Please note that this blog will be updated throughout the month leading up to the 'Knights of Mecha' event. The information below is an attempt to answer most of the questions that will come up around the event. If you still have questions after reading this post, please contact Andrew on firstname.lastname@example.org, and title the e-mail with "Cosplay Inquiry".
MECHA COSPLAY EVENT INSIDE MAIN COURTYARD AT IMMA (IRISH MUSEUM OF MODERN ART) ON SATURDAY 4TH SEPTEMBER 2010 FROM 11am to 2:00pm.
I don't know how to make Mecha or Armor (Armour) Cosplays! Can you help with this?
This is Ireland's first (as far as I am aware) Mecha and Armor cosplay event, and so it is understandable if many people out there don't really know how to make Mecha or Armor cosplays (costumes). It would, however, be great to see people giving it a go, and seeing what they can come up with. No-body is going to be critical of cosplays on the day (if they are, I will have them physically ejected from the building!:)) You don't have to come up with the greatest Mecha or Armor cosplay the world has ever seen (that would be truly amazing, though, if this is your first time doing this kind of thing!:)).
This is all in the name of art and fun and coming together over a common interest, and people should participate in that spirit - it's great to be cool, but it's even better to give something a try and amaze yourself with what you might come up with. Let's just give it a go and see what we can achieve, both on an individual basis, and collectively on the day!!:)
I have put a section on the blog which gives tips and links to even better tutorials, if people want to do a bit of research into the construction of these kinds of cosplays. There are other very interesting sections on the blog too - please check them out!
What's a "Cosplay"?
Cosplay is short for "costume roleplay", is a type of performance art in which participants don costumes and accessories to represent a specific character or idea. Characters are often] drawn from popular fiction in Japan. Favorite sources include manga, anime,tokusatsu, comic books, graphic novels, video games, hentai and fantasy movies. Role play includes portrayals of J-pop and J-rock stars, Taiwanese puppet characters, science fiction characters, characters from musical stories, classic novels, and entertainment software. Any entity from the real orvirtual world that lends itself to dramatic interpretation may be taken up as a subject. Inanimate objects are given anthropomorphic forms and it is not unusual to see genders switched, with women playing male roles and vice versa.
Cosplayers often interact to create a subculture centered around role play. A broader use of the term cosplay applies it to any costumed role play in venues apart from the stage, regardless of the cultural context.
WHO'S IT FOR?The event is for anyone who wishes to participate - it is not exclusive to Mecha fanatics, though they are of course welcome!!. If you have fond memories of the technology in Ghost in the Shell, or love Robotech and Transformers, Macross Plus, Metal Gear Solid, Iron Man, Robocop, that robot-suit thing in Avatar, etc. then just have a go at creating a costume based on your favourite and wear it on the day, to meet and compare costume-creations with like-minded Cosplayers. Armor (Armour) Cosplays are also very welcome.
One definition of Mecha is that it is a collective term for technological Animé characters that approximate the shape of a human body, and allow the use of: martial arts movements or swordsmanship, ceremonial acts of honour, saluting, and other human mannerisms. Armour Cosplay is an elaborate costume of armour created and worn by the cosplayer. If you adore sword-carrying Mecha robots, droids, the At-St from Starwars, Gundam or any of the examples mentioned above, get busy making your costume and come along on the day inside it!!
The event is open to anyone, young or old (children must be accompanied by an adult), male or female, who wish to take part (guardians need not wear a costume, but it would help!!). The event is a celebration of a culture and design aesthetic that inspires many.
What Will Happen on the Day?
Cosplayers will hopefully arrive as close to 11:00am as possible at the IMMA courtyard, to have fun comparing costumes. We also hope to acquire some futuristic chess-sets that will be located around the courtyard for people to battle it out on (this will be in-lieu of recreating favourite Mecha battles dressed in cosplay, which is neither advisable nor permitted on the day), so brush up on your chess skills if you can!!:)
There will be food available on the day, as the Kilmainham Arts Festival Picnic will be taking place simultaneously and nearby, and very affordable picnic baskets will be available from the Patriot Inn, which is just at the back gate of IMMA - hopefully some of the cosplayers will descend upon that particular establishment in full cosplay, and request picnic baskets - hopefully. After the event, cosplayers can then roam around the rest of the Arts Festival, which is going on for the whole day, to see and participate in other events such as art-exhibitions. There will even be a recreation of Alice-in-Wonderland in the IMMA (Irish Museum of Modern Art) garden maze.
Mecha, also known as meka or mechs, is a broad genre of walking vehicles which are usually controlled by a pilot. Mecha often appear in anime, science fiction, and other genres involving fantastic or futuristic elements. Mecha are generally, though not necessarily, bipedal, with arms, hands, and usually fingers capable of grasping objects. A mecha that approximates the shape of a human body allows the use of martial arts movements and swordsmanship, ceremonial acts of honor, saluting, and other human mannerisms that cannot be performed using a tank or airplane.
In most fiction in which they appear, mecha are war machines: essentially armored fighting vehicles with legs instead of treads or wheels. Some stories, such as the manga Patlabor and American wargame BattleTech, also encompass mecha used for civilian purposes such as heavy construction work, police functions or firefighting.
Some science fiction universes posit that mecha are the primary means of combat, with conflicts sometimes being decided through gladiatorial matches. Others represent mecha as one component of an integrated military force, supported by and fighting alongside tanks, fighter aircraft, and infantry, functioning as a mechanical cavalry. The applications often highlight the theoretical usefulness of such a device, combining a tank's resilience and fire power with infantry's ability to cross unstable terrain. In other cases they are demonstrated with a greater versatility in armament, such as in the Armored Core series of video games where mecha can utilize their hands to carry a wide range of armament in the same manner as a person albeit on a much larger scale.
The distinction between true mecha and their smaller cousins (and likely progenitors), the powered armor suits, is blurred; according to one definition, a mecha is piloted while a powered armor is worn. Anything large enough to have a cockpit where the pilot is seated is generally considered a mecha.
Rarely, mecha has been used in a fantasy convention, most notably in the anime series Aura Battler Dunbine, The Vision of Escaflowne, Panzer World Galient and Maze. In those cases, the mecha designs are usually based on some alternative or 'lost' science-fiction technology from ancient times.
How Much Does it Cost?
This is a free event. This is an alcohol-free event to boot.
What if it Rains?
In the case of bad weather on the day, the courtyard is surrounded by wide cloisters under which the event can continue, unabatted.
Who is Organizing the Event?
This event has been conceived by, and will be facilitated by, Dublin artist Andrew Carroll, in affiliation with the Kilmainham Arts Festival.
What's Armor (Armour) Animé?
Armor animé or manga we are taking to being where the characters wear elaborate suits of armour (as in knights' armour), such as in Saint Seiya, though there are many other TV shows apart from just that one. There are also other possibilities, such as Iron Man or Robocop cosplays, which fall into both catagories of Armor and Mecha, we think.
Is There a Prize?
There will be a prize on the day for the best cosplay.
The organiser reserves the right to use documentation of the event, including images of the costumes worn on the day, as source material for artworks produced after the event takes place.