There is no doubt that some of you who visit ENR on a regular basis will be attending the 2016 annual Montreal Comiccon (to happen on July 8-10, 2016), and this year will be special as anime/manga entertainment will be included as one of Montreal Comiccon's major focuses. So as we should expect a great deal of celebration of all things anime and manga panelists and screening room hosts at Montreal Comiccon 2016 in addition to of course attending members of the international anime/manga fan community, we should expect a higher total of anime/manga cosplay occurences happening at this years event than at last year's. So in celebration of the countdown to Montreal Comiccon 2016, I take time to reveal to you the characters and mechanisms in anime and manga I predict will be cosplayed at this upcoming genre convention.
1) Atom from Tetsuwan Atom
What is the celebration of anime and manga entertainment without spreading awareness of 1963's Tetsuwan Atom (known outside of Japan as "Astro Boy"), the first anime to be distributed in North America? The iconic battle wear appearance of Atom ("Astro" in the English language edition of the anime) may seem farfetched in the eyes of today's anime fan community in general, but I am sure some men who do cosplay as a hobby and are into oldschool anime will have the courage to both express their love for this iconic superhero and spread awareness of him by dressing up as him, though they wil need to make tupees to replicate Atom's hairdo.
2) Go Mifune from Mach Go Go Go (Speed Racer from Speed Racer)
Some Montreal-based otaku are probably now facing the post-Montreal Grand Prix blues, wishing the sport car event went longer. Fortunately, we are in the year of the 50th anniversary of the launch of the entire Mach Go Go Go/Speed Racer franchise (though it won't be until next year that it'll be 50 years since it first entered the western world). Any Mach Go Go fan skilled at cosplay and likes race cars will likely find a way to get over the post-grand prix blues by dressing up as Go Mifune ("Speed Racer" in the English language editions of the Mach Go Go Go anime), the famous Mach 5 driver at this year's Montreal Comiccon.
3) Arsène Lupin III from Lupin III
Lupin III is no doubt one of the most popular action comedy anime and manga properties ever distributed outside Japan. While its protagonist Arsène Lupin III is such a recognizable character, it would be an oddity for Lupin III characters not to be cosplayed during this special year at Montreal Comiccon, considering the important role that the first Lupin III anime television series played in anime history (it's Japan's first for-mature audiences animated television series you know). Any, note that some cosplayers tend to use already-made clothing items to make their custom costumes. How hard can it be for a short haired man to cosplay this iconic fictional thief? Just buy an Italian-style suit coat (even for cheap) in any of the character's trademark colors (green, red, pink, white, or blue), have a dark shirt and a plain light-colored neck tie to go with it, and he's good to go in setting up the costume.
By now, some of you superhero fans who use Netflix on a regular basis should know who this classic manga superhero created by Go Nagai from watching Cyborg 009 Vs. Devilman. I put this character in the prediction list because as body painting with costume parts is a possible option for cosplaying a demonic figure, horror, one of the narrative genre's that characterises Devilman's lore, is one of the main subjects celebrated annually by Montreal Comiccon, and I doubt cosplayers who crave horror anime or manga will let American horror superhero icons get all the fun in being cosplayed now that anime and manga entertainment is one of the convention's main focus.
5) Grendizer from UFO Robot Grendizer
The Mazinger Z franchise may apparently be one of the most underaappreciated giant robot-themed anime and manga franchises in the outside-Japan world today, but its 1975 television series installment UFO Robot Grendizer (known by francophones as "Goldorak - Le Robot de L'Espace") is no doubt still recognized by many old school anime fans residing within the Quebec province since its French language edition began its run in 1978. Heck, a man in a Grendizer mask appeared at a Montreal Mini-Comiccon event in the past. Don't expect giant robot cosplays to go away anytime soon. I mean, if Optimus Prime can be cosplayed by an old school sci-fi fan with carboard costume parts to replicate the whole figure's body appearance, why not Grendizer?
6) Meeme/Miime from Captain Harlock - Space Pirate
One of the wonders of anime and manga cosplay when some have the guts to either go wig or dye their hairs to look the parts of who they are cosplaying. While Captain Harlock may have sufered lack of mainstream status in the west for many years, we should expect some cosplayers exposed to the lore by watching the 2013 film Harlock: Space Pirate to explore a variety of character options, and the long-dark blue haired supporting character in 1978's Captain Harlock - Space Pirate known as "Miime" should be one of the most simple options for anime-loving women new to Captain Harlock lore to do a costume replication of withon short time; just get a long light purple night gown, make a plain white no-mouth mask, find a long dark wig to color blue, and that is it.
7) Lum Invader from Urusei Yatsura
Bikini-clad cosplay always has a place in genre conventions. While Urusei Yatsura may not be manga writer and illustrator Rumiko Takahashi's most popular manga work today, many of us should at least recognize its female protagonist Lum Invader's iconic appearance (the long green hair, small headhorns, tiger-striped bikini, and tiger-striped boots) through googling anime images online, and this beauty still remains regarded as a landmark example of the magical girlfiend/wife trope (the kind of trope you find in I Dream of Jeannie). With this year marking the 35th anniversary of the anime television series adaptation of the sci-fi comedy manga serial, we should expect some Urusei Yatsura fangirls to play their part in celebrating the anniversary itself by cosplaying Lum.
8) GoLion from Beast King GoLion
2016 is looking to be quite a year for Voltron. So far, the comic book miniseres sequel to the 1984 Voltron television series (Voltron - Defender of the Universe) that is Voltron: From the Ashes ended its run a few months ago in a bang with a new Voltron Force roster confirmed, and just recently, a Netflix-exclusive webseries re-imagining of the Voltron saga (titled "Voltron: Legendary Defender") launched. Last of all, this is the 35th anniversary of Beast King GoLion, the anime series used to make the Lion Voltron episodes of the 1984 Voltron series. So lets expect GoLion ("Lion Voltron" in Voltron) to have its first time being cosplayed at Montreal Comiccon this year.
9) Pikachu from Pocket Monsters
Human and humanoid characters cannot have all the fun in being cosplayed. Plus, this year is also the 20th anniversary of Pocket Monsters (known outside of Japan as "Pokémon"). Since Pikachu is the Pokémon franchise's mascot, we should expect plenty of Pikachu cosplayers running around in the con, pushing for the increase of cosplays of iconic comic/cartoon animal characters at montreal Comiccon in recent years.
10) Monkey D. "Straw Hat" Luffy from One Piece
No doubt that pirate cosplays will always be around at Montreal Comiccon, and the story of One Piece (both in anime and manga forms) is a pirate-themed fantasy tale of adventures across the oceans. With anime and manga entertainment now a main focus for this convention, we should expect the category of pirate cosplays to expand to at least Luffy, the tale's iconic straw-hatted protagonist.
11) Masane Amaha from Witchblade
I'm sure some of you who crave female led-superhero comics are still feeling the post-Witchblade finale blues after Top Cow's famous superheroine comic book series ended its run last year. Odd case scenario, I don't recall a single Witchblade cosplay turning up at Montreal Comiccon during the past years. I'm sure any fangirl who's skilled at cosplay and is both a Witchblade fan and an otaku will find a way to help fans overcome the blues by turning up cosplaying the superheroine form of Masane Amaha, the heroine of the anime reimagining of Witchblade.
12) Kiyal Bachika from Gurren Lagann
Normally, when we think of Gurren Lagan lore, Yoko Littner is the first female character that comes into mind. Sure many fans love her, but with this famous anime and manga franchise being nearly a decade old, now will be a good time for a rise of cosplays of Gurren Lagann female characters other than Yoko to occur; we want to see other gals get more cosplay exposure. I for one think a cosplay of the hypercute Team Dai-Gurren gal Kiyal Bachika will not be fun for celebrating anime and manga, but serve as a potential response to the Harley Quinn cosplay phenomenon that has been going on lately. Harley Quinn maybe one of the most cosplayed fictional characters to appear in cartoons and comics, but many cuteypie divas can play at that game.
13) Holo from Spice and Wolf
The Canadian horror television series Bitten maybe over, but do not expect the part-human part-wolf hero craze in Canada to go away anytime soon. After all, there is still Spice and Wolf to look forward to checking out in anime form on DVD as well as in manga serial and light novel series versions. Whoever says wolf girls cannot look sexy? Spice and Wolf's female protagonist Holo and cosplays of her are proof that they can, and with this year marking the 10th aniversary of her first appearance, I have a feeling some fangirls will have a role to play in raising awareness of this icon this year's Montreal Comiccon event, even after the light novel recently finished its North American run.
14) Kyubey from Puella Magi Madoka Magica
While we are in the year of Madoka Magica's 5th anniversary, Kyubey still remains one of the most famous animal characters to appear in anime and manga. Heck, this cat is the first thing that comes into mind when people think of Madoka Magica other than protagonist Madoka Kaname. Here's hoping the popularity of the hit American comedy film Keanu leads to a huge number of cat cosplays by adults at genre cons (incl. Montreal Comiccon) this year with Kyubey cosplays being among them.
15) Yayoi Kise/Cure Peace from Smile Pretty Cure!
Last year saw the launch of Glitter Force, the English language edition of Pretty Cure television series Smile Pretty Cure! As magical superheroines are among one of the most famost character types to occur in anime and manga, by now, fangirls enjoying this show should be ready to express their love for Pretty cure at a genre convention with some wanting to do cosplay. Sailor Moon, we love you, but now it is time to let another magical superheroine-type blonde beauty to get her chance at getting cosplayed at Montreal Comiccon, and I'm talking the adorable superhero story loving Yayoi Kise/Cure Peace ("Lily/Glitter Peace" in the English dub of Smile Pretty Cure!).
16) Ryuko Matoi from Kill La Kill
One of the most recognizable kinds of elements we find in anime and manga is the female clothing trend known as the "sailor fuku". The anime's protagonist Ryuko Matoi is a modern anime example of fictional vixens in sailor fuku, and like Madoka Kaname, she is an internationally known fictional heroine with magic powers who any otaku can easily recognize nowadays regardless of if they've seen her series, read the manga adaptation, or none of the two.
17) Yuzu Hiragi from Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V
No doubt we should expect a great deal of Yu-Gi-Oh! cosplay occuring at any genre con this year as it is the year of Yu-Gi-Oh!'s 20th anniversary. While it is likely many new fans of the franchise are introduced to it by checking out the currently running animated series Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V, the fictional female hero craze in North America grows strong, and Yuzu Hiragi ("Zuzu Boyle" in the anime's English language edition), being a top female hero within the anime, will likely be next Yu-Gi-Oh! character to get cosplayed at Montreal-based genre conventions.
18) Shimakaze from Kantai Collection
It has been a year since Fleet Girls Collection - KanColle (the first animated television series based on browsing game Kantai Collection) began its run. In this age of fictional female hero craze, we should expect some Kantai Collection cosplay happening at Montreal-based genre cons to raise awareness of the anime series, even as we await for news about when or if it will arrive, and since it will be difficult for attendees to cosplay with extremely big props replicating weaponry while moving around from room to room, the Kantai Collection gal we should at least expect to see be cosplayed at Montreal Comiccon is the famous cute fictional blonde in sailor suit that is Shimakaze.
19) ASW-G-08 Gundam Barbatos from Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans
Last year saw the Gundam franchise's return to North American DVD print as well as the launch of Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans, the latest Gundam television series to be set outside the primary Gundamverse. With this series finally getting a television broadcast outside of Japan, we should expect a huge deal of fans amping their game to spread awareness of this series at Montreal Comiccon this year, and the series' protagonist Mikazuki Augus' mobile suit Gundam Barbatos will likely be the first thing from the show to be cosplayed.
20) Saitama from One-Punch Man
While I have never read One-Punch Man nor watched its anime adaptation, its protagonist Saitama is no doubt one of the most talked-about male superheroes to appear in anime and manga today. His animated series is even among the most popular anime series to be launched last year. We should expect some bald men appearing at this year's Montreal Comiccon event cosplaying this now-internationally popular superhero-type character.
Whether or not these anime and manga cosplays will occur at the 2016 annual Montreal Comiccon event, I am sure anime/manga fan fans who attend will have an extremely great time. If these predictions come true, cool. If not, at least I had fun revealing them, and those not attending this year's Montreal Comiccon can always count on Twitter and other social media platforms to reveal what occured. Do you have any predictions of anime/manga cosplays happening at this year's Montreal Comiccon?
If so, feel free to reveal them in the comment box. Thanks for reading, see you next time, for those of you attending Montreal Comiccon 2016, enjoy the convention trip.