This Cosplay Burlesque Is Electrifying

AnimeNEXT is a convention that isn’t afraid to be risque, judging from these videos of recent NSFW cosplay burlesque performances. Mind, this is a more modern interpretation of burlesque — it’s provocative show that can feature slapstick humour, skits, striptease acts and more.

Up above we’ve got footage of Nana Valtiel, who performs her show dressed as a Maya the Siren from Borderlands 2. Valtiel is a part of a group called Cosplay Burlesque, which is a band of performers and cosplayers who do shows with the intention of making fandom a little naughtier.

Why do burlesque of nerdy stuff? “Many cons have reoriented their programming to attract younger attendees, which is all well and good, but they haven’t done much for the older crowd,” the Cosplay Burlesque website explains.

Valtiel wasn’t the only performer at AnimeNEXT, of course. There’s Esmerelda May, who also does a Borderlands performance — here she is dressed as Mad Moxxi:

We’ve also got Allen Ryde, who does a Vega performance to some Enrique Iglesias:

And here’s a Sailor Moon performance, also courtesy of Esmerelda May:


  • That’s not burlesque….

    Where’s the razzle-dazzle, the glam and glitz, the cheeky tease you know the show? All I saw was stripping with all the raw stuff omitted..

  • Woah, hold on, back up a minute.
    Am I in some bazaaro world? Patricia has posted an article on cosplay strippers and not a single cry of sexism? No misandry? No rants about how women in gaming are objectified and discriminated against?

    • @warcroft – also no comments that people would bang them or equivalent. It’s almost like the amount of raging about sexism is in some way related to the amount of inappropriate comments made!

    • Stripping and pole dancing as a hobby are a sign that women have won liberation (I guess its like winning a war of attrition, you haven’t really won?).

      • We’re all winners when the performers enjoy performing and we enjoy being the audience. This did need more cheekiness though, if you call it burlesque then don’t just strip. It’s a unique idea and I give kudos to the performers for originality and courage.

      • I get it. But I also understand why many people don’t. Feminism is complicated – well, the idea is simple, but the application in society is a bit more complex. Is Burlesque empowering or objectifying? That fact that I think there could be a decent argument for both cases shows that it’s not really a very simple discussion.

        And with that, I’m out of here! I’m sorry, I couldn’t help dip my toe in, it’s such an interesting topic, but I don’t have enough time to keep chatting, and goodness knows how threads on sexism or religion can go on and on… and on.

    • Patricia wrote a response on KotakUS in regard to this kind of question:
      Sounds like you’ve made a character in your head, of course reality doesn’t match up with that.

      I have written about sexuality before. I don’t think progressive ideals are incompatible with being a sexual person. If you’ve read my writing you’d probably know that! For example:

      But even if I hadn’t written those things, one of my beats is the intersection of real life and video games. I’d say this post coming from me is pretty unsurprising.

      Anyway, yes, what people consider “burlesque” has changed.

      There is a big difference between identifying sexuality, sexualisation, or objectification. Here we see people who identify with their sexuality, are sexualising a sliver of gaming culture, and are not being objectified for doing so.

  • The first video bothered me a little for lack of burlesque feel. So yeah, clearly they’re fans and they’ve visibly enthusiastic and happy, so mad props to them for that. You go, girls. And not being fully aware of what good stripping looks like? Probably a virtue.
    But I didn’t bother watching all of these in full either. Maybe they got better?

    Look, Burlesque is about… attitude. It’s about teasing and playing with audience anticipation. It’s about a woman dancing, with the possibility of getting some kit off. There used to be slapstick skits and musical pieces without stripping, and terrible gags to go with, usually from an ugly dude, who everyone in the audience really just wanted to be off-stage as quickly as possible so they could get to the girls. I never studied it in enough detail to tell, but I’d guess ‘delaying tactics’. For that anticipation.

    You can be sexy, incredibly sexy, in your movements without actually being unclothed. The music of the day allowed it to be drawn out. What I just saw? Perfunctory, mad scrambling to get the clothes off, to a frenetic beat. Plenty of enthusiasm, not so much sensuality.

    Without the flair and style of classic burlesque, you might as well just watch cosplayers on redtube or something. (I have no doubt there’s a category for that. A roommate once contested that there was something for EVERYONE on those streaming sites. I’d name it, she’d look it up and prove it. Amongst other things, I named ‘flatulence’. No-one could possibly want to see/experience getting farted on in the face, right? I was horrified and disappointed to be proven wrong.)

    Still. It’s a nice idea and everyone seemed like they were having fun, so… good game, I guess? :}

  • Patricia, this has already been said in a much more eloquent manner, but this is not burlesque.
    Still, at least you wrote a whole paragraph! Gold star!

  • It really is confusing these days what we’re supposed to be outraged about and what we’re not. A female character in a game can cause people to cry sexism and objectification, but someone cosplaying said character and doing sexy-times is alright? Characters designed to titillate and tease are bad, but people cosplaying said characters doing something designed to titillate and tease is ok?

    I get that it’s all a big complicated ball of attitudes and respect and context but some consistency is necessary for education until such time that people start being able to figure out for themselves what is and isn’t ok.

    • “Lara Croft is being written as some sort of wish fulfilment for socially-inept males, who–”
      “Actually the head writer is a woman.”
      “Oh. Well in THAT case…”

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