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@samurairocker55 (Los Angeles, CA)

It was 2002 and I just finished the first Devil May Cry video game. I had a black leather jacket, some toy guns and this huge sword so I went into my backyard, took some action photos of myself doing some poses and send the photos to my friend. “If I didn’t know any better, I swear you’re a cosplayer!” he messaged back. Cosplay? What’s that? What’s cosplaying? My friend message me some pictures of cosplayers, the first one was a Sailor Jupiter cosplayer and I was like, I need to meet this woman. 

“Actually, there’s a convention this weekend.” he messaged back. Wait, wait, people go to places and dress up as their favorite characters ? Why aren’t we there right now? And that’s how I went to my first convention, Fanime in San Jose, CA.

Fast foward to 2009, when I cosplayed as Afro Samurai. At first, the character was something simple to do. I already had a white keikogi and black hakama that my mom had made when I was younger. I have an afro and big mutton chops so it was easy to do this character. People at the conventions were so amazed how much I looked like the character and since I had a great reaction, I continued to cosplay as Afro Samurai and over time upgraded the costume. At Anime Expo in 2009 I had the opportunity to meet Takashi Okazaki, the creator of Afro Samurai.

Takashi Okazaki was in the dealer hall doing a signing and I went over to meet him but was told the line was closed. At first I was disappointed but realized there was a monitor above him showing Funimation trailers so I walked over within his eyesight and pretended to be watching the trailers in hopes he would notice me. Sure enough within five minutes, a Japanese gentleman came over and asked if I would be interested in meeting Takashi Okazaki. With a big grin on my face, I said “Sure, why not?”. The first thing Mr.Okazaki said to me when I came up to him was “Sugoi, cool afro!”

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