Our Japanese correspondent Yoshio recently made the trip for Tokyo to San Diego to attend Comic-Con for the first time. After seeing all the fans in costume showing their enthusiasm for their favorite series, Yoshio got bitten by the cosplay bug and decided to dress up too.
But which character to cosplay as? He knew he wanted someone Japanese, to represent his home country. Someone strong and just, with a kind heart. And while he was at it, why not add long, flowing hair and miniskirt to the checklist?
In other words, Yoshio spent a day at Comic-Con rocking a Sailor Venus outfit.
We’ll let Yoshio take it from here:
After I woke up on the second day of the con, I was still on the fence about whether or not to go through with the cosplay. I’d already seen so many great costumes at Comic-Con, and I didn’t want to make a bad impression on all of the fans there.
But the more I thought about it, the more I realized I had to do this. Cosplay is an important part of Japanese pop culture, after all! So after I picked up a bento boxed lunch at a Japanese grocery store in the La Jolla neighborhood, I got my makeup ready and drove to the San Diego Convention Center.
When I entered the Convention Center, it was so crowded that for a second I thought I was back at Shinjuku Sanchome Station near the RocketNews24 offices in Tokyo! Since I wanted to change into my costume as soon as possible, I headed for the bathroom right away, and at first I thought I was in luck, since there was exactly one unoccupied stall.
Well, it was unoccupied if you don’t count the massive turd that someone left floating in the bowl. The toilet was busted and wouldn’t flush, and aside from being grossed out, I was worried about dropping any part of my costume in there, so I left and started searching for another restroom.
▼ Yoshio, still dressed as Yoshio.
Finding an open stall turned out to be as tough as finding an empty parking space in downtown San Diego on Preview Night. It took an hour to finally locate one, and I was happy to see it didn’t contain a floating turd! Unfortunately, the toilet was this time full of pee, and once again it wouldn’t flush.
Still, I figured this was as good a chance as I was going to get, so being extra careful, I slipped out of my street clothes and into my sailor costume. There obviously wasn’t a mirror in the stall, so I used the camera on my iPad to check how I looked.
After about 10 minutes, Sailor Venus (male version) was ready to go! Since my head is kind of big, the wig barely fit, and was so tight it was painful. Still, I decided to bear with it since it really ties the outfit together, and since I’d come all the way to Comic-Con, I was prepared to go all out in the name of the moon/Venus.
First, I decided to show off my costume in the main hall. Even before I got there, though, I came across a girl in the hallway cosplaying as Sailor Moon! I quickly asked her to take a couple of pictures with me.
We snapped the pic and I said “Thanks!” For some reason, though, she seemed kind of upset, and walked off, leaving me feeling a little bit guilty, even if I don’t know what I did wrong. Is there some secret cosplay code of conduct that I’m not aware of here?
Still, I decided to carry on, and as I walked around the hall and checked out the booths, I could hear people commenting on my costume.
“You gotta respect that guy’s guts.”
“Oh mu gosh!!!”
“You’re so adorable.”
Small kids, though, just stared at me with their mouths open. I smiled back, but that just made them turn away. Come to think of it, you don’t see many guys crossplaying as female characters at Comic-Con, even though a lot of women dress up as guys. The kids who saw me were probably thinking, “Who is this nut job?”
The adults were a little more talkative. I actually had a security guard tell me, “You’re the most beautiful Sailor Venus I’ve seen today!” I hardly saw anyone else cosplaying as her though, so I think the compliment might have just been some empty flattery.
As the afternoon went on, I heard about a Sailor Moon screening being held at the Marriot Hotel at 4:45, so I started walking over there. On the way, I passed by an African-American guy who suddenly gave me a high-five. As the sound of our palms slapping rang out, I felt a rush of confidence about my costume. I just wish I could have gotten a photo of that moment.
Next, my eyes happened to meet those of a fellow Sailor Moon cosplayer, this Sailor Jupiter who looked about a hundred times cuter than I did. “Let’s take a picture together!” she said, and I was overcome with happiness at making my second friend in San Diego. I knew coming to Comic-Con was a good idea!
Eventually, I got to the Marriot, and saw they were selling official Comic-Con t-shirts! There was a huge line, but I wasn’t going home without one. There were sold out of smalls, but after 10 minutes, I had my wardrobe addition in hand.
Unfortunately, the Sailor Moon screening turned out to be nothing special.
It was just a room showing the Sailor Moon anime, uncut and subtitled in English. I stuck around until the end, but sadly, only about half the seats were filled, and there were hardly any cosplayers for me to hang out with.
Still, it was a productive half-day as Sailor Venus. I had about a half-dozen people talk to me about my costume, and I think I made on impact on the psyches of many more. Whether good or bad, I can’t say!
Photos © RocketNews24