I've been doing my fair share of thinking about maid cafes recently. A lot of it has to do with that Kawaii Kon preview article I wrote profiling the UH Cosplay Cafe, but there's also the fact that I've had the song "Mune Mune Kyun" earwormed into my brain ever since I tuned into one of those KZOO Sunday shows featuring K-chan and some of the AniMaid Cafe Hawaii workers. Never heard of "Mune Mune Kyun"? Well, here you go. (Warning: Extreme cuteness and high likelihood of earworming similar to mine ahead.)
Perhaps there's someone out there -- maybe even someone like you? -- who'd like to join in on the fun. Well, it's your lucky day -- AniMaid Cafe Hawaii is now accepting applications for new volunteers. Some of the standards, for those of you who don't feel inclined to click through at the moment:
- Must be 18 years old and/or older
- Must attend all mandatory meetings/training
- Must provide your own maid/host uniform
- Must have reliable transportation to/from meetings and the event venue
- Must send at least two pictures of yourself (pictures must not be be hosted on social media accounts like Facebook or MySpace)
But let's say you're more a fan of the maids and hosts rather than someone who wants to be among their ranks. There's something for you, too -- the AniMaid art contest is now open for entries. Draw, paint or sculpt your favorite maid or host and post your creation on the group's Facebook page (www.facebook.com/AniMaidHawaii -- and yes, the page is viewable to those who have thus far successfully resisted the siren call to join Facebook). Winners will receive a personalized card from his or her favorite maid or host as well as a photo and a special "mystery prize." Just be sure to keep your work clean -- PG-13 or cleaner, please. For the kids. I couldn't find any ending date for this contest, so I'll just say for now that the sooner you send in your entries, the better.
World Cosplay Summit rolls out rules
While we're on the subject of HEXXP, further details have emerged about the World Cosplay Summit regional qualifier at the event in October. A lot of further details. An over-2,500-word Facebook post worth of further details. It only serves to reinforce how this competition is leagues beyond your garden-variety cosplay contest, and just how much participants are going to have to step up their games to even be in the running. Consider some of these basic requirements:
- Contestants must enter as teams of two people, with a single series, performance plans (2 minutes and 30 seconds maximum, please) and props chosen beforehand. That series must have origins in Japan -- sorry, Disney, Star Wars, Marvel and DC fans. And even with the Japanese series, there are restrictions -- while costumes from Shueisha series like One Piece, Bleach, Death Note, Naruto and Yu-Gi-Oh! are allowed in the preliminary rounds, they won't be allowed in the finals. (Here's Anime News Network's comprehensive list of Shueisha series as a guide. There are ... many.)
- Participants must be at least 18 years old as of Feb. 14, 2013.
- Each participant must submit a resume that includes -- take a deep breath here -- full legal name, cosplay alias, group name, age, date of birth, gender, home address, contact number and email, whether you have a passport, your intended costume and series, cosplay website (if applicable), a history of major costumes and awards, a few sentences about why you love to cosplay, and four photos of your favorite costumes with explanations of why they are your favorites. Each team must also include a team photo, a brief team biography and the general idea for the performance.
The upside to knowing all of this now is that there's plenty of time for teams to form and prepare their materials. The resume-collecting process for the Midwest qualifier, at Colossalcon in Sandusky, Ohio, June 7-10, opened March 30 and runs through May 11. I'm only roughly speculating here, but if we go by that timetable, that would mean resume collection for HEXXP will probably start sometime in July. This is something you probably don't want to leave to the last minute, though. And I can't emphasize enough: You'll want to read through all the rules carefully to get everything in order by then. Again, here's the link: http://www.facebook.com/notes/world-cosplay-summit-preliminaries-united-states/wcs-us-2013-preliminary-circuit-rules/422987357716872.
Anime around town
MangaBento: This group of anime- and manga-inspired artists meets from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Academy Art Center, 1111 Victoria St., Room 200. Visit www.manga-bento.com.