Billed as the largest convention of it's kind Project A-Kon, this the annual Anime & Convention Expo, this year being their 28th installment is something that in spite of having little to zero interest or knowledge of anime & it's culture, is an event I now attend yearly.
Project A-Kon 28 - June 8th-11th - Tarrant Count Convention Center - Fort Worth, TX
So now, back for the attack as it were I was hoping the navigation process might be a bit easier after last year's confounding experience to discover A-Kon's new home in Fort Worth was ideal & perfect for this event. Also as a testament to it's growth, now needing a major downtown facility to host & contain all it's madness from concerts to panels, artist galleries & more.
My A-Kon experience this year was a bit of a brief to muted one, but fun nonetheless, since I wasn't DJ'n this year I could focus on a few other interests & enjoy myself with less responsibility. I arrived late Friday night in time to catch Pentagon Japan:
A Japanese visual kei rock band formed in 2014. In February 2015, the band released their debut album titled, Call Me.
Right after to run over to the Hilton for anticipated group photo shoot that was thankfully just across the street.
Virgin Killer Sweater Photoshoot
I get over to the Hilton to the assigned meeting room for the Virgin Killer Sweater Photoshoot - What is a VKS? Google it (or just keep reading) So all the participants would be wearing their own version of a VKS.
Now, given that this brand of cosplay is specifically female & quite provocative, the turn out for patron & participant quickly overwhelmed the tiny room that was originally booked. However, have no fear as led by cosplay superstar Jenny Desu thinking fast on her feet she quickly improvised and instructed everyone to assemble in the foyer on the second level.
Now let's break it down: All involved were broken down into the following groups in order of distance:
Pro Photographers or those there at a professional capacity like myself
Separating us from the cosplayers was an assigned videographer (in need of some serious anger management) giving direction to an already out of control scene. While VKS is quickly becoming the Harley Quinn of Anime in terms of popularity in choice of cosplay, I was interested in capturing this event at it's apex. Now what happened next was throwing the train that was already off the tracks into a spiral.
Let me disclaim: I'm all about inclusion & equality, I count members of the LGBTQ community as some of my closest friends, however being vulgar & obnoxious is simply that regardless of your orientation. The scene already chaotic when a group of super flamboyant MEN, in VKS' aggressively crashed the front of the shoot, competitively posing like this shit was suddenly Studio 54.
They weren't there for equality & inclusion, they were there to TAKE OVER & bring all the attention on themselves. Male or female they were hideously inappropriate & I find it to be completely fair that for a cosplay that is gender specific, is to be not only my expectation but also my preference.
Between, horrible lighting & primitive equipment & a shitshow of circumstances to deal with, not only do these pictures suffer greatly but I was this close to bailing on the whole thing. However among the dysfunction was glaring ray of light:
See on the pic on the right there above? In a sea of gorgeous & talented cosplayers shone a true superstar - Lexyi C - I just wanted this to end quickly now so that I could salvage this endeavor by getting some solo shots of her. The cosplayers (her included) all seemed a little shell shocked too from all the dischord so as things seemed to start to disapate & anticipating her popularity I approached quickly to see if she would be interested in a solo shoot.
Thankfully this started a trend that led to several more mini-shoots with some other great cosplayers.
Heaven Cosplay (right)
& Katie Carnation
After wrapping up there, headed back over to the convention center for the late-night rave that I'm usually performing at, to meet up with cosplay superstar & good friend Ashley Williamson, this time to enjoy the rave instead of having to work it.
I didn't return until the final day on Sunday and walked around, the following is the best of the cosplay I saw, photographed or saw posted by a million different photographers to give you an idea of what the experience was like.
Shiny Diane (left)