While the Shibuya celebration is as much about getting drunk with friends as it is anything else, in Ikebukuro it’s the costumes that take center stage.

Halloween owes at least some of its booming popularity in Japan to the country’s preexisting enthusiasm for cosplay. So while the Shibuya neighborhood is Tokyo’s biggest gathering point for partiers on the weekend before Halloween, you’ll also find plenty of people setting together to celebrate in Ikebukuro, one of the city’s most prominent otaku meccas.

Though it can’t match the sheer size of Shibuya’s crowds, Ikebukuro arguably has the higher level of costuming expertise, since it’s a gathering of more dedicated cosplayers than the revelers in Shibuya, where many of the celebrants dress up only once a year. Ikebukuro’s Halloween party also has a higher percentage of people dressed up as specific characters from fictional franchises, as opposed to generic ghosts and zombies. For example, instead of a nondescript witch, partygoer Hinamochi was dressed as the titular magical girl from anime series Puella Magi Madoka Magica.

And rather than just any old scary monster, we were confronted by a specific scary monster when we stopped by, in the form of Resident Evil’s heart-stoppingly terrifying Licker (who chose to remain anonymous).

Luckily, multiple-installment Resident Evil hero Leon Kennedy (cosplayer Billy) was on the scene to keep us all safe.

With the largest congregation of costumers hanging around the steps of the Sunshine City entertainment complex, directly across the street from the row of anime specialty shops known as Otome Road, there were plenty of anime characters, with lovable Totoro

…and fierce Goblin Slayer (Ferio) representing opposite ends of the light/dark and old/new spectrums.

Speaking of characters who’ve recently risen to fame, we spotted Bowsette/Princess Koopa (Rere Kirisame) looking as devilishly beautiful and confident as ever.

There were also more Fate/Grand Order cosplayers than you can shake a gatcha game-playing smartphone at.

▼ Scáthach (Remi Botan)

▼ Anastasia Nikolaevna Romanova (Peko Kohata)

▼ Tamamo no Mae (Ruka Miya)

Evergreen cosplay hits originating on both sides of the Pacific were on display, with Japan’s Idolmaster represented by Kogane Tsukioka (Marimo) and Kantai Collection/KanColle by Atago (Minyan)…

…and American comics by DC’s Joker (the same Billy who was dressed as Leon on the event’s second day) and Marvel’s Captain America (Biki Takai) and Deadpool.

Also eye-catching in crimson was Rozen Maiden’s Shinku (Shuko).

Frilly in a much more frightening way was It’s Pennywise, seen here in his 1990s version with Georgie Denbrough (Eiseihei).

Other paired sets of characters included Re: Zero’s Ram (Rucchan) and Rem (Yukichi)…

…and Sailor Moon’s Sailors Neptune (Himari Hinata) and Uranus (O Syensye).

Meanwhile Bruno Bucciarati (Tomo), from JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, is fabulous enough to easily go it alone.

Another guy who needs no backup? Detroit’s finest (and most metallic): Robocop (Kesugi).

Rounding out the overseas-originating characters was The Nightmare Before Chrsitmas’ Sally (Michiru)…

…and on the Japanese side, there were a few more Re: Zero and Fate fans…

Felix Argyle (Reko)

Petelgeuse Romanee-Conti (Kagashira)

Sitonai (Nako)

…and, for a final spooky touch, a sampling of the extended cast of Konami’s long-running horror game series Silent Hill (Kenken, Yusuke, Backwards N, and Maimai).

But even though most of the participants were dressed as preexisting characters, the creative spirit of costuming was the driving force, so no one shunned original creations like this steampunk ensemble (Zack Treager).

Ikebukuro’s Halloween party has a decidedly different, more laid-back, and altogether less alcohol-fueled vibe than Shibuya’s, so if that’s more your speed, it’s not to be missed. Plus, since the Ikebukuro event takes place in the afternoon, while Shibuya’s doesn’t really get going until after dark, hitting up both in the same day is an option too.

Photos ©SoraNews24
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