The Tangles Anime Podcast: Episode 15

Welcome to episode 15 of The Tangles! This month, the theme of our episode is “Cosplay, Conventions, and Transformation,” and we had the chance to interview our newest writer here at Beneath the Tangles, Casey Covel, or cutsceneaddict! This month, JP and Sean talk about their experiences in cosplay and conventions, as well as some of the deeper themes they contain.

Thanks for listening! Feel free to stream the episode below, subscribe on iTunes, or check out our RSS feed! Also, be sure to email us with any questions you would like included in our “Listener Mail” portion, including the name you would like stated in the podcast and your website or blog for us to share!

Time Stamps:
Intro – 0:00
Otaku Diet – 0:26
Casey Interview – 15:29
Main Topic: Cosplay, Conventions, and Christ – 31:28
Listener Mail – 55:05
Closer – 1:08:17
Bloopers – 1:09:03

Direct Download

Note: Below are the links mentioned in the podcast:

Beneath the Tangles » TangleCast
Beneath the Tangles » TangleCast
The Tangles Anime Podcast: Episode 15

6 thoughts on “The Tangles Anime Podcast: Episode 15

  1. Podcast sounded amazing, and I love how you evolved the conversation into transformation. This is an area I’m currently writing a literature review on, looking at how cosplay shapes identity through storytelling and the blending of unreality with reality. Really fascinating stuff.

    A lot of cosplayers use it as a tool to help shape their identities. This is because cosplay not only disrupts gender, individuality, and culture, but also one’s reality. When engaged in the Con scene with other cosplayers, there’s an uncanny suspension of reality. Most cosplayers won’t ever “get lost” in this false reality, but instead use it as a vacuum–separate from the rest of the world–to play out new identities and be someone else for the day. Some do it in simple fun. Others literally learn new things about themselves for the experience. It’s a safe, separate environment–much like the digital reality of a video game–where participants have an excuse to “try out new selves” without reasonable consequence.

    Cosplay has also been linked to increased confidence. I’m currently researching cosplay as it pertains to art therapy and have found many strong correlations between cosplay and self-esteem, self-confidence, self-identification, increased awareness, and creativity. Because it combines a social aspect with an art form that expresses one’s self and forces one to “perform,” most often in a safe environment with like-minded individuals, cosplay often boosts the player’s confidence.

    Putting on the “character” is also key to this exploration and confidence boost. A shy person may become bold when dressed as a “never-back-down” character like Mikasa Ackerman or Naruto. Much like the example given in the podcast about Superman, putting on that “super hero” persona does have empowering psychological effects on the individual. Studies conducted through similar mediums, such as digital avatar creation within MMORPGs, reinforces this theory.

    Really great discussion on your part, and thank you for inviting me to the podcast. I truly enjoyed the experience.

  2. It has been told in the Bible:

    Deuteronomy 18:9-13 “9 When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. 10 Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, 11 or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. 12 Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD, and because of these detestable practices the LORD your God will drive out those nations before you. 13 You must be blameless before the LORD your God.”

    I think that is why some people in the church get concerned about cosplay, because they think it falls with Halloween and the celebration of Satan, and it can be. But only if the person does not actually DO these practices will it have an innocence with cosplay. For example, when I go to conventions or dress up in cosplay, I can choose to be in full character and do these kind of practices that follow or I can choose not to. I choose not to portray sorcery or witchcraft like Harry Potter or characters that do magic in any form. I don’t indulge myself to a point that I am “possessed” as the character. A character example is Elsa from Frozen. I can act the personality and look like Elsa, but I choose not to fully indulge in her sorcery with ice and snow. I only get into character enough to look like the character in order to make a fan be happy by even meeting the character, if that makes any sense. I still stick to my Faith and what I believe in and I make sure to do good before, during or after cosplaying or a convention. As long as someone doesn’t get involved with the deep magic or lose thy self within cosplay, then I believe that cosplay can be enjoyed in a belief and Faith manner.

  3. “I think that is why some people in the church get concerned about cosplay, because they think it falls with Halloween and the celebration of Satan, and it can be.”

    Well to be fair, Halloween as currently practiced has next to nothing to do with Satan as he’s explained in the actual Bible. Initially, as All Hallows, it kind of did, because it was a “Day of the Dead” of sorts. But at the moment it’s just…cute little kids dressing up in costumes and enjoying themselves.

    Now there’s…actually an argument to be had on that front from a different angle. Basically, the literal text of the Bible is something like, “Satan is always dressing himself as an angel of light,” but well…It’s more like the guy ‘dresses himself’ as all kinds of stuff. If he explicitly stuck with one image he couldn’t convince anyone of anything, so instead he is virtually constantly play-acting and form-shifting. Not only are portrayals of him drastically different from time period to time period, but portrayals in stories of people that “represent him” are also different. Occasionally something gets conveyed in the stories themselves, because humans understand the world through stories. (That’s why the Bible contains so many morally relevant tales. 🙂 ). If you psychologically cross-reference every story you’ve seen, strangely enough for all the differences….You’ll get the distinct impression that the stories are talking about specific people with specific personality traits, over and over again. Joseph Campbell’s “hero with a thousand faces.”

    Ragyo from Kill La Kill, Maestro Delphine from Last Exile, the Count from Gankutsuou, Segai from Guilty Crown, even the Joker from the Dark Knight….These five are arguably…On a metaphysical level….Descriptions of the same person, not five different people. The same way Gandalf, Madoka (Though imperfectly) and Aslan are all representations of aspects of Jesus. I’ve been thinking about this phenomenon a long, long time.

    So what does this have to do with Halloween and cosplaying? Well, in short, it becomes unintentionally very easy to literally dress up as the Devil…and he does seem to have a thing for dressing up himself. And it’s surprisingly easy to literally lose yourself, or convey far too much of yourself to get back, in acting. To become “possessed” by something older than you are. So is the act of putting on a mask and hiding who you are from yourself for a while….itself problematic? It’s a good question.

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