Holiday Matsuri 2016 Cosplay Gallery

Here’s our collection of cosplay photos, featuring entrants and winners from the Cosplay Runway.

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TransMedia Retrospective: Pokemon

Hello Shiquers and welcome back to Nerdy Shique Universe! We all know the catch phrase “Gotta Catch Em All!” and of course the original theme song to the biggest anime and video game series and that is Pokemon! This series has been one of the most popular and has still grown since and had many media versions of itself, which includes video games, card games, toys, manga, and so on! As a way to celebrate AFO getting two of the original cast members, we will be looking at this series when it comes to the major media areas!

Basic Idea: Since Pokemon has been around since the 90’s and has been ever growing, the basic premise is that it started in 1995 and created by Satoshi Tajiri and the Pokemon Company. The franchise started as a two video game pair for the Game Boy that was developed by Game Freak and published by Nintendo. This series centers around how people catch creatures known as Pocket Monsters or Pokemon for short in balls called the Pokeball and fight other people and train them for sport.

Video Games: Before looking at the anime, we got to look at the place where it started it all and that is the video games! Each game is pretty much a strategy RPG with battles and going to different towns in many regions. There have been six generations thus far and the first one started with Red and Blue on the original Game Boy that started off in the Kanto region and of course the original 151 known as First Generation. At first it was Red and Green Versions in Japan and then released the Blue Version over there as an expansion but only Red and Blue had their release here in the US in September of 1998. There was of course Yellow, which was the Special Pikachu Edition, which was based on the popular anime synopsis and did have the same idea of Pokedex stuff like in the Blue and Red versions here, what was great is that you got to go up against Jessie and James like in the anime.

Second Gen brought us Gold, Silver, and Crystal, which later turned into Heart Gold and Soul Silver for the DS, featured the Johto region and a hundred more Pokemon that went from Chikorita to Celebi. This does get based on the Kansai region of Japan like how Kanto did in Red, Blue, and Yellow.

Third Gen kind of got weird and this time it expanded the Game Boy into its advanced state through the Game Boy Advanced with Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald, which we have Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire for the 3DS today. This even brought remakes of Red and Blue through Leaf Green and Fire Red to the Advanced as well and these games all introduced 135 new species starting with Treeko and all the way through Deoxys. Reason being with the Pokemon being a little strange, this is where some of them took on inanimate objects, well the Regis for the most part that kind of looked like speakers eventhough Exploud and Explodster already covered that. This brought the entire total to 386 to catch in these games except they got some criticisms due to some things that were left out including the day and night switch which started in Gold and Silver. Man, that would be hard for turning Evee in either a Umbreon or Espeon. It also introduced catching certain Pokemon in some areas which brought a problem of only catching 202 out of the 386 in Hoen, which was based on the Kyushu region of Japan. A little fact, I did play Sapphire but the copy I had kept deleting my games, I am guessing that some copies had a glitch and glad I got Alpha Sapphire in the end so I can play the third region.

Fourth Generation, which was introduced in 2006 brought us Diamond and Pearl and then Platinum later on for the DS. The Sinnoh Region brought us new 107 speies of Pokemon which were from Turtwig to Arsius. Great thing about these games and the DS at the time, it featured using the touch screen features to make Poffins with the stykus, entering the Pokemon contest, and of course battling, which is still implemented on the 3DS and 3DS XL and even the now New 3DS today! It also brought new features like WiFi battles which made it easier than the old cable connections we all remembered from Game Boy. It did bring the day and night features from second gen and did expand the Pokemon Contests from third gen. This region was based on the Hokaido region and Sattelin in Russia since of course Route 116 that leads you to Snowpointe City to take on Candace. It also features underground battles and digging for things such as evolution stones and heart scales. Fourth Gen did also have a few spin off games which included a follow up to Pokemon Stadium with Pokemon Battle Revolution for the Wii.

Fifth Gen, which is where it gets weirder, takes place in the Unova Region in Black and White and both Black and White 2 which is based on New York City in the US. This generation introduced new 156 to the roster which started with Victini and ended with Genesect. If you read my review on Black 1, you know these new Pokemon were weird and started being based on inanimate objects and food. Yeah, they were really running out of ideas! Not only the weird Pokemon and new region, these games used the 3D rendering on the 3DS with Castelia City, which was hard to navigate for me. I will be playing White 2 since that and Black 2 kind of do a different direction of the region.

Now onto Sixth Gen, which is the games of X and Y! These games take place in the Kalos Region which is based on France and some areas of Europe, which we do run into Stone Henge on one of the routes. I wonder if that will happen again in the next game to introduce more to this region. This region also brought some more new Pokemon and even a new type, Fairy Type, and one of them happened to be the newest Evee, Silveon. This game brought on more of the 3D by rendering it in 3D along with the battles which take us back to Pokemon Stadium and of course we get Lumios City bringing more of that mechanic. Will the next one to complete this region’s trilogy do the same? Unless there will be an X2 and Y2? Let’s see what happens!

Anime: Now onto the anime! Both the anime and movies were based loosely on the games, well besides Yellow, follow the adventures of Ash, aka Satoshi in Japan, in becoming the next Pokemon Master. He travels with Brock, gym leader of Pewter City, and Misty, one of many sisters from the Cerulean Gym, to make him become the best Pokemon Master. He meets a lot of people on his quest and battle to get badges and get to meet new Pokemon with his signature first, Pikachu, and catch many others.

The group does change by the Third Generation when he meets May, daughter of Norman of the Peddleburg Gym, and her brother Max and get reunited with Brock with the new adventures in Hoen. Brock and Ash become a teacher to the both of them since Max wants to be a Pokemon Trainer while May becomes a Pokemon Coordinator to compete in contests.

Both Brock and Ash move onto Sinnoh where they meet an aspiring coordinator named Dawn and go through the region to not only get badges but Ash becomes a contest competitor himself. The series does end with both Brock and Ash going back to Kanto where Brock goes off to become a Pokemon Doctor for real. With Best Wishes, which is based on Black and White, is where it gets weird and didn’t like the series much. Ash meets two new friends, Cylan and Iris. I kind of noticed how with this one, Ash went type-weakness stupid, as in he kept on choosing the wrong Pokemon to fight against what they are weak against to. Good example is the episode against his newest rival and uses his Ashawat against their Sirvine when according to the type logic water’s weak grass Pokemon. No wonder my Tolterra was great in the Pastoria Gym! Iris even yells at him for it. Hell, even using Pikachu in the last gym, Roxy’s gym, did poison him. Kind of shows how he can be weak after being so overpowered in every season. Still, don’t know what happened with the writing but Ash should be able to know better especially with all his losses in the past region leagues. I know I am kind of bashing but when watching this season on the Pokemon TV app when it was on my phone, made me sad with how the character of Ash kind of went downhill. This season should’ve been written a bit more. And the casting for Iris for me…she did kind of sounded bored! Which reminds me!

Did You Know?4Kids was the original dubbing studio for Pokemon. By 2006, they handed all licensing to Pokemon USA which is now the Pokemon Company. I miss the old casting, which had Veronica Taylor as Ash and did an awesome job as May in the third generation anime. And of course, Eric stuart as Brock and Rachel Lillis as Misty.

Pokemon XY is the current series where Ash travels with childhood friend, Serena, and brother and sister duo, Clement and Bonnie. I did like the premiere episode or episodes where Ash meets his first Pokemon in this region, Froaky! And then it does show a little bit of mega evolution with Blazeken.

There have been seventeen films for this anime along with it! And the recent has been Diansy and the Cocoon of of Destruction. I can see why Diansy was a special Pokemon for the games. If you want a full list, I would say go to Wikipedia because we all know that each region came with 2 to 3 movies each, especially with the Unova region which looked like it had four because it dealt with Victini, Reshiram, Kyuram, the three or shall I say Four Musketeer Pokemon since you meet the Fourth one in Black and White 2, and of course, Keldio. And oh yes, Genesect, which that movie…introduced Mega Evolved Mewtwo Y which led into X and Y.

Card Game: The TCG for Pokemon pretty much is like the video games except you collect cards in the real world of the many Pokemon, Trainers, and Energy cards, which are used to power up for attacks. I have collected the cards myself and have grown with them and man it has evolved in the rules and the cards! I can’t collect anymore due to being blind even though I do have decks with braille labels. I just play the video games! You can find the XY packs and tins, not sure if they have some for Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire since they made cards for Heart Gold and Soul Silver!

Manga: Pokemon had various manga, especially published for North America. The first was The Electric Tale of Pikachu which was split into four titles, which the first one was Electric Tale, then Pikachu Shocks Back, Pikachu Boogaloo, and Sufs Up Pikachu! These manga were based loosely on the anime While Pokemon Adventure was mostly based on the video games and does go by the player characters you play as in each region. Ther are many others that were released by Viz and not by Viz but another company here in the US. There are too many to mention but those are the main two since I remembered reading Electric Tale when it was published here back in the 90s.

So, that is it for this TransMedia Tretrospective! Pokemon has been a major part of our lives and it is still is to this day! With new games, merch, and of course more anime, this has been an evergrowing series and will keep growing! No matter how it will keep going, we will Gotta Catch Em All!

What is next for Nerdy Shique Universe? With mentioning Pokemon, I will do a cosplay post on it since I am working on my latest Pokemon cosplay! And also now waiting on my Ipsy and BoxyCharm shipping e-mails! And well….decided next post I need to talk about something serious that has taken place in the Beauty World! Stay tuned for that!

Trans Media Retrospective: .hack

Hello everyone and welcome back! Finals are over and it’s time for me to do another post and I just got a lightbulb and it is based on the project I had to do for one of my classes this spring!

 

So, in the light of the MetroCon theme of Old School vs. New School, I will be a part of a cosplay group with my fiance, Gondras, that deals with both .hack and Sword Art Online due to how Sword Art has been one of the newest online RPG centered series and has been on Toonami for months, why not do a versus group with a long running one called .hack which is still going on for years!

 

.hack is one of those series that has been transformed in many ways from being in text novels, to anime series, video games, and manga adaptations of some of the parts off the story for fans to enjoy! Trust me, when I first saw sign on Toonami back in 2004, I wanted to see more of it and that is how I got into the first round of games, Infection, Mutation, Outbreak, and Quarantine. It didn’t end there of course since it grown and now we have the newer game for the PSP, well new in our eyes, Link, it won’t probably stop there! Even TV Tropes referred to this series as “.hack//GIVE US ALL YOUR MONEY!” Which I will show you why and how it evolved into this idea!

 

Behind THE WORLD

 

The entire franchise of .hack deals with a virtual online MMO known as “The World,” which takes players into an online setting through headsets and using game pads hooked up to their computers so they can go through virtual zones by making keywords. Within the series, this fictional game was created by Herman Hoerwick, which created the first game where “The World” came from known as “Fragment,” and Cyber Connect aka CC Corp.

 

Basically, players go into Root Towns through Chaos Gates of any server that they start playing in or get transferred to since each stage they play in can be played in different servers and in order to log out, they have to be in the Root Town they started off in. In order to get to the areas to play and fight monsters and go through dungeons is based on creating three keywords and once they are made, they get sent to that area. I would warn anyone who wants to find the first set of games, or the second, or even link, be careful when making these words or choosing a random area, you may get levels that may be too hard for you and your companions that you recruited. I would say go with a level below and what level you’re at, trust me, I went through times when I was at level 9 and tried taking on level 11 areas, not easy!

 

What gave premise to the story? Well, it deals with viruses and how the real world in the series got effected, which the firstvirus known as Pluto’s Kiss caused a major malfunction on the internet and caused a switch to a newer system. Later on, a newer virus becomes important in the games, which I will mention later, known as “The Twilight Incident,” aka “Pluto” gives more storytelling especially in the four OVAs that you get in the games. Speaking of anime, shall we started with the video games first? Not yet! I do have to mention, there is a different version of the World that does show up as a portable version within the story! It takes place a thousand years after the original versions of the World, which gets mentioned later on in this post!

 

Main Characters

 

So, like many series that has been transformed, there are many characters that get mentioned throughout the entire series as well! I will mention the most important characters that are really the ones that the stories revolve around!

 

Aura: This character is basically the seed of the entire storyline! She is an AI created by Hoerwick as a dedication to his dead lover and the daughter that was supposed to be his if his lover gave him kids! She is supposed to be the perfect AI but Morgana kept her asleep in order to keep her from doing so, even during the games she gets chased by Morgana’s phases in order to keep the perfect Data Drain, which was given through a book turned into a bracelet to defeat Morgana! Here are the characters that get linked to her!

 

Kite, character from the games: You play as the Twin Blade Kite in the first round of games who has to save people who come under comas by the Phase, Skeith, he gets the Twilight Bracelet from Aura and criptic e-mails from her in order to beat the Eight Phases and Kubia, the Yang to the Bracelet’s Yin, which causes it to be destroyed and a new one gets made, The Dawn Bracelet.

 

Haseo, .hack//roots and g. u. aka Guilty Universe: The main cAlbierio, a. i. buster (not always going to put, .hack): The main character from the novel series, A. I. Buster is played in the game by a system administrator at CC Corp and has to take out any anamolies and the A. I., Lycoris, that may cause problems within the game. He does meet with Lycoris without knowing who she was while collecting the fragments of her and then deleted her when Lycoris realizes she can’t exist there. He does show up in volume 2 and ends while chasing Tsukasa and then ends up in a coma after meeting Macha and had a forced resignation placed on him for causing “The Twilight Incident,” which he was blamed for.

 

Shugo Kunasaki, from Legend of the Twilight: A player who thought he outgrew video games until he won a contest with his twin sister, Rrina and got an avatar version of Kite in chibi form along with his sister who got the chibi version of BlackRose that was arranged by Aura and gets in contact with him by giving him a version of Kite’s bracelet that doesn’t harm humans and becomes a character from the past in order to reunite with her daughter, Xiphi.

 

Tsukasa, sign: the main character of .HACK//SIGN who’s player is in a coma while his consciousness is awake in the world. Morgana keeps him from waking up Aura by placing negative thoughts into him and not reaching out to the other characters of the series until later, Subaru, Mimiru, Bear, and the others and causes Aura to awaken and let him log off.

 

Xiphi from Legend of the Twilight: Aura’s daughter and the A. I. that becomes attached to Shugo by smelling the scent of her mother on Shugo’s bracelet. Even though she starts out as a brat due to her attachment to Shugo and Rina, but she does mature towards the end.

 

Haseo from ROOTS and G.U.: a rogue and a “player killer killer,” just like the original design of him, Sora, was in the game and chased by player killers himself and then joined the Twilight Brigade, headed by Ovan. Ovan disappears while his buddy, Shino, gets placed into a coma by Ovan. He then goes up against Tri-Edge which causes him to get data drained and restored and soon gains the powers of Skeith as an avatar.

 

Aida from G. U.: The A. I. of the newer version of the World from the disappearance of Aura. Unlike helping the players, Aida causes players to go insane or slip into a coma in the real world. But the Eight Epitaph users, who gained avatars of the Phases from the original games, are immune to Aida’s virus and can Data Drain, which was said caused Aida in the first place due to how illegal it was.

 

Tokio Kuryuu from LINK: the main character in the portable game and was transported into the game after meeting the new student, Saika, who gives him a special copy of the game and meets up with Kite. He was forced to work with Saika to find the chrono Core. Tokio is seen as a double ware which is a human can be transported into the game due to a digitized technology.

 

 

 

Anime and Video Games:

 

Since I am done with characters, well the bigtger ones since it took a while, now onto anime and video games! I placed these two together because the both of them go hand in hand due to how the events for each half take on! As you know sign was the first series to start off the story, despite a. i. buster was the forerunner of the entire story and how Lycoris came to be and how it later changed into Aura from there. Anyways, sign was the first tale that tells how Tsukasa,a Wavemaster player, can’t logout due to his player in the real world was placed into a coma due to being used by Morgana in order to keep Aura asleep! He meets characters such as Subaru, Mimiru, Crim, Bear, and many others that help in getting over his predicament to beat Morgana to wake up Aura to free her. This story helped start the next arc of the tail with the first round of Playstation 2 games, Infection, Mutation, Outbreak, and Quarantine, which follows Kite who was given the power of the Twilight Bracelet to Data Drain while his friend Orca was Data Drained by Skeith before getting the power but Aura gave it to Kite after it happened, which had him meet BlackRose in order to solve the mystery of the comas in the real world with players and help Aura out by destroying the Phases that were made to destroy her. An interesting fact about these four games, even though players finished the first three games, Quarantine was the game they didn’t finish due to how events unfolded, even the prologue scenes of the games kind of give you sad tidings to come! I could see why since I was in an EBay bidding war over this game due to GameStop not carrying it since people hardly bought it! Now I can see why it didn’t get traded in!

 

Liminality, which are the four OVA episodes that are included with the first round of games, these four episodes are correspondent to each game they came in and takes place in the real world rather than inside The World. Like Kite’s and BlackRose’s adventure of looking into what is causing people to go into comas within the game, the story outside with the characters, Mai Minase, Yuki Ihara, Kyoko Tihono, and Junochiro Tokuoka, who used to work for Cyber Connect, in order to see why people are slipping into comas after playing The World at certain points of the game. I found it interesting since we tend to see what goes on within the games while playing as Kite and BlackRose, we get to see what happens on the outside of the games by seeing other chracters that have loved ones going into comas, for example in the first episode Mai’s boyfriend ends up in a coma and she ends up staying awake after being sent to the hospital with him and wants to know why she wasn’t in a coma as well and wants to help her boyfriend out. Not only that, it takes a deeper look into the Pluto’s Kiss Virus that takes place since in the second episode, Yuki Ihara gets trapped in the mall when the virus hits and while playing the game Mutation, you get a news article in the “News” menu to read about the virus going on and how it cut off so many communication devices and computers in order to continue with the game and read more message board posts for keywords and so on! This is a way of interacting between the games and the anime series since you get both sides of the story, inside The World and outside by seeing these characters solving the mystery behind the computer viruses and comas and see how both worlds change due to how the adventure takes on in beating the Phases and how the characters interact in order to take on the final boss in the end to save everyone who fell victim to the comas. If only most games were like this then we can see two sides of the story!

 

Legend of the Twilight, the next part of the story which takes the Kite and BlackRose story and feels like a spoof by what I saw and remembered and give it a new part of the Aura story! This is a twelve episode series that introduces twins, Rina and Shugo, who end up getting the chibi versions of BlackRose and Kite and Shugo gets the Twilight Bracelet and the both of them have to solve the mystery behind it. This is more of an alternative version of the manga, which I will touch upon later!

 

Roots is the next part of the story and prequel to the G. U. games which you get introduced to Haseo and how he got into the Twilight Brigade and how his character came to be, “The Terror of Death” to many and towards the end it gives you an idea of how G. U. started, which the games takes a look into how Haseo has to rescue Shino from her coma from Roots but meets other characters and finds out that he and seven other players hold a power known as the “Epitaph,” which holds an avatar of the Eight Phases from the original games. I never played these games, even though my copy of the Roots box set came with the demo disc, but I think I was a little too late in getting the video games from GameStop since they stopped carrying PS2 games. An interesting fact though is that you can’t get the Roots anime in stores unless you want to go and find it, you can find it on EBay but for a hundred bucks! How I got mine? Well, I was at AFO 2012 and was at a stand and found all the .hack stuff and came across the boxset for it and saw it was $60 less than the EBay price! So, I snatched it up before someone got it! Yeah, it is rare to find!

 

Finally, Link, is the newest game that is available for the PSP in Japan, not sure if it will ever come to stateside but it takes places years after the G. U. games and takes on the story of Tokio, a fourteen year old, meets an exchange student who gives him a copy of The World and gets transported to the game! He ends up meeting The Twilight Warriors, who are characters from the previous games and try to save Aura from being corrupted!

 

There is a new game for Android and IOS systems in Japan but there will be an American version soon, while there is a new .hack game project announced in Japan but no platform to be announced as of now! Who knows, maybe E3 will get that announcement in the future? I will be waiting!

 

Books and Manga:

 

Like most anime, there is always a manga version, but .hack is one universe that not only has manga but books as well for everyone to enjoy different sides of the story as they travel through each anime and video game adaptation!

 

  1. I. Buster: This story is the prequel to the entire series itself! This two volume story shows how Alberio meets the original A. I. Lycoris and data drains her at first and then meets another girl and finds remnants of her to reconstruct6 Lycoris once again! Plus, it shows the characters Orca and Balmung become Descendants of Fianna as Orca of the Azure Sea and Balmung of the Azure Sky by defeating the One Sin. Even though I didn’t read volume two but I did read the first volume which I couldn’t put down at all!

 

Zero: This novel series takes place after Sora after being trapped due to Morgana and meet a Long Arm class by the name of Carl, and even tells the tale of life of Tsukasa in the real world.

 

Another Birth tells the story of the first video games through BlackRose’s point of view due to how we saw Kite’s point of view. If I could get this through Bookshare, I would so read it since I like the first round of games and see what happened to her during the times you don’t call on her for anything, since while playing you do get e-mails from her in clues that lead you to some of the Phases and Kubia.

 

Legend of the Twilight: This is the manga that I mentioned and pretty much follows through the anime did with the mystery of Aura, except the contest they got their character models was mostly mysterious.

 

Epitaph of the Twilight: novels that shows how Lara Hoerwick, Howard’s niece, gets trapped in The World.

 

Cell: Midori, a Edge Punisher, becomes a victim of PK her and get money for it and have as much money for herself. G. U. had many published stories for it as in manga and novel versions of the story, plus there is one talke that takes a humorous view of the story and another that talks about a former empress of the Demon Palace being obsessed with two of the characters.

 

There are many other manga and books published for this series but it will take a long time to talk about!

 

 

Cosplay:

 

Now that there has been the anime, manga, books, and video games, there is one part of the media world for .hack and that is cosplay! The entire series has many unique characters and many unique designs for them which has a lot of work to do in order to get it done for the convention season! Whether it is picking up parts at a Good Will or Salvation Army or going online for wigs, the cosplay idea is endless, especially with many variations of characters such as Haseo from the start of Roots to his Skeith Epitaph variation and the Shino version of Atollie. Besides doing the characters, there are times when someone can imagine and make their own characters, for example I will be doing a variation of my Soul Eater character by turning him into a Twin Blade like Kite. Waiting on the wig btw! And of course, there are the human characters for their game avatars, such as Mai from Liminality as one good example. Anyway as you look at it, cosplay has its own way of getting into .hack within transmedia.

 

So, that is about it for this retrospective! If you want to see anymore transmedia retrospectives of certain anime and video games, just comment down below!

 

Before I tell you all what’s next, I made a typo with the author of the Midnight Breed Series in my favorites post, her name was Lara Adrian, not Lauren. Sorry!

 

What is next? I have a haul from Ulta! Til next time!