Happening upon the Unexpected: Anime Day in Hangnyeoul

“Read the directions and directly you

will be directed in the right direction.”

– The Doorknob, from Alice in Wonderland

One of the most incredible things about living in a completely foreign country is the increased likelihood that you will encounter something bizarre, something unfamiliar to your otherwise oblivious eyes.

A few weekends ago, on our venture to find a field to kick the soccer ball around on, we happened on one of the most bizarre chance events this side of Hallowe’en: Cosplay.

As we exited the subway station in Hangnyeoul, we started to notice a few strangely dressed individuals, some wearing wigs, a couple wielding weapons. As we progressed further up the stairs and into the daylight, we began to feel as though we were walking into the pages of a comic book. There was a lot of blue hair, a lot of magical-looking weapons, and a lot of strange looks in our direction. As if we were the oddities at this spectacle. ;)

Cosplay is short for “costume play”. It’s a performance art where participants don costumes and accessories to represent a specific character or idea. Most of the characters we saw were dressed as anime characters or characters from comic books, and though none of us had much of an idea of who, exactly, they were supposed to be, they all looked awesome. So much effort was obviously put into their costumes. And they loved to pose in pictures for us.

These girls were so cute ^^

And these guys were my favourite : )

Oh, and differences in taste definitely exist across cultures. I’m talking about cosplay in Korea vs. cosplay in North America. Or, at least I think they do. Because some costumes worn in Hangnyeoul without hesitation would probably be avoided like the plague by Western cosplayers. And of this I’m talking about the Nazi uniforms. There were 2 men we saw dressed up as Nazi-officers. And I’ll admit it: I didn’t take pictures because I may have been slightly afraid. Can you blame me? ; )