Category Archives: Anime-Related

Cute Maids and Good Food at Akiha Bali Maid Cafe

It seems that there’s a bunch of energetic cosplayers and/or weebs in Bali. This is me judging solely from the increasing amount of maid cafes that have suddenly sprouted up, usually in partnerships with local, small Japanese-style restaurants in Denpasar.

The most recent café features ten lovely and cute maids ready to serve their masters over a two-day period from 11-12 June 2016 at Sushi Tsuki restaurant, located at Jalan Gatot Subroto in Denpasar. The maid café, hosted by newcomer organizer, Akiha Bali, adds to the diversity of maid cafes that the island has seen, such as the Love Live! maid café last year and Dream Chamber. Continue reading Cute Maids and Good Food at Akiha Bali Maid Cafe

Should Cosplayers be Paid?

It’s now time for one of my unpopular opinions. Yesterday, I was at an event. It was a corporate event, sponsored by a company that sells Japanese vehicles. I don’t approve of these corporates using cosplay as a means for cheap advertisement and a crowd magnet. At least give them a form of reimbursement, like snacks or a small fee. Which brings me to the topic at hand. With cosplay becoming so mainstream, there are instances where cosplayers are “used” by certain companies, especially malls or large corporates, under the pretext of a “cosplay event”. Even though we know it’s total bullshit; they just attach the word “cosplay” to attract more people. Thus, the question that needs to be asked is: should cosplayers under these circumstances be provided with remuneration/reimbursement?

Continue reading Should Cosplayers be Paid?

Managing Fame in Cosplay

In recent news, I’ve stumbled upon some fuss about an incident where a famous cosplayer was “caught” wanting to purchase “any type of costume of any character”. The origins of the debacle seems to have been erased, so I’m operating only secondary sources. It would seem that the famous cosplayer intended to buy a costume for her friend, but was misunderstood by someone else who thought that famous cosplayers should all possess godlike skills in crafting and have unlimited time on their hands to focus solely on their cosplays. The famous cosplayer in question has screenshot a status update of the accuser and despite the accuser not explicitly mentioning the famous cosplayer, as I write this, a bunch of white knights have deployed themselves to the battlefield for a chance to impress the damsel in distress and conquer the evil bitch who called her out.

And that’s for your news today. I’m Ahotaku, reporting for the independent people’s media.

But seriously though, have standards stooped this low in cosplay? It seems that nowadays, anyone with a pretty face and a bunch of selfies can rise up the ladder to become a famous cosplayer and invited to become a guest star. Sometimes, these people are invited as judges, just because they’re famous and pretty/handsome. Cosplay now is more like modeling than actually a hobby.

So in this post, let me question some of the basic assumptions we hold in the cosplay world. This time, regarding guest stars.

What makes a guest star?

It’s finally time someone started thinking on what the term “guest star” actually means and how it has been skewed by the tryhard wannabe pleb-tier events just so they can look cool and on par with AFAID.

Here, the term “guest” is pretty self-explanatory. It means someone you invite over. You host an event, you invite someone over. These people are your guests. This applies to everybody, including the plebs that come to spend their hard-earned parent’s cash on things they’ll probably masturbate to later at home.

Next, the term “star”. Of course I don’t mean a literal star in an astronomic sense. We’d fucking burn. No, the “star” here, in my very humble opinion, should refer to “a person who has at least achieved a significant achievement or is well recognized by the cosplay community as having traits that are exemplary”. And by “achievement” I don’t mean breaking 100K likes on a selfie taken on a low-res camera or even WorldCosplay rank. Of course, there are other traits that can be considered, like:

  • Does the person share a lot of inspirational advice in an attempt to benefit to community?
  • Does the person show passion in the art of crafting their own costume? Because as far as I’ve seen, most of the famous cosplayers craft their own gear either partially or fully.
  • Is the person not a total douchebag on the internet, hiding behind an army of SJWs and white knights? Do they often make a fuss about shit that shouldn’t be a problem in the first place
  • And many more, I bet you can think of some.

To make it easier for the dimwits reading this, I present to you two cosplayers. One cosplayer has a pretty face, the other pretty standard. The first cosplayer is famous on social media, having more than 1 trillion followers and is constantly rank 1 on WorldCos; while the other is mostly unnoticed because they don’t have a large social media following. Yet cosplayer 1 acts like a total douche and is condescending towards their peers; whereas cosplayer 2 takes the time to actually teach and help their friends improve themselves. Who would you think should be granted the title of “star”?

Of course, ideally, the award should be presented to cosplayer number 2. But in this fucked up world we live in, where we perceive the goodness of people solely on much likes and followers they have on social media and the relative beauty of their physical appearances, we would to choose cosplayer number 1 as a “star” despite them not showing traits that are exemplary to the community.

So, the ideal “guest star” would be someone who is actually talented and is a paragon of virtue for the community. Someone who won the WCS tournament should be considered a “star”, and when invited to talk or perform at an event, is then worthy of the title “guest star”. Not some person who posts occasional sexy cosplay pics and gets a gazillion likes.

But nowadays, event organizers just plaster the word around the place. “Guest star” this, “guest star” that… even if the guest star is a total asshole or is just famous on the internet because she posts occasional nudes/he posts occasional abs. And so what should be done about this? Creating a specific agency to carefully certify guest stars is fucking stupid, and we can’t actually rely on the community’s vote. So, maybe it’s up to event organizers to actually get to know the people they’re inviting beforehand. A bit of background research shouldn’t be that hard.

But then again, it’s all about the shekels, folks. It’s financially more plausible to invite a guest star that has a large following, since there’s a higher chance that the event will be full of fat ugly men waiting to see their beloved sex fantasy object in real life. Ah shekels, how you ruin idealism!

Should a guest star be a judge in a cosplay competition?

Now on to this other issue that’s always been nagging me. When I go to cosplay events to watch performances, I would expect the judges to be fair and at least free from collusion or nepotism. But there was one time when I went to an event (it was last year, I think) where a guest star was also a judge for a cosplay competition. Since it was a small competition organized by a small community, I didn’t give a shit back then. But the more you think about it, the more you start seeing events that host cosplay competitions and use guest stars as judges, despite the guest star being a total noob about performance.

The answer to the question above is yes, but only under certain conditions.

First, there should at least be disclosure on the qualities of the guest star that justify granting the title of “judge” to them. Like, fucking tell us if she’s won any competitions before that are not community-based ones and not where she’s judged by a panel of her peers. This is to provide assurance to the cosplayers performing that they are (at least) being assessed by someone who knows what they’re doing. What organizers can do is ask the judge to provide a short summary of their achievements, which will be read to the audience so that they can fact-check it. Hey, I was once an adjudicator for a debate competition, and they requested my debating experiences in print before considering me for the position. They should be doing the same thing for cosplay as well. Standards, people. Standards.

Second, under no circumstances should a guest star be considered for the position of judge solely on the basis of fame. I cannot stress this enough. Just because someone is famous, doesn’t they have the capacity to judge. I don’t care how many followers she has or how many horny fat men are after her, if she doesn’t know the slightest thing about performing, she should not sit on the judge’s panel. She should just stay somewhere else, preferably far away from the stage, and just be pretty for the cameras. Solely famous guest stars should only be used for marketing purposes. If that comes across too harsh, remember that professional models live the same life.

Finally, if the organizer ignores parts 1 and 2, the guest star should only sit on the judge panel to provide commentary and their votes will not be considered in the final decision. At least they can have a say and still be pretty while doing it. A bit of commentary is nice, no?

So, those are my issues regarding guest stars. In the end, to become a “star” shouldn’t be easy work. You can’t just go viral and then automatically become a “star”; you gotta earn it from the community. Even the singers on American Idol have to work hard to get their titles. Also, just because people are famously pretty, doesn’t mean their opinions get to matter. That’s called the halo effect.

Anyway, I guess that’s enough for now. See you assholes later in another post! By the way, if you enjoy my writing, please take a look at my Medium account, where I post stuff from my daily life.

An Observation of Love in Anime

First, a huge thanks to Hayashi Sora, for the enlightening posts that made me want to write stuff other than the sensationalist drama bullcrap I’ve been writing a whole lot about.

Now that that’s over, it’s time to explore an oftenly visited aspect of any modern entertainment: love. Yes, it’s in the movies, in bullshit YA fiction, on the net, and even in anime. It’s always an interesting subject to talk about, as it is highly subject to taste and personal preference. Considering the nature of the topic, I’ll just say here that this post is just my highly subjective take on love in anime; how it’s portrayed and what I think the future of love should be in anime.

Continue reading An Observation of Love in Anime

Of Religion and Cosplay: Thou Shalt Not Mix Them

Want me to be really honest? I’ve tried my best to not even stir the delicate fabric that is religion whenever I discuss an issue related to otaku culture. I really tried. I’m an atheist; I believe God doesn’t exist. But, I can’t be open in this country because the state “forces” its people to have a religion. And because a lot of people are morons who can’t distinguish “discussing an idea” from “blatant attack on personal belief”, I refrain from discussing atheism openly.

But, this… just for this once, I’ll break my commitment to discuss something that I think was meant to be good, but got botched in conveying its message, thereby making it look really stupid.

Just this morning, I woke up and turned on my phone. The first thing I did was masturbate open Facebook and I was intrigued by a status update of a friend. He shared the following photo from the Otaku Muslim fan page:

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On a side note, I seriously believe the term “Otaku Muslim” is an oxymoron because a person cannot be faithful to one without contradicting the other.

Anyway, the above meme roughly translates to:

Left: When women dress openly, men will love them with lust.

Right: When women protect their dignity, men will love them with their hearts.

I was like “Ah the typical hijab cosplay bullshit again”. I made my decision years ago that though I appreciate the creativity behind hijab cosplay, I would never acknowledge it as being “real cosplay” because it botches up the characters unless said character actually wears a hijab. And my stance hasn’t changed.

The entire notion of categorical nudity is stupid. Nudity is subjective. Showing off your bikini at the beach is not considered nudity by Western standards; but showing some skin in Muslim countries can be considered nudity. Where are we? Indonesia may be a Muslim-majority country, but we are essentially multicultural, ergo, we cannot impose an arbitrary standard of nudity based on just one segment of the population. Thus, we can’t judge the left cosplayer as being promiscuous just because she’s wearing something that doesn’t fit Islamic standards, moreover implying that whoever does so will only be loved for lust. It is an imbalanced comparison because it heavily favors one side. Besides, there is no causal relation between the amount of skin someone shows off in cosplay and the type of love she is entitled to received.

And don’t let me get started on the religious controversies surrounding the legitimacy of “hijab cosplay”.

Abrahamic religions share similar tenets, and I believe they all believe that pride is a sin. I haven’t finished studying the Koran yet, however. Now, let’s put it this way. The entire point of this meme, as I believe, is to show that a certain religious practice is “better” than others. Correct me if I’m wrong, but is it not a sin to be proud of something, while at the same time, dissing another practice? Different strokes for different folks, and nobody is better than another.

Besides, the meme makes fun of both women and men alike. Women are portrayed as objects that have to be told what to do, while men are vile creatures who can’t control their dicks. The thing is, it’s not about dressing up like a matryoshka doll. It’s about how you think. People can have vile thoughts about the cosplayer on the right, even though she’s covered from head to toe.

On a side note, using Kotori as an “icon” of promiscuous cosplay is fucking stupid. She’s an innocent character. Besides, her costume isn’t that open. Try harder, OP.

Religion is like a penis. It’s okay to have one, it’s okay to love having one too. But when you start flinging it around in public and shouting, “My penis is the greatest and you all can suck it”, that’s a problem.

Personally, I just cannot understand how the tenets of Islam (or any religion for that matter) and cosplay, a liberal culture, can meet eye-to-eye. Religion is conservative, cosplay is liberal. Religion doesn’t want people to be dressed up in skimpy outfits, cosplay allows you to do whatever the fuck you want. I like to think of it like this: cosplay is a free medium where you can dress as anything you like and not get reprimanded for it. I can cosplay as Osama bin Laden with a bomb strapped to my chest because it’s freedom of expression. But when I go around telling and putting down other cosplayers, especially those from different religious and cultural backgrounds, that they deserve to go to hell because their costumes do not adhere to the standards of belief system, that’s where the line should be drawn.

Hobbies should remain secular.

Do We Have an Inferiority Complex? Foreign vs Local Cosplayers

In the world of cosplay, despite what they say about equality, some cosplayers are more equal than others. Some just have things others don’t; fairer skin, that perfect hourglass figure, and sparkling white teeth. These are the people that make it through the Internet’s harsh standards and eventually rise to stardom in the cosplay world. It just so happens that most of them reside outside the territorial borders of Indonesia. I’m not saying that we don’t have cosplayers to be proud of; it’s just that the truth is most of them still live under the radar.

Continue reading Do We Have an Inferiority Complex? Foreign vs Local Cosplayers

Battle of Surabaya and Blind Nationalism

Hey, what’s up Internet? I know that I’ve fucking vanished for the last couple of months because I now have a full-time job which doesn’t allow me a lot of leisure time to come up with sensationalist crap anymore. I’ve sort out my priorities and decided that instant coverage and rants on specific dramas are not important anymore. I still have time to watch anime, and am currently enjoying GATE, Charlotte, and as my guilty pleasure, Himouto. I don’t fucking care about watching more anime than anyone else because I don’t fucking have time for it anymore. 3 series are enough.

Okay, now on to the actual rant. Consider this a special, because the issue irked me so bad, I had to find time during work to fucking write this. I wasn’t even interested at first, but thanks to my favorite angry Canadian on YouTube, Buckley, I got interested in ranting again. And I’m gonna curse a lot, because (a) I’ve had an extremely bad day and (b) I can fucking do that.

So all of you fucking Indonesians must know about Battle of Surabaya. Of course, when I say “Indonesia”, it almost always means the fucking island of fucking Java. Fuck you, central government. And fuck you, monopolist movie theater business for not showing it in Bali. It’s a movie, an animated feature-length film, that has been stuffed under the rug for two years until it was finally released a week ago for public consumption. Of course, I’ve been a staunch supporter of the movie (I bought a fucking t-shirt for 13 bucks) when I first met the team at Hellofest, and was very disappointed that those assholes in the theater business decided not to show the movie in Bali. It tells the story of Musa, a young boy who delivers letters, and his role in a pivotal battle in Indonesian history that took place in Surabaya. That’s the gist of it.

Now, what’s wrong with the movie? Can’t tell, I haven’t seen it yet. Heard it was pretty good, based on reviews. And you fucking spoil anything, I’ll come to cut your fucking dick off and jam it in your fucking mouth and then force you to swallow it before I fucking strangle you.

The problem arises when an admin (yes, an official admin on the official FB page) tries to sell a product using subtly coercive techniques. See the screenshot below. BTW, I stole the image from AndrianVidano. Tell the guy I sent you.

patriotisme-buta-2
Damn son, you be channeling the spirit of Hitler.

What I’m trying to point out here is how their PR guy’s trying to pull a Deutschland uber alles campaign on social media. Basically, they’re trying to sell the movie using blind nationalism. The screenshot can be roughly translated to:

“Oh, you didn’t watch this movie and/or give it a good rate on IMDb? You must fucking hate Indonesia, you atheistic communist piece of shit. GTFO this country. No wonder we’re losing to fucking ‘Murica,”

I’m proud that a team of Indonesian animators were willing to go at lengths to make the movie. That’s an effort I respect. Not everyone can make a full-length animated feature and sell it. But forcing me to give a good review, regardless of quality, just because it was made by Indonesians? Fuck you.

I don’t need an admin telling me to watch a movie just because it was made by Indonesians. Nor do I need someone using the appeal to nationalism to try to force me. If I think it’s a good movie, I’ll go fucking see it anyway. If it turned out to be bad, you can’t blame me for shitting all over it like what I did in my Tiap Detik review. I don’t care if an Indonesian or a Puerto Rican or an Arab made it. If it’s good, it’s good. If it’s bad, then it’s worth to be called a piece of shit. That’s how it should be. Honest feedback and criticism, devoid of cognitive biases especially appeal to nationalism, should be given to show both support and give a kick in the balls so these guys can improve and make better stuff in the future.

In the end, all of this makes me think that our self-esteem, as a nation, is really fucking low. So low, that we suddenly feel proud of anything that was made by an Indonesian, no matter how good or bad it is. It’s just like insisting on using a shitty laptop just because it was produced in Indonesia.

Now I hope the movie comes soon to Bali. Otherwise, I’m gonna kill a bitch.