By Kate Gavino
In the name of the moon (and synthetic fiber), I will punish you.

In the name of the moon (and synthetic fiber), I will punish you.

Every year, when the cherry blossoms bloom, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden hosts Sakura Matsuri, a celebration of modern Japanese culture, which includes J-Pop, manga, and most importantly, cosplay. In case you've never visited that particular realm of the Internet before, cosplay is short for "costume play," and consists of dressing up like a fictional character (usually anime), role playing, and taking lots of selfies in front of various Japanese-inspired backgrounds. Sakura Matsuri is essentially cosplayer heaven.

This year the cosplayers dominated the festival, clogging up traffic around the tranquil Japanese garden to take pictures, reenact crucial scenes from their favorite manga, and sign autographs for misguided tourists. Below we take a look at some of the most striking cosplayers and see how they stack up to their inspirations, based on a scale of anime-style emoticons.


Sailor Chibi Moon (Sailor Moon) 

Hair:  (*O*)

Costume: (*-*) 

Accessories: (*^*) 

Overall: (^w^) 


Hatsune Miku (Vocaloid) 

Hair:  (>>)

Costume:  (-_o)

Accessories:  (o_o)

Overall: (~_^) 


Mario Mario (Super Mario) 

Hair:  (xOx)

Costume: (¬_¬")

Accessories:  (>_<)

Overall:  (=_=)


Chii (Chobits) 

Hair: (p_q)

Costume:  (/_\)

Accessories:  (Y_Y)

Overall:  (ú_ú)


Konata (Lucky Star) 

Hair: (?_?)

Costume:  (♥_♥)

Accessories:  (OwO)

Overall:  ^(*-*)^


Spike Spiegel (Cowboy Bebop) 

Hair:  (U_U)

Costume:  (*¬*)

Accessories:  (n_n)

Overall:  (^o^)


Eternal Sailor Moon (Sailor Moon) 

Hair:  (~_^)

Costume:  (õ_ó)

Accessories:  (^;_;^)

Overall:  (^-^)b

Credit: Flickr user SPakhrin. Used with a Creative Commons License.