Cosplay Competes with Nature as an Attraction at Morikami’s Hatsume Fair

The Morikami Museum and Japanese Garden, usually an oasis of tranquility in the hectic busyness of South Florida, assumed a different character this weekend, as an estimated 13,000 people turned out for the 33rd annual Hatsume Fair, a celebration of spring and all things Japanese.

Talking groves of bamboo, cascading waterfalls and manicured bonsai trees were the featured attractions. But nature in subtle display was not the only wonder to behold this weekend. Strolling the grounds among the conventionally dressed visitors were hundreds of people taking part in cosplay, short for costume play, a form of performance art in which participants wear the dress of their favorite fictional characters, including those from Japanese anime.

Mike Clary/The Sun-Sentinel, J. Gwendolynne Berry/The Palm Beach Post
Photography by J. Gwendolynne Berry/The Palm Beach Post

ENA MULLEN, 15, of Pembroke Pines plays Gumi from Vocaloid. “Gumi is usually shown as this very small, very shy child. But with this music video I kinda like it because it shows her bold, daring side and I can kind of relate to it because I’m always known as the really really shy one at school, but when I dress in this Cosplay I feel like I can actually be myself and show who I really am.”

SIENNA CASTRO, 14, of Miami plays Ciel Phantomhive from Black Butler. “I like how he is in charge even though he’s only 12 years old. He has this drive and character depth that’s not so common in anime.”

RAE WOLFE, 16, of Coral Springs dresses as a Geisha. “I find geishas to be very elegant as they are masters in specific kinds of Japanese culture, like tea ceremonies and special kinds of fan dancing.”



KASSIA PUENTES, 13, of Miramar plays Alois Trancy from Black Butler 2; BRANDI COLLISON, 15, of Wellington plays Sailor Moon from Sailor Moon; and LAUREN BOKELMANN, 19, of Boca Raton dresses in Lolita fashion.

GABRIEL FERNANDEZ, 15, of Miami plays Anti Sora from Kingdom Hearts 2. “He’s pretty cool – all his stances are moves, not to mention he beats the living hell of the original Sora. He’s pretty cool – he’s the king of darkness.”

Playing characters from Fate Extra are twins MEAGAN and KATIE FITZPATRICK, 15, of Boca Raton, playing Rin Tohsaka and Saber, GABRIELLE FOURNIER, 13, of Coconut Creek playing Rani and BRIANA EARHART, 15, of Deerfield Beach playing Caster. Katie Fitzpatrick on playing Saber: “I love the outfit, It’s really pretty. It’s so bold. She’s Emperor Nero in the video game so her outfit is very regal and red.”

BRIANA EARHART, 15, of Deerfield Beach playing Caster from Fate Extra. “She’s very fun. I love being fun, jumping around and everything so it just fit.”

KATIE FITZPATRICK, 15, of Boca Raton playing Saber from Fate Extra. “I love the outfit, It’s really pretty. It’s so bold. She’s Emperor Nero in the video game so her outfit is very regal and red.”

SAUL HIDALGO, 28, of Coral Springs plays Kakashi Hatake from Naruto. “I really like ninjas and he’s really cool. This isn’t the real costume, but it was too hot today for the full costume.”

TIFFANY DENERO, 15 of Palm Coast holds a Tadpole Bomb from Soul eater. “I like the tadpole bomb because he’s cute and he blows up!”

Contestants line up for the costume contest.

CODY SCHERR, 16, of Boca Raton plays a samurai. “Samurais have a strict code of honor and discipline and they’re really cool.”

LAUREN DIXON, 28, of Boca Raton dresses as an unknown akatsuki from Naruto. “I like their cool attitude and that they don’t really care about anyone else but themselves.”

ASHLEY GRAHAM, 17, of West Palm Beach plays Axel from Kingdom Hearts. “I love his personality and the way he looks and acts. He’s more serious but he definitely has a funny side too, and my funny side is definitely out.”

CHESNA DIAZ, 14, of Davie plays Nausicaa from Nausicaa of the valley of the wind. “It was very simple and it’s a great character, someone I would definitely want to be. She’s brave, very considerate, not haughty and very humble.”

DELA RUIZ, 15, of Miami plays Aradia from Homestuck. “I really love fairy characters and making the wings was a blast and she is just a great character in general. She keeps a level head all the time, even in times of chaos, and there is a lot of that in Homestuck. She’s an adventurer and she’s into architecture and archeology. She’s just really cool.”

NATALI MARKIS, 11, of Lake Worth plays Sakura Haruno from Naruto. “She’s always perky and everything, sort of like how I am. I also like her pink hair.”

TANYA TOUTANT, 16, from Oakland Park is dressed like a furry animal. “Wolves are awesome and they are fluffy! I made the costume – it took about four days altogether.”

GARRETT PREMOCK, 19, of Deerfield Beach plays Naruto Uzumaki in Fox mode from Naruto Shippuden. “He’s hilarious and funny and is dreaming of becoming a hokage and if someone gets me upset I change into the angry fox mode – I like the angry fox, the form of the beast inside, the demon.”

RAE GLISMANN, 14, of West Palm Beach dressed in Lolita fashion. “It’s Japanese street fashion. It’s very out of the box, very unusual and it makes you stand out from the crowd. You walk around and you get lots of stares and I kind of like that feeling.”

BRANDON HERSKOWITZ, 21, of Coral Springs likes the fashion and artwork in anime. “I’m an animation student and have been watching anime since I was 6. I appreciate the drawing and the music, just everything about it.”

LAUREN BOKELMANN, 19, of Boca Raton dresses in Lolita fashion. “I like the bows and the frill and the poof. It makes me feel like a girl, and beautiful. I go to the mall like this, I go to class like this, my professors think I’m crazy but that’s okay. It’s worth the weird glances and the awkward picture moments. I don’t like conforming to any kind of social standard. It’s nice to be different.”

SARAH LYN, 18, of Southwest Ranches plays Telma from Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess. “She’s a minor character in the game but she’s one of the most awesome characters. She’s brave and strong and she’s big and beautiful and I just love that about her. I just love how they made her character in the game, she’s just strong and in charge.”

CHRIS RODBERG, 17, of West Palm Beach plays Itachi Uchiha from Naruto. “Naruto is actually the first anime I’ve ever seen and Itachi is one of my favorite characters out of all of them because he has a great back story and I like the moves that he does.”

RICHIE SCIGARJOV, 22, of Brooklyn, New York plays Kaito from Vocaloid. “I like the song and I thought the outfit looked really cool. It was easiest to do with my hair because it looks the same, I just had to color it blue.”


VIVIANA MARQUEZ, 18, of West Palm Beach, and BRANDI COLLISON, 15, of Wellington dressed as Sailor Moon from Sailor Moon. Marquez: “I love Sailor Moon and I wanted to do this my whole life. She’s my hero and my role model because she is imperfect but she always tries her best.” Collison: “I’ve loved her ever since I was little. She’s very strong and always keeps a positive outlook. It’s fun to live through the character. You can pretend for a day that you are a super hero. It makes me feel exhilarated. I feel more confident, more outgoing.”

SKYE WOOTTEN, 12, from Delray Beach plays Yuki Cross from Vampire Knight. “I like her because she is sweet and she cares for people around her. I want to be more like that. I like everything about anime, the artwork, the music and everything.”

CAMILLE MILLER, 15, of Pembroke Pines plays young Zelda from Legend of Zelda. “I’ve always kind of liked her plus it suits my size because I’m really short. She’s really graceful and pretty, kind hearted. I made the outfit on my own. I made the necklace out of clay. I died some of the material and painted it. I like making the costumes and afterwards I feel really good wearing them because I feel proud to finish them and I feel like they look great!”

CHARLES CAMPBELL, 23, of Hollywood plays a tiger. “I dyed white clothes orange and hand painted the black stripes. The whiskers are just a clip on. It looks like a nose ring but it’s not, it’s just rubber. I like being a tiger, I just like the idea, how they move, the freedom of being an animal.”

JAZMINE CONE, 15, of Pembroke Pines plays Russia from Hetalia. “He likes to scare the other countries and make them become one. I like to scare people too!”

CASSIDY QUINONES, 16, of Miramar dresses as Magician Miku from Hatsume Miku Project Diva. “She’s awesome, the way she sings, her music, and the way she looks. It took three hours to get ready because of the makeup and putting the wig on.”

TYRIQUE ATKINSON, 13, of West Palm Beach plays Ichigo from Bleach. “I like the show Bleach and I wanted to show it off.”

CAMILLE MILLER, 15, of Pembroke Pines, plays Prince Marth Lowell of Altea from Shadow Dragon. “What I like about Marth is that he’s not just a stuck up little prince. He actually led an entire army and went through a bunch of hardships and struggles. He not only defeated the army, he also went and saved his little sister. He put his family before everything else. I actually think Marth is more stoic and serious than me, but he can be a bit playful and I can too.”

TEODORA MENDEZ of Pembroke Pines, 18, plays Link from the Legend of Zelda. “Link has been my childhood hero. He’s heroic, he goes through a lot of trouble just to save the princess in every game and you find yourself connecting with the character. I like his courage, his bravery and also his silence because he never speaks in any of the games.”

NICOLE MILLER, 14, of Pembroke Pines plays Jigglypuff from Pokemon. “She can be playful at times and a prankster. I want to be like that more.”

JAMIE VEGA (left), 15, of Pembroke Pines plays Ponyo while Kailey Bloom, 15, of Jupiter plays Ponyo’s father, Fujimoto from Ponyo on the cliff by the sea. Jamie of playing Ponyo: “I wanted to be Ponyo because she suits my personality. I’m very immature, playful and cheerful.” Kailey of playing Fujimoto: “He captures my personality. I’m a little more serious than most people and I liked his character design.”

JACQUELINE FISHER, 16, of Miami plays Link from Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess. “He’s very heroic and I love his outfit!”

TRAVIS SWEITZER,18, of Fort Pierce plays Goku from Dragon Ball Z. “This character is really goofy and he’s big on protecting his family and friends. Those are things that I admire. I like anime because it’s a retirement from the everyday life stress routine … it’s the place where the impossible becomes possible.”

LAUREN BECKMANN, 19, of Boca Raton dresses as her own character. “It’s a really great way to express yourself instead of just wearing typical jeans and t-shirt. It’s definitely more fun to express yourself in colors and clothing that normal people probably wouldn’t wear.”

NADINE FRANKLIN, 15, of Davie plays Vriska Serket from Homestuck. “She was my favorite character in the story. I like her personality and I thought her costume was really fun to make. I sewed a lot of it myself.”

EMILY DAVIS, 20, of Coral Springs dresses in Lolita fashion, a character she calls Loli Suicide. “I love bats and I love the color pink so I wanted to make it a twisted fairy tale.”

MAYA TREVINO, 12, of Deland plays Rin Kagamine from Vocaloid 2 and her friend, EMILY DELK, 14, of Port Orange plays Len Kagamine from Vocaloid 2. Maya on playing Rin: “She’s sweet and she’s really cute but she can be really stubborn. I kind of relate to her in the stubborn kind of way and I think she’s adorable.” Emily on playing Len: “He’s very shy and he’s very sweet and I’m really like that in life so I can do the cosplays really well. And I love bananas and so does he!”

LISETTE ROJAS, 19, of Miami plays Miku and MELANIE DOMENECH, 22, of Miami plays Luka from Vocaloid. Melanie on playing Luka: “I really like vocaloid and I really like Luka. For me it’s colorful and it’s to have fun and I like the story.”

MEGHAN STYLES, 16 of Davie, MEGAN CATENA, 19, of Lake Worth and TAYLOR DAVIS, 20 of Jupiter. Catena on their outfits: “We’re dressed in Lolita fashion. It’s very popular in Tokyo. It’s pretty much a Marie Antoinette, rococo look. We really love it too and we just thought, why not? it’s so fun to wear it!”

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