July 22, 2014

[IMPORTANT] Cosplay name change!

Hi all, let's get straight to the point ~

Lately I've been thinking a lot about changing my cosplay name, Valkoinen Samurai. After some thought I feel like it's too long and too complicated to spell/pronounce all the time, especially to people outside Finland. It just ended up getting tiring and more troublesome than wanted when I have to spell it out for people at cons etc. I need something quicker to pronounce, something easier - cosplay nicknames should be easy to remember, for everyone.
Don't get me wrong, I've gotten really used to this name and most people recognize me by it, so it feels really hard to suddenly change it into something else - but that's why I'm not going to do a big change! Sure that I have some other internet names too -like Chigami and Blood_Sword- that I could have used, but I want to stay with the ending 'samurai' because it kind of turned into a trademark thing and I commonly end my nicknames with it nowadays. So well, my brain was trying to come up with a replacement for 'valkoinen' (means 'white' in Finnish) and it quickly hit me that "why not just change the language?" would probably be the best solution. It didn't take long before I had set my mind on 'shiro' -which is the same color in Japanese- and well, that's what my cosplay/blog name will be from now on - Shiro Samurai. This change also applies to my lifestyle and kimono blogs.
It feels a lot less heavy to pronounce; it flows better and is pleasant to say, mmmm yes! <3 At least according to me, hehe. The meaning is still the same so it doesn't feel like a dramatical change that will take long getting used to.. and I hope my readers feel the same and that it won't be too confusing!


Oh, and one last thing! I'm of course fine with people still calling me Valkoinen Samurai, it's basically the same name anyway. :'D Also I won't go back and edit my name on all earlier blog posts and you don't have to do it either if you've mentioned me in your blog.

Sayonara and thanks for your understanding!
- Shiro Samurai out

July 15, 2014

150 followers give-away!

... more like, "160 followers give-away!" OTL

HOOYAH ~
This blog has reached a whopping 150+ followers!
THANK YOU! <3

I know it's late but let's pretend it's not and I'm already on this writing moment at 161 readers (thanks! <3) but I honestly haven't had time to focus on this give-away earlier because of the ongoing con summer season. Sorry. ;_; But now I have time to breathe out so here it comes, enjoy!

First of - I'm very surprised and happy about so many people having interest in my cosplay life! o_o Even in my wildest dreams I didn't see this popularity coming! If I'm completely honest I have to admit that originally back when I started this blog I planned to mostly have it as a personal notebook kind of thing, you know, just to keep track of my cosplay life for my own amusement. I wasn't counting on any outside interest except for maybe a few really close friends; I wasn't even expecting to ever reach 20 readers! So guess if I'm completely and utterly mindblown by all of you? I am, really. ;A; How did this happen? Mistä näitä lukijoita oikein tulee? :-DD
All of you motivate me to keep writing this blog and so much more that I can't even explain with words! Thanks to cosplay -and all wonderful people I've met along the road- I've leveled up a lot as a person and I'm very grateful for that! <3 I wouldn't have got this far without all you awesome peeps out there! As a sort of 'thank you' I have a celebration give-away on the plate! ~
But first there's a few rules that I have to clarify.

PLEASE READ!
~*~ Rules ~*~

• You must be a follower of this blog to participate. After all, this is a 'thank you' type of give-away to all of you who contributed to number 150 and beyond! :D
• You must live in either Sweden or Finland to participate. Sorry!
• Comment on this post to get an entry to the give-away and have a chance to win! You must write your email adress in the comment so that I can contact you if you are one of the lucky winners! Only one entry per person.
• The winners will be drawn randomly from all the entries and contacted. The prizes will either be handed out by me personally at an anime convention we both will attend or shipped out to you. I will pay the shipping cost.

 I would be very happy if you told me in the entry comment what you like about this blog and if there's something you want to see more of or if you have improvement suggestions (except that I should change the outlook/banner of this blog, I know xD) etc. Feedback most welcome!


Seems easy enough right? Yep, so let's get on with the give-away prizes!
*drumroll*

 •••••

2nd picture without flash, 3rd picture with flash
First prize! EOS Dolly Eye Violet circle lenses + lens case!
These are of course authentic, unworn and still in their original sealed bottles. Diameter effect is 15.0 mm according to the bottle, site says 14.2 mm. These are plano lenses (0.00 prescription).

•••••


Second prize! A short purpleish-pink cosplay wig!
Brand new and never used! I don't know if it's heat resistant or not but the original site claims that it is; be careful if you decide to try heat styling it.

•••••


Third prize! Pokémon Jirachi - The Movie: Wishmaker (2004)
Sparingly used, works well. The disc holder of the case has one piece missing but it still holds the disc in place. The cover is the Swedish release but the movie has dubs in Swedish, Norwegian, Danish and Finnish.

 •••••

That's the prizes for this time, I hope they tickle your fancy!

Remember, if you only want to compete for some of the prizes -not all of them- then write which ones you are interested in on your entry comment. Example: "I only want to compete for prizes 1 & 3."

Give-away ends on 1st September.

Best of luck, everyone! :D
Feel free to spread the word! ~

July 11, 2014

Skecon 2014 - Mario Kart gaming, Vocaloid concert and kyudo!

Skecon is now past (4-6 July) and I must say that it was one of the best cons I've attended so far! Skecon just keeps getting better and better for each year and just whaow, all my love for the people making it possible! <3 Here comes now my Skecon journey, take a seat and let's roll out the kilometer post! :-DD


Friday

Our journey started early on Friday morning and by early I mean early - originally we had planned to take a bus that would leave 06:50 Swedish time, but, because we ultimately went to bed around four in the night/morning (because of packing and stuff, what you mean I do it late?) we said "fuck this shit" and decided to take two hours of sleep yipee and just take the next bus, aka the 08:25 bus instead. This bus would be at Skellefteå exactly 13:00 and this was when Skecon would open its doors.
So uh, after two hours of sleep we woke up around six something, did what was needed and headed out a bit later than intended. But as soon as we exited the building we noticed to our joy not that it was raining and it wasn't a light drizzle either - it was proper rain. This didn't amuse us because we only had one umbrella available and to boot it's a small one. I ended up having the umbrella because I was carrrying the SLR camera in my bag and this thing is our preciousssss and because I suck. Seeing how the bus station is maybe a few kilometers away the walk in the rain with our amount of luggage was quite the pain in the ass. When we had walked about half-way we realized that no way in hell will we get to the bus station in time so I called Jäätynyt Enkeli and told him that we won't make it so that he and Sairu-chan wouldn't wait for us and worry. They took the 08:25 bus and me and Hasakitsuki ended up trying our luck and waiting at a bus stop in town and hoping that the bus would pass by; pretty much all the other times we've taken this same bus it would stop here so we thought it was worth a shot. Jäätynyt Enkeli soon informed us that the bus drove straight past the other road -not even turning to were we were- and I even saw it! Ended up with the bus being the express bus (line 100) and not the usual bus (line 20) that stops. PERKELE. 8C
Nothing to do we continued towards the bus station, pounded by the rain and both of us probably growing dicks on our foreheads because we were so pissed. The rain kept increasing too, just to make it worse. We didn't remember when the next bus would leave but we knew for sure that we would miss some hours of con time. Grrrr...
When we finally got to the bus station we saw that the next bus would leave 10:00 and so we waited around one hour in the station and looked generally grumpy.. and wet. Finally the bus came and a surprising amount of people boarded it -considering it's a small town and it was early- and we waited so that we would be the last ones in because I didn't want to accidentally smack someone when I turn with my self-made fabric sword bag containing my shinai (understand: kendo bamboo practice sword). Inside the bus we slept and lagged most of the trip. Approximately 5 hours of rain-and-sometimes-no-rain later we started reaching the grounds of Skellefteå and I looked out of the window and saw some familiar views being passed by like a flash - namely Folkparken (Skecon building) and Korvgubben (closest food-place). My eyes opened wide and it instantly hit me; "OH SHIT WE COULD JUMP OFF HERE ALREADY" was my first thought and when I saw the bus speed past a nearby bus stop I pressed on the stopper in hopes that there would soon be another bus stop. There was. Fuck yeah! 8D So we jumped off the bus and I felt a short wave of panic hitting me after a few seconds - we were outside the bus, our suitcase still inside the bus storage and no driver coming out to open it for us. I climbed back into the bus before the doors closed on us and repeated myself, "we have a suitcase to take out!" and this time the driver heard me and came outside. Phew. Imagine if he had left with our suitcase still inside... :'DD
We started walking towards the con and I instantly knew where we had landed. It didn't take long before we reached the entrance of Skecon and there were people standing outside, effectively blocking the entrance.

The first view of Skecon we got when we arrived...
I asked a random girl why people were lining up but got no real answer so I started scouting human wrists for con tickets instead. It seemed that most people had already got their tickets so I decided to push my way through the human wall and get inside. As soon as we got inside we were spotted by the ticket table and so we traded our paper tickets for con tickets and after the "but I want to have it on my left hand!" talk I ended up with getting the ticket on my right hand anyway. :C Meh. I'm used to having tickets on my left hand and highly prefer it this way. *shrugs*
As soon as me and Hasakitsuki had put our not-needed-right-now stuff in the con's checkroom thing (you know, where they store stuff for you and you get a number ticket during the con) we went to put on our Friday cosplays. I spent the normal amount of forever in the bathroom doing my cosplay make-up and so naturally Hasakitsuki was done before me. With the cosplays on we walked around, checked the Dealer's Hall (where I bought an awesome Hakuouki notebook, huehueueh.. ~), bumped into some friends -as well as our travel companions who didn't get bus screwed- and at some point I checked the con's program list, aka what will happen during the weekend.


Skecon program lists
Something on the list sparked both mine and Jäätynyt Enkeli's immediate interest and that thing was nothing less than a Mario Kart: Double Dash!! video game tournament in 2-versus-2 style! Seeing the amount of countless hours we two have spent of our life in front of this game we decided to sign up for the tournament as a team because hey, we pretty much always played co-op in one car and now there was a tournament in our preferred style, booyah! We thought why not have some gaming fun; our intention wasn't even to compete super seriously and try combing home a grand victory - we just wanted to spend some time and have fun playing a game that we've loved for 10+ years and still play!
When the competition was about to start (it started 19:00) we headed over to the video game room in good time and watched the preparations being made. A tournament map thingy had been drawn on a whiteboard showing who would play against who and such; to our luck we were the second ones to play the first round. I was happy about being one of the first ones out because at this point my contacts were being uncomfortable and I was highly considering just running and taking them off but I persisted, hoping that the discomfort would go away. Luckily it eventually did and I played the remaining tournament without contacts bitching.

Drinking coke when waiting for our turn to play
Coke again, and Sairu-chan..
.. and of course Jäätynyt Enkeli photocrashing. xD
We won the first round 2-0 (stages were Luigi's Circuit and Peach Beach) and I must say that during the whole race I was nervous and tense as never before! I don't know why but I guess it's because I've never played in a game tournament before and I've rarely played against human players on Versus mode to begin with; Versus mode means no additional computer players, just two human teams (2 players per car) fighting for 1st place and 2nd place meant losing.

Playing the second match - Flower Cup stages
After our first victory we just stayed and watched the other contestants race to reach the next step and then -finally- it was time for us to play again. This time it was a bit harder and we played Mario Circuit first, on which we lost in the very end because of bad luck (aka opponent got super good items at the very end that screwed us over even though we were leading all laps). The second stage was Mushroom Bridge and on this one we won so it stood 1-1 and we had to play a third stage to settle it - Daisy Cruiser. We ended up winning this one too although it was a bit sweaty, the whole Flower Cup part of the tournament was quite a challenge; the opposing players weren't bad at all! I hate Koopa Troopa/Paratroopa users, so annoying. xD

Playing the third match (semi final) - Star Cup stages
Now we had climbed up to the semi finals and my heart had also climbed up to my throat and it stayed there for the remainder of the tournament - I hadn't planned on getting this far even though I had a scratching in my butt that we would have a chance. Oh well, the semi finals were played on Star Cup stages, of course, and first out was Sherbet Land. We didn't really have much problems with this stage because it's one of my favorite stages to play! :'D After the icy landscapes it was time for Mushroom City and on this stage we got screwed over on the later half of the final lap, gah! xD It's one of my most disliked stages on the game, along with Dry Dry Desert and Mushroom Bridge to boot, hahah. It stood 1-1 again and to finish it off we entered the green dino stage -namely Yoshi's Circuit- on which we crushed the opponents at the end with quite the lead just before the goal. 2-1 and shooting to the finaaaaaals ~~ 8D At this point I was feeling the tension, the excitement, the stress, the shaking hands and the "oh my god did we really get this far?!" looping in my brain. It was an amazing feeling, never really experienced this before!
And so came the final, the ultimate battle to crown the masters. My hands were shaking, sweating and my pulse was in the sky. I looked at Jäätynyt Enkeli and he was probably just as tense and excited as I was, "now let's give everything we've got bro!" was the only thing I could think.

Ongoing final - Special Cup stages
Special Cup rolled in and this time it was different playing rules, instead of playing 2-3 stages to get the winner it was a "best of 5 stages" concept. The first stage you had to play was the hardest one the game has to offer - Rainbow Road. After this the losing team after each race got to choose the next stage and you could pick any stage, except for Wario Colosseum and Waluigi Stadium which were banned for some reason I don't know. I had no problems playing Rainbow Road first because I've mastered all stages pretty much equally over the years (playing All Cup Tour on Mirror Mode and getting full points is no big trick for me, oops) and so we completely crushed our opponents on the first stage. :-DD They got to pick the next stage and it was Bowser's Castle, which was fine with us. On this one there was quite the challenge and tactical thinking, it was a great race! We could tell our opponents had played quite a lot too because they succesfully used that one jump shortcut at the end where the firing Bowser statue is and they knew when was the best time to use the lightning bolt item. Speaking of which, on the later part of the second lap they got said lightning bolt and because we were leading they waited for us to take this jump shortcut, so that they'd use the bolt just when we jump and have us fall into the lava and lose time. I had read their tactices -I knew- so I went around instead of using the shortcut and well, even though I didn't use the shortcut I still had some lead so I decided to just go to the big jump and not stop and wait, aka let them pass by on purpose with the bolt. I knew that they'd use the bolt while we were in the air so that we'd fall down, but it was a hit I choose to take willingly; I just prayed that the final lap we would catch up. After falling and after returning to normal size again we caught up fairly quickly and took the lead without too much struggling even though my heart was still stuck in my throat because of the tension and excitement!
The third stage they chose was Sherbet Land and well, 2-0 turned into 3-0 and our opponents just kind of gave up with a laugh because they said there's no way in hell they could win, that they were totally outclassed. xD There was only 2 stages left to play anyway, so no chances. We shook hands, thanked for a great game and...

*deep breath*
VICTORYYYYYYY!!!

MK: DD finished tournament table
It felt awesome to actually win something once in a blue moon! I'm usually this kind of unlucky person who never wins anything whatsoever and I have kind of bad self-confidence so most times I don't even apply for competitions and stuff but oh my god I made it! More like, we made it! ;A; Originally I didn't play to win -more to have a nice time- but it still feels pretty damn good to actually take home the victory! *insert flappy hands here*
There was no mention of any prizes as far as I can remember so we just assumed you won the honor and then we headed upstairs to eat some of our provisions.

Metworst sandwich
After some stomach filling we went out to photoshoot our Hakuouki cosplays. Our shoot was cut short though because it was late and I had been given a new purpose in life, unwillingly - mosquito food.

Cosplayers: Valkoinen Samurai (Souji Okita), Hasakitsuki (Chizuru Yukimura), Sairu-chan (geiko!Chizuru Yukimura)
Photographers: Sairu-chan & Jäätynyt Enkeli






Bonus pics!

My face tells it all - it wasn't painless to move around barefoot :')
I got random stuff stuck on my feet.. xD
After the shoot I think me and Hasakitsuki went to eat something warmer from the cafeteria and well, something warmer was a toast. A pizza toast. No not really, but when we ordered they asked me if I wanted everything on my toast, including pizza spice. xD Pizza spice was the code name for oregano and "everything" was ham and cheese, not pocky. At first we were a bit "not sure if.." because we had practically lived on only breads the whole day. Yeah, we had made an overload of provision breads for the trip and that was all we've been eating throughout the day, so guess if we were a bit sick of bread at this point? :'D We had the toasts anyway because toast is toast, not bread. The toast was surprisingly good too!

Random cafeteria photo
Cafeteria menu
We then stayed and chilled past midnight and watched the Rave begin. I'm not really a Rave person so I was content with just watching people dance in the blinking lights. I'm just not a party person myself and I have no rhythm understanding -as far as dancing is concerned anyway- so err, the only way to get me on a dance floor is if I make a fool out of myself and dance like an idiot. lol Maybe someday I'll grow balls and go there and do a Harlem Shake or something... xD


Rave photos
I'm not sure but I think the clock was nearing two in the night when our bodies finally started getting a bit tender and so we popped to the showers and then to the sleeping accommodation. I showered and changed first and when it was Hasakitsuki's turn (she took forever, by the way) I noticed that some people were karaoke singing the first Pokémon intro song over and over and over again. At some point I managed to make out that they sung it in different languages and after some careful sneak listening I thought I had heard that other familiar language of mine - FINNISH. I bolted off to the karaoke room to check if my ears had deceived me or not -but- when I looked at the screen I felt the corners of my mouth drop to the floor in disapproval. What was displayed on the screen -claiming to be Finnish- had never even seen the shadow of a properly spelled Finnish word! D: I mean, it didn't look like Finnish for five cents! xD It was some dummy Swedish-ified I-want-to-be-Finnish-but-look-like-hurppudurppu instead, I almost laughed a little mentally and had to comment "that's not proper Finnish". lol But the song voices in the background were the actual lyrics at least...

Luckily the sleeping accommodation was arranged in the same school's gymnastic hall as last time so I knew exactly where it was and how to get there. It was only an approx. 10-15 minutes walk away from the con if you walked in a normal pace. Oh well, because Skecon is awesome they had put "sovsal" (lit. sleeping hall) signs everywhere on the road so that even if you didn't know where the sleeping accommodation was it was easy to head there alone, without the guidance of a con worker. The signs were placed on poles, taped to the ground.. yeah, basically in all possible places..

.. and when it was needed the signs were turned upside down
so that the arrow would point in the right direction. :'D
Sairu-chan and Jäätynyt Enkeli had gone to the sleeping accommodation before me and Hasakitsuki because we were slow and had inflated our air mattress. We dragged it inside the gymnastic hall, pretty far away from the doors and then we just went to sleep; everyone slept on the air mattress with our feet hanging out except Sairu-chan, who did it the hardcore metapod sleeping bag style on the floor. I don't think we fell asleep until it was around three in the night and well, I was freezing my toes off so Hasakitsuki lent me some too-small-for-my-feet socks that I kept on for the night. I still froze, even though I slept with my travel/normal clothes on and with my nemaki (read: kimono pyjama) on top and a friggin' pink blanket over me too.. oh, and guess what? I still froze. :-DD In the middle of the night I woke up and Hasakitsuki opened her new metapod so that it would turn into a "duvet" that we could share. Then, finally, I could sleep.. until the alarms started sounding at 08:00.

Saturday

We woke up 08:00 and zombied our way outside into the daylight and OH GOD MY EYES, NOT INTO THE PIT IT BURRRRRRRNSSSSSSSS!! Yeah, I had turned into a vampire and getting hit by the bright sunlight felt like napalm in the eyeballs. I got accustomed to the dark...
When we got to the con we headed straight towards the con cafeteria and ordered some pies for breakfast. I ended up with the broccoli pie and watched it spin in the micro for a few minutes and the next time it spun, well, that was in my intestines. Probably. Oh, and I guess you figured but on the morning we both maybe had one quarter of our brains working and that of course meant that the atmosphere around us was not of the brightest kind. Here, let me demonstrate:

WALRUUUUUUSSSSSSSS
Yeah, that was what my intelligence level could muster at these early hours. Absolutely groundbreaking. Wow. Never has the world seen such beauty before...

Khrmm. Yeah, let's move on. After the pie breakfast we walked around and checked the Dealer's Hall again and well, at some point I really needed to take a shit. :'D I know, interesting information everyone wanted to know! So yeah, I spent quite long in the bathroom and when I was finally done I didn't see Hasakitsuki anywhere; I quickly scouted around but didn't find her so I ninja'd my way traitor who went alone, oops to the aikido display that I knew had started 11:00 outside. It was surprisingly interesting to watch! I didn't really know much of aikido before except that you do a fair amount of rolling, locking moves and such and also use some weapons.






Hasakitsuki found me watching aikido and came to watch the remainder of it too. After the aikido display we went inside to put on our Vocaloid cosplays. My cosplay for the day was Gakupo Kamui in an original kimono version and I was prepared to boil under the layers for the rest of the day. I was by far the most heavily dressed of our group and I was not too amused by it. Needless to say I was toasting. All the time. Almost.
We chilled around for a few hours, allied with Sairu-chan and Jäätynyt Enkeli and then we got hungry so we left for Korvgubben, aka the closest food place. On the way there we saw this Skecon fabric advertisement banner thing which tells us that recycling is gold!

What you mean we used last year's and just did some clever changes to it? :'DD
When we arrived we ordered some burgers, which ended up being disappointing but still edible. Note to self: Korvgubben wasn't as good as I remembered it from last year. 
Filled with semi-bland burgers we trolled back to the con and spent time with new and old friends and such until the clock struck 16:00 - the time I had been eagerly awaiting. No, it's not the Vocaloid concert, it's the Shimbukan budo club's martial arts display and a "try-on" for all who wanted. First out was kyudo and when I found them outside (it took a quick search) and saw huge Japanese bows my brain did a flip of awesome and I went to stand in line to try! Last time I tried kyudo it was 2012 in the very first Skecon and since then I've been wanting to try it more and possibly either join a club or practice at home, if nothing else. So well, when it was my time to grab a bow I got a speed-guidance by one of the sensei's and damn, it felt so swag to shoot! <3 I swear it was an amazing feeling, I could do it all day because it was so awesome . ;_; I got addicted and shot several times when most of the people who wanted to try had done so. I ended up having my right hand hurting between the thumb and index finger from all the shooting and had the bow -at one point- scratch my wrist when I fired, but it wasn't bad, just stung for a minute or so.

Kyudo sensei showing how to shoot with a second arrow ready
Listening to instructions
And now, shooting time! >8D

I tried shooting with the glove and a heavier bow after a while..
It was hard to pull it all the way ;_;
 Oh, and speaking of the glove. It was.. pretty interesting. The thumb part was hard as rock, I promise you can't bend it to save your life. xD It was cool to shoot with the glove in hand though, but it felt harder for me, somehow.. then again I never used it before. It's not like I've done kyudo many times in my life either. Look, here's a close-up on the glove:

le glove
 But I reverted back to shooting with bare hands, because I'm an inexperienced derp. :'DD

What you mean sleeves get in the way? :-D (happened more than once. lol)




You wonder if I actually hit after all that? Well, I shot a random birch to the right of the targets and a few on the target's body block thing but not inside the target itself, as far as I can remember...
Oh oh, and one thing! While I was firing arrows I almost fired off my wig! xD Some of the pins I had put to keep the bangs in place came loose because the arrow was so close to my face and well, when you shoot it's very fast so.. yeah. :-DD

CLOSE ENOUGH. 8C At least I tried
I probably spent at least one hour kyudo-ing and then kendo-ing some kendo kata with this same sensei guy. HNNNNGGG ALL MY KENDO FEELS. ;A; I haven't done kendo in several years (excluding the short previous "try-ons" at earlier Skecons) and it was obvious I had rusted and forgotten parts of the kendo kata moves; we did the 1st to 6th kata and then the three kodachi kata too, which I had barely done back when I still trained kendo actively and it resulted in some confusion and errors/mix-ups on both sides. xD All in all it still went pretty okay. I had a blast, that's for sure! The only thing that was not so awesome was that I took off my geta and did the kendo with only my tabi and well, my tabi got all moist and green from moving on the grass. Luckily my tabi aren't proper (aka stretch/sock-like tabi) so they are piss-easy to wash.






The sensei I was sparring with had to leave at some point and my mind was like "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO- *dives after his feet*" but everything has to end. :'C I thanked him, bid farewell and then me and Hasakitsuki went inside to go buy a bottle of ramune from the Dealer's Hall because we were thirsty. The melon flavored one was chosen and we went to sit close to the Dealer's Hall on the couch and drink it; it was pretty good and this time we barely had problems opening it, uuyeah progress! At this point the two other peeps of our company came and joined and we ate some candies and chilled, waiting for the Vocaloid concert to start at 20:00.

Melon ramune and Okita plushie bombing in (with the help of Hasakitsuki)
Random Dealer's Hall photos:




A few minutes before the Vocaloid concert was about to start we went to take our places in the main hall. People were sitting on the floor right next to the stage and pretty much all the tables around were taken, both on the ground floor and on the upper floor. We decided to sit at the small stairs and I saw an empty chair that I snatched so that I would get some extra height and see the concert properly, huehuehue ~
The concert started and on the screen appeared Miku Hatsune - the teal-haired Vocaloid everyone, their mom and dog knows and loves. Not soon after she started singing a Skecon worker showed up, HANDING OUT FREE GLOWSTICKS TO EVERYONE, ermahglerb!! <3 I got a yellow and a green one, had a flash of genius and stuck them in my ponytail, effectively turning myself into glowstick!Gakupo.

Mah glowsticks! :'D
Shove them in the hair!!
 Next up have a few photos from the Vocaloid concert! I know you want them ~

Miku Hatsune singing
More Miku
Moooore Miku
Kagamine twins!
The concert was awesome and I really enjoyed it! There was only one song that I didn't really like but I don't remember which one. I'm not a die-hard Vocaloid fan or anything but it was cute and energetic and well, Vocaloid songs fit the con mood so it was all the more enjoyable! :D The only slightly "meh" thing was that there was no Gakupo. :C Then again I was watching the concert with the mindset that if Gakupo appeared I would shit my pants of surprise because I was pretty much 95% sure he wouldn't be included. So it was. x)
After the concert we went to photoshoot our Vocaloid cosplays outside. Oh oh, I must say one thing before this! Our whole group was more than surprised to see that we were the only Vocaloid cosplay group and there was barely any other Vocaloid cosplayers besides us. I was prepared that like every third person I would pass by on Saturday would cosplay Miku or something but lolnope, not even close. o_o It was weird to realize that even though such a huge, popular and unique thing as a Vocaloid concert was held it basically had no influence on people's cosplays. :S

Cosplayers: Valkoinen Samurai (Gakupo Kamui), Hasakitsuki (MEIKO), Sairu-chan (Luka Megurine) & Jäätynyt Enkeli (Len Kagamine)

photographer: Hasakitsuki
You think we stayed serious for long? Certainly not. :-DDDDD More than half the shoot consisted of derps in all possible renditions! To get the complete picture of the amount of derps please check out Hasakitsuki's, Jäätynyt Enkeli's and Sairu-chan's Skecon summary blog posts whenever they appear! Jäätynyt Enkeli's appeared already! *hinthint*

I CAN SEE YOU...
Moustache!
(photobomb provided by Jäätynyt Enkeli, who else? xD)
IT'S THE CROSS-FANGED WALRUUUUUUSSSSSSSSSS
 *beep*
What you mean only one serious pic? 
- Well, it's Skecon; our Derpcon. Try to live with it. >8D
*splott*

This time I wasn't eaten alive by mosquitos so even after the photoshoot we stayed outside and found some funny company (Sairu-chan's friends I assume). We talked for a while, or more like, I listened for a while to their hilarious chitchat and then we slowly moved back inside. Inside we went to sit on the couches that are close to the stairs that lead to the upper floor, situated after you walk past the checkroom and bathrooms. Sairu-chan had mega blisters on her feet but luckily Hasakitsuki had taken with her some blister treatment plasters so it could be fixed. We just chilled for a while on the couches until we mutually agreed that.. IT WAS TIME.

Time for what, you ask? 
Listen carefully, I will tell you...

 [epic voice]
Finally, we had reached the point we had been waiting for; the ultimate climax of our journey. We could smell it, it was near, the continuation of a tradition far greater than anything else. We had ascended mountains and crossed seas to get back to where it all started - back to the birthplace of legends. Duty engraved deep into the minds of four chosen ones, they were to continue the task that destiny itself had given upon them right here, at the holy grounds of Skellefteå. With starving stomachs, clenched fists and determined faces only two sacred words had to be spoken to relive the moment of golden history, a fragment of time that shall live on forever. But, even though the chosen ones tried long and hard to reproduce a faithful rendition, nothing could ever surpass the perfection of the one and only true face of legend...

TOAST. NOW.
In other words - we headed out for the obligatory Skecon toast. You don't know it? The birth of tradition (aka the original face) can be seen if you scroll down on this post here: THE ONE AND ONLY.
So we had our toast, accompanied by tea. While we were enjoying the holy toasts we happened to be at the cafeteria just in time for the "?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!" surprise motherfucker event that was to happen at "Stora scenen" (lit. big scene, the main hall of the building) 23:00. The surprise event was nothing less than a candy rain, w00p! I didn't move my ass to get any candies though, I was too busy introducing the toast to the contents of my stomach...

Flying candies!
Not long after finishing the toast we slowly started to get laggy so we went to change out of cosplay and shower. When we were done we headed off to sleep and this time I slept with my clothes on again but I had my nemaki wrapped around my body (instead of leaving it open like last night). I ended up freezing again and borrowed an extra blanket from Sairu-chan on top of the one I borrowed from Hasakitsuki. Because it was pitch black I just assumed that the blanket was gray and put on my earplugs and slept, unaware of the chocking truth I'd be exposed to on the following morning...

Sunday

Mega laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaag. It took me quite long to open my eyes and while I was still halfway unconscious I saw someone sit next to me. I told them that it was cold and that I had been lying on my arm all night (lack of space on the bed) and that it was hurting or something. In my mind I was sure it was Sairu-chan and when I got a metapod over me for extra warmth I was sure it was her because Hasakitsuki doesn't understand Finnish and well, I spoke Finnish. After a while I finally registered that the latest question I got wasn't in Finnish - it was in English! DUN DUN DUUUUUUN. The person I thought was Sairu-chan was actually Hasakitsuki! OTL *shamecorner*
And that's not the only surprise I had that morning, mind you! Remember the blanket I borrowed from Sairu-chan last night? I was dang sure it was gray but on the morning when I woke up I wondered why in hell I had not one but two pink blankets over me?!?! THE WHOLE NIGHT I LIVED IN THE BELIEF THAT IT WAS A NICE GRAY BLANKET AND THEN IT ACTUALLY WAS PINK OH MY GOD I HAVE BEEN LURED! D: [insert dramatic noooooo here]
Khrrmm.. okay. This provided a good morning laugh for everyone in my company. xD I don't actually mind pink that horribly much or anything but yeah, it was funny.
After I had got rid of the last of the sleeping sands in my eyes and, of course, after we had packed up all our stuff from the sleeping accommodation we dragged our asses to a nearby Coop where we took turns buying unhealthy provisions for the journey back, along with some stuff we could eat at the con. It was super warm outside and I was goddamn boiling inside my black shoes that I was wearing (the ones I use for SSL!Okita) without socks. When we finally got to Skecon we were met by a deflated bouncy castle at the entrance door. This was a depressing sight for me because during the whole con I had been waiting to go jump in the bouncy castle and on Sunday I had by far the most hoppborg-friendly (Swedish for bouncy castle) cosplay! D:
We went inside, bought some pies but the broccoli pie was sold out so I tried a mexicana pie instead. It was fine but doesn't beat the broccoli one. Between eating I went to the info desk and asked them to charge the battery of my SLR camera and I also stumbled upon the main Skecon organizer whom I asked if they would have the bouncy castle up today; he said that it was unsure and that I should check with this other organizer about it. I found the other guy instantly and he said something along the lines of "we'll see what we can do".

Skecon screen at the info desk saying:
"This year we finally have a bouncy castle!"
We put on our Sweet School Life Hakuouki cosplays soon enough and went outside to photoshoot. While outside we noticed that the bouncy castle was up and standing *le gasp* but there was a major problem - a bunch of random kids were jumping in it even though the bouncy castle was reserved for Skecon visitors only and there was a sign on it saying this too. This made my rage meter go up because kids can go to any bouncy castle they want -because they are kids- but adults and older teenagers can't because of something as stupid as age restrictions. Who said adults can't have a childlike mind and like this kind of stuff? 8C
Oh well, for a while I tolerated and tried to ignore the kids jumping in the precious bouncy castle and photoshooted instead.

Cosplayers: Valkoinen Samurai (Souji Okita), Hasakitsuki (Chizuru Yukimura), Sairu-chan (Senhime)
Photographers: Jäätynyt Enkeli




But after a while I got sick of kids with no rights to be in the bouncy castle wasting our time to jump. I basically went and fetched a con organizer who told them to leave. But of course it didn't take long before other kids showed up (with Swedish parents who apparently can't read -_-) and then there was some talk that not even the con workers can keep the kids away so we have to let them jump too or take down the whole bouncy castle. That sucks. :C Oh, and if anyone wonder why random kids only appeared on Sunday it's because seemingly every Sunday during the summer there is a second-hand market thingy held on the same area as the Skecon building is.

When we were still photoshooting and waiting for the kids to piss off a random girl approached us and told us that we had won something. I was completely surprised for a while until it hit me that it must be the prizes for the Mario Kart tournament! Sure I knew that there was a prize distribution 13:00 but I assumed it was only for the cosplay competition and such so I didn't even think twice about attending it. We cut our photoshoot short and I ran together with Jäätynyt Enkeli to the information desk where we told them that we had missed the original occasion. Soon enough two Skecon worker guys approached us with a smile on their faces and.. WHAT ARE MY EYES SEEING? OH MY GOD. TROPHIES. GOLDEN TROPHIES! I WON SOMETHING THAT WILL STAY AS A VISIBLE MEMORY. I MADE AN ACHIEVEMENT IN MY LIFE. I AM ACTUALLY GOOD AT SOMETHING. I WON A PRESENT CARD TOO. OH SNAP THIS IS AWESOME. Okay, I'll shut up now. Almost. *screams of joy*
We took what belonged to us, thanked and talked a little and then we headed back outside with overly proud expressions plastered across our faces. Now if anything it was time to jump on the bouncy castle to celebrate; but first - photos.

Nom nom present card!
Trying to look representative..
My winning trophy feat. Okita plushie
It even says what I won! <3
I must say that I'm impressed by the prizes! I wasn't counting on a trophy and not even an actually useful present card, based on earlier experiences. No I'm not underestimating Skecon, I just didn't see it coming so it was an awesome surprise! You see, the few times I've ever competed before at small cons I only got random merchandise from series I didn't even give a shit about or such. Lucky Star poker/playing cards anyone? I don't play cards and don't care about the series so that was like the worst prize ever back in the days haha. Another time I did get a present card but it was to an alternate clothing store that mainly sells stuff for girls and well, as a guy it wasn't really the best thing ever so I just let my winning companion (competed as a duo) use up the card for herself. *shrugs*
But Skecon did the prizes right! Felt real/proper and easy for anyone to appreciate. A present card to a gaming store is related to winning a gaming tournament so it's super cool! A trophy is a visible memory and keepsake that is a symbol of effort and it's my first one ever *feels* ;A; All my thumbs up for Skecon!! <3 150 SEK to buy gaming stuff for is pretty sweet, even if you buy something more expensive it's a nice amount off ~

As soon as we were done taking "IMMAH WINNER" photos I catched a glimpse on the bouncy castle and WHAT DID I SEE? OH MY GOD EYES, TELL ME YOU'RE TRICKING ME!

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO-- TT_TT
IT'S DEFLATED. IT'S DEAD. IT WON'T COME BACK. I MISSED IT. I DIDN'T EVEN GET TO TOUCH IT. OH MY GOD. IT'S OVER. MY LIFE IS OVER. NO MORE BOUNCY CASTLES IN A WHOLE YEAR. MAYBE NOT EVEN IN THE NEXT. I CAN'T HANDLE THIS SIGHT. WHY DIDN'T I GO EARLIER? WHY AM I SUCH AN IDIOT? IT SUCKS TO BE A TIME OPTIMIST. *sobs*

Yeah, there went my hopes of getting to jump in the bouncy castle straight into the eternal void. ;_; *cries over the hoppborg grave and puts flowers on top*
Knowing that the bouncy castle went and died it also must have meant that the con was reaching its end. We headed inside and wanted to drink something. I bought some rosehip soup but the girl in the cafeteria told me I could take the whole remaining bowl of it if I wanted! I guess that was because the con was ending, they had a lot left and likely no one else would buy some and well, they didn't want to waste it..? I ended up taking three free refills hohoh ~

Everything is better shared! <3
After having our free rosehip soup spam we headed to take out all our stuff from the checkroom and while we waited for a potential car ride to the bus station -that didn't happen- I saw an awesome Zabuza cosplayer from Naruto whom I took some photos of. We ended up talking a bit more and then I asked him what he had planned to do now during the last hour and he said something that he had some time to kill, so I offered to photoshoot him outside to spend some time myself too. It was refreshing to photoshoot a new person! :D When I was done photoshooting I headed back inside to my company and there I was spotted by a new con friend's super kind parents; it was a nice surprise to see them here haha. Oh well, when the con was drawing to a close Jäätynyt Enkeli called one of his friends and we ended up getting someone to drive us to the bus station anyway! Eff yeah! 8D At the bus station we went to check when the next bus would leave (we had no idea before lol) and seemingly there was at least two hours of waiting time. Seeing how we all were fairly hungry we headed for this one Chinese restaurant we had visited before and mutually agreed on that they served good food. Luckily said Chinese restaurant, "Lilla Kina", was ultra close to the bus station so we just dragged our mountain of luggage there and ate. We had the genius idea of sharing one food dish by two to save cash and it proved to be a good thing to do - the food dish for one person was big enough for two, win! We also had fried pineapple as dessert, shared of course too.

Because you always look your best when eating. Not. xD
Bonus!

I can has sun flare monocle! v(-o_<)/
We ate slowly to spend the remaining time and when we were done we went to the bus station and waited for the bus. I suddenly got shit tired and had problems keeping my eyes open; luckily the bus came soon. Inside the bus I slept probably half the journey and the other half I watched a random movie that actually was pretty okay. After about 4,5 hours we were back in our home town, maybe maximum one hour and a half before midnight. We were welcomed by swarms of these super small harmless insects while walking but at least it wasn't raining. Finally back at home I stayed up way longer than I should have and yeah, that was my Skecon for this year all wrapped up.

And at the end have a few random Skecon photos that didn't fit anywhere else!

"SHOW TICKET!
Or else Forest will turn MOSSY!"

(one of the organizer's surname is "Skog", aka forest.. xD)
Awesomely funny guy :'D
Awesomely fabulous guy :'DD
Generic con photo
To finish this post I must say that Skecon 2014 is definitely one of my best con experiences so far! SKECON, YOU RULE! <3 It has the comfiness and atmosphere of a small con while still having the entertainment value of a big con! Win-win if you ask me!
Thanks for an amazing convention and see you Skecon peeps next year! *waves*

Valkoinen Samurai says sayonara ~