Can There Be Only One?

Friday, 15 October 2010, 8:00 | Author : Kricket
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Back when Fanime was a small convention, located in the Santa Clara Convention Center, I crossplayed a character from Slayers, a series which was fairly popular for its time.  Amitie, Janet, and I completed a full group of Filia, Lina Inverse, and Zelgadis respectively.  It was our first official cosplay attempt and we were very excited with our coordination and craftsmanship–though, I assure you, it was amateur.

Throughout the weekend, we realized we weren’t the only convention attendees who wished to represent this series.  We stood in the dealer’s room line with another Lina Inverse.  I also recognized Xellos and Amelia, each of whom I considered interacting with (via roleplay), but inevitably decided against.  Since we did not have those specific characters in our group, I could see the benefits of inviting the “missing” characters to form a larger and more impressive cosplay group.

Alternatively, I was horrified by the presence of any doppelganger cosplay–in my case, any additional Zelgadis cosplayers.  I mean, I’m all up for merging into a large cosplay group, but only with characters that were currently absent from our group.  Perhaps it is my egotistical nature that refused to accept any competition, but somehow it felt like a violation to see my duplicate standing across from me in the same room.  I lean heavily towards the doppelganger myth that it is “an omen of death if one was ever to see their Doppelgänger” (Urban Dictionary).  Now, imagine how I felt when the said duplicate walked up to me and said, “How about we take a picture together?”  I couldn’t politely refuse.  What sane reason did I have, except to say, “There can’t be two of us!”  So I stood there while his friend took a picture of two Zelgadises standing side by side.  I ran away from my duplicate at the earliest opportunity.

I’d like to think that my behavior was a product of the convention atmosphere at the time.  Back in the day, Fanime did not organize and coordinate cosplay gatherings and cosplayers were seen more sparingly than today.  However, I also think that I’m just unreasonably minded.  Each of the other Slayer cosplayers seemed equally complacent to mingle with any and all Slayers characters in attendance.  Whenever Amitie, Janet, or I wandered too far from our small group, one of us would be “temporarily borrowed” by another Slayers group for a photo opportunity.  I remember finding a photo online with Amitie/Filia standing next to a different Lina Inverse and I thought, “Amitie shouldn’t be posing with that Lina!  She is with Janet!”  I’m sure my possessive nature is in contradiction with the current convention atmosphere-but hey, I really don’t want to GLOMP you either!

So what’s the lesson to be learned?  No matter how obscure is your costume, there is a good chance that there will be at least one other person in attendance cosplaying his or her own version.

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