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),

Speedgrapher

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12 Responses to “Time Capsule Files: Cosplay & Maid Café @ fnac – The Mall Athens (22 – 24/10/2009) – Day 3: Part 1”

  1. Finally out in the open, huh? Makes me wonder if that will stir up trouble or not

  2. Great photos Speedy-san! Hope to see you at some point ^^

  3. speedxgrapher Says:

    @Nerethil: As do I my friend, as do I…

    @Wabbit: Thank you dear Wabbie. You will, I suppose, at SOME point…

  4. Gia sou re adrea me ta orea sou.Elpizw na eisai kala kai na isiosei to pc sou!

  5. speedxgrapher Says:

    Thanks dude! Isiose, alla mou viase ena triimero…

  6. kserw mou eipe h Mai…Elpizw na se doume kai pote! xD

  7. Mona Risa Says:

    Kudos for telling the truth as it is. The sense of “community” presupposes a more collective feeling, a common sense of identity, to be more precise, which is something we, as a j-community in Greece, are unfortunately lacking quite often. J-parties, cosplay events included, should be nothing more than an opportunity for fans to get together, have fun, exchange views, like you said it is hobby after all and should be fun. And isn’t it ironic that a few years ago, fans in the scene were literally wishing for this culture to gain more publicity, to find people sharing the same interests and interact… and now this sense of collectivity has become a terrain of hostility?

    J-culture is not about being coerced into liking all things “J” and acting “J” just cause you have to… I don’t see the point of it be segmented, nor categorised and of course, there IS no right and wrong way of doing it, nor is it a privilege to some. It is a way of life, a form of art appearing in various forms. Like it or not, the entertainment industry (focusing on the more “modern” aspect of the culture) and art itself (in a more traditional sense), is directed towards everyone, otherwise artists would not promote their work to the public… Common sense! 🙂

    Fad or not, fans of the Japanese culture in Greece have been around since “forever”, Japanese-related events were organised by official bodies and fans themselves, before even the whole thing started and will still do so even when the supposed “trend” wears off… we know who they are, they are the ones who actually enjoy themselves and don’t make a fuss out of it.

    Cheers 🙂

  8. FleXy o Skoteinoulis Says:

    Meta apo kairo loipon episkeptomai 3ana to Otaku Lens poy toso agapaw.
    H alh8eia ponaei, tsoyzei alla etsi einai opws ta les akribws oson afora to 8ema “community” poy etsi ki alliws kai proforika otan syzhtaw panta kanw me ta daxtyla moy eisagwgika kai panta lew “”@@ community eimaste”.
    Kai esy kai h Mona Risa me kalyptete plhrws. Oxi DE nomizw oti 8a psofhsei pantws. Den yparxei g mena kapoios poy to kanei kalytera, apla diaforetikes ekfanseis, asxetws an den yparxei kammia enothta kai kammia synergasia.
    Apla 8elw pros8esw kai kati allo: oti isws 8a tan kalytera na einai popular mono anamesa s autoys poy to agapane pragmatika ki as einai 30 atoma to poly. Bebaiws kai na diado8ei alla me diakritiko tropo. (kai oxi me greek idol kai Tatianes gt ginoyme h epomenh Emo sta kanalia) Oxi na skane haters, thieves kai evildoers poy erxontai g boythgma g kra3imo kai g na ri3oyn kai kammia sta ypoula.
    Na mhn 3exasw na ypen8ymisw epishs oti einai xwros ekdhlwshs kai moirasias ths agaphs g ta endiaferonta mas kai oxi probolhs-gt exw arxisei na sixainomai merika atoma poy xrhsimopoioyn tis katastaseis g na aytoproballontai. Kai oxi mono ayto alla na 3efytrwnoyn kai ay8enties!!!

  9. […] on its proverbial sands and so, even after all this time, I am still not going to complete the Cosplay & Maid Cafe series of posts. It’s either a peculiar time/space aberration, OR the photos from Wrong […]

  10. […] & Sora have remained somewhat silent after the successful Cosplay & Maid Café at The Mall’s FNAC and this may have given the impression of an untimely retirement, an […]

  11. […] neighborhood). Some of the reasons are already known and have been analyzed at some length (both here and inside CHORISSU). A couple of days back, I met some people who frequent the parties and one […]

  12. […] you watch it all the way through, you will also see me, in a photo from much happier times (The Maid Cafe at the Athens Mall fnac in 2009 – the fnac has since become a Public, but in the photos you can also see Cassiel cosplaying […]

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