Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Anime Vegas 2007!

Anime Vegas 2007, from my vantage point was a huge success and fun time all around! The person in this photo gets my vote for best cosplay of the show. She's dressed as Black Jack, a renegade doctor character created by the God of Manga, Osamu Tezuka. I don't know if she entered the costume contest, but if she did she should have won something. Sadly, I'm going to guess that most of the attendees don't know who Black Jack is or even are familiar with the other works of Osamu Tezuka.

Tezuka is most known as the creator of Astro Boy and Kimbo The White Lion (which Disney's Lion King "borrowed" heavily from). Some of Tezuka's greatest mangas are: Buddha, Phoenix (of which there's apparently an anime series which I didn't know about before this year's Anime Vegas - I'll have to look that up), Apollo's Song, Ode To Kirhito, and Adolf. Tezuka was very prolific and did mangas in every genre, and manga and anime as we know them would look very different if he hadn't paved the way. In 2001 there was a great anime called Metropolis based on Tezuka's 1949 manga of the same name (in my opinion Tezuka's Metropolis manga isn't very noteworthy) and Fritz Lang's 1927 silent movie Metropolis.
Anime and manga fans get into cosplay (dressing up as their favorite characters) much more then "regular" comic fans and this makes anime / manga conventions really colorful / energetic places. The gal in this photo is dressed as a character from the hugely popular series, Naruto, which is a manga / anime about ninjas in training. The other most popular characters that fans chose to dress up as were from the anime / manga / video game Kingdom Hearts.
I don't know who this character is supposed to be, but well done anyway!

I want to give a huge shout out to Richard Stott, founder and chairman of Anime Vegas! For many years, Rich has had monthly anime screenings at the West Charleston library where he works and four years ago he got even more proactive for the local anime scene by starting up Anime Vegas. Every year has been bigger and better and I think the reason Anime Vegas is such a success is because Richard Stott started small and let it grow from there. I couldn't be happier being a part of this show for the last three years because everyone who goes has a lot of fun and the quality of the guest lists and programming has been super. This year I was a little concerned about my booth placement because I didn't sign up as fast as I meant to (the last two years I was right at the front of the main entrance), but actually with my booth being directly in the center I was able to experience more of the excitement going on around the dealer floor so even though I don't think there's really a bad place on the dealer floor, the center is where I'm going to shoot for next year! Also wanted to say big big thank you to Racheal, a good friend of mine, for helping me set up each day!
This guy is dressed as Tuxedo Mask, from Sailor Moon. This year, besides there being more people at Anime Vegas, there seemed to be more people cosplaying also. I didn't make it to the masquarade contest, but I heard there was 36 entrees and that there were a lot of amazing costumes. Well, that I can attest to from seeing all the cosplay people on the dealers room floor!

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