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Author Topic: How Professional Cosplayers Are Propelling Fanboy's Obsessions  (Read 116 times)
koiyuki
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How Professional Cosplayers Are Propelling Fanboy's Obsessions
« on: October 06, 2007, 08:26:59 PM »

So, apparently, dressing up as anime people is big business over in Japan, as they have people who are Professional Cosplayers(and I'm not even kidding, when I say they're paid to dress as anime people). One such person I've stumbled upon, is one Arisa Mizuhara.  (This is her, wearing The Contacts Of Caucasian Coloring, and yes, her eyes are Western-sized)

In addition to modeling in costume for the media, crafting costumes for herself, and others, and being a hostess, she also offers one other particularly interesting service(taken straight from her Myspace page)...
Quote from: Arisa Mizuhara
Are you in love with any anime heroine? I can cosplay as her and we go on a date! I have many costume for you to choose from (full list will be available soon). I can act the character very well and you will fulfil the fantasy to be with your favorite anime girl.

As a psychologist in training, I can't even begin to fathom the kind of psychological impact this will have on the one taking her on a date. As a writer & researcher of cultures, I predict this will make whatever fanboy taking up her offer, that much more obsessed about their chosen character. As a plain ol' person, I think this, to be the equivalent of throwing yourself into a pool of hungry sharks and piranhas. What do you all think?
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Silverain
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Re: How Professional Cosplayers Are Propelling Fanboy's Obsessions
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2007, 03:54:35 AM »

Interesting idea ...

Personally, I dunno if I'd want to put myself out there that way, but it seems like a fair way for someone who's into acting or cosplaying to make some money.  The dating bit, I mean.

Do Elvis impersonators count as cosplay?  There's thousands and thousands of those guys, and many of them make money at it.  I doubt most of them do dates, but I bet that's largely because Elvis is a guy and men are less likely to offer themselves as "dates."

What do you think of folks who patronize Disneyland?  Those Disney people, too, are paid professionals who entertain customers by posing as animated characters.  Granted, the Disneyland crew aren't offering the same kind of services, and I'm sure they'd be horrified if someone called visitors to the park fetishists ... but what's the difference, except in degree?

There's probably plenty of guys who find anime girls a turn-on, and I think it's just the same way that some guys are attracted to maid outfits, or paramilitary uniforms, or black leather, or what have you.  But it doesn't always have to be that sexual, I think.

*shrug*  I would think that most guys who go on a "date" with a cosplay character would probably have a good time, continue to adore their favorite character, and then eventually outgrow their crush and move on to something (or someone) else.  But my perspective is that of a female who has cosplayed for fun a few times and enjoyed a little bit of anime.  I am neither a fanboy nor super-obsessed with anime.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2007, 04:00:50 AM by Silverain » Logged

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Re: How Professional Cosplayers Are Propelling Fanboy's Obsessions
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2007, 12:57:30 PM »

I think this is nothing one should overreact to. Of course we're quick to judge all the Japanese as nut-jobs; after all, they've done all the crazy stuff ages before we even thought of maybe imitating it. They brought us video games, manga, anime, tentacle porn.

They were the first to have conventions, the first to go there dressed up as their favourite characters. Now they're the first to have dates with anime/manga characters.

What of the repercussions then? First, a hype. Yes. Some people will obsess even more over their characters if they can go out with them. No. This phenomenon will not take a hold of all of Japan's young population. That is my opinion at any rate.

Silverain has brought up a parallel that should not be overlooked: Elvis-doubles. They suggest that Japan are not the only country doing this "weird" stuff. Have you seen Pulp Fiction? Remember the bar they're in? Well there you go.

Of course one might argue that this is different, because one is just being waited upon by Marilyn Monroe. Well the difference isn't as big as one might think. After all the cosplay bars/restaurants in Japan aren't very different. You get waited upon by your fantasy. Only difference is what the fantasy looks like.

At any rate, I don't think that this service will psychologically damage people, except maybe for a special few. If you think about it, this debate is the "Brutal Video Games Turn Our Kids Into Psychopathss" issue all over again.

This doesn't mean though that I'm all for it. I still think dating Sailor Moon or whoever is a big case of escapism. More so than just watching her on TV. People should treat this service responsibly - just like drinking, actually.
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Re: How Professional Cosplayers Are Propelling Fanboy's Obsessions
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2007, 11:58:35 PM »

not sure...though i'm not judging fanboys/fangirls out there, i'm sure that this 'dating service' might become problematic if taken upon the wrong sort of unstable guy. yeah, we have people dressing up as famous actors/actesses in places other than japan but not offering themselves as dates.

but maybe the idea's just igniting my Worst Case Scenario senses. this seems pretty harmless on the whole, i mean, it's not like other methods of using other people as buying themselves a temporary illusion, but...eh. something about the concept being presented this way seems a tad bit errie. guess it'll be nothing compared to what they might have a fewdecades from now. might have some humanoid androids offering this service at the rate we're going.
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dmizer
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Re: How Professional Cosplayers Are Propelling Fanboy's Obsessions
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2007, 04:51:36 AM »

this is nothing new.  it's been going on for many many years.  i mean we're talking about a country that invented the word "geisha" ... which is ALL about fantasy and role play.  to boot, i'd say probably 50% of the junk mail i got in my box in fukuoka was fliers of women peddling their wares.  men read sexually explicit manga and magazines on the train, and there's hotels where you can go into the lobby and pick your entertainment for the evening from a vending machine-like menu.  costly but easily available.

it's just not taboo in japan, that's all.  and in reality, i think they're better off as a result.  actually confronting a human obsession and learning how to handle it and address it's impressions, consequences, and influences seems to be healthier than to sweep all that under the rug and try to suppress it.

they're not afraid to talk about it bluntly and frankly.  and to me, it is uncomfortable, but liberating.

just because it's sexually explicit doesn't mean it has negative consequences.  i'd say that's a largely western/christian ideal.  making fantasy available allows a release for a powerful emotional drive.  one that's powerful enough to drive men (and women) to violent acts.

i don't see a problem with this as long as it's mutual consent.

and no, her eyes aren't really that big (she's looking up toward the camera), and she looks so white partly because of makeup, partly because of the overwhelmingly white background, and partly because of post photo shoot processing.

here's another picture that's at a far less extreme, and far less flattering angle: in blue
« Last Edit: October 08, 2007, 06:38:38 AM by dmizer » Logged

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Re: How Professional Cosplayers Are Propelling Fanboy's Obsessions
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2007, 11:10:17 PM »

"Yes, I would like one Tomo Takino, one Misty, and one Bridget to go please."
"Oh, I'm sorry. We do not serve any Bridget's here. You will have to go to the Male anime charecter shop to buy that one."
"...Damn..."


Well... hah, that sounds like an awesome job.  Getting paid to pretend to be an anime charecter and hang out with ugly creepy guys for a while and then come home with a full belly and extra cash on the side....

WHY CAN'T I HAVE A JOB LIKE THAT!
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dmizer
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Re: How Professional Cosplayers Are Propelling Fanboy's Obsessions
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2007, 01:46:21 AM »

Quote from: sjw8800 on October 09, 2007, 11:10:17 PM
WHY CAN'T I HAVE A JOB LIKE THAT!
lack of the proper equipment?
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koiyuki
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Re: How Professional Cosplayers Are Propelling Fanboy's Obsessions
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2007, 05:37:31 AM »

Quote from: dmizer on October 08, 2007, 04:51:36 AM
this is nothing new.  it's been going on for many many years.  i mean we're talking about a country that invented the word "geisha" ... which is ALL about fantasy and role play.  to boot, i'd say probably 50% of the junk mail i got in my box in fukuoka was fliers of women peddling their wares.  men read sexually explicit manga and magazines on the train, and there's hotels where you can go into the lobby and pick your entertainment for the evening from a vending machine-like menu.  costly but easily available.

it's just not taboo in japan, that's all.  and in reality, i think they're better off as a result.  actually confronting a human obsession and learning how to handle it and address it's impressions, consequences, and influences seems to be healthier than to sweep all that under the rug and try to suppress it.

they're not afraid to talk about it bluntly and frankly.  and to me, it is uncomfortable, but liberating.

just because it's sexually explicit doesn't mean it has negative consequences.  i'd say that's a largely western/christian ideal.  making fantasy available allows a release for a powerful emotional drive.  one that's powerful enough to drive men (and women) to violent acts.

i don't see a problem with this as long as it's mutual consent.

and no, her eyes aren't really that big (she's looking up toward the camera), and she looks so white partly because of makeup, partly because of the overwhelmingly white background, and partly because of post photo shoot processing.

here's another picture that's at a far less extreme, and far less flattering angle: in blue

It is a bit more of a realistic shot of the young woman. And i do see your point, there. Release is a good thing, and we all know what happens, when certain urges get overly pent up. Much better to be slightly uncomfy and out in the open, then a pent up little ball of rage, that could burst at any moment. Though I wonder how a service like that would fare here in America?
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dmizer
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Re: How Professional Cosplayers Are Propelling Fanboy's Obsessions
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2007, 06:26:24 AM »

Quote from: koiyuki on October 10, 2007, 05:37:31 AM
Though I wonder how a service like that would fare here in America?
you think it'd even have a snowball's chance in hell of even making it past the planning stages?

we are talking about a japanese cultural mainstay (fantasy and role play).  i don't think this would fly in many other parts of the world actually.

the caution i would urge you to take from this though ... is not to judge other cultures according to the customs and mores of your own culture.  if it's taboo to you, that doesn't mean it should be taboo in all cultures.  your initial reaction of shock and disgust was one measured against western and christian morality, rather than measured against an eastern mindset.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2007, 06:35:32 AM by dmizer » Logged

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Re: How Professional Cosplayers Are Propelling Fanboy's Obsessions
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2007, 06:52:16 PM »

Quote from: dmizer on October 10, 2007, 06:26:24 AM
the caution i would urge you to take from this though ... is not to judge other cultures according to the customs and mores of your own culture.  if it's taboo to you, that doesn't mean it should be taboo in all cultures.  your initial reaction of shock and disgust was one measured against western and christian morality, rather than measured against an eastern mindset.

it's not right to judge, but if all we have is a Western Christian mindset of course the likely reaction would be surprise. i'm not sure what would be the real-life effect of this industry since i know relatively little about Japan, but it's still possible to give a positive or negative opinion about something (like Cosplay dating service) itself rather than judge Japan as good and benevolent or weird and evil.

saying we have to get into someone else's mindset to make a judgement call all the time wouldn't work out nice and true when we try to rationalize Iran's treatments of its citizens or rural India's treatment of widows.
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dmizer
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Re: How Professional Cosplayers Are Propelling Fanboy's Obsessions
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2007, 11:54:24 PM »

actually, you're quite right.  it's not practical to give a true impartial opinion, and not very feasible to expect anyone to put themselves in another culture's mindset.

however, i think it's extremely important to try to be as unbiased as possible, and to realize when making these kinds of evaluations that different cultures don't necessarily follow our own thought process or moral obligation.  to judge other cultures according to your own values is not objective and, in my opinion, dangerous.  we shouldn't (as individuals or as a society) impose our own views on someone else or their culture.  that kind of thinking is what causes war.

i'm not saying we should embrace their ideals, but we certainly shouldn't judge them as a people or as a culture against our own ideals.  and yes, i do believe that includes iran's treatment of its citizens and rural india's treatment of widows.

in any case, there are plenty of things in japan worthy of condemnation, but this dating service is not one of them.  that doesn't mean i'm not about to participate in it though because i don't personally agree with the morality of it.
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