Sunday, October 16, 2011

So-Bad Sunday! Cosplay/FanCollectable Quandry--how much is too much?

Akira is groundbreaking stuff!
Do you love the anime film AKIRA? Lots of people do.  The future-dystopia, sci-fi classic, released in 1988, is pretty groundbreaking stuff. The film is based on a manga series began in 1982 by Katsuhiro Otomo, the manga series is one of the first to ever be translated in its entirety, and is certainly one of the forerunners of cyberpunk as both a term and a genre of post-modern literature. AKIRA  is a big deal. I am a careful fan of the film, and have had the manga series on my "to read" list for a million years. The problem is, it's pretty disturbing stuff. Post-apocolyptic, Neo-Tokyo, is not a pleasant place. It is overrun by gangs, espionage, government corruption, scientific exploitation...just about every negative path the future could take. Amidst it all the Capsule Gang, riding some pretty bad ass bikes, attempts to survive. Main characters Kaneda (leader of the Capsules), Tetsuo (burgeoning psychic heading towards destruction) and Kei (a member of an anti-government terrorist group) become embroiled in government espionage. Meanwhile there are psychic experiements going on, and the group learns about the mysterious Akira (a psychic rumored to be a biological weapon to have the power to stop or change the tides of the conflicts taking place in Neo-Tokyo).

To sum things up...this is a groundbreaking piece of literature that spun a groundbreaking film, it is a fan favorite, and it has a pretty important place in the world. If you haven't read/seen it, go do it.

So why is this on So-Bad Sunday!? Well, it isn't the film, or the manga, it's this:


For only around $1,000 US you can own your very own cosplay jacket
based on the Kaneda's Capsule jacket.
Bike, pants, boots, gloves, not included.
 I don't even necessarily think this is "bad," in fact it is more than half-awesome, but I am still taken aback by it. This has been put out by Bandai as part of a celebration of the manga's 30 year mark. But, $1000 dollars? Seriously? I'm really bothered by this. Maybe it's because I spent two months convincing myself that it was okay to be a $25 dollar (75% off...I was lucky there was still one left) jacket last spring. Maybe I have a skewed sense of the world? Or a skewed sense of priorities?

Am I wrong in thinking this is bizzare? Now if this were a display item, or a piece of art (not to be worn), or hand-made cosplay attire, or even part of the wardrobe of some live action Akira...then I would be all "Holy hell, that's awesome." But, nerd-friends, this is meant to be sold to fans. This crazy piece of decadence has my head in a twist. By all means, if you have the money for such things, Dear Readers, indulge, but if you don't...please don't. I am the voice of reason, "YOU DO NOT NEED SUCH THINGS!"

And by all means PLEASE don't listen to the advice of Comics Alliance  http://www.comicsalliance.com/2011/10/10/akira-jacket-kaneda-red-black/ who said, "We urge you in the strongest possible terms to purchase this jacket at once. There is no downside whatsoever. Just do it. And then send us the photos." Bad, bad, Comics Alliance, don't encourage nerds like me to part with our money for your amusement. I guarantee that the first photo that comes in is quickly met with a "I can't believe someone spent that much money on a jacket like that."

At least that will be my response.

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