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“Hetalia World Stars” will participate in a panel broadcast live from Japan at Otakon 2021


On Saturday, August 7, the team behind “Hetalia World Stars” will participate in a live broadcast at an Otakon 2021 panel. This will include the producer, director, composer and a voice actor from the production.

The “Hetalia World Stars” live broadcast will take place in Panel 1 from 11:30-12:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Among those participating will be Norihiro Kurosawa, the producer of “Hetalia World Stars.” Fans may know him for his work on “Chivalry of a Failed Knight” or “The 8th Son? Are You Kidding Me?”

Director Hiroshi Watanabe has had a long career in animation. Older anime fans may know him for his work on directing the “Slayers” series. Others may know him for some of his work on “Magical Princess Minky Momo.” He has worked on a number of other projects, from multiple roles on the “Hell Girl” series; directing “Jing: King of Bandits”; and directing “Ken En Ken: Aoki Kagayaki.”

On the production side, composer and pianist Conisch will join the panel. Viewers have heard his works in “Pokémon: Twilight Wings,” “Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal,” and “Mardock Scramble.” Since making his debut as a composer with the anime “Hitohira,” Conisch has headed many popular programs, building a reputation for his diverse musical expressions that closely match the emotions of the characters, as well as his lyrical, yet aggressive and uniquely catchy melodies. His compositions demonstrate a rich, novel artistry that sublimates his own sensitivities with superior techniques. The main theme song “play Heath Wind” for the TBS program “HIRUOBI” is a hidden masterpiece that has continued to unfailingly permeate through Japanese culture even 10 years after it was first released.

Last but certainly not least, voice actor (or seiyuu) Atsushi Kosaka will join the discussion. In “Hetalia World Stars,” he voices Estonia, Prussia, and Greece. Fans of “The Prince of Tennis” may recognize him as Akuto Mitsuya, but he has also played a variety of other roles, such as Eiji Arashiba in “Scar on the Praeter.”

Otakon has thanked Frontier Works Inc. for helping to make this live broadcast possible.

Otakon takes place August 6-8 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in our nation’s capital of Washington, DC.

Otakon to Partner with Embassy of Japan for Special Content

Ride Your Wave

Thanks to a partnership with the Embassy of Japan, Otakon 2021 members will get a chance to take a picture with the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch, as well as participate in Japanese cultural events throughout the day on Saturday, August 7, including a kabuki lecture and demonstration, and a screening of the anime film “Ride Your Wave.”

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch can be viewed, and photos taken, at the Embassy of Japan booth in the Dealers Room. The Otakon Dealers Room is open from noon to 8 p.m. on Friday, August, 6; from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, August 7; and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, August 8.

Also on Saturday, the Embassy’s Japan Information & Culture Center will be offering a special screening of the anime film “Ride Your Wave” (2020) starting at 2 p.m. From visionary director Masaaki Yuasa (“The Night is Short,” “Walk on Girl,” “Devilman Crybaby”) the deeply emotional film applies his trademark visual ingenuity to a tale of romance, grief and self-discovery. Surf-loving college student Hinako must find joy and purpose in life again, after a terrible tragedy results in the death of her firefighter boyfriend Minato.

At 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Professor Kirk Kanesaka will present a kabuki lecture and demonstration. Kabuki theater has remained for centuries one of Japan’s most dramatic and colorful storytelling forms, and at points in Japanese history, its fandom rivaled that of manga and anime for passion.

Professor Kanesaka will introduce authentic Japanese kabuki from its earliest origins in Japanese mythology and its establishment as a popular theatrical form in Japan’s Edo period. He will explain the different roles, from tachiyaku to onnagata, as well as the stage and stagecraft involved. He will show how its daring costumes influenced Tokyo fashions over the years, how its heightened drama influenced modern popular culture, and how it has maintained its vitality up to the present day.

In addition to his talk, Professor Kanesaka will perform scenes from Fujimusume Kudoki (“The Love Lament of the Wisteria Maiden”) and Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura (“Yoshitsune and the Thousand Cherry Trees”) in su, i.e. sans makeup and costume, and he may even teach the audience how to do the same. The demonstration will conclude with a Q&A session.

In addition, officials from the Embassy of Japan will participate in Opening Ceremonies and will present the Masquerade Award at the cosplay competition.

Otakon takes place August 6-8 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in our nation’s capital of Washington, DC.

Anime Expo Lite 2021 Presents World Premiere of SHIKIZAKURA Anime Series


Anime Expo Lite 2021 will host the exclusive world premiere of SHIKIZAKURA in a special livestream event on Saturday, July 4th at 5:15PM PDT. It will notably feature a performance by J-Pop singer, May’n, and remarks and a Q&A session with the series’ director, Go Kurosaki, and voice actors Miho Mashiro and Yudai Noda.

Be sure to join us for the panel on Saturday, as the premiere episode will not be available via VOD (due to streaming rights). However, the Q&A portion of the event will be available to watch via VOD through July 16, 2021.

Co-produced by Chukyo TV and animation studio, Sublimation, SHIKIZAKURA is the first anime series to be created in Japan’s central Tokai region. The adventure series also features Caitlin Macatee, the winner of the voice acting audition held at Anime Expo 2019. Sublimation is renowned for its CG animation work on titles such as Dragon’s Dogma, the Love Live series, and PSYCHO PASS.

In the place of Shikizakura (cherry trees), where autumn leaves and cherry blossoms are flourishing and where human world intersects with the demon world, a ritual to save the human world is about to begin… Kakeru Miwa, a high school student, gets involved in a battle between powered suits and oni that emerge from the demon world to prey on Onis manifest themselves in this world by possessing humans.

Only “Yoroi,” powered suit that is a fusion of ancient secrets and cutting-edge technology, can protect people from onis. Kakeru puts on a Yoroi by chance and becomes a semi-official member of a team that fights against onis.

Determined to become a hero, Kakeru battles Onis to protect Ouka Myojin, the shrine maiden destined to save the world. In the season of Shikizakura, in midst of autumn leaves and a flurry of cherry petals, Ouka performs a dance as a shrine maiden. At the place where the past and the future, this world and the alien world, people’s thoughts and hopes all meet, a tale of heroic action-adventure begins! Season 1 of the series will premiere on Japanese TV in October.

Anime Expo Lite 2021 marks the 30th Anniversary of the long-running annual convention. Anime Expo is the biggest North American fan celebration for Japanese pop culture including anime, TV & film, fashion, video games, manga, dance, live concerts, collectibles, and exclusive convention merchandise, presented as an unforgettable experience for fans of all ages.

Registration information:

  • Dates – July 3-4, 2021 / 12pm – 8pm (PST)
  • Ticket Registration
  • Registration $5 (+ processing fees) – all proceeds to benefit the Hate Is a Virus commUNITY Action Fund

Kentaro Miura’s BERSERK carries a legacy of blood, Guts, and great manga

Berserk Vol. 1
Berserk, book 1

The passing of legendary manga writer/artist Kentaro Miura will either get veteran fans of his Berserk series revisiting the dark fantasy world he created for his giant sword-wielding warrior, Guts, or new fans looking to finally take the plunge into the sprawling epic.

Whichever the case, engaging with the first book of the series means experiencing a brutal read with monsters and other creatures that’ll make you readjust your fingers at the edges of the page so as not to touch the horrors Miura committed to it. This is certainly the case with the first pages of Berserk book 1, in which Guts is having sex with a woman that quickly turns into a monstrosity that looks like something straight out of an H.R. Giger nightmare and tries to kill him. It sets the tone for the type of story Berserk while tell.

Berserk follows the now iconic Guts, also known as the Black Swordsman, as he embarks on a journey fueled by revenge. Guts is branded with a symbol that attracts murderous demons towards him, forcing him into a life of isolation. The revenge aspect of the story centers on a character named Griffith that might or might not be responsible for Guts’ supernatural affliction.

Miura presents Guts to readers, in the first book, as the perfect man to deal with the violence and chaos that governs his medieval Europe setting. It’s a dark state of affairs that is overwhelmingly ugly and ever present. Death and gore is the status quo, which explains why Guts carries a giant broadsword that cuts people into pieces after a single swipe. The weapon is a reflection of how bad things are, and in Berserk’s case, things are quite bad.


We get a taste of this in the events that follow the aforementioned sex scene that opens the story. Almost immediately after the incident, Guts is faced with a group of bandits and soldiers that are throwing knives at a Pisky elf called Puck for their own deranged amusement.

Guts makes a bloody mess of the corrupt men for what seems to be a righteous motive, but it ends up being about sending a message to their leader, a humanoid snake demon that ends up giving Guts a particularly gruesome fight as he reveals his true form.

This is all meant to establish Guts as a kind of antihero character. His mission is purely personal and his commitment to the innocent people he meets along the way initially hinges on personal gain. Guts isn’t a hero here. He’s a hardened, near maniacal force of visceral violence that responds to his cursed reality in kind.

I characterize Guts as maniacal for the bleak outlook he has towards life, its worth, and how individuals who die on his watch are more a reflection of their own flaws rather than his. The Black Swordsman has little tolerance for weakness and takes no responsibility for the deaths of those who fall in combat around him. In some instances, he even laughs while explaining this, showing little regard for the misguided moral expectations others decide to put on him.

What’s impressive about how Miura introduces Guts to readers is that a considerable portion of his character development comes through violence rather than expository text. We get to know this man through the carnage he rains down on his enemies, and it’s not all done for the sake of bloodletting.


There’s a kind of sadness to his existence knowing he doesn’t fight for glory or for the safety of others. By fighting for revenge, Guts is put on a road of no return, and he seems to be aware of it. Ruin is sure to follow and we as readers are given the necessary story elements to be able to foresee this and think on the cruelties of fate. It’s just awe-inspiring how Miura manages to achieve this level of storytelling through action rather than dialogue or narration.

Kentaro Miura’s Berserk has one of the best first books of a series in the history of manga and it does an admirable job of setting up a world and a main character that have no choice other than being iconic. Forget about the reasons you need to experience this book, just make sure you do and know that there’s a lot more waiting for those brave enough to stay the path.

Darren Criss, Manny Jacinto join Shay Mitchell in cast of Netflix Original Anime Series Trese

Netflix has released the official trailer for Trese, the highly anticipated Netflix Original Anime series based on the Philippine graphic novel created by Budjette Tan and KaJO Baldisimo, premiering on Netflix June 11, 2021. Netflix also revealed the English language and Filipino language voice cast of Trese.

Darren Criss (The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story), Jon Jon Briones (Ratched), Nicole Scherzinger (Moana), Manny Jacinto (The Good Place), Lou Diamond Phillips (La Bamba) and Dante Basco (Avatar: The Last Airbender) join Shay Mitchell (YOU, Pretty Little Liars), previously announced as the voice of Alexandra Trese in the English language version.

Filipino actress Liza Soberano (My Ex and Whys, Alone/Together) will voice Alexandra Trese in the Filipino language version of the series, and will be joined by local professional voice talents Simon dela Cruz (as Crispin and Basilio), Apollo Abraham (Captain Guerrero), Christopher Carlo Caling (Hank), Christian Velarde (Nuno), and Eugene Adalia (Anton Trese). Well-respected Filipino Language Voice Artist Director Rudolf Baldonado will direct the local voice talents.

English language voice cast:

  • Shay Mitchell – Alexandra Trese
  • Griffin Puatu – The Kambal (Crispin and Basilio), Bantay
  • Matt Yang King – Captain Guerrero, Dominic
  • Jon Jon Briones – Hank, Xa-Mul
  • Steve Blum – Datu Talagbusao, Ibwa
  • Carlos Alazraqui – Anton Trese, Santelmo
  • Manny Jacinto – Maliksi
  • Eric Bauza – Nuno the Snitch, Bagyon Lektro
  • Darren Criss – Marco
  • Nicole Scherzinger – Miranda Trese
  • Lou Diamond Phillips – Mayor Sancho Santamaria
  • Dante Basco – Bagyon Kulimlim
  • Rodney To – Aswang market guard, Man in drag

Filipino language voice cast:

  • Liza Soberano – Alexandra Trese
  • Simon dela Cruz – The Kambal (Crispin and Basilio)
  • Apollo Abraham – Captain Guerrero
  • Christopher Carlo Caling – Hank
  • Eugene Adalia – Anton Trese
  • Cheska Aguiluz – Miranda Trese
  • Christian Velarde – Nuno
  • Bryan Encarnacion – Datu Talagbusao
  • Nica Rojo – Ramona
  • Jo Anne Orobia-Chua – Emissary
  • Jose Amado Santiago – Marco
  • Steve dela Cruz – Maliksi
  • Rene Tandoc – Mayor Santamaria
  • Steffi Graf Bontogon-Mola – Young, Teen Alexandra
  • RJ Celdran – Santelmo, Señor Armanaz
  • Elyrey Martin – Ibwa, Dominic
  • Steven Bontogon – Jobert

Set in a Manila where the mythical creatures of Philippine folklore live in hiding amongst humans, Alexandra Trese finds herself going head to head with a criminal underworld comprised of malevolent supernatural beings.

Keanu Reeves’ BRZRKR Goes from Comic to Film at Netflix

It’s not a surprise that BRZRKR, the new comic series from BOOM! Studios and Keanu Reeves is getting a film adaptation. Netflix has acquired the rights to the comic to turn it into a film and then anime spinoff series. The anime series will expand upon the world of BRZRKR exploring different elements of the story.

BRZRKR was created by Reeves and written by Reeves and Matt Kindt, illustrated by Ron Garney, colors by Bill Crabtree, and lettering by Clem Robins. The character designs and covers by Rafael Grampá. Reeves had developed the idea for a number of years.

Netflix’s BRZRKR will star Reeves, who along with Ross Richie and Stephen Christy for BOOM! Studios; Stephen Hamel for Company Films will Produce. Adam Yoelin for BOOM! Studios will Executive Produce. Reeves will also provide the voice of his character for the anime series.

BRZRKR is a brutally epic saga about an immortal warrior’s 80,000 year fight through the ages. The man known only as “B” is half-mortal and half-god, , cursed and compelled to violence… even at the sacrifice of his sanity. But after wandering the earth for centuries, B may have finally found a refuge – working for the U.S. government to fight the battles too violent and too dangerous for anyone else. In exchange, B will be granted the one thing he desires – the truth about his endless blood-soaked existence…and how to end it.

The first issue sold over 615,000 copies, one of the highest-selling comics in almost thirty years.


Yen Press Announces Megumi Hayashibara’s The Characters Taught Me Everything: Living Life One Episode at a Time

Yen Press has announced the acquisition of Megumi Hayashibara’s The Characters Taught Me Everything: Living Life One Episode at a Time, a memoir of the legendary Japanese voice actress, lyricist, and radio personality. Megumi Hayashibara is one of the world’s most celebrated anime voice actresses and is widely known for voicing some of the world’s most beloved characters.

For over three decades, renowned Japanese voice actress Megumi Hayashibara has breathed life into countless iconic characters—including Ranma Saotome (Ranma ½), Rei Ayanami (Neon Genesis Evangelion), Lina Inverse (Slayers), Jessie (Pokémon), Faye Valentine (Cowboy Bebop), and Paprika (Paprika)! In this new autobiographical memoir, Megumi provides an in-depth look at her illustrious career and how the very characters she has portrayed have impacted her life on both personal and professional levels.

Megumi Hayashibara’s The Characters Taught Me Everything: Living Life One Episode at a Time is scheduled for digital release on February 20, simultaneous with the memoir’s release in Japan.

Megumi Hayashibara's The Characters Taught Me Everything: Living Life One Episode at a Time

Christmas time and Holiday Cheer with cosplayer Brielle Arts

Far away and deep inside Western Europe, there is a workshop that works all hours of the night to bring these fantasy amour characters to life. No, it’s not made by elves but by a persistent young woman who has cosplay blood flowing through her veins. She’s young and talented and she is here to do Raven Steel’s Holiday interview. Please show your love and your Christmas cheer to my next guest with us today, Ms. Brielle Arts.

Raven: Welcome Brielle Arts to sanctuary of solitude. What happens here, stays here unless you open the door. 

Brielle: Thank you Raven Steel for having me do this interview. I happy to do this!

Raven: The honor of interviewing BrielleArts, is all mine. You do have my plate of cookies and milk, right?

As you may not know before I begin all of my interview questions, I offer some words of advice, a ballad of encouragement when you find yourself at crossroads during your career. I hope you’ll take these words to heart whenever the world becomes too much to bear and you need that little push to get you back on track. So here goes, You cannot sit and wait for inspiration to come to you. You have to get up and go after it with a heavy club”.  Kinda of like a Polish Christmas tradition.

I think we can all agree,  I have been a good reporter this year. Would you be so kind and tell me all about you?

Brielle: Well, I was born and raised in Poland.  I dream about moving to another country someday just to try something different. Nevertheless, Poland is a wonderful country, and I’m not sure if I would ever leave it.

Raven: Your color eyes and hair?  

Brielle: Hmm difficult question, I’m not sure what color my eyes have, sometimes they seem grayer, sometimes bluer, sometimes they fall into shades of green

Now about my hair color, that’s an even more difficult question because I change my hair color so often. I currently have my hair color as ginger.

Raven: How tall are you? 

Brielle:  I’m 162 cm tall, but always say I’m 165 cm, I don’t know why (5 feet 4 inches).

Raven: Do you speak or write any other languages?

Brielle: Do computer programming languages also count?  I’m joking. I speak and write in Polish, English, a little German, Spanish, and I also know a little Russian. I’ve always wanted to learn Japanese, but unfortunately, I can’t find time for it.

Raven: What does Brielle Arts love seeing during this Holiday Season? 

Brielle: The two things I love during the Holiday Season are these. Because of the little child inside me,  I like  everything that is lit, sparkles, and plays beautiful melodies, for example glowing music boxes playing “Let it snow” or “Jingle Bells”, or the lights on Christmas trees. I love Christmas trees.

The other thing I love during the Holiday Season is watching all the Holiday movies and cartoons like Mr. Grinch. That green creature is my favorite Christmas character. In Poland, we also have a “Common Tradition” of watching “Home Alone” with Macaulay Culkin as Kevin. Maybe it is funny but many people in Poland cannot imagine Christmas without seeing that movie.

Raven: What sort of music do you love to listen to? 

Brielle: I really like to listen to metal and rock music, unless you ask about Christmas then I like to listen to metal remixes of Christmas songs and carols.

Raven: What makes you nerdy or geeky?

Brielle: I’m just a nerd who plays games, reads books, watches movies, wears cosplays and goes to conventions, and buys a lot of unnecessary figurines, keyrings, mugs, and other pretty things related to pop culture.

Raven: Are you a social butterfly or a quiet mouse?

Brielle: It depends. Sometimes I go for the entire day without saying a word, but most often I say a lot of things when I’m feeling great and with good company. I can say that I’m a mutant mouse with butterfly wings or something like this.

Raven: What got you into Cosplaying?

Brielle: Since I was a child, I liked sewing and doing various handicrafts, I also liked some costumes and I really liked dressing up, Carnival and costume parties at school were my favorite events of the year. And one time, when I was attending my first convention ever in my life.  I said, “Hey, maybe I’ll dress up as some character?” The costume then, but it turned out to be quite expensive, so I decided to make one myself.  I still do some cosplays that I’ve developed in my workshop.

Raven: A workshop. I must see this workshop of yours.

I’ve noticed many of your cosplays are Props and makeup. What characters give you the biggest satisfaction in creating a cosplay?.

Brielle: I think that the characters who have some interesting makeup or large armor give me the greatest satisfaction. Even though prop/amour characters are very uncomfortable to wear at a convention or doing a photoshoot.

Raven: Are you attracted to these characters or something else?

Brielle: Most often I just like their designs, but I try to choose characters with a certain personality that suits me. I like to bond and feel with the character. I like becoming the character, and it’s not just about the appearance, but about being connected with the character, or something more.

Raven: Is there a Christmas gift you got that made you cry with JOY? 

Brielle: There was such a situation, it might sound strange but I cried with joy when I just got a new backpack. When I was in elementary school, my family didn’t have much money, so I didn’t have any great stuff and my backpack was a tragedy. The backpack was old, worn out, holes were sewn 100 different ways. It was just disgusting, and the kids at school were laughing at me and this backpack. I remember that then I got a brand new backpack for Christmas, it was the best gift, I was so happy that I started to cry. It sounds funny to me now, but I was really excited back then.

Raven: How did you create your cosplayer name, Brielle Arts Cosplay?  

Brielle: My name is Gabriela, I have friends from outside my country who transformed my name into Gabrielle because it is easier for them to remember and pronounce it, and over time they’ve shortened my name, and now it’s just “Brielle”. I like it, so it became my nickname, but unfortunately, many people in my country have a big problem with pronouncing my nickname, so probably in the future, I will change it to a more accessible one for both Polish and foreign fans.

Raven: Has your cosplaying experience provided an opportunity to get more commission work?

Brielle: Yes, before the pandemic I had a lot of commissions, but now that the conventions are not organized, people don’t buy costumes and unfortunately, I don’t have many orders.

Raven: Hired to give gifts to little children, what cosplayer outfit would you wear for that event? 

Brielle: I think I would choose Vi cosplay from league of legends. She has large, mechanical gloves that children always love. So I think they would be delighted to receive a gift from such big hands.

Raven: How do you feel cosplaying Dark, Bloody, or Gothic interest you doing them or just the cute and sexy ones?

Brielle: My favorite types of cosplaying are strong, armored, brave, dangerous characters. I don’t like cute and sexy cosplays, although sometimes  I like various character designs that allow me to do this type of cosplay. I feel much more comfortable doing Bloody/Gory types of characters.

Raven: Is cosplaying in your country very popular? Is it widely accepted? Are fellow cosplayers help each other?

Brielle: Cosplay in Poland is quite popular. Cosplays are being created by many people of all ages. I think since cosplay is becoming widely accepted. Even though there are a few individuals who think cosplay is a kind of “childish stupidity”, it has become more and more popular.

Raven: Booo to those who think its a Childish or Stupid! 

Brielle: Do cosplayers help each other? Yes, very often, there are whole groups that rely on helping each other. Whenever you have a cosplay problem, there will always be another cosplayer willing to help.

Raven: What is the #1 Christmas song you would sing all day long?

Brielle: “Rockin ‘Around the Christmas Tree” but more rock version.

Raven: I’ve noticed on one of your videos, you play with fire? Tell us more. 

Brielle: Honestly, about playing with fire, I don’t do it professionally, I am a total amateur. But the fire has always intrigued and relaxed me, and playing with fire is just something that allows me to chill out and forget about problems.

Raven: Well, I would still invite you to my campfire anytime. It would be very entertaining.

Who should control the types of media a cosplayer be allowed, fan request, or you? 

Brielle: I believe that everyone should decide for themselves. Of course, some fan requests are important, but the final decision should still be up to the cosplayer. Everyone should be comfortable with what they do, regardless of the opinions of others.

Raven: Have you ever experienced any unusual requests (Bet it was Feet)? 

Brielle: I think that every cosplayer girl had some “unusual” request. Quite often I have some strange requests. Several times I was asked to take pictures of my feet, I was asked for pictures in my underwear, for pictures with someone’s name or some fan sign, but the strangest request I got was to send someone my used panties. The person who asked about it was willing to pay a lot of money for these panties. Of course, I declined the person’s request.  It was too strange and too awkward for me to comply.

Raven: Would they be interested in my used boxer shorts? I have no shame in my game.

Raven: If you could give back your fans a Christmas gift, what would it be?

Brielle: I know what I would like to give each of my fans, I would like to give a package containing a handmade Christmas ornament, candy cane, and some sweets, my photos, and a card with handwritten Christmas greetings.

Raven: You have the look at times in your cosplay as a torched soul and other times the look of being cute and cuddly.  Which do you prefer doing?

Brielle: I rarely look cute and cuddly in cosplay. I feel much better when I look badass. I think that cute costumes do not suit me, sometimes I wear such cosplay, I look in the mirror and I have the impression that I look like a complete freak, like some alien. It’s not “me” then. I look best and feel best in costumes that aren’t cute. I prefer IT when people see me saying, “OMG! so amazing, or That’s So Hot”. Then, “Awwww! what a cute little piece of the rainbow”.

Raven: How easy/hard to find a good photographer in Poland?

Brielle: I think finding in Poland a good photographer, who would specialize in cosplay photography is quite simple. In Poland, we have a lot of talented photographers who can create truly magical photos.

To be honest, finding a photographer is easy, but sometimes you have to be patient because it often turns out that this photographer has a full graphic and you have to wait a long time to arrange a photoshoot, or to receive processed photos after photoshoot… Often it also happens that a perfect photographer lives on the other side of the country and you have to travel several hours with a heavy suit to take beautiful photos.

Raven: Pack a lunch and don’t talk to strangers. They may ask for your underwear. 

Is your cat a part of your props in your photo shoots?

Brielle: My kitty is very curious and is always interested in all props during photoshoots in the studio. Sometimes she can be a little bit annoying, but at least she doesn’t destroy my props.

Raven: What places, in your country, have you taken your photos?

Brielle: Hmm. I’ve taken pictures in various places, but mostly in a photo studio. However, I sometimes do an outdoor photoshoot. For example, Vi’s cosplay was photographed in an abandoned warehouse in a river port, Cerys in the ruins of a castle, an elf costume in the forest, and Leona in some park. Whenever I have the opportunity, I choose photos outdoors, because it is a much more interesting experience for me.

Raven: Breaking down your bedroom door, a hoard of Killer Elves is going to attack you. 

What weapon, in your room, would Brielle Arts pick up to defend herself with? 

Brielle: Haha, that’s a good question, I have to think about it … I think a slipper would be a good weapon … It works great for spiders, so maybe it will work on elves too, who knows.

Raven: How do the people of your country celebrate Christmas?  

Brielle: I noticed that people in Poland celebrate Christmas in different ways, it all depends on the region. A large number of Poles are Catholics and all groups celebrate Christmas “like Catholics”, I mean with pagans traditions, which were stolen by the Catholic Church. So, the Christmas tree is decorated and the Christmas carols are sung.

On December 24, when the first star appears in the sky, we sit down to the Christmas Eve supper which consists of 6-16 dishes depending on the region, We share the wafer and make Christmas wishes. The dishes also depend on the region, but there must be fish practically everywhere, as “tradition” dictates preferably carp.

Of course, this is not a real tradition, a relic of the past that has its origins in the times of socialism and the Polish People’s Republic (PRL), because there was almost any fish in the stores, and carp was cheap, so they were told it was a tradition and so far Poles they think it’s a traditional Catholic Christmas fish. I hate Carp because it is disgusting and I have salmon or trout on Christmas Eve.

There are other dishes as well, for example, Dumplings with cabbage and mushrooms, Cabbage with peas, borscht with dumplings, poppy seed noodles, kutia, prune and bean soup. After the Christmas Eve supper, people open presents lying under the Christmas tree, and after that go to church for Midnight Mass. On December 25, on the 1st day of Christmas, there is usually a dinner made of leftovers from Christmas Eve dinner and people spending time with families, and the season for “caroling” begins, children wear different costumes, visit homes, sing carols and collect money. On December 26, the 2nd day of Christmas passes like the 1st day.

Raven: What sort of Polish Christmas traditions do you celebrate? 

Brielle: I think almost all that I talked about before. I always decorate a Christmas tree, make presents for my family, Presents lie under the tree and wait for the end of Christmas Eve supper. We always share the wafer and make wishes. At Christmas Eve supper we have traditional dishes, for example, dumplings with cabbage and mushrooms, dried plum and bean soup, fish, of course, different from this gutted carp. I always spend Christmas with my family. I think that’s all, Christmas is a very important time for everyone and I hope that despite the pandemic that decided to make our life difficult this year, everyone will manage to have a wonderful Christmas.

Raven: What do you miss the most about cosplaying since the Pandemic? 

Brielle: I think I miss conventions the most. The opportunity to go out in cosplay, take pictures with people, meet my friend’s cosplayers, for the convention afterparty, for cosplay competitions in a classic form, not online. I miss everything related to conventions, I miss my favorite Polish convent “Pyrkon”, I miss it when someone shouts “soon it will be dark” and everyone shouts “shut up” this is a “pyrkon” tradition, I miss singing in the evening “Pyrkon’s Song”. I miss this atmosphere of the convention, that people, despite being tired and sore after a whole day of cosplaying, are still happy and find the power to put on an uncomfortable costume the next day and go to the convention. This year was devastated by the pandemic, but let’s hope that in 2021 I will turn out much better.

Raven: If Raven Steel was a naughty interview all year long, what would you give him?

Brielle: According to Polish tradition, and probably not only Polish, but naughty people also get a twig, which they then beat in the ass. So I think if you are naughty you should also get a whipping twig…

Raven: Sweet. I’m long overdue.

Any sort of advice for aspiring cosplay/prop makers out there? The most important question to ask, Can I get a Hug?

Brielle: Awww of course you can. As for advice for aspiring cosplayers: don’t give up, not everything has to be perfect in the beginning, everyone started and made things that they laugh at when they look at it now. Also, don’t worry about hate, most of the haters have never done any cosplay, so their opinion is worthless. Just have fun with it, cosplay is all about fun.

Raven: Brielle. You will be visited by three Spirits tonight. Expect the first spirit to appear at the stroke of midnight. And tell them, Raven says, “Hello”! That’s all the time that we have. Thank you Brielle for allowing me to do this interview with you.  On behalf of the staff and I, we wish you a Merry Christmas a blessed New Year.  

Brielle: Thank you Raven for having me, I do appreciate it. If you should ever visit us, our twigs will be strong and waiting for your arrival to welcome you! And please vote for me. I am in the Redbull’s  cosplayOn competition. I am one of the finalists. Please click on the link below for a chance to vote for me and make my dream come true.

Konkurs CosplayON: Mamy 12 finalistów!
CosplayON: 12 finalistów drugiej edycji konkursu

Please Like. Please Share. And Above all, please Love this Holiday Season.

This has been a Raven Steel exclusive.

Almost American
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