Time Capsule Files: Cosplay & Maid Café @ fnac – The Mall Athens (22 – 24/10/2009) – Day 3: Part 1
Well, it seems I finally found a (very) small niche to post some photos from 4 months back (wow, its been THAT long). Looking at this event in retrospect, I am very happy we had the opportunity of doing it and also feel a bit pessimistic about modern J-culture in Greece. Why? Well, it’s really simple: while I have not come at a cosplay party for some time, news do reach me and I do tend to see the connections between things. At this moment in time, modern J-culture in Greece is becoming a rapidly fading trend. It is centered exclusively around the parties and then again to a great degree around cosplay. Make no mistake, the crowd IS thinning (the Carnival season does not count – it’s the only time of the year when cosplay is widely accepted in Greece, after all) and at some point not in the far distant future, if things do not change, everyday life will take its toll and you will have done this one too many times to find it interesting anymore.
If you do not believe me, you only have to look at all the other imported cultural (subcultural in Greece) trends of the past and see that I am right. Those who did not manage to find a sense of community, a REAL sense of community, faded into obscurity and vaguely remembered fun times. Which brings me to the main problem: there IS no community, in that there is no sense of purpose or direction and with the exception of a very few people, J-culture is not treated as a whole but segmented in its various aspects, the various followers of which are even hostile to each other (again, if you do not believe me you only have to open your ears, check backlogs in forums, remember discussions, have a look at widely publicized fights and ask people who thought there was a community and rapidly found otherwise). Each has their own agenda, each seems to think “they are right”, “they are the Keepers of J” and in a number of variations “cooler, wiser, better dressed than thou”.
Now, I will be the first to say this is just a hobby (for which opinion I have also been criticized) and as such, it is supposed to be fun, to take the mind off problems, not create more for someone to solve or even be aware of. As a hobby, it is also supposed to be creative. Sure, cosplay IS a really creative process for some but looking at the pictures, there is the evident presence of a peak and the beginning of a decline, not only (or even at all, all things considered) in quality but mainly in the choice of character, the roleplaying and slowly, even the physique. It’s becoming a habit, instead of something special. At any rate, what I witnessed at the event in fnac was a good start, an opening to something that could maybe survive the trend’s death, that could inspire a different way of thinking, a sense of… COMMUNITY. Sadly, it’s not happening and rest assured, the way the economy is going, soon our troubles will outweigh the remaining fun value of the parties, which will end up not being worth the trouble.
Sound bleak? Yes, I know it does and I assure you that I thought long and hard about this before writing it here, knowing full well I might become unpleasant. My inner demons are not for public consumption and I would never entertain the thought of basing anything I posted here on them. So after you entertain yourselves with the following photos, stop for a moment and think what this whole modern J-culture means to you, what it is and what it could or even should be. On the other hand, don’t: it won’t be the end of the world and I am sure something else will eventually replace “the J”.
On with the show…
Well, I hope you enjoyed that little bit of time-travel (there are, of course, tons more which I have no idea when I will be posting) but more importantly, I hope you will take a moment and think about what was different there and how it can be accomplished again.
From the depths of oblivion (no, not the game),