Cosplayers in conversation beside a giant fish in Esther Short Park in Vancouver, Washington

Cosplayers in conversation beside a giant fish in Esther Short Park in Vancouver, Washington

It’s that time of year again when Tara heads into Vancouver with thousands of other anime fans in their cosplays. They attend panels, shop for wares, mingle, play games, and delight onlookers.

Kumoricon has stretched to 4 days this year, up from the usual 3. One more day to exhaust all the young people before school starts. It’s one of the few activities we know of that opens up at 8:00 am. Like the others, it stays open till the wee hours of morning. How those kids keep going for so long is a mystery to me, but then… I’m no longer as young as I used to be.

posing for photos

posing for photos

Beetlejuice

Beetlejuice

lethal nail

lethal nail

Tara has two cosplays (costume+play) this year, but most years, and most people, come as a new character each day. I recognize some of the people this year from previous years. When a cosplay is particularly good, it’s saved and used again. I was able to call out to characters by name this year, asking for photos, which means I’m slowly learning this crowd. I don’t buy a pass to get in, but lurk around the outside (with many other photographers, I must note), and snap snap snap.

There is a game that seems to never stop running at one place in Esther Short park, beside the Hilton. Cosplayers stand in a circle, with a few in the center. Those in the center each toss an empty water bottle into the air and wait for it to land. Whomever the bottle points to gets a hug, and the cosplayers trade places so the hugged one gets to toss a bottle next. While this is going on, people take turns shouting, “Guess what?” the crowd answers “What?” And it’s repeated. “Guess what?” “What?” and the person who began it hollers something silly and fun, intended to delight them, such as “Kumoricon loves you!”

I had been standing on the fringes snapping photos. While looking through the viewfinder, I hadn’t noticed that the circle had expanded to include me. I was getting great shots of a cosplayer headed directly for me, and before I knew it, I got hugged by her! “How does it work?” I asked, since at that time I didn’t know. Once she explained, I slung my camera over my shoulder to head for a bottle in the center. After I had dispensed the obligatory hug, I took care to stand well back after that, ha ha.

There is one more day left of Kumoricon, but I’m impatient to show these photos to you.

Game of bottles and hugs and shouting.

Game of bottles and hugs and shouting.

Countries of Hetalia

Countries of Hetalia

Is that natural haircolour?

Is that natural haircolour?

troll

troll

pink & ruffles

pink & ruffles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A whole gang of Pokemon

A whole gang of Pokemon

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