Sunday, May 23, 2010

My Take on Otacool 2: Worldwide Cosplayers

I have been waiting for this book and thanks to Stephen I have it.

I am no way disappointed in it. It is a gem to me. Well first I will show you the size, I did originally think it would be a lot bigger but in a way the size is ideal as it is cute and easy to carry around for travelling.

This is the back of the book, showing some very good cosplayers who have photos in the book.

The book is very good because it doesn't just show pictures like a scrapbook but also gives information on cosplay in Japan and in the international sense. It gives insight into cosplay events and conventions in Japan which is good. It also has interviews with some very good Japanese cosplayers who I think work in the industry. I really like this ayanami cosplayer and adore her contacts. The book also gives links to the cosplayer's Cure cosplay accounts, blogs or website so you can look them up.

The interviews are short and sweet. The cosplayers just talk about how they got into cosplay and express how cosplay is important to them. They really express their passion for cosplay saying that they want to become one with the character, which is nice and personal. There are even some touching stories saying that cosplay completely benefited and changed their life.

Despite the controversy this magazine caused which I talked about in an earlier post, I would like to say that this magazine is NOT FULL Of HOT CHICS in mediocre costumes. There are actually a lot of excellent cosplayers and they are a good few male cosplayers. There are also crossplayers. I am not sure who she is cosplaying as but I love her costume (the above pic).

I also love this cosplayer's costume who is from New Zealand. Each of the pictures tell you the name of the cosplayer and what country they are from but it doesn't tell you the characters they are cosplaying as which is a little strange giving it is a cosplay book. Sure if you are a big anime nerd you could recognise a lot. ;-)

Funny I recognised some people in it such as Yaya Han (on the left) who made a business out of cosplay and has attended cons around the world as a guest.

There is Francesca Dani who will be the guest for Brocon.

Here are a few pictures of the good cosplayers that are in the book.

I see the book as very inspiring. There are some good cosplay photography in it too like this picture of the Rei cosplayer (on the left) sitting on a lake. I seen that photo before on and thought it was one of the best Rei Ayanami cosplay pictures ever.

At the end of the book, they show some pictures of the cosplayers from cosplayers cure. Awh look Gundam and Sailor Moon cosplayers.

A good few Evangelion cosplayers, impressive.

This is Kaname a very well known cosplayer in Japan and worldwide who does a lot of Final Fantasy cosplay. There is a also an interview with him. It is good to see a well known male cosplayer as females dominate the cosplay industry and community.

Also at the end of the book, it shows an interview between Danny and Wada Yosuke who is the vice-president of Cospa which is a big shop in Japan dedicated to everything cosplay. That is where my interfaces for my Evangelion cosplays came from. Also at the end of the book it gives beginner cosplayers advice on how to cosplay and mentions the mannerisms at conventions such as you should always ask a cosplayer permission to take their photo. What I found great and useful about the book was the section on 'coscards'. These are cards which are similar to business cards which cosplayers give to people of interest such as photographers, companies or fans at conventions. The card mentions the cosplayer's nickname, their or cosplayer's cure account and website or blog. Below are examples.

I found this very helpful and I plan to do some myself. Coming to the verdict, I highly would recommend this book for cosplayers who want to improve their skills or for people who want to get into cosplay. This book gives the perfect image of cosplayers as every cosplayer in this book is excellent and is very accurate to their character (well the ones I recognised but still the cosplayers I didn't know who they were cosplaying as were till very good.) This book is great for inspirations. I really like the way it goes into the whole impersonating element of cosplay, the cosplay industry and they don't say it is just dressing up. The cosplayers are inspiring as they really express their passion for this hobbie and are ambitious. The book also makes 'otaku-ness' to be cool and be proud of. I also like the way it doesn't make cosplay out to be silly or kiddish. It takes cosplay seriously. The book is for sale in amazon, hobbylinksJapan and other places. It is only under 20E I think. It is well worth a buy.

The only downsides to this book are the print and font can be really hard to read. Some of the cosplayers have a little mission statement on their page and the font is very light so it makes it hard to read. The information in the book is very brief and short but that is kinda expected as they were trying to fit as many cosplay pictures in the book as possible. Also as I already mentioned they don't mention the cosplayer's character who they are portraying. I noticed there is no Kirigumi cosplayers which would of been interesting. It is a pity that there are no C.C. from Code Geass cosplayers in it but awh well. Other then that the book is very colourful, bright and gripping. I spent hours looking through the photos and looking up some of the cosplayers for ideas. It must of been really tough for Danny and Kotobiyuki to pick the photos as there was a lot of very good entrants. A big kudos to Danny and Kotobiyuki for putting the book together. It is well designed.

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