Some pop-culture fads attract a devoted few (Free Registration Required)
Some pop-culture fads attract a devoted few
By Mike Antonucci
Posted on Fri, Feb. 11, 2005
A lot of so-called cult entertainment ends up getting mainstream attention. For example, manga -- Japanese comic books -- was once an unfamiliar term in the United States, but now it's the subject of countless media stories about its influence on American readers.
What's still the province of only the most ardent devotees? Here are two contenders:
Designing, making and wearing costumes in order to imitate anime, video-game, TV and movie characters is growing in popularity. Oscar Chang, a Bay Area computer engineer who has a variety of homemade costumes, estimates that almost 50 percent of the fans at some anime conventions are in costume.
Chang, 25, notes that the hobby is much bigger in Japan. Patrick Macias, co-author of ``Cruising the Anime City: An Otaku Guide to Neo Toyko,'' says some of the ``cosplay'' in Japan is kigurumi, a masked and body-suited style of ``ultimate'' costuming that has fetish and cross-dressing elements.
The annual WonderCon comic-book convention, which starts Friday in San Francisco, has added a masquerade contest. But the ``cosplay'' tradition is much bigger at anime events, such as the Anime Overdose convention (www.animeod. com), scheduled for March 4-6 in San Francisco. When you catch the addiction, you end up learning new skills -- like how to make attractive body armor.