10/25/2022

Atlanta Cosplays at Trap Sushi

In Atlanta, there’s only one place you can get late night sushi on a Thursday: Trap Sushi. Fusing Atlanta and Japanese pop culture, Trap Sushi builds community around food, music, anime, and cosplay. Founders speak on the due diligence it takes to appreciate (and not appropriate) culture. Artist Tolden Williams, aka Troop Brand, grew up in Mississippi loving Dragon Ball Z. Stephanie Lindo, an environmental scientist, first learned about manga and anime from her Vietnamese best friends. When Tolden discovered Stephanie art online, their shared love for Japanese culture fueled a project that has now become centerstage of Atlanta’s growing cosplay community. Many Black cosplayers are on the rise–and so is racism. This exists in anime communities too, where being Black means you cannot play a certain character. Trap Sushi has become the place where people of all backgrounds feel safe and accepted to tap into cosplay, anime, and community in general.

10/25/2022

Atlanta Cosplays at Trap Sushi

In Atlanta, there’s only one place you can get late night sushi on a Thursday: Trap Sushi. Fusing Atlanta and Japanese pop culture, Trap Sushi builds community around food, music, anime, and cosplay. Founders speak on the due diligence it takes to appreciate (and not appropriate) culture. Artist Tolden Williams, aka Troop Brand, grew up in Mississippi loving Dragon Ball Z. Stephanie Lindo, an environmental scientist, first learned about manga and anime from her Vietnamese best friends. When Tolden discovered Stephanie art online, their shared love for Japanese culture fueled a project that has now become centerstage of Atlanta’s growing cosplay community. Many Black cosplayers are on the rise–and so is racism. This exists in anime communities too, where being Black means you cannot play a certain character. Trap Sushi has become the place where people of all backgrounds feel safe and accepted to tap into cosplay, anime, and community in general.

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Thai Group, The Barbarian, Inspired by Chicano Culture

Leng the Barbarian is not a gangster, he’s a big brother in a family–one where male members endure 13 seconds of violence to belong, and female members (depending on if they’re “sweet” or “strong”) must dance or drink alcohol. This initiation, Leng explains, is a challenge meant to attract like-minded people: strong, determined, perseverant. This family has house rules, including not doing cocaine and amphetamines, or anything that can “ruin their lives”. They take care of one another like a family does, sharing everything from money and food to jobs and opportunities. In 2017, Leng founded The Barbarian, a group that was aimed to be independent, creative, and loud. As a child growing up in the slums, he had experienced watching fatal overdoses on his way to school, and grew up to become a thief buying drugs. Deeply inspired by Chicano gang culture and style, and listening to Mexican rappers like Lil Rob and Mr Yosie, Leng was drawn to how gentle the culture was from how they dance to iron their clothes. Chicano, a chosen identity for Mexicans who immigrated to Los Angeles, was once a term of derision and then adopted as an expression of defiance towards white assimilation. Not only did Leng integrate Chicano gang style into The Barbarian aesthetic, he built an imported clothing business focused on Chicano streetwear. He wants people to raise children with an open mind, and learn about Chicano culture by wearing it. Leng believes it’s their recognizable style that has made The Barbarians a target for police today.

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Atlanta Cosplays at Trap Sushi