A Few Thoughts on Otakon, Part II

Last time I discussed trends in the industry, this time I want to talk about trendy things. In other words, the last post was all state of the anime and manga companies-ish, while this time I want to talk about what was popular/in style at Otakon this year. There were really only a few things with super-popularity this year, and at least two of them are tied together.

1. Alice in Wonderland

Anything and everything Alice-y. For full disclosure :), I myself bought a black hoodie with an Alice-style print down the side. It looks very cool. It being the middle of summer, my new hoodie shall now hide in my closet for several months.

Anyway, the Alice influence was visible everywhere. Some things weren’t obviously Alice-inspired in and of themselves, but when seen with the vast array of lace-pinafore dresses, outfits splashed with images of the card suits (hearts, spades, et cetera), hoodies with rabbit ears attached and so on, their influence became very clear. And I adore it. Everything looked so cute, and I am so unemployed… Seriously though, a lot of the Alice-inspired clothing could be worn in public (i.e. at places where non-otaku reside) and still seem stylish. Aside from clothing, I was able to find Sakura Kinoshita’s manga version of Alice in Wonderland, and various and sundry similar Alice paraphenalia. This is in part related to

2. Kuroshitsuji

Kuroshitsuji is crazy popular right now. The manga begins its English serialization in August in Yen Plus, but many (myself included) have already seen the anime. A second series was already greenlit, which is interesting in light of the first series’ ending.

Kuroshitsuji follows Ciel Phantomhive, a very young English nobleman who trades his soul to a demon named Sebastian Michaelis for revenge. The clothing designs are very frilly – similar to how Alice is conceived by artists now. (Incidentally, Tim Burton and Johnny Depp are making a new Alice movie. Yet more of the trend, and by two gentlemen that I very much respect.) Additionally, some of the characters in Kuroshitsuji seem similar to those in Alice, though not precisely the same. There is a Madame Red to the Red Queen; a character who dresses all in white like the White Rabbit (or, if you prefer, like the White Queen and King – this character cross-dresses); a young girl and the main character (who cross-dresses on occasion) who compare to Alice and her sister; there is also a character who trades information (worded confusingly) for funny jokes. The similarity is slim, but the emphasis on mysteriously-worded information and an eerie smile sounds like the Cheshire Cat.

Those two were the big ones, but I noticed that Code Geass‘ popularity is holding up well. Also a series called K-On seems mildly popular. Anyone else noticed anything in particular?

Edit: Incidentally, Pandora Hearts is another anime with a similar style.


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