Anime USA 16

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Anime USA

3 - 5 October 2014 | Written by Maxxum

Anime USA 16 saw the reunion of duo Schwarz Stein as the headlining concert, as well as other performers and educators from various segments of the Japanese cultural industry.

Eyeshine w/ Ginny on guitar

For anyone living in the D/M/V who is new to cosplay, especially college students who are just now being able to explore without raising their parent's eyebrows, AUSA represents an easy gateway not only because the event is so relaxed (read: less intimidating) it's also close enough to Halloween that one can brush off inquisitive friends who perhaps aren't keen (read: culturally challenged) to the idea of someone dressing up like a character from a show they don't know. Or, to take it further, cosplay as the opposite gender, something known as "cross-play".

I definitely don't know who this character (left) is Eyeshine w/ Polo on guitar and Taylor on drums (obscured)

I'm surprised there aren't more politically affiliated groups attending anime events, especially in DC which is home to lobby groups that support gender associated causes. Japan has had oyama (men dressed as women) performing in Kabuki since the early 1600's; it's an artform and tradition that has persisted and continues to be expressed tangentially by cross-players that American society might otherwise associate with transvestism, and more directly by performers like "Kaya" of Schwarz Stein.

Schwarz Stein w/ Kaya (foreground) and Hora (background) Schwarz Stein w/ Hora
Schwarz Stein w/ Hora Schwarz Stein w/ Kaya Schwarz Stein w/ Hora (foreground) and Kaya (background)

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Photos by Maxxum