, the literal meaning being that they want to marry that character, hence the term waifu, which is I suppose a bit of an insulting way of saying you want said character to be your wife.  (kind of mocking the way Japanese say a lot of English terms, waifu is the way the Japanese would say “wife” in English since Japanese words always end in a vowel sound, except for words ending in -n)  Surprisingly, this is probably the first Dark Magician Girl I’ve ever seen at any convention.  At the very least, she’s the only one that I’ve felt was worth taking a picture of.

DSC_0246Now, anime conventions aren’t solely about anime.  I myself dressed up as a video game character, and here we see a group that has dressed up as Star Wars: The Force Awakens characters.  I especially love cosplay like this, where the whole family gets involved.  Trust me, there were a ton of Kylo Ren cosplayers walking around.  There were the usual ton of Stormtrooper cosplay.  There were several Rey Skywalker Mysteriousgirlwedontknowwhoherdadis cosplayers too.  But this was the only group who actually was coordinating their costume.  Plus the little girl was towing the BB8 unit around, and it was way too cute.

DSC_0275Told you there were cosplayers walking around without shirts on that weren’t being molested by Jacob.  But, naturally he has a six pack, and not a keg.  Really though, I didn’t take this picture to make a point, I took it because he’s cosplaying as someone from Shimoneta, a particularly hilarious, yet sad anime from this summer.  Hilarious because the content is just plain funny.  Sad, because one of the lead voice actresses in the show died at the young age of 38.

DSC_0254Sometimes I just see a costume that even when I don’t know where it’s from, it’s just so well done that I need to take a picture of it.  This is one of those.

DSC_0205And this is another.  Did they make them themselves?  If so, great.  Did they commission someone else to make them?  If so, who cares?  Really nice costumes either way.

So, while this was the second smallest convention I’ve ever attended (Another Anime Convention in New Hampshire was the smallest at around 3000 people) it’s probably the one that’s been the most fun in recent times.  Many other conventions could learn from their example that you can have a really fun show and don’t need 30,000 or more attendees.

I’ll end this rather lengthy post with one final picture.  This picture wasn’t taken by me, and it wasn’t from this convention, but it was taken OF me, at a previous convention, and it’s the same cosplay I did at this convention of King Hippo of Punch Out fame.

King HippoI have no idea why Jacob or anyone else would find that obscene.  Some people have no taste.  (yes, I’m ticked off at Jacob.  Bastard)