December 31, 2012

Year of Cosplay 2012

 Hi hi!
 For the last day of the year I figured I could do some kind of special blog post ~

First of a list I'll list all the cons that I've been to this year:

Desucon Frostbite - Lahti, Finland
Kitacon - Kemi, Finland
Chibicon - Oulu, Finland
Desucon - Lahti, Finland
Uppcon - Uppsala, Sweden
Animecon - Kuopio, Finland
Närcon - Linköping, Sweden
Oulun Animeseminaari - Oulu, Finland
Tracon - Tampere, Finland
Kemin Mangapäivä - Kemi, Finland
Skecon - Skellefteå, Sweden

A lot of cons this year, hahah. Mainly in Finland too. It's very hard to pick my favorite con for the year but if I do a top 3 it would probably look like this:

1. Närcon
2. Tracon
3. Uppcon

• Närcon first because it's.. well, awesome. It has so many activities no other cons offer and is like a huge 4 days con festival! The atmosphere is great, the locations are nice (although I get lost many times because of the maze-like corridors lol xD), great outside area, juice bar, laserdome/bouncy castle/whatever special attraction of the year, swimming pool etc. Närcon is shortly said a blast all congoers should visit at least once! Also the weather was great this year and didn't ruin my con weekend, hence the first place.
• Tracon is second because I'm in love with Tampere-talo as a location for hosting a con. It is very nice and feels luxury somehow haha. Also the park around Sorsalampi is amazing.. too bad I only noticed it at the very last minutes before I had to depart. Amazing photoshoot opportunities in nature. Oh, and Tracon is just overall very enjoyable and certainly my favorite con in Finland currently, mainly for its more than awesome locations.
• Uppcon was a blast too. Too bad this year was the last Uppcon in history and the rainy weather kinda ruined it on the later days, otherwise Uppcon wouldn't be third place for me. But the location is amazing and big, there is lots of stuff to do and I don't even need to mention the huge merchandise tent which is like a geek's treasure trove haha. Uppcon was the biggest (and most well-known I presume) con in Sweden and it's a shame it is no more.. but it seems there will be a successor.

And lastly here is all the cosplays of different characters I've worn this year. Ukitake is the only one of these which has already been worn 2011, the rest are 2012 debut cosplays. I only put a character once even though in some cases I did different variations of the same character.. like formalsuit!Ukitake, artbook!Saitou (Hakuouki) etc.

Upper row, left to right: Jushiro Ukitake (Bleach), Gin Ichimaru (Bleach), Byakuya Kuchiki (Bleach), Ichito (Asaki, Yumemishi), Souji Okita (Hakuouki), Toshizo Hijikata (Hakuouki)
Lower row, left to right: Hajime Saitou (Hakuouki), Masamune Date (Sengoku Basara), Isami Kondou (Hakuouki), Sojun Kuchiki (Bleach), Hajime Saitou (Bakumatsu Renka Shinsengumi), Falkner (Pokémon)

My favorite cosplay of the year.. hmm.. very hard to just pick one because I love them all. xD But if I think about the overall con experience with said cosplay, how comfortable it was to wear, overall enjoyment and liking of the character etc I guess it's a tie between two Hakuouki Shinsengumi Kitan chars - Hajime Saitou and Isami Kondou. Saitou is a cosplay that fits me like a glove in the hand, my anime alter-ego and just everything about his design and personality is very much to my liking. Very comfortable to wear too except the scarf that's always planning to suffocate me lol. Isami Kondou was also very much fun to cosplay, especially during Tracon's Hakuouki group! Also very comfortable and fun and that wig is just too awesome not to like!

Happy New Year 2013 and Happy Cosplaying! ~

December 28, 2012

Cosplays for Närcon Vinter

I think I finally settled on what to cosplay at Närcon Vinter, 22-24 February 2013, my first con for the coming year. My Saturday cosplay has been decided for some weeks now but the Friday cosplay has been a question mark... until now. Here goes!


Series: Rurouni Kenshin
Character: Kenshin Himura

I finally started watching Rurouni Kenshin late yesterday and I'm already hooked after 5 episodes... I had expected nothing less haha. As you might know I got myself a (manga color) Kenshin wig not too long time ago and I already happen to have passable clothes, for a blue kimono version Kenshin, thanks to previous cosplays so... why the hell not? :'D Besides I'm itching for a new make-up/special effects challenge.. namely creating his cross-shaped scar. This will be fun.


Series: Hakuouki Shinsengumi Kitan
Character: Toshizo Hijikata

The Hakuouki roll continues. I'll probably never get tired of cosplaying from this awesome series. <3 Why Hijikata? Because two of my new-ish Swedish con friends plan to cosplay Chizuru Yukimura and Kazama Chikage and they really wanted me to join in as Hijikata so that we would have the complete trio. I happily accepted!
and it seems we will have a few more characters too, a group yay!

What I will cosplay on Sunday, if anything at all, remains a mystery for now. The con ends pretty early on Sunday morning (as far as I remember) so maybe I can't even attend it the last day.. it will depend heavily on when I have to leave Linköping; after all I have a long journey home. We'll see.

December 7, 2012

Kenshin wig + Masamune chainmail brainstorming

Remember my Cosplay Challenge from earlier this year? 

Well, some few days ago I received the wig I ordered for a future Kenshin cosplay. I bought it because the site had a sale and I just couldn't pass it up.. and I already know pretty dang sure that I will end up wanting to cosplay Kenshin anyway after I've read the manga and/or watched the anime. It's just one of those series I've been highly interested in for years (I'm a samurai/history/kimono/sword geek.. how can I not be interested in Rurouni Kenshin when it's such a praised classic?) and.. I just need to start reading/watching it. I plan to do it soon enough. *looks at the 5 first volumes of the manga in my bookshelf that has been there for over a year now*

Kenshin Himura
The wig looks like this right out of the bag and I must say ME GUSTA MUCHO!! <3

Just looking at this wig makes me so excited to read/watch Rurouni Kenshin haha. I love how I pretty much already happen to have everything I need for a blue kimono version Kenshin cosplay except the reverse blade katana. You all can be pretty sure I will do it next year ~

And now over to Masamune. I've been wondering about one part of the costume for quite some time.. namely the chainmail.

Masamune Date reference
As you can see he has chainmail covering his arms. Well, I surely don't have the time, money, knowledge nor the dedication to make my own chainmail from scratch.. at least not right now. It would take months and be very tedious.. I don't have that much time to put on a single part of the costume which isn't even that noticeable. So I thought about cheaper, less heavy (chainmail weights a ton, no lie. lol) and faster options.. I read around on the internet and found that you could buy a knitted shirt and spraypaint it silver. It would only look believable from a distance though. Seemed like a good idea until I realized it would likely be way too hot to wear during the summer time (main con season) and probably too bulky too. Then I remembered seeing in mom's fabric attic this one fabric that looks like.. silvery netting or something; I don't know what its proper name is. But I thought maybe it could work if I backed it up with some silvergray-ish base. The problem was that mom's version of that fabric had too big "holes" so it wouldn't look right even if I folded/layered it double...
So uhm, today I went to Eurokangas after school. I saw that there was a 20% sale on all fabrics currently and there I found this same type of netting fabric although with smaller "holes", more dense. Bingo! Truth is, I had seen it before but didn't buy it because I wasn't sure back then...

the net fabric in question
I just hope that this idea will work and look as nice in reality as it seems to do in my head. I bought half a meter of it, I hope that's enough... I'm not good at calculating how much fabric I need. xD

That's all for today. I really need to progres further on Masamune the coming days.. I've planned to do a mock-up test of the coat's upper half to see how it sits before cutting the parts out of the real fabric.

Oh well, stay tuned for more updates!

December 5, 2012

Successful trip to Tositori..

I finished school early today and decided to take the bus home instead of waiting for mom to pick me up after job. I walked over to to this one shopping center, which I always pass by, and when I got there I noticed I had about one hour of time to kill before the bus would arrive. So I decided to go to Tositori, this one second-hand shop in town, just to see if there was anything I could use for some more casual clothes cosplays. I especially had in mind to see if I could find a light green shirt for Kureno Sohma from Fruits Basket.

Kureno Sohma
(I'm not going to have that black jacket because he mostly was without it)
Yes, Fruits Basket, don't ask me why I read a shoujo manga. xD Normally most shoujo manga don't catch my interest at all there are a few exceptions though.. but I've had some slight interest in Fruits Basket for some time because I thought the zodiac concept sounded cool. Oh well, when Angie (one of my Swedish con friends) told me I should cosplay as Kazuma and showed me a picture of him I went "looks cool" (mainly because he wore kimono. I love kimono trololo) and decided to start reading the manga some days after that, mainly just to find out about this character. Honestly, at the first 4 volumes I considered dropping it because I found all characters except Kyo, Tohru and Hatori (and occasionally Yuki and Shigure) extremely annoying. *coughwantedtopunchhiroandkagurainthefacesomanytimescough* But something still kept me reading it.. and when I then finished Furuba I must say I'm glad that I didn't drop it because the story sure got more interesting at the later volumes and the characters developed and stopped getting on my nerves as much, haha. Kazuma, Kureno, Hatori and Kyo were my favorites - in that order.

Oh well, back to the second-hand store trip.
I must say I got the jackpot! Found just what I was looking for; a perfect green shirt that fit me okay and best of all.. the price was..

Super cheap. I love second-hand stores sometimes. xD This also means that now it's very likely I'll do Kureno Sohma for a con next year.. I just need black pants and a wig. I already have a bird plushie I could use as a prop bought years ago (I loved birds when young); I think carrying it around would maybe make it easier for people to recognize who I'm cosplaying because most characters in Fruits Basket have very.. generic clothing. I like Kureno and I'm also born on the year of the Rooster so double yay, this will be a comfy chill cosplay to do. Would be nice to have a Fruits Basket cosplay group next year though.. but I don't really know many people who would be interested to cosplay from it.

Oh, and lastly a photo of the shirt in question:

Aww yiss!
Oh, and I must tell you one thing that happened after I had bought the shirt and went to wait for the bus in the bus station. It's not cosplay related but it was rather awesome so I had to make a rage comic out of it. xD
 I guess that's it for today. Bye ~

December 1, 2012

Närcon Vinter, I'm coming for ya!

Ohohohooo ~
Look what I have! <3 <3 <3

I'm about to explode with excitement and fly away on a manly sparkly rainbow of awesome!! The tickets were released today 14:00 Swedish time and I sat refreshing vinter!Närcon's page like an idiot the last 5 minutes so that I would get myself one of those Early Bird tickets for sure! For those not in the know the Early Bird tickets are 100 SEK cheaper than the ordinary ones, aka 250 SEK instead of 350 SEK. Early Birds tickets are limited so you need to be, well, early to guarantee that you will get one.. especially seeing how popular Närcon is and only 1000 tickets were released in total for the convention. I'M SO EXCITED OHMEIGERD the first vinter!Närcon, it will be so much awesome!

This also means that I'm sadly not going to Desucon Frostbite next year because Frostbite is on 16-17 February 2013 and Närcon Vinter is on 22-24 February. Too close to each other so I have to sacrifice one. Oh, and this also means I can't go to Kitacon in Kemi on 23rd February either because it collides with Närcon.

My reasoning for choosing Närcon Vinter over these two other cons are following:

• It's cheaper for me to travel in Sweden than Finland. (except that Kitacon would have been close to me, but it's so small it can't really compete with Närcon and Desucon...)
• Närcon Vinter is one day more than Desucon Frostbite and 2 days longer than Kitacon. The more con time the better; mer för pengarna ~
 • I have a free sleeping place if I go to Närcon Vinter, opposed to Frostbite, because Närcon is in Linköping and my oldest sibling lives there. Me gusta.
• I've already been to Frostbite this year so I have already "experienced/seen" it in a way while Närcon Vinter will be a whole new experience because this is the first time it's arranged and it's also in a different building that the usual (summer) Närcon + new activities. Hotto Dorinku (warm drink) bar anyone? <3
• Närcon in overall I think is better than Desucon and Kitacon, sorry. Närcon (summer) and Tracon are my two top anime conventions I've been to (if we don't count Uppcon because it doesn't exist anymore..) and of course then of a higher priority to me.

I'm not sure what I will cosplay there yet, but I have some loose ideas, so stay tuned for a cosplay plan revelation later! Oh, and if you didn't figure it out yet Närcon Vinter will be the next con I go to. Sorry, I won't be going to Wapanese Night 3 in Umeå because I'd rather save my money for Närcon Vinter and mom thinks I've been to too many cons this year already + December and Christmas stress...

Nothing else to say, bye!