Posting this at 3am because I am jetlagged from Germany trip and not bothering to correct my sleep schedule. Afterall, I'm heading back out on Monday morning again, for a week in Japan.
Germany happened right on the tail of Dragoncon, I fly to Frankfurt then drove to Kassel to partake in Connichi, the largest anime convention in Germany. And it was an amazing event, filled with cosplayers from various European countries in gorgeous meticulously crafted costumes. For a craftsmanship lover such as myself, it was a breath of fresh air to be surrounded by all this wonderful handiwork. For the first time in a long time at a convention, I could wear a costume made by me (Granado Espada Wizard) and know that the people who saw it believed that I indeed made it myself.
In the US, I used to never be challenged on whether or not I made my own costumes, but in the last few years it seems like people only want to know where I bought them. Indeed, it is far too easy to have a full costume made for you, or order one off ebay. The percentage of craftsmanship driven cosplayers is shrinking, while the overall cosplay community is growing. In Germany, the mentality in Cosplay is still that everyone makes their own costumes, or work on them together with friends, and what is valued the most is craftsmanship and detail.
I definitely want to return to Connichi next year if possible, and make a new costume for it!!
After the convention I got to visit my parents for a few days and tour around parts of Germany I hadn't been to before, such as the beautiful medieval town of Rothenburg ob der Taube. I also got to visit cosplayer and armor master KamuiCosplay, which was inspirational and motivating at the same time. She gave me the confidence to look at full armor projects for my future costumes.
Now I'm back in my home for all of 2 days before it's time to fly again, to Tokyo for a few days of eating, toy collecting, Ghibli museum, and then Tokyo Game Show! Riddle and I were invited to cosplay on the Cure stage, so look for us on Saturday there!
At the end of the month I will be at Anime Weekend Atlanta doing panels, hosting the costume contest, and signing calendars at my dealer hall booth #218!