"Miss Sinister Cosplay” dresses as a character from the "Naruto" series. (Celine Wright / Los Angeles Times)Link
Allison Martin dressed as Princess Euphemia. (Celine Wright / Los Angeles Times)Link
A message board at the Anime Expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center. (Celine Wright / Los Angeles Times)Link
Princesses, warriors, robots and all manner of fantastical creatures poured through the doors of the Los Angeles Convention Center Friday morning for the second day of the 22nd annual Anime Expo, a celebration of Japanese cartoons and comic books that includes gaming, comics, concerts, fashion shows, lectures and more.
More than 50,000 people are expected to turn up for the weekend event — most of them dressed as a favorite character or in trendy Japanese fashions, and ready to pose for photographers.
High school senior Allison Martin was the subject of a number of shots Friday — clad as Princess Euphemia from “Code Geass,” she wore a long, elegantly styled pink wig and a white ball gown.
“It’s sort of like I really hope no one from my school sees me here,” said Martin with a nervous laugh. “I don’t really talk about it, because people don’t normally assume you go to cosplay conventions.”
Miller’s costumes feature a mix of store-bought and handmade elements, and she said spent about 90 minutes dressing Friday morning — though some of her other costumes have required more extensive preparation. “Sometimes it’s taken up to three hours, if I have body paint,” she said.
Also spotted in the crowd was a cosplayer who goes by the name “Miss Sinister Cosplay” on Facebook, and has more than 18,000 likes.
To re-create a character from the “Naruto” series, she used the strong cosmetic adhesive spirit gum to help give the illusion of thick, black piercings on either side of her nose, but the spike-like lip piercings were real.
“Miss Sinister” will play four different characters this weekend, representing them not only by changing her appearance, but also her personality.
“When I’m wearing certain characters I stand a little bit taller, and I look a little bit more intimidating in pictures just to re-create the character,” she said.
Not everyone dresses up, as spectating is almost as fun. Local high schoolers Indiana Wagner and Josh Mayeda were among those surveying the scene.
Wagner said the costumes were “fantastic” and that he would ponder dressing up if he could afford it. (The friends were wearing anime-themed T-shirts instead.)
“I don’t have the muscles for ‘Dragon Ball Z,’” he said, laughing.
Mayeda said he might have to wait a few years before he ventures into cosplay: “My parents don’t really understand. I would have to sneak off.”
Martin, though, said her mother does support her creative pursuits.“My mom dropped me off,” she said. “She helped me fix my [hair] today.”
— Celine Wright
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