playtime harajuku style

Taking a walk down Thomas Street in the City this Saturday might have you crossing paths with a bleach-blonde headed guy dressed in a black and orange ninja suit, or possibly someone in a black kimono-cape wielding a really big sword.

Too weird? Confused? Cosplay can have that effect.

The cosplayer community in Sydney will be out in force on 29 March attending Animania Festival, a celebration of the vibrant, diverse and often misunderstood world of Japanese popular culture.

Long before Gwen Stefani’s ‘Harajuku Girls’ became a hit, there was Cosplay, a truncated reference for the phrase ‘Costume play’ and the act of dressing up as a character from anime, manga or video games. With the ease of downloading anime from the internet, its appeal has spread much quicker and wider than Tokyo’s Harajuku and Akihabara Districts.

If you get a chance to speak to a fan, you’ll find that this is a form of self-expression, encouraged and appreciated by those that are like-minded and together form a fun community. Where a love (or obsession) of all things anime is expressed through role playing in their meticulously detailed (often handmade) costumes, melded together with hard work, ingenuity and some patch-work stitching.

At Animania you will find Karaoke, Japanese-style games (yes, those crazy ones), all-day anime screenings and video games, along with art competitions and displays for a wide range of anime influenced arts. Don’t miss the highly entertaining Cosplay Competition – skits (mini-musical acts or dance numbers) involving well-rehearsed and elaborate role plays. If you’re the uninitiated it will be an eye-opener and for avid fans it’s an opportunity to get a kick out of seeing well-known characters come to life.

Escape for a day J-style. Hai!

Animania Festival
Citigate Central Hotel, 169-179 Thomas Street, Sydney, 10am – 4pm
Day passes available at the event $15-$25

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