Monthly Archives: August 2007

Stormtroopertokyo, thank you for this Star Wars Cosplay

I’m such an Internet popculture sucker, and thanks to Mix, I found these videos that comfortably suit all the Star Wars cosplay fans out there. This is the essence of MyDisguises, as we couldn’t do much more to promote the pure genius of getting people on the streets and living it up in something unique. I’ll stop blabbering and let the videos do the talking.

Thank you to Tokyostormtrooper for validating our claims that Tokyo and the Harajuku district are the best cosplay cities around. It’s like being at Disneyland 24/7 but with George Lucas in charge.

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Up For Discussion: Are Pet Costumes A Bit Too Weird?

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I know our audience pretty well, it’s not much of a secret. We have plenty of readers who like to dress up their pets. They think it’s cute. I have a secret of my own though.

I’ve been taught from the time I was young that people who treat their pets to human food, dress them up, and talk to them about their day, are strange. It’s one of those doctrines that gets pumped into the head so early that it’s hard to emerge from. When my aunt would come over and start talking to my mom about putting some nice clothes on our old dog, my mother’s eyes rolled all around her head.

Well, I have to wonder what the ratio of people who would dress up their pets to those who think it’s rediculous is. What do you think? Is there a fine line between being a scrooge and being pet obessed? What are the limits to dressing up your pet?

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Top Cosplay Cities – Tokyo!

Jpop, sushi, and tech geeks dotting the city aren’t the only things that make Tokyo buzz with culture. Cosplay finds its roots in Tokyo and all the quirkiness that comes along with it is just the Japanese touch.

The traditions are all over the place, and it’s worth it to take a look at cosplay around the world. But you can’t take your eyes off Tokyo when thinking of this subculture-gone-revolution in our age of the geek. As our cultures swap everything from food to baseball, cosplay is starting to emerge as one of the biggest cultural exports out of Japan. We pick Tokyo to be the top Cosplay city in the world, for now. Here are some of the reasons why.

Love and Cosplay all over town

The unique thing about Tokyo and Cosplay’s relationship is that it’s not as subculture there as it is in the rest of the world. Perhaps due largely in part to the Japanese fascination with video games, as well as the widespread acceptance of anime, cosplay isn’t quite a “unique” thing to see around town. From the Harajuku’s youth filled streets to the Otaku culture of the Akihabara district, cosplay makes a representation in cafes and streets all the time. Unlike in other countries where conventions and events are the only real opportunities for cosplayers to get together, the Japanese enjoy the fun of cosplay as they please.

I ask myself how exactly this sort of culture even emerged and became as mainstream as it is in Japan. It’s not as natural to see an American randomly prancing around in a costume. Why don’t we seem to get it?

It’s all in the Anime

The reason cosplay has made such a splash in Japan is due to the Anime trend. Anime, for those who seem to be unaware, is the term given to Japanese animated shows and movies. What makes it unique is the fact that anime isn’t quite just for kids. There are a wide range of Animes that feature complex and mature stories.

In fact, anime is a product of limitations in the Japanese film market. Tight budgets motivated film makers to resort to animation rather than live action. Anime is also famous for it’s style. Most notably are the large character eyes, used initially because Japanese film makers admired the western eyes that Japanese people don’t genetically have. By resorting to animation, they could create the perfect characters according to their visions. In an ironic twist of fate, the styles of anime art have landed back into the western market and captured the attention of a large subcultural fanbase.

Since anime is so widely accepted, the Japanese have no problem with cosplayers that dress up like their favorite characters.

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What to do as a cosplayer in Tokyo

As it turns out, there’s at least a couple of cosplay events going on every weekend in Tokyo. Whether in cafes, bars, on the streets, or wherever else you can imagine, there’s something there to find. For this reason alone, we call Tokyo the top cosplay city. Any cosplayer can feel totally comfortable in their own boots.

A good first stop is Sunday shopping in Harajuku. The cosplayers are out in herds and you can at least take a look at what’s going on out there. Subculture anymore? Seeing as how they are dressed up on purpose, you’re likely to get some willing participants for a few photos.

Media events, trade shows, conventions, and movie releases are also hot items for cosplay fans. Movies like Harry Potter get worldwide recognition, and therefore are a great way to get into some cosplay overseas. Tokyo has its own slew of themed events that permit a good amount of excuses for cosplay.

We’ll try to get our eyes and ears more into the cosplay culture of Tokyo as the blog goes on. It’s hard to see exactly what the cosplay culture is like in Tokyo being all the way over in the states, but that doesn’t mean we can’t find something good. Stick around for more about big cities for cosplay fans.

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The excitement of high profile stores in Harajuku are a huge draw for youth.

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Akihabara at night, the essence of Tokyo

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Cosplayers are found in Harajuku intermingled with the rest of the street goers

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Putting the “play” in cosplay means always keeping in character

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Heart it Races with AiH: Puppets Make a Comeback

The best part about writing this blog is spending my precious time seeking out the funnest costumes ever created. One of my favorite bands, Architecture in Helsinki, wins today’s prize.

Well, most people won’t call this a costume, but rather a puppet. It’s basically a small body attached to the shirt of the wearer. Their head acts as the puppet’s head and the puppet arms are connected to their wrists. When the person moves their wrists, it makes the puppet dance.

I’m a long time AiH fan and have notoriously not understood their clever lyrics to mean anything deep. Either way, this new video for “Heart it Races” has a theme and is unbelieveably clever and addictive. Best part? Well, watch until the end to see what happens when the lights go out.

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It’s Not Our Blog! – Handmade Detroit

I want to promote the community of people out there who share similar interests, as it just seems that there are too many blogs and sites that fly under the radar when they should get prime real estate. Thus, I found Handmade Detroit.

The site is basically dedicated to all things DIY for anyone interested. They seem to also host a big craft event in the Detroit area. Points of note, the blog itself just looks and feels good. You don’t get stuff like this on blogger, and for good reason. I wish they’d do a DIY on how I can design like they did… I’m a bit impaired in that category.

Today’s post is all about the DIY work of Emily Gustafson. As an artist, you have to admire her clever usage of cardboard and theme. The photo is borrowed from the site, but hit the link to check out more of Handmade Detroit.

We’ll put this one as one of our first on the blogroll, as we should expect to see some useful ideas from Handmade in the future.

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Our new look

Most of our visitors will note that we have a totally new look. We’ve been working hard to bring a better experience for the site and would love some feedback.

Go ahead and feel free to tack comments onto this post if there’s something you’d like to see, or something you want to disappear. We’ll do our best to accommodate our readerbase! Feel free to offer suggestions on things you’d like to see us cover as well!

If no one posts idea, well then hey… we’ll take that as a huge compliment!

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Real Life Making Second Life all Stuffy?

Second Life is altogether converging more and more towards a virtual version of your first life. In a mass effort to defeat the purpose to make a virtual getaway, is the trickling of reality permeating and polluting the Second Life experience?

According to this news article posted yesterday in Strategy Page, the US Army is taking advantage of Second Life for training purposes. In the wake of the severe push towards a greater online community they have even created their own tools on a separate and private Internet to effectually accomplish their civilian training exercises.

In an article we posted earlier, we highlighted the terrorist usage of worlds like Second Life as well. What does all this mean? First and foremost, it means effective tools for training at minimal cost. And that’s just what government and terrorists alike are looking for.

But this is just another step in the direction of making the real world and the virtual world blend on a deeper scale. Second Life has been a haven for educators, organizations, political movements, and prominently, businesses, to gather and accomplish their real world goals. Universities have also been known to construct virtual campuses for their students to partake in. What keeps people interested then, if everything is becoming a mimic of it’s natural self? Is it the curiosity factor? Is it the wow factor?

Major critics to Second Life tend to believe that the world will be short lived. Most of them claim that everyone is there to make money from each other, but few are there to spend it… and its getting worse. Second Life also has a large learning curve, clunky interface, and sluggish performance. It’s vast, creative, open world is what’s killing it’s experience for many.

With most visitors to SL going there for an escape the question is whether these real world mirror imaged organizations and movements are just clogging the virtual space, or whether they’re contributing to its growth and intrigue. Our position is that businesses help promote growth so long as their efforts and intentions stay in Second Life. But when companies use the virtual space to accomplish real world tasks primarily, it’s just suffocating the environment.

What about you? How much would you like to see Second Life cater to the imagination and unfolding of its own environment? Does Second Life suffer at the expense of the real world?

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10 Excuses for Being Caught in an Awkward Costume

We’re obviously interested in getting people into costumes, and not feeling bad about it. There’s definitely a stigma about dressing up. Yeah, so it’s not a good idea to slip into your spidey tights while watching reruns of Seinfeld at home… that is a bit weird. But everyone loves dressing up and being different! It’s sometimes more comfortable being someone else for awhile and letting loose. That’s why Halloween is so big.

That being said, we won’t judge you if you carry your Harry Potter wand in your briefcase every day at work. But what are you gonna say when someone else finds out!? Don’t fret, we’ve got the top 10 excuses you can give to protect yourself of the embarrassment that could ensue. Here’s a list of excuses of why you’re dressed up when you find that society casts a skeptical glare your way!

10. “I have a side job as a costume tester for ________” – Blame someone else for your Indian head dress that you were caught wearing. People can’t argue. Make sure you embellish your high pay and great benefits.

9. “One of my pets died today” – Pets die, people start getting all crazy and sad. Who are we to judge someone for how they mourn. If your dog passed on and you feel you need to don a Bon Jovi wig, then you wear that wig!

8. “Lindsey Lohan is wearing these nowadays!” – Because we all want to be like Lindsey Lohan, right…..? Insert the name of your own chosen celeb.

7. “I’m crazy” – Why explain… give them something to chew on. Walk away loud and proud and let them think what they will. Twitch and shout strangely placed expletives at your will.

6. “Free carwash.. 3 miles down the road!!!” – You could always just pretend your an advertisement. This will work particularly well if you’re dressed like a Cheerleader.

5. “Umm.. it’s Halloween today. Where’s your brain?” – Mind trickery my friends, mind trickery. It works when I do it.

4. “I’m making a YouTube video” – This is the great excuse of our time. You see, all kinds of ridiculous junk makes it to You Tube, and people are actually getting famous.

3. “I lost a bet” – This is a classic, easy to accept, and makes everyone move on with their bad selves. Although, I must say it loses attention, and we don’t wanna do that.

2. “My Wife Likes It” – Men across the world understand that what the wife likes and says is basically what goes. It’s an indisputable truth that governs the universe.

1. “Your costume doesn’t look so hot itself, and you dress like that everyday!” – Prepare for some awkward silence.

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