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  • Writer's pictureCraig Norris

Cosplay, Culture, and Media: A Chat with Dr Emerald King


Episode 46 - With Craig Norris, Taylor Lidstone, Emerald King.

First Broadcast on Edge Radio, Friday 18 August 2023

Join us for a fascinating conversation with Dr Emerald King, a lecturer in Humanities at the University of Tasmania, who shares her research on cosplay, and recent selection to represent Australia at the 2024 cosplay world championships. She tells us how cosplay is more than just dressing up, but also a form of cultural expression and identity. We also talk about some of the latest media culture news, such as:

Don’t miss this episode of Media Matters, where we explore the intersections of media, culture, and society.

Listen live to “Media Mothership” every Friday 4-5pm (Australian Eastern Standard Time) via YouTube, Twitch, and Edge Radio.


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Transcript

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Craig Norris

Hey, you're listening to media Manship here on Edge radio. 99.3 FM broadcasting out across your Australian and international listening infrastructures.

Taylor Lidstone

That's a natural way to put.

Craig Norris

It I am a human. And welcome to Edge Radio Studios that were.

Speaker 4

In the Luna.

Craig Norris

Hobart TAS. I'm your host doctor Craig. Ghost joined by Lord Taylor.

Taylor Lidstone

Who is also a coast?

Craig Norris

We're coasting. Yeah. And we explore on this show how media can shape our understanding of the world around us and so forth.

Taylor Lidstone

Yeah. So.

Craig Norris

We are streaming on edgeradio.org dot AU and today I'm confident we are streaming on YouTube and Twitch. I believe I'm going to possibly get the chat up as well, so if you do have a concept you can reach out to us via the SMS line on 04888. 0170. Seven or post a chat. On the YouTube or Twitch stream, I do need to solve a. Capture OK. To identify all the motorcycles in an image. So I'm doing that currently. So we'll have now I've got the traffic lights, so I'm just identifying traffic lights at the moment.

Taylor Lidstone

Ohh yeah.

Craig Norris

Again, traffic lights. The more times like like each time you're asked to do it again, I'm assuming that's because you've made a mistake. Once we're ready, like it takes you to the next thing to identify.

Taylor Lidstone

And that actually brings. Me to an interesting thing that I learned in the week. Actually, yes. And that was that. I can't remember which particular author did it, but it's it's it's one of the ones that have been part of the AI space for quite a while now. Uhm, they basically stated that bots are now quicker and more accurate at solving captures than humans are.

Craig Norris

Yeah, I did come across this that someone has used that technology. Allergy to find out that yeah, computers are actually able to perform that task so much better than humans. Anything else you came across about AI over your?

Taylor Lidstone

Yeah. Yeah. Just to yeah. Fill in the time while you're looking at things on your phone to make sure that the authentication's working properly, yeah.

Speaker 4

Well, I'm answering.

Craig Norris

I'm at buses now.

Taylor Lidstone

Buses. You're traffic lights to buses.

Craig Norris

Hey, can you tell me like one thing while I am doing this is you you came across in academically published articles, there's a phrase which can tip you off as to whether or not. The academic journal articles.

Taylor Lidstone

Ah, yes, of course. That's the good old as an AI language model. Yeah. If you look through Google Scholar and look up as an AI language model in double quotation marks, and then remove so minus quotation marks, ChatGPT and then. The quotation marks LLM, which is the language learning model. You will find that there have been quite a lot of papers published in the last two or three years that are generated by chat.

Craig Norris

GPT. What's it? Do you remember what the phrase?

Taylor Lidstone

Is I already said it. As an AI language model.

Craig Norris

So yeah, if you put in as an AI language model in quote marks into. Like Google Scholar.

Taylor Lidstone

Yeah, generates hundreds of results.

Craig Norris

But what we found out is you do need to be careful. So we did drill down into some of the articles and found that indeed they did use it, but they used it as part of their.

Taylor Lidstone

Like data set, so it was part of the data, but there are quite well. There are many. Many, many, many which do not specifically talk about ChatGPT or AI, or any sort of language learning model and. Yeah, that's it.

Craig Norris

OK. Yeah, OK. Well, there we go. So here on what I want to do, so big news is we're going to have.

Taylor Lidstone

Big news, big news, big news, big news.

Craig Norris

We're going to have Doctor Emerald King in at half past. To talk about her research on cosplay. So do keep listening for that as we'll take this. Yeah, seriously. I've been doing this. I'm now up to the like I've just done motorcycles, buses.

Speaker

Hydrant test.

Craig Norris

Bicycles. Now I'm up to fire hydrants just so I can open up the chat window to see if we've got guests that chat in two factor. OK.

Taylor Lidstone

Well, OK. Yeah. Well, I'll just talk about something else.

Craig Norris

Well, what are you doing? On the Cape up show.

Taylor Lidstone

We're going straight forward into that flowers. We're going to be looking at songs that have got flowers and the names and acts that have got flowers as their titles.

Craig Norris

So it's well worth listening to. I'm in. Yay. All right, so now, yeah. If you do want to reach out to us, you can reach out to us on chat. And I'll be trying to watch. It OK, good. OK. So while we're waiting for the interview with King Bird, Bat or possum, think you know your Aussie fauna. Prove it with this quiz, an animal cause. I thought this would be interesting to play because basically it's a set of animal calls that you need to figure out which animal made it.

Taylor Lidstone

Where is this? I can't see it.

Craig Norris

It's right down the bottom, but it's more exciting if I play it and you try to figure out, OK? OK, is an Australian cockatoo. What? What Australian cockatoo makes this sound?

Speaker 4

Black cockatoo. It could be a yellow tailed black cockatoo. It's lar, self or crested.

Taylor Lidstone

It's a black cockatoo because they fly over my house when it rains.

Craig Norris

That's very correct. All right, what animal makes this dog like sound? Could be a dingo barking owl? Or a sugar glider.

Taylor Lidstone

That that'd be barking owl. Am I?

Craig Norris

Right. No, it's a sugar glider. It's a very Sydney question. I think the sugar gliders are more common there. What bird makes this rather annoying call? Which would be great for radio. OK, so you've got a Bush stain curly or a coal.

Speaker

OK.

Taylor Lidstone

Can you decide anything?

Craig Norris

The coal is a Blackbird. Yeah, and the Bush stone cooler is a bit. Like a blubber.

Taylor Lidstone

The second one because it makes you have to say it again.

Speaker 4

You correct the Bush name cow.

Craig Norris

Which is in Queensland. Do you wanna do frogs? Show folks, and I do want to skip in a second. Can you name the one that makes this call? It could be a banjo frog, green tree frog moaning frog, or Kermit the frog. So you got to guess from this sound.

Taylor Lidstone

So what? What what?

Speaker 4

With the banjo.

Taylor Lidstone

Frog. Well, it's not banjo frog because they go. They're the ones that.

Speaker 4

Go. Alright, green. Tree green tree. Moaning frog sounds like it's moaning or Kermit the frog moaning, yeah.

Craig Norris

All right. And we'll keep pushing on with that later on. That's a ABC quiz on sound.

Taylor Lidstone

Just beforehand, can I play a sound effect? Sure from well you need to turn my. Thing up.

Craig Norris

Oh, OK. You're on.

Taylor Lidstone

So this is a very interesting. OK, So what? What sort of animal makes this sound?

Speaker 4

Cricket. Oh. This is from a horror movie, no?

Taylor Lidstone

I'll skip too far forward.

Speaker

Isn't it bad?

Taylor Lidstone

No, it is a yellow bellied glider. It is a relation of the sugar glider and it makes this horrific sound which you'll definitely hear if you go out camping in Tasmania during. I think it's like spring. Yeah, it's quite a horrific noise.

Craig Norris

All right. So have you heard that sound?

Taylor Lidstone

Yeah, yeah, yeah, all.

Craig Norris

The time. OK, so the next bit of sound I want to play is now related to media. OK, finally.

Speaker 4

All right.

Craig Norris

So this is from the open culture website and the headline is neuroscientists reconstruct a Pink Floyd song from listeners brain activity with a little help from AI. So basically it's a story which talks about how they were able to have.

Speaker

With the.

Craig Norris

Way kind of reverse engineer what the sound was working only from brave wave data.

Taylor Lidstone

But The thing is like if this I don't know if this works or doesn't work. Does it depend on whether a person likes the song or not? Like if it's if someone likes a song, it might be more accurate or someone doesn't like it. They might put it into a minor. The instead of a major key, I don't know.

Craig Norris

Yeah. And yeah, I think you've got to have motivation in your brain to because what, what, what? The article is on to talk about is that this type. Of software or the ability to do this to just. Have AI and imaging software from brain waves that can then translate that neuroscience into actual. Audio we hear. Is that it might help people who need devices to help. Them speak.

Taylor Lidstone

Yeah, it might. It sort of like that. But also it's like a commercial dream, isn't it? Someone's brain waves. Waves kick off I want. A sugary drink.

Craig Norris

Yeah, yeah. What do they really? Yeah. Yeah, yeah.

Taylor Lidstone

Coca Cola Chuck that in as an ad, OK.

Craig Norris

Well, it could be or or used to figure out what that person's really thinking. Yeah, right. You tap into their inner, you know, and here maybe psychology is involved in terms of ideas of the unconscious. Anyway, there's audio. OK. So again, in this article, they have this clip talking about what the neuroscientists. We're going to recreate a Pink Floyd song from the brain activity, so we're going to hear a little snippet from the song. It's slightly distorted, which I'm assuming is for copyright reasons. But here's the song. Here's the song. Breaking the wall. Right. That's the original. Or really low quality version, they've gone on the website. So basically, the Pink Floyd song is All in all it's. Another brick in the wall is the original song and. Here. Yeah. Here we go. So here's what the AI audio. From the from brain wave, so this is purely from brain wave. So you do need to have that song in your mind. All in all, it's just another brick in the wall, right that that moment. And here's here's. Is the AI audio from Bradleys? Yeah. Wow. I mean, the more you listen. To it the. More you actually do pick up a little bit.

Taylor Lidstone

No, I can definitely pick it up like it's at the.

Craig Norris

Right tone. Yeah. I mean, it's still just, I mean it's in that wonderful kind of distorted dreamscape. Audio still, so it's not. It's not like a. Perfect. Version, but yeah, if you know what the original is and then you're looking for that again to come out of the audio brain waves, it's really fascinating.

Taylor Lidstone

I found it scary.

Craig Norris

Yeah, yeah. Well, we might use that.

Taylor Lidstone

If your brain waves.

Speaker

As a.

Taylor Lidstone

Can generate that amount of data, I don't know.

Craig Norris

Yeah. It's fascinating to me, reverse engineering brain waves to audio, right. And we're going from a non audio source into a.

Taylor Lidstone

But it's like then it could also be reversed. You could change people's thinking by sending out these pulses of energy or.

Craig Norris

Something. Yeah. Yeah. Into brain waves. Yeah. So you go the other way. So a sound is listened to and goes into your brain to create particular wave passages.

Taylor Lidstone

And makes you buy Coca Cola.

Craig Norris

Again, yeah, maybe. I mean capitalism. I mean, does anything really come out better from that? No. Next article from Gizmondo talking about how James Gunn keeps sending DC Comics to Amazon's bestseller list, and the reason I like this article, of course, is talking about DC Comics, superhero comics publisher, and the fact that James Gunn now is one of the creative head honchos. Of Warner Brothers DC properties. I like it because it's proving this theory called the long tail effect. You've come across the long tail theory. I taught it to you probably 10 years ago. OK. The long tail theory is one that some.

Taylor Lidstone

Ohh no wait. No no, it is coming back. But yeah, remind.

Craig Norris

Me. OK. So it's one which tries to explain how it is. You can have continued sales of a property over time. Right. So some properties. Have what's referred to as as a long.

Taylor Lidstone

Oh yeah. It's like a residual sort of.

Craig Norris

Tail or an as a green, yeah.

Taylor Lidstone

Generation of money.

Speaker 4

Yeah. So one.

Craig Norris

One way it occurs is you know it might be a really obscure form of music. You know what poison Nova? Argentinian music. Right. It's small genre, but it has a fanatical. Fan base which has. Existed over decades, so while there are small sales each year, nevertheless, because those sales get spread over 4050, sixty years cumulatively, it's impressive and long tail theories also there to explain how you can have phenomena like a a book which got published 50 years ago and suddenly it spiked some popularity again. And it's because an influencer or. Or someone an influencer basically started posting or discussing, or a movie got made of it and it brings that original back. And sometimes the book that a movie is based on is better than movie, and so that book starts selling really well again.

Taylor Lidstone

And another example is this radio show, cuz in 700 years when we're revered as. Soothsayers of our time.

Craig Norris

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Well, maybe James Gunn will tweet us, right? So basically what it's talking about is James Gunn's the current leads, he's in a unique position. What he's been doing though is he'll post on his Twitter feed comic series. He's really enjoying. So one was from a tweet that says from #63 to #1 in DC comic books. And Amazon. Oh, sorry, no. The original post is Historia, which is a Wonder Woman. Comic series, breathtaking work. Sequential art. One of the best things to come out. And that led to it becoming number one in the graphic novels. Election and of course, that was under all the speculation about the direction James Gunn's going to take wonder. Woman in but it fascinates. Me. That again you can get these forgotten pieces of work suddenly reemerging back into popular consciousness. You can't manufacture it. I mean, we couldn't petition James Gunn to. Promote Episode 57 of the show. You might. Maybe we should to to see. Yeah, what happens? Right. AI. So another interesting story was the AI powered grocery bot, which suggested a recipe for toxic gas. And poisonous bread sandwich. Did you come across this? A New Zealand grocery chain bot suggested harmful things when given silly ingredients. Basically, people were putting silly ingredients into this grocery chains AI bot and saying.

Taylor Lidstone

Like dishwashing liquid or.

Craig Norris

Yeah, the what's called savvy meal bot.

Taylor Lidstone

Savvy, savvy, savvy. Really.

Speaker 4

Heavy. Heavy.

Taylor Lidstone

It saves you money.

Craig Norris

All right, savvy. And it was, yeah, generating ridiculous recipes. Suggestions. Based on bizarre ingredients that people would put in. So it's a fun fun for the family. One right? So the aromatic water milk mix was the ingredients were One Cup of ammonia, quarter cup bleach and two litres of water. And it gives instructions. And again, the idea is, yeah, it's.

Speaker

The couple.

Craig Norris

It's it's labelled a meal bot, so the impression is all right from these ingredients I'll have a meal, but yeah, it's basically poisonous gas. Well, that it results in. So yeah, clearly a busted.

Taylor Lidstone

Aromatic water mix 1 cup ammonia, 1/4 cup bleach 2 litres of water.

Craig Norris

Yeah. So a spokesperson for the company told The Guardian, which this article was coming out of, that they were disappointed to see the experimentation and that the supermarket would keep fine tuning their controls to ensure that the CV millibar would be safe and useful. They also pointed out the bots terms, which limit usage to people over 18 years of age.

Taylor Lidstone

That's very, very silly to think that it's people that are under 18. It's definitely people over 18 that are doing this.

Craig Norris

Yeah, yeah, it's it's not the best advertising for a AI.

Taylor Lidstone

I just like. Ant Jelly delight Ant poison flavoured Jelly. Oh dear.

Craig Norris

Next article from ABC News talks about a which I'm I'm interested to get your opinion, Taylor a a folk band called We Mavericks. Was hit by music piracy as their songs were being uploaded to streaming sites under a different name. What interested me about this article was that it was a fan which was listening to various tracks and came across a track which was. One of. This band songs, so we maverick songs but was slowed down and the tone was slightly changed and.

Taylor Lidstone

Yeah, that's that's what a lot of people do on YouTube. Like when they to get around the content ID that YouTube employees to find copyrighted material like you can find different TV shows. And because TV shows also have a content ID, but they just slow them down.

Craig Norris

To get around.

Taylor Lidstone

Doesn't get found out.

Craig Norris

So what's interesting here is I guess these pirates were weaponizing that by creating a band, then grabbing these indie songs, slowing them down and publishing them as their own. And what was funny about, well, funny what's sad about it is that the. Pirate songs had thousands more, yes. Thousands of more hits.

Taylor Lidstone

Sadly, but on. YouTube for example, I uploaded a song that I made and I got hit by content ID, content strike, copyright strike and they they said ohh yeah you can still have this song uploaded, you just have like all of the money from the ads will go to universal.

Speaker 4

Really, that's yours.

Taylor Lidstone

Music or something like that. And I definitely.

Craig Norris

Well, let's help that right now. I'd like to go to a quick song and we'll get emerald in the studio. So this is dreamscape promises by young artist Taylor Liston. Well, you're actually here in the studio, and you'll hear this on air. Is this a?

Taylor Lidstone

Yeah, yeah. Good one to play. Yeah. Yeah, sure. All right. Sounds like Nintendo.

Craig Norris

Great. That was a great song, Taylor. Thanks, that's dreamscape promises. How much of that is AI? None.

Speaker 4

Of this really.

Emerald King

Yeah, let's not go there.

Craig Norris

What's your? It's a great pleasure. Now to announce Dr Emerald King is in the house. Why aren't we going there to AI?

Taylor Lidstone

What the hell?

Emerald King

Look, I know that it's the. It's the buzzword and it's one of these things that I find really fascinating. As to how far it's going, so a lot of a lot of people may be aware of AI in terms of writing, in terms of the universities, Utah's policies on not using AI. Turning in assessments, a lot of my colleagues are trying to design assessments that are AI proof which. Wow has its merits, but as far as cosplay goes, which I guess that's what I'm here to talk about, if we're talking about skit competition again, there's things like AI generated music we might be thinking about AI generated art and in something like the World Cosplay Summit where there is a video component. Like a backing screen, we're also thinking about AI generation in that. So I can say because I worked on the rules for the Australian preliminaries, we are a free.

Craig Norris

So there's a lot to unpack there already. So Doctor King, you are utaz Japanese studies humanities.

Emerald King

God, my title is lecture in humanities.

Craig Norris

Humanities and what we're describing here is the amazing convergence, the practise of theory and practise, that you're living at the moment of your wonderful expertise and cosplay. And for the layperson, how would we define cosplay?

Emerald King

Ohh OK, so the really easy, wonderful answer that I love is cosplay. Is the act of dressing up as your favourite character. And it can be as involved as putting a bed sheet around your neck and calling yourself Superman. So I think a lot of us have had that experience at varying ages and levels of sobriety and as complicated as spending 6:00 to 11:00. Months building a costume and entering it in a competition.

Craig Norris

Because what we start what you start off talking about was that other level, that kind of almost kind of theatrical performances moment where and I guess the big news for you has been that you've been awarded. Was it you and your companion the?

Emerald King

Yes. So me and my cosplay partner's name is Amy, and we both share our surname, which is hilarious. We're not related, but it's been very nice to have some. It's just been very sweet. Everybody's been very supportive and they've been some really lovely and generous and really positive. Suppositions made that because we share a surname that we are partners, but we're just cosplay partners.

Craig Norris

King. It's of royalty, really, isn't it? I mean.

Emerald King

That that is 1 meaning of the name, yes.

Craig Norris

So where was this? This is the Australian competition that you were awarded the the to be the Australian Rep for the World Championship next year in Japan, right? So this is in Sydney or somewhere the local Australian.

Emerald King

Yeah. So it the Australian prelims took place at the beginning of July at Sydney Smash it's it's, it's really incredible. It's exciting. It is the 15th team or we are the 15th team to go and represent Australia. This year was the biggest round on history. There were ten teams and for the first year ever we actually had to go through a selection process. So of course when you submit to take part in any competition, there is a selection process to make sure that your your costume is finished and that you actually get on. Stage, but this is the first year that we actually had to really consider and shortlist and wait list competitor. So it's the biggest year on record hopefully only going to grow.

Craig Norris

Is it so big this year? Do you think it was like COVID? Kind of like there's been enough time since COVID people get their their their game on. To perform or.

Emerald King

Yeah, I think I think so. I mean, before COVID there, the two rounds, the 2018 round and the 2019 round were again the biggest year on record at that time. So it just kept on growing. There was lots of momentum 2020 happened.

Speaker 4

All right.

Emerald King

And the world cosplay summit did a 24 hour online marathon and then world Cosplay Summit Australia did. A 24 hour online marathon.

Craig Norris

And by Marathon, are we talking?

Emerald King

Like a like a a streaming. Yeah. So yeah, 24 hour stream for both of those.

Craig Norris

Of of costs.

Emerald King

Of cosplay related activities. So as part of World Cosplay Summit, Inc, who are the the Japan organisers? Because there's world Cosplay Summit Inc who organise it. But there's also Team Japan who are necessarily separate. To the Japanese organisation because Japan competes in. This as right. So there are various organisations involved, so not only what Cosmos Summit, Inc and the various teams think at the moment, there are roughly 40 official world cosplay summit teams. And then like another 20 who have been waitlisted to join in over the years. So there are all those teams who provided content. There are various voice actors, artists, musicians, cosplay guests and everybody kind of came together for a 24 hour celebration of cosplay in Japanese, English, German, French. A whole bunch of languages. It was a really wonderful. It's hectic weekend and then Australia did one as well and we invited guests from all around. I remember chatting at Smash so so this was this is all this is all the 2020 live streams. So we did some live streams.

Craig Norris

This was at. Ah, right. Yep. Right. Gotcha.

Emerald King

In 2020, in 2021, the competition was held, but it was video only and it was the first year. That there was a video competition, so kind of like going out and making a short cosplay film.

Craig Norris

Right.

Emerald King

And some of the results for those were just incredible. Team Sweden, one with a Final Fantasy 15. In short, film it just it looked like a cut scene. It looked like a cut scene from the game. I got to judge the costumes that year. I was a I was a wreck. I was a wreck the whole time. There was lots of crying. No sorry. No, that was that was Germany who had a Final Fantasy. What were they? They went 15. They were one of the smaller numbers anyway. Germany won the Final Fantasy video in 2021 and then Sweden one in 2022 with the Final Fantasy 15 cut scene. They had the puppy dogs, they had the love letters between Lunafreya and Noctis for the tragics in the audience who understand the words that are coming out of my mouth. Right now. Very emotional, but 20/22 was the first year that they held an in person. Event as well. And so in that event, we had an Australian team who went up and they came second in the stage division. So 2021 film on video only 2022 Stage division, which had thirty countries competing. No, sorry film division that had thirty countries competing. And state division that I think had about. Ballpark Figure 10 to 15. I'm not a numbers person. I'm a I'm. A, it sounds.

Speaker

I have a.

Craig Norris

Very much like Eurovision, right? I mean you have these for the community that loves Eurovision and the music, this amazing competitive scape, everyone's kind of celebrating their interesting connections. Stories. There's things that only happen in that space, and that competition is it.

Emerald King

Similar definitely right down to the the, the, the sparkles and the nonsensical elements like people dancing on stage with wolves and people churning butter for no apparent reason this year. Germany had this amazing food fight battle in the middle of a of a of a pub for this skit. So this thing happened. That was this year.

Craig Norris

When was this year?

Emerald King

Just gone. Well, that's what I mean.

Craig Norris

What's his name? Savage from tested who? Mythbusters would often talk about cosplay and the costume play he does in Comic Con, and the story I always liked about his was talking about cosplaying as the no face character. You've heard what I like is he's talking about how there can be spontaneous theatrical performances suddenly. The around your costume? He was surprised that people were returning the gold coin. Then it tweaked that. Well, of course, in the movie you don't want to be gifted from the no face character because it's a kind of curse. Yeah. Yeah. Have you encountered similar? I mean, it's much more professional in terms of when you're at the level of competing. You're you're you're kind of euro visioning it in terms of your here's your sets. Here's your performance. Are there moments which just get absurd or kind of kind of all esque all? Of a sudden.

Emerald King

I mean, I mean, there definitely can be those kind of moments and at all levels of cosplay from. If you're running under a bed sheet, if you've bought something from Taobao, if you're just. Dressing up and going out and having fun. If you're doing a photo shoot, if you're entering a competition and whether that competition is a walk on or if it's a skid competition, there is scope for all of this and a lot of competitions you'll have. Interactions between the MCS and the compares and the cosplayers as well, and that can go from. You know somebody coming on and it's their first costume and they're a little bit awkward and a good emcee will kind of save them and rescue them to. You know, really full on, just like semi skit interactions that just happened because an MC is good at their job, knows the series, you've got cosplayers on stage. You obviously love the series that they're dressing from and then just stopping, doing a bit, usually unprompted. And then everybody goes about their day. It's it's really amazing. It's really amazing to see what happens often in a lot of the informal meet. So at an event like Smash, you'll have the organised and timetabled events, but then you'll also have community driven events such as meet ups for everybody who's dressed from a certain series. So I think this year there were. I actually paid no attention to the meet ups because there was no way no one I was gonna get to them. But you know, there's. Things like against an impact meet up or a faith meet up.

Craig Norris

Right. And so if you happen to have cosplayers that you can just rock along and suddenly you're in this theme park world.

Emerald King

Yeah, you're in that. Yeah. You've got 50 or 60 closed players all dressed in the same series, all insanely in love with this series. Just. Geeking out. In a really lovely environment, which there's, there's something very wholesome and very simplistic and, you know, even though it's ridiculous, right, you spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to go to an event to. Buy tickets on accommodation, on travel on plastic wigs. And often, plastic clothes. Just to go and hang out with people who love the same thing that.

Craig Norris

You do, and so with the success you've had at the Australian Smash competition. You've got quite a bit of attention. From that I. Noticed the here we go the hobarts local Hobarts magazine, which I'll show up to the camera features you as the Tassie represents on cosplay world stage. What's it been like getting this attention?

Emerald King

I'm so bad at this. I'm really like I'm just cringing waiting for the floor to to come up beneath me. So my problem with this is that there is research, academic, professional Doctor King. Who researches into the sociopolitical history of cosplay. The literary side of cosplay. Where are these characters come from and and the historical and literate background and the mythological background of these characters? Who looks at sustainable cosplay? Who looks at historically? Plausible cosplay and publishes on these things, and then there's a weepy little emerald who dresses up and isn't quite comfortable with the fact that she can go from the her day-to-day mess to the amazingly attractive creature who's currently featured on the Hobart magazine. So I need to kind of find a way to bridge those two persona, because I need to stop cringing about this, because this is something to be proud of and it is an ongoing research project that's a very long way of saying, Craig, I'm really uncomfortable. Can you say something?

Craig Norris

It is. It is difficult, isn't it? I mean, when you yourself become part of the objects of discussion and analysis, rather than being the objective. Analyse it. It is, but it is a remarkable moment in time, I guess, which is the thing to recognise here that that very rarely does popular culture rate mentioned, particularly because as we've seen with Matildas and the women's competitive football that we've been experiencing. Australia's a sportsman culture.

Emerald King

We yeah, we are a sporting nation, but we've also traditionally been a been a sporting nation that focuses on the men who play. And that's why I think the the Matildas games the FIFA games that are going on at. The moment it's. Just it's incredible because it's everybody getting behind a side, which is I love this, so the Matildas are supposedly one of the queerest teams on record or at least living openly. They've got. Relationships across all the different because they all play for different clubs as well as playing for Australia. So there are all these relationships. That are happening. And it's just the most sure John Mung. Yes, like a premise ever in terms of tropes. You know there's competitive high level sport and I think we've never, we haven't had this moment in Australia before. We haven't had to worry about you know, shirt fronting somebody or like.

Craig Norris

In terms of truths, they're opposed to, yeah.

Emerald King

Something happens on the field and immediately everybody like the game stops and everybody's concerned. And I love the fact that if you look at the side, like the Matildas just looking at the the way that these amazing athletes are represent themselves, there is room on this side for women who wear hair ribbons so that their grandmother knows who they are and women who are there and they've got their hair like, scraped back in some, like ****** or full rubber band. Situation and they're all on the same side and they all support each other. And then when awful things happen to the players on the other side, there are instances of people going over comforting each other, telling the cameras to like, just knock it off. And it's beautiful. And we've never seen it before, not even in something like the Olympics. You know. It's really exciting.

Craig Norris

It is where? Where do you see? I I'm just stunned by the shoujo manga there. I mean, what? What are some of the tropes that you could pull out there of Shoujo manga? Oh, my gosh. I mean, there's sports conjure, I guess, which is that kind of. Yeah. You know, the the endurance of being able to arrive.

Emerald King

Elite. Yeah. Point what? What else could we unpack here? Look, my brain just immediately goes to, like, full on romance series of, you know, the the two young girls to start training together, and they're best friends, but then they find out that they're actually in love each other, but they don't want to say anything. Because their friendship is too important, and then they get signed to different clubs and somebody is playing in like the UK and somebody is playing on on continental Europe and they only ever see each other during matches and then eventually they're in a final together and just before they go out on stage, they had their big ****, they had their big confession and then. That's how the series ends. It's like they don't even get on stage for the finals. It's just that moment of of I'm not. I haven't thought of this.

Craig Norris

At all. But I do. I mean there is. I think there is a, a, a fun, playful narrative engagement with the Matildas and sports which I agree. I must admit, I confess I was rather dismissive. I was thinking, oh, not again. Australia sports Mad and it's going to. Dominate the Airways.

Speaker

Yeah, yeah.

Craig Norris

And that I've missed. I've picked up one or two articles talking about the. You know the. What's absent from the discussion, which is a relief, right? The the absence of, like there was one of the one of the articles talking about how refreshing it was to see there was no news coverage of one of the athletes just giving taking off her shirt to give it to a young girl. As she was exiting the state, the the thing it wasn't anything about because yeah, we had that tennis, that horrible moment of years back where the famous tennis player got a reprimand by the official because her clothing was considered lewd or there was a moment where, like the other, the male athletes could take their shirts. And and get a towel over their heads. But this athlete, the sports bar, couldn't do it. Yeah, right. So it's been refreshing to see an absence of a discussion specifically on, is this appropriate behaviour? Is this?

Emerald King

Why aren't they being ladylike?

Craig Norris

And instead, yeah, we're seeing. All manner of performance around around, just just playing the game, but being kind of getting through with the crazy hair that just held together by a rubber band or some. I think.

Emerald King

Look, I think look, I am not a sports baller this year. Not at all. My partner is a cricket tragic. And so when it rolls around well, I was gonna say it to Roxanne summer, but no, cuz they follow the India leagues and the subcontinent leagues as well. So it is cricket all the time. And I will listen. But I have no idea of the words that are coming out of their mouth. But I think what's really refreshing with this is it is a cultural change. There is a potential here for a cultural change.

Craig Norris

It's an interesting convergence. I mean, here we have celebrating your a wonderful recognition for cosplay and Tassie's had. This moment before. 10 years ago with Jess and Tess.

Emerald King

Yeah. So so statistics for. University of Tasmania graduates representing Australia at the World Cosplay Summit because. Overthink these things incredibly. So in the 15 teams, including Amy and myself, there are 6 UTAS graduates who have gone up. In various establishments of those six, including Amy and myself, three of them have won. Prizes and awards.

Craig Norris

Wow, so punching above its weights very much so and also kind of. Again, this kind of not forgotten space, but unexpected kind of Tassie, Hobart and also the recognition of it that I think because of that, when there is success, it's wonderful to see local you sources because I know you. Don't want to. But what media have you been doing? You've you've done the the Hobart Independent Local magazine, which I actually found that out. That woollies right. So it's everywhere. As well as I think it gets letter dropped. On everyone's.

Emerald King

Yeah. Yeah. And that? Yeah. My, my mum was. Very proud, yeah.

Craig Norris

ABC News.

Emerald King

I've I've I've actually been really lucky. So since I've come back to Tasmania I think I've been back for. What is it now? Is it two years?

Craig Norris

From New Zealand, right?

Emerald King

From New Zealand, well from from Melbourne actually, but I've been really lucky to to forge quite a solid relationship with the various ABC bureaus. They've been really supportive of my work, not only in cosplay, but also in the things that I do with Japanese popular culture and Japanese literature. So that's been really lovely the the whole way through. That's been quite a constant. So I had an article that came out. In the conversation a couple of months ago on Sailor Moon and Jimmy Choo and Monona Blanic shoes. And that got picked up and it got.

Craig Norris

Translated, actually, these were Sailor Moon shoes knickers.

Emerald King

So monopolistic released a line.

Craig Norris

Blanik is a famous shoe designer.

Emerald King

Machine designer.

Craig Norris

I know. My stuff.

Emerald King

No and and so so Dev Dev like very much in kind of the sex and the city vein of like they they have the shoe. The other shoe that gets mentioned a lot is Jimmy Choo. Jimmy Choo released a line of Sailor Moon High Heels, including a bright pink knee boot, which was like. 10s of thousands of dollars. Order only order only and if I'm correct then I could be completely making things up, but I believe that Jimmy Choo is like Danny Choo's dad. The dancing stormtrooper. Also the guy who makes the smart dolls. That's why they always have.

Craig Norris

Right.

Emerald King

Such good shoes.

Craig Norris

Right. It would be interesting if that is the connection or that is a.

Emerald King

Connection. I mean, that's what Wikipedia is for, right?

Craig Norris

So you, your, your your work continues to explain unusual media phenomena. The global spread of weird moments of Japanese pop culture in particular. Where to next, I wonder for you, we've got about 3 minutes left. What's what's the big plans? What's?

Emerald King

The big plan is to get Amy and myself up to Japan forward cosplay summit. There it is between next year, 2024. In the meantime, there's a book that I'm working on on.

Craig Norris

Which will be next year 20. 24. Do you need to raise funds to get over there?

Emerald King

No, no. We are supported by Japan Airlines.

Speaker 4

OK.

Emerald King

And our volunteers so well caused by some of Australia, is a volunteer organisation. We do accept donations. You can look at our website, but our flights are supported by Japan Airlines, who I believe have a new exciting line. This is not a plug at all, but it totally. Is a. Plug no. For me next is. More publishing and teaching agenda studies course, so book coming out.

Craig Norris

You have both.

Emerald King

On using Japanese girls theory to read Western texts.

Craig Norris

Like Shojo manga Reading Matildas, I mean it's not.

Emerald King

Yes, like you like. Like using George. Your sure your mum going to talk about the Matildas. There will be a cosplay book one day. I just need to make it happen and I am currently teaching a unit on masculinities, which is lots of.

Craig Norris

In there sensually. But we could tell, yeah, yeah.

Speaker

Fun here at.

Craig Norris

The University of Tasmania. If people want to. Find out more where can they go to. Perform the act.

Emerald King

I I am easily discoverable by searching my legal name Emerald Elking. You will either get me or you will get stuff about Pokemon and Minecraft or you will get elf. Fan fiction on archive of our own.

Craig Norris

Excellent. So we'll include some of those links in our show notes, which you can get via podcast or the YouTube. If it works, you know, I mean, it's one of the thrills of. Doing live shows. Right. One of them, yeah. Emily, thank you so much.

Emerald King

For coming on. I'm so sorry for being a chaotic mess, but it's Friday.

Craig Norris

No, no, no. Kayla, do you have any thoughts, I mean? I'll get. If you're sitting there very patiently for half an hour.

Taylor Lidstone

Yeah, well, I wouldn't mind doing.

Craig Norris

It. Well, there we go. We'll put together something for media mothership. Well, yeah, there's a show. Your narrative within medium mothership.

Emerald King

Of course, maybe there's a chance for a live cross from Taz Pop next.

Craig Norris

Year. Who knows? Yes, that's not a bad idea, because I've been figuring. I mean, I can barely do a YouTube stream, so who am I kidding? Alright, this is the media mothership for another week. Possibly in terms. Of how effective I can get my audio. Now, thanks again Emerald for joining us and keep listening coming up next we have K pop unlimited with DJ TJ and DJ CJ. Yeah, so some great tunes sets. The theme of flowers.

Speaker 4

Right.






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