Anime Fans

Each year,  fans of anime (the term for Japanese animated film and television productions) get together in conventions held in different cities of the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia.

Guests from Japan ranging from anime artists and directors and music groups grace these anime conventions. Attendees participate in workshops and in a so-called cosplay where they dress up as anime characters such as warriors bearing swords, anime animals and science fiction characters,  dolled up French maids, or whatever other anime or pop culture figure they imagine to be.

In one such convention held recently in Houston, Texas, I asked many of the attendees if they would want me to take their picture. All except one of those I asked graciously said yes.  I took their photos thinking of the postures of notable photographers whose words I quote below.

“Cities are flooded with desire. It allows every desire to be staged.”
Daido Moriyama.

 “I have time for people. I want to show them in a positive, not a negative way. … I didn't want to judge them.”  Leonard Freed

 “The one full freedom is man ‘s right to dream….The presentation of the dream itself, the bringing of it into a degree of accomplishment, depends upon an individual’s ingenuity in assimilating experiences and profiting from them – upon his ability of asserting inner or outer domination of his environment, upon his ability to transcend defeats. These become the measure of the quality of a person’s life.” W. Eugene Smith from the book “Let the Truth be the Prejudice”

I think the world is full of intelligent people who are not really trying to be flattered; what they really want is to be understood.  Arnold Newman

If you want me to explain the picture, if you put it in reality, then the mystery goes away. The situation just catches you and you think it is absurd or mysterious and you just take the picture. You don’t want to see the bare reality of what happened. I took the picture as the picture, not as the realistic story of what happened. - Eva Fuka

If the image corresponds to our most intensely personal, yet archetypal, yearnings and memories, we don't take the image in, we move out of ourselves into the image, as though it were another world, a hologram whose forms of light are ghostly angels, or a dream whose physical reality is suggested by what we see on the surface of a canvas or a page. We connect with the image as though we had lost it within our own memories and are now surprised to find it represented outside ourselves, vital and luminous, charged with energy. - Jayne Anne Phillips