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Last weekend it was time for Wonder Festival, the garage kit and model extravaganza held in Chiba Prefecture’s Makuhari Messe. But while the plastic and resin replicas of anime and video game icons may be the ostensible reason for the event, there’s also plenty of flesh and blood (and cloth) passion for the industries’ hottest franchises as cosplayers converge on the convention to show off their costumes and pose for the cameras.

One of those cameras happened to be ours.

Since the majority of the floor space at Wonder Festival is reserved for model kit exhibitors, the designated cosplay and photo shoot zone was supposed to be set up outdoors. Given the cold snap that Japan’s been going through, we were a little worried about the cosplayers catching a cold, especially given all of the exposed flesh that comes with some of the more daring outfits.

Once rain started to fall, though, Wonder Festival staff quickly set up in indoor area and herded everyone out of the elements. Despite the cramped quarters, the energy level remained high and the costumes dry. With the recent boom in cosplay in Japan, enthusiasts are getting more and more chances to cosplay in front of an audience, and even without the space to spread out that they’d expected to have, they struck all manner of graceful and cool poses as we snapped away.

▼ Famous cosplayer Yuriko Tiger showed up

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From famous cosplayer to famous character, here’s Evangelion’s Asuka.

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▼ Another icon who needs no introduction: Hatsune Miku, dressed as a nurse

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▼ Here’s the world’s most popular virtual idol again, this time in her winter version.

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While Miku is by far the best known vocaloid, she’s not he only one with a backing in Japan. This cosplayer went through a seemingly never-ending series of poses as part of her recreation of computer-generated songstress Kagamine Rin, seen here without fraternal twin Len.

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Moving on from virtual idols to anime ones, Love Live! character Maki Nishikino’s hair is looking especially vivid here.

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▼ Two characters from Love Live! competitor The Idolmaster

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One more stop on our idol photo safari: PriPara’s Laala Manaka (left) and Sophie Hojo (right). Laala’s looking a little older than the fifth-grader she’s supposed to be in the video game/anime series, though.

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Bunny girls aren’t quite the anime mainstay they used to be, but A Certai Scientific Railgun’s Kuroko Shirai shows there’s still room for the eye-catching outfit in today’s cosplay world.

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If you’re looking for more bunny ears, here’s Chiester 556 from murder thriller Umineko no Naku Koro ni.

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And here’s yet one more similar-looking piece of headgear on Shima Kaze from cute girl raising/World War II-era battleship strategy game Kantai Collection, also known as KanColle.

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KanColle’s Chikuma

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▼ A team-up between representative of KanColle and Sword Art Online

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Going from Sword Art Online to Phantasy Star Online, here’s a pair of costumes from the sometimes forcibly captivating role-playing game from Sega.

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Speaking of Sega, subsidiary Atlus’ Persona 4 was the inspiration behind this costume.

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Not every female cosplayer was as girlish as the woman above, though. For example, these two ladies came dressed as musclebound wrestlers Kinnikuman and his Texan friend Terryman.

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Super Sonico isn’t such a surprising cosplay choice, but we don’t know if we’ve ever seen someone come to Wonder Festival as a more human-like Hamtaro the hamster before.

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Between the necktie, gloves, and glasses, this cosplayer clearly understand the importance of accessorization.

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Another character known for her eyewear is Koala, from the evergreen hit One Piece.

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One Piece’s current tally of 76 collected volumes is impressive, but it’s still got a long ways to go before it catches up with the 112 volumes of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventures, where Giorno Giovanna and the bizarrely named Gold Experience hail from.

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Neither Jojo’s nor One Piece has a history as long as Space Battleship Yamato, though. Although it’s recently been remade and even adapted into a live-action feature film, the space opera from celebrated science fiction creator Leiji Matsumoto aired its first episode in 1974, which was undoubtedly before this Yuki Mori cosplayer was even born.

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When a series is able to capture fans’ imaginations for more than four decades, it must be pretty wonderful indeed.

Photos © RocketNews24
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