Julie Wong, founder of Love Live! cosplay group The Nonets, with Reina Moya, and Bek at Winnipeg C4 Comic Convention.

Julie Wong, co-founder of Love Live! cosplay group Nonets, with Reina Moya, and Bek at Winnipeg C4 Comic Convention.

By Sarain Diamond

Winnipeg dance group Nonets,  cosplay dance, group, marked their one year anniversary with a live performance at Central Canada Comic Con (C4). The event marks the Love Live! franchise inspired group’s fourth live performance and their second at C4 after debuting last year.

Nonets co-founder Julie Wong, 26, has a love of cosplay (dressing as fictional characters) and of multimedia anime franchise idol group Love Live!.

During last year’s Ai-Kon, a local anime convention, Wong looked for others to help her create a cosplay group consisting of the nine members of µ’s (pronounced Muse), the name of the idol group in the Love Live! franchise. The franchise is one of the top selling anime properties, according to Anime News Network.

“I’ve always been drawn to stories about friendship and bettering yourself through it,” Wong said. “Love Live! is the epitome of humans bonding together for a common goal.”

Wong approached fellow Love Live! cosplayer Reina Moya about forming a group and they started the group with a total of nine members, though now they have ten, with two girls dressing as the same character. Wong chose to name their group Nonets.

“A nonet is a group of nine people and there are nine members of µ’s,” Wong said, “I also just thought it would be cute to have something called no nets, cause it’s a little like no borders, or no cage,”

Nonets members bonded together quickly and tightly over their first year.

“It feels like a real family” said Moya. “Nonets started as an activity, but turned into something more.”

At this year’s C4, Nonets took part in a Love Live! dance showcase they helped organize. Nonets and two other Love Live! dance groups performed on stage. Though the room was small, the crowd was energized and excited.

Nonets performed last, with all ten members coming onto the stage wearing vibrant, glittering costumes. They performed their first number in perfect unison to cheers from the crowd.

“The groups were lively,” said spectator Robin McCarthy, 27. “The performances were amazing.”

Wong, who’s stage name is Astra, explained that most of the Nonets members exclusively use their online handles for public performances and on social media.

“[It] helps us step outside of ourselves and bond with the performance.”