Kimono aren’t cosplay

Don’t do it y’all, just don’t do it.

In about two weeks it’s Anime Boston, one of my favorite things ever in the city. Anime fans from all over are spotted across the city in different styles of cosplay, earning weird (almost scared) looks from normal people everywhere. I love cosplay, both wearing it and photographing it. But there’s one trend, specifically in the anime community, that needs to stop: wearing a kimono as a costume. AKA: cultural appropriation. Continue reading

Overlooking Japanese anime film “Your Name” discredits an animated hit

Leaving the movie of the 2016 Academy Awards shows its inherent bias.

Out of the 89 years of the Academy Awards, only one Japanese anime film won Best Animated Feature Film: Hayao Miyazaki’s classic Spirited Away in 2003. In the almost fifteen years since then, very few anime films and shorts show up in the list. The snobbery for anime showed up again last year when the Academy did not nominate the internationally successful film Your Name (Kimi no Na Wa) from director Makoto Shinkai. After its release, multiple awards worldwide, and critical acclaim, the Academy missed recognizing Your Name as an example of a work that goes beyond the standard anime genre to tell the story of fate, missed connections, and first love. Continue reading

Photos from Anime NYC 2017

I tried to be a cosplay photographer for a weekend.

Last weekend my friends and I went to New York City for the first ever Anime NYC convention. It was one of (maybe the first?) anime-focused cons in New York, and held in the Jarvits Center — the same place as New York Comic Con and the building where our hopes and dreams died on November 8. This wasn’t our first weeb con — Anime Boston is the OG — and seeing Anime NYC’s first year got us excited to see how it’ll expand in the future.

I have a passing interest in photography, a simple Canon DSLR suffices for most of my needs. And cosplay is my favorite part of any convention, I can sit in one place forever and just people watch. So for this con I decided to try my hand at something a little more in-depth than quick portraits with my phone.

(PS: Sorry I didn’t get any names of the cosplayers. If you find yourself in any of the photos and want your own copies, let me know!) Continue reading

Strong female leads: an adventure in anime

All I want in life is a kickass heroine.

Recently one of my friends and I were discusisng some of her favorite badass women in anime. Being lifelong weebs (or is otaku the cutesy “reclaimed” Western nickname major anime fans like to use?) this was an hours long discussion about different types of strength, the eras each anime came out, and character development. It also got me thinking about how people not familiar with anime view it as stereotypically sexist, when if done right it has some of the strongest, smartest, and most capable female representation. Continue reading