March is cherry blossom season in the valley. While the peak was estimated for the next week, local cosplayers and photographers decided to hit Anthony C. Beilenson Park (aka popularly known as Lake Balboa Park by the cosplay community) in Van Nuys. . One or two trees started showing pink, while a majority were just starting to bud. Jason Nishi (i360) organized this potluck picnic. My long time cosplay buddy, Angela convinced me to go on March 13. Ergo, I invited the base crew to join us. Stan decided to just relax in the park for this event. Jared and I went as Aizen and Hinamori from Bleach. Deb went as Ash from Pokemon: Diamond and Pearl.

The namesake of this report is based on the alternative title for Akira Kurosawa's Dreams. There is a segment that takes place in a peach orchard during Hina Matsuri. I thought it would be appropriate since Momo translates to "peach" and Hina Matsuri normally takes place in March.

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Deb and I decided to wander the path that had a few cherry blossoms ready. Yet, one had to deal with fruit flies on that path. Even though the cherry blossoms did not show, we were in cosplay and there was plenty of open space for photo opportunities.

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Deb borrowed my Mew plush. Mew was very much beloved by Stan and Jared.

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And this was one the tree that had a few cherry blossoms ready.

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Deb was also looking for a shiny Pachirisu.

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Stan brought his Yotsuba figure. He claimed it was his bankai against Aizen.

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The picnic had maybe 20 or so attendees. Evan and Matt went out to grab pizza. There was much sweets and flavored chips to be passed around. I brought soda and cookies to add to the mix. It was cool meeting a few new people (Silver Ruby, Susan) and catching up with long time friends (Angela, Shane, Matt).

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Jared and I decided to take nice pictures of our Bleach costumes. We came to the realization we had not done anything couple or pairing related since New York Anime Fest 2009. Deb took photos with my camera. Ted (Spooky Electric) and Jeff (i360) also took photos of us in the bamboo forest area of the park. Many thanks to these guys for helping us out.

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The story with Jared's Aizen is that most of the costume was made by me other than the coat. Jared ordered the coat from an online cosplay shop. However, when it arrived in the mail, it did not have the sleeves. So, I had to add sleeves with what spare white polycotton I had.

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My Hinamori costume was commissioned. This was before I learned how to sew. I made the hair bun holder thing from scrap fabric and what ribbon I had left.

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These photos are based on a few of our couple-ish quirks. I know, it's because I'm short.

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A few more of our Division 5 shots as taken by Deb.

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There were a few kids from the neighboring party who thought Jared was cosplaying as Samurai Jack. Deb was still in her Ash costume. The kids demanded the wherabouts of Pikachu, despite Deb tending to the legendary Mew.


A few cosplayers of the Tohou persussion started wandering into the bamboo area.

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There was also a Steampunk gathering on the other side of the park. Jared, Deb, and I were curious to what was going on. We figured since we were all in costume, it would be nice to drop by and check it out. We were very much welcomed. It turned out a few of the steampunkers were into anime. They knew we were cosplaying from Bleach and Pokemon. They also asked for photos. It looked like a fun event. We were offered cookies (thanks Melissa!) and we watched a bit fo the badmitton game. For more information about the Southern California Steampunk community, visit League of Steam.

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Since March 13 was the only day we could make it to the park, we took last minute photos in that area of the the park. Looks like Ash found one of the three lakes in Pokemon: Diamond and Pearl.

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And then Ash faced a lesser known Pokemon trainer, Aizen Sousuke of the Hueco Mundo gym. Can Ash win the Taco badge? After all, Aizen has a Mew on his team.

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Jared and I took some last minute Division 5 photos are the sun was setting.

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Many thanks to Jason for putting on this event. Many thanks to Jeff and Ted for the photoshoots. Your time and patience is greatly appreciated! We look forward to the photos. After the gathering, we stopped by a Wing Stop. We thought about watching the Pacquiao vs. Clottey fight, but we knew the future Filipino politician would win.


Another good day spent well with friends. It did not matter if the cherry blossoms were at the peak, it just mattered to just have a nice day at the park. See you at the next event!

Pictures are copyright by Scarlet Rhapsody. If I took your picture, feel free to use it on your site or cosplay gallery. While you're here, do sign the guestbook. This site was brought to you by the font Rough Brush. Many thanks to Chaz Boston Baden for the imaging program.