Riley’s favorite holiday was Halloween. A great deal of thought and creativity went into every costume, every year. Riley loved dressing up, so when he found Cosplay, it was like Halloween pumped up to 11, all year round!
Cosplay, literally ‘costume play’ is the practice of dressing up as a character from a movie, anime, cartoon, comic book, manga, tv series or video game. It grew out of fans’ getting dressed up at science fiction conventions, but Cosplay is more than just putting on an outfit, it’s a performance art.
And, Riley was completely into it.
Like most serious Cosplayers, Riley went to extreme lengths designing, gluing, and sewing costumes, cutting and styling wigs, copying an exact look down to the tiniest details. Voices, gestures and mannerisms – he would completely get into character, whatever the gender!
Conventions filled him with that sense of belonging that only comes when surrounded by “your people.” Same as at Pride, Rylie felt at home at cons.
He also loved the subculture of the Anime Aminos, Communications aminos and Crunchyroll, and he made many friends. But he had never, yet, gone to an actual event … until …
In Jan 2017, Dad took Riley to his first Anime Convention; Anime Los Angeles (ALA) at the Ontario Convention Center. Riley dressed as Kasane Teto – a fan created Vipperiod.
Kasane Teto is a Japanese UTAU (singing synthesizer) who was originally created as a troll “VOCALOID” by fans. Her surname (Kasane) literally means “heavy sound” or “overlapped sound”. Her fame lead to the raise of the UTAU “Vipperoids”, though many people still mistake her for a VOCALOID.
In July 2017, Riley next attended the Anime Expo (AX) at the LA Convention Center.
AX is the largest anime, manga and Japanese pop culture convention in North America and draws over 100,000 people!
Riley dressed as V-Flower V4, and made the google search!
Also, in 2017 Riley took his friend Dayana to a Korean Anime convention (Anime Impulse?). They went as 707 and MC from ‘Mystic Messenger’ a South Korean ‘storytelling messenger game’.
MC is the main Protagonist – which stands for Main Character. Her default avatar comes in 5 various appearances, but she appears to have brown, long silky hair and is drawn with her eyes hidden under bangs.
707 often referred as Seven, is a a happy-go-lucky, outgoing hacker. However, our first impression of Seven is not the “real” Seven. Behind the humor, Seven is actually quite serious.
At the Korean Convention, Riley met anime influencer, Mari, who became a friend and mentor. Later, Riley met Mari in Little Tokyo to eat sweetbuns and drink boba tea.
In Jan 2018, Riley attended Anime Los Angeles (ALA) at the Ontario Convention Center
This time, Riley painted himself blue, and went as Lapis Lazuli.
Lapis Lazuli is a blue gem and major character from Steven Universe. Like Steven, Lapis as a vulnerable character who is taken advantage of constantly but interested in opening up to people who offer her kindness. She is exceptionally powerful, especially when she is near the ocean. Riley dressed in the baseball cap and bat version of the character from season 3. At this convention, Riley met one of his heroes, Atlas.
2018 March – Wondercon.com at the Anaheim Convention Center. WonderCon is the sister show to Comic-Con, embracing similar themes including comics, movies, TV, animation and more. It was a two day event.
Riley dressed as Lin …
Lin is half of the Rin & Lin Vocaloid duo who’s names mean ‘left’ (Ren) and ‘right’ (Rin), like in stereophonic sound. Their surnames came from the Japanese words for “mirror” and “sound” and they are each other’s mirror image.
The next day, ‘casual’ Teto …
Many other conventions followed, and countless other costumes …
SALLY FACE/strange neighbors – Sal Fisher, otherwise known as “Sally Face“, is the main protagonist of ‘SayyFace’, the video game. A tragic accident during his childhood left his face severely scarred, requiring him to wear a prosthetic face.
PIDGE – Katie ‘Pidge’ Holt is a former communications cadet at the Galaxy Garrison, and current pilot of the Green Lion of Voltron. She is a strategic fighter, and a highly intelligent, versatile hacker and inventor who disguised herself as a boy named Pidge Gunderson.
GEORGIE – from Steven King’s novel ‘IT’.
Georgie being the younger brother of the lead character who gets killed by the clown at the opening .
KENNITH – from Colorbars /Communications by Ghost
KIBO & Shuichi – from Danganrompa
ANALISE – from ‘Undertale’
And many other characters we don’t know the names of … so if anyone can enlighten us, please do!