December 31, 2013

Year of Cosplay 2013

Someone please tell me where did 2013 go?

Ehm, okay. So on the last day of this year I figured I'd keep on to the tradition I kind of started on 2012 - aka a cosplay summary of the year. I found it fun so why not? :D

I could kick this thing off by first making a list of all the anime conventions I attended this year. In chronological order, of course.

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

A pretty fair lot of cons if you ask me! 2012 I attended two cons more than this year but I have a feeling that next year I might attend even fewer because, well, life happens and so do money shortages. No shit.
   Hmm.. if I try to think which of these cons would be in my top 3 for the year I would say it's between Tracon, Närcon and Skecon. I can't put these in the order because all were fabulous this year.

• At Närcon I got new friends and new experiences (read: con camping!) and well, summer!Närcon is always a blast. Sure the location is a bit maze-like but all the things you can do at Närcon makes up for it tenfold! Then again I must admit that Josbaren wasn't quite as good this year as it was 2012...
Tracon was very fun this year and I really enjoyed the symphonic wind ensemble. Also Tracon's location is just so me gusta, especially the outside area near Sorsalampi but the building itself is amazing as well. Tracon is for me Finland's best con, hands down.
• Oh, and then there's Skecon - the relatively new, small and comfy convention held at Skellefteå that this year moved to a bigger location (that is fucking awesome for photoshoots, I tell you!) and had Japanese guest artists. I must say Skecon did a big leap into improved awesomeness since last year and I hope that history's third Skecon will be even greater!

Okay, with the cons out of the way let's move onto the cosplays! Yup, this year I also made a list of all the cosplays I wore to cons.

I must admit that on 21st December I was trying to make a cool compiled photo list of my cosplays but I quickly ragequited because I just couldn't get it to work on my art program. So instead of some professional looking stuff, well... brace your eyes and feast on the greatest epitome of art the world has ever seen!

Isn't it beautiful? *Gwonam voice*
What do you mean I have character design preferences? Poor Kureno must feel pretty lonely in there... 

Yes, you are allowed to laugh. It's so beautiful, I know. It took me many hours on Paint to make. Yes, Paint. It's crappy on purpose, I promise I can draw better. Yes, Masamune's swords had to shrink to make space in the lower row... ja Ukitake on persjalkainen kaappi, tiedetään että on erittäin kaunis tapaus. :'D

Upper row, left to right: Kenshin Himura (Rurouni Kenshin), Toshizo Hijikata (Hakuouki), Espeon (Pokémon), Kazuma Sohma (Fruits Basket), Hajime Saitou (Hakuouki)
Lower row, left to right: Souji Okita (Bakumatsu Renka Shinsengumi), Masamune Date (Sengoku Basara), Jushiro Ukitake (Bleach), Kureno Sohma (Fruits Basket), Ryunosuke Ibuki (Hakuouki)

Then again these aren't all cosplays that I wore this year; I did different variations of some characters (rasetsu and SSL Hijikata for example) and I also rewore my sick!Okita (Hakuouki) cosplay for a home photoshoot and so on.

Hmm.. not so much more to say I guess. I already have some loose plans for what cons I will try to attend 2014 as well as some new cosplays I would like to do! Then again, I'm pretty sure next year will be mostly cosplay recycling for me because yeah, wish money would grow on trees.
Oh well, I just want to thank everyone who reads this blog and I hope you tag along with me next year! I won't reveal any new cosplay plans on my blog just yet but at least have a...

Happy New Year 2014 and let's keep on cosplaying! 

November 12, 2013

Chibicon 2013 - The circle closes with a dog

So came and went Chibicon (9th November) and thus my cosplay year has closed its circle. *crycorner* No conventions for a while bros, next one should be Kitacon in Kemi sometime on February. Oh well, but before I go live under a rock for a few months I still have the Chibicon summary to share. Take your seats because here it comes, freshly served!

Okay, where to start? Well, on Friday before the con I suppose. See, me, Hasakitsuki and Jäätynyt Enkeli ended up sleeping over at Sairu-chan's place. This meant that we packed our luggages on Friday and started walking to Tornio bus station. We had figured it would be some sort of hell because it wasn't close but luck was on our side and when we walked by Haparanda bus station I spotted a Veljekset Salmela bus turning towards the station. I waited and checked for if it stopped at the station and low and behold it did! It's sort of rare that Finnish buses stop there from what I've seen. With the bus standing there with an Oulu sign I ended up being the one running to it and almost dying and asking if it would pass by Kemi bus station. It was green light and so I went to get the two others and we ran back to the bus, took a seat and lagged until we arrived in Kemi. At Kemi we jumped off the bus and I called Sairu-chan and asked where she was because she had told me earlier she'd be in Kemi. Ended up realizing she was only a few steps away from us. xD
Oh well, we then waited for her mom to come pick us up and soon enough we were at Sairu-chan's place and well, there was a caravan (English why? Se on vittu asuntoauto. Tai husvagn ruotsiksi perkele! ;_;) and our mission was totally to live in it. Yeah, we slept in a caravan, a house on wheels. It was rather cool if I do say so myself.

Well well, after a not so well-slept night in the caravan we woke up shitearly to put on our cosplays. Everyone else except Jäätynyt Enkeli moved from the caravan to the house to put on their costumes because yeah, space and the fact that there's no bathroom in the caravan. When I was done putting on my cosplay I went to have breakfast and yeah, Ibuki was being a dog's friend because he's quite the dog himself because Piki (Sairu-chan's black cute sausage doggy) came and stared at my minisize pizza pastry thing while I was eating and well, I just can't say no to those puppy eyes so I gave him the last bit of it. ;^; I want a dog..
It took us forever but when we all were ready Sairu-chan's grandma drove us to Oulu. When we reached the con building all geeks exited the car and started walking towards Chibicon. I and Hasakitsuki already had con tickets because I had bought them from a guy who was selling his and his friends tickets because they couldn't go. I figured why not buy the tickets from him because I got them slightly cheaper and he didn't have to waste his money - it's a win-win if you ask me!

Chibicon light gray paper ticket in all its glory..
Pretty much the first thing we did at the con place was checking out the merchandise sellers and then head out for a sort of quick photoshoot before it got too dark. Approaching kaamos (aka polar night) we all in the north love you so... not. We ended up mostly taking solo pictures of me and of Sairu-chan and that's a bit sad because it means we don't have any pictures of our little Hakuouki cosplay group together. :< Then again it wasn't the warmest and we ended up going back inside rather quickly to warm up.

Cosplayer: Valkoinen Samurai (Ryunosuke Ibuki)
Photographer: Sairu-chan

"It better not be Serizawa that I'm hearing.."
At some point Jäätynyt Enkeli returned and the camera switched hands. In other words these photos are taken by him.

Sairu-chan as Kosuzu

Hasakitsuki as Chizuru
We had a huge lack of duo photos but I guess we can fix that with a later photoshoot at home.
Well well, with the photoshoot behind us we just went inside and lagged and talked with familiar faces and had fun. I met Darkside of your dreams and Cissydella to name a few.

Chilling. Jäätynyt Enkeli is cosplaying Ishida from Bleach.
Actually everyone had gotten hungry after the photoshoot so we headed for the cafeteria that was at the con. As normally I would assume everything would be shit expensive in there but there was this one megasize pink pastry with jam that only cost 2 €. That's cheap if you consider its size aaw yeah! So yeah, we all totally bought one of these each and a random drink to go with it - in my case, a muthafnuckin' coke because coke is the best. <3

Ibuki feat. coke
(flash photo)
We actually didn't do all that much more that would be interesting to write about. It's a one-day con so before you know it it's over anyway haha. Mostly we just chilled and walked around oh the joys of walking with waraji, my feet were screaming Halleluja of pain at the end of the day. At some point towards the end of the con me and Hasakitsuki struck up a monster hunting corner and gamed a little - Monster Hunter, of course.

PSP gaming happens
When the con ended Sairu-chan's grandma appeared again and we got a ride back to her place again. We ended up sleeping in the caravan another night because my mom couldn't come pick us up on Saturday. Actually it was easier to sleep the second night in the caravan.. except that Sairu-chan had a nightmare that night and because she was in the middle -and I was to her right side- she kicked me in the back while sleeping and at some point tried to roll over me. It was beautiful. It didn't hurt but it turned into a really entertaining conversation on the morning while we had our breakfast. xD

But before I let you all go I'll just leave these here. Eeyup, bonus pictures!

Ibukin selitystuokio :'D (Ibuki explaining)
Over and out!

November 1, 2013

Chibicon 2013 cosplay plans + A wild Ibuki appears!

 Hi everyone!

Yes, I'm totally going to Chibicon in Oulu, Finland, held 9th November. How could I not when it's only about 100 kilometers away?

Oh well, first things first. For some time ago I bought an Ibuki cosplay from my friend Sebastian. I had planned to cosplay Ibuki at some point anyway but yeah, so much cosplays to do and so little time.. and money. xD So when I found out he was selling his Ibuki costume I jumped at the chance! I just had to order a wig and so I did back at late September. I ordered contact lenses as well but more about that later. The wig I ordered from China and it had been sailing around the globe for a little over one month and boy did I get worried that I wouldn't get it on time for Chibicon. I swear just when I started thinking "I probably won't get it in time.." well, guess what? It showed up!

With the wig in my hands I figured it's safe to announce my Chibicon cosplay plans now. I guess it's not a surprise for anyone anymore that it will be..

Ryunosuke Ibuki from Hakuouki
I'm not sure if I will have a sword with me or not.. my swords are still broken so unless I can borrow one from Jäätynyt Enkeli or so then I'm out of luck. Oh well, it's not like he used his sword in the anime much at all so...

Uhm also, today I did a quick Ibuki try-on or what to call it, basically just checking that the cosplay fits me and such. It's all okay except that I'm missing that little violet ornament he has hanging from that blue string. I'll eventually make it later, don't really have time now and I don't want to open/waste my package of clay on such a small piece.

Well well, now time for a few pictures!
Excuse the shitty lighting and that I'm wearing zero cosplay make-up, save for slight eyeliner and darkening of eyebrows. I just couldn't be bothered. It happens. Pretty often.

Photographer is Hasakitsuki
 Also have a more close-up'ish mirrror self-photo..

You might have noticed that I'm wearing waraji. Yes, I finally got me some.. or more like, Hasakitsuki's awesome mom made them, whopee! ~

And just because I feel like sharing the woven goodness, have some waraji pictures!

They are pretty fabulous if I do say so myself. Sure, after walking/standing around for a while the soles of my feet had gotten waraji weave prints carved on them and it wasn't painless. xD Oh well, it's not too bad and come on, as the Finns say - "cosplay ilman tuskaa on teeskentelyä". It translates to something like "cosplay without pain is pretending". It's true amirite? :-DD
I'm just not all that keen on walking outside with these in November.. I'm gonna freeze.. and curse perkele if there's snow in Oulu...

Oh oh oh, and one thing! One thing!
When I put the wig on I noticed it was a bit too long at the sides and bangs so guess what? Yeah, that.

Wig cutting if you hadn't figured. Ibufag
I'm outta here for now. Chibicon summary post next and Ibuki contact lens review coming up soon enough as well. Hopefully also an Ibuki & Kosuzu photoshoot!

Until then, see ya!

October 16, 2013

Lens review: Dueba Volte Green

 Hello everyone!

It's time for another contact lens review guys! This time for the Dueba Volte Green lenses. Seemingly they are also known under the name Dueba Twinkle Green...

Lenses in solution. (normal room light)
Base curve: 8.6 mm
Diameter: 14.5 mm
Water content: 38%
Life span: 1 year (I recommend 6 months)

I actually bought these some weeks ago and used them for when I cosplayed Okita at the latest photoshoot. I must say I've been wanting green lenses for quite some time and these catched my fancy even though it was quite the challenge to find a lens store that carried them. Oh well, my persistence was rewarded and heeeeey, let's get on with the review!

Lens on my finger. Flash photo.
I must say I really like the pattern/design on these, they have this cool swirly design. It's quite unique and pretty. The diameter is 14.5 mm so they are enlarging but not very much so, which I personally prefer.
I like how these are kinda muted and subtle, there's no huge sparkles or anything. I assume that might be because seemingly these contacts are advertised for guys which is, quite interesting. *feels included in the fabulous world of circle lenses* <3

Oh well, here's two pictures taken in the bathroom.
I know, the lighting is not good and it's pretty yellow (and I used my old digital camera so quality is not the best, meh) but hey, still pictures!

With just one lens in, mostly to show enlargement.
(my natural eye color is a gray-blue with a slight greenish tint)
Both lenses in.
My old camera has a really merciless and harsh flash sometimes (eww) but here's a flash photo anyway:

Excuse my absolutely hideous eyebrows.. x_x
I must say that when it comes to comfort these must be the most comfortable lenses I've ever worn, like, seriously. Period.
I can't get over how comfortable they are! I swear the first time I ever wore them I just popped them in with no problems, didn't feel them at all when I had them in my eyes and seriously, I could easily wear them 8+ hours with no discomfort whatsoever! Nothing at all, I didn't even feel them in my eyes! I'm pretty damn sure I actually ended up wearing them for 15 hours straight that day oops and I still didn't feel I had contacts on after all that time no drying, no discomfort, no scratching feelings, no eyes getting tired, nada! Color me impressed. 
And yeah, I closed my eyes at some point a lot (it was late night) and still no problems, no headaches or blurry visions. Needless to say nothing beats these for me when it comes to comfort, at least not yet and I don't think anything will for a long time even though I'm still very new to contact lenses. Hell, I'd wear them any day –just for the hell of it because they are that comfy! 

Photo taken with SLR camera in normal room light without flash.
Oh, and these are pretty noticeable when worn but I definitely wouldn't say that they are in the IN_YOUR_FACE range because nope, they aren't. I actually wore these to school today and after class my philosophy teacher talked to me, stopped and stared with this "wait, something is different, but what?"-face and then he said "it must be because of the green shirt.." half-thinking to himself; soon after he added "your eyes are normally blue, right?" :'D So yeah, definitely people can tell there's something different about your eyes if they are close enough or/and pay attention but it's not gonna freak anyone out. Seemingly.

 ~ EDIT 2015 ~
Here's 3 extra photos I found while digging in my computer's darkest corners. These are all old and taken with my crappy camera outdoors during winter.

Flash photo outdoors.
Only bummer about these lenses is that they don't always show up as being green, it depends on the lighting but maybe that's because I have light colored eyes and these contacts let some of my natural eye color through at the middle/pupil hole..? Then again, most circle lenses do that anyway so. *shrugs* Oh well, it's not really much of a disappointment at all, if at all, and seeing how comfortable these are for me I would buy a second pair when these expire because c'mon, they are so comfy to wear!

Contacts seen from a distance.
Curious about other colors? Check out these reviews: Violet, Gray, Brown

Short summary:

Color: 5/10 
A nice shade of green, but it doesn't always show up on light colored eyes; highly depending on the light.
Design: 8/10 
Cool swirl design which I really like, also black outer rim looks really good and gives anime look.
Opacity: 3/10
The edges have better color coverage than the center. Blends a lot with my light eyes and thus doesn't always look green. 
Enlargement: 4/10 
Doesn't seem to enlarge much but this is what I personally prefer.
Comfort: 10/10 
I can't get over how comfortable these contacts are. Blows everything else I've tried out of the water!
Naturalness: 4/10 
Except for the black outer rim these look surprisingly natural.

I don't have much more else to say about these, if you have any questions just leave a comment!

October 9, 2013

Into the beginning cold - Okita & Chizuru photoshoot

Hi guys!

As I mentioned on the Kemi's manga day summary post after the event Sairu-chan came over to my place and we had a fabulous gaming night! What we also had was a cosplay photoshoot on the next morning. I'll tell you shortly about it but it's not like there's that much to tell so, err. Oh well, originally we had planned to do a photoshoot with me as rasetsu! Hijikata, Sairu-chan as normal Chizuru and Hasakitsuki as oni!Chizuru. Then again, what we didn't realize until Sunday morning (aka photoshoot day, 6th October) was that.. well.. my swords broke after Tracon and I haven't got new ones yet and rasetsu!Hijikata -or hell, even normal Hijikata- just doesn't work that well without swords. Fuck. :)
Needless to say we put our three morning-braindead heads together and after some brainstorming I had these cosplay options: 1) SSL!Hijikata 2) artbook!Saitou 3) Kondou, and lastly 4) Okita in that yukata he wears in bed/while sick. I ended up thinking that Okita would be the best candidate for this because c'mon, lack of swords and Okita is the best. <3 Oh well, we rolled with that decision and changed into our cosplays on the morning. I must say while dressing I totally remembered why I wanted to remake this version of Okita because seriously, I made it in a rush like 3 days before the con and it shows; I screwed up while cutting so there's seams where there shouldn't be any, I cut the lining too short (I wonder why I even lined it in the first place.. c'mon it's a yukata..) and the thing that bugs me the most is that it is too damn short!! Again, cutting mistake. Oh, and need I mention that this thing likes to go everywhere all the time? It's like wrestling with a dragon when you try to keep it in place - it's just, nope.

Except the fact that this yukata is pure troll and pure crap I managed to wear it sort-of-without-flashing-my-legs-all-the-time. I can deal with wearing it once more so that I could at least get some better photos of this cosplay (don't really have any) and possibly just for a last wear before I make a new one and very likely blood down this one because really, I don't care about staining it and could get some cool pictures when that time comes! But now I'm getting way ahead so let's get back to what this post was to be about - cosplay photoshoot!

Cosplayer: Valkoinen Samurai (Souji Okita), Hasakitsuki (Chizuru Yukimura) 
Photographer: Sairu-chan

Before someone tells me, yes, my foot is still wrapped in bandages, it hasn't fully healed yet. Can't really do much about it for now so let's just deal with it discreetly photobombing. Oh, and double yes, I'm barefoot and yes, it was cold and my feet turned purple-ish at some point.

My personal favorite of the shoot ;w; <3

We did have a change of photographer and thus a Chizuru swap but I'll let Sairu-chan post those photos on which she is with me. First I need to send them to her though.. whoops haven't had time to check all the pics yet.
The photoshoot was fun but we didn't shoot really long because it wasn't the warmest weather and well, when a worried Chizuru -or two- tells Okita to get inside before he gets sick one does not simply refuse.. and it's not like I want to get badly sick again now when the winter is coming.. especially not a second lung sickness, it was horrible enough a few years ago so no thanks, I'd rather not have another not-far-from-death experience. ;_; 

There's not really so much more to say - I want to have more home cosplay photoshoots with friends from now on, Sairu-chan you need to come and sleep over more often! >8D The more the merrier!

But.. before you go I have exactly one bonus picture to share!

I'm out!

October 7, 2013

Kemi's manga day 2013 - Hakuouki: Sweet School Derp

On 5th October I attended Kemin mangapäivä (Kemi's manga day), a local small 8-hour event. As far as I can remember the past years it has been only 4 hours but seemingly this year they decided to add another 4 hours, booyah! 

So me and Hasakitsuki had my mom drive us to Kemi on the morning and we arrived a little past the opening time (10:00 Finnish time) and just when we stepped out of the car a wild Sairu-chan appears! She cosplayed SSL!Chizuru and with her came Cissydella who cosplayed SSL!Harada. So we chatted a short while and then headed inside and soon enough I noticed that -at least in my eyes- it seemed like there were less people around compared to earlier years. Then again it was rather early so I assumed more people would show up later... it didn't. We just hung around for a while, checked the con merchandise and went to sit in the library (yes, there's one in the con building) to wait for our Shinpachi to arrive. How else to kill time than to geek Monster Hunter on PSP?

When our Shinpachi Jennysja showed up we decided to go outside to photoshoot. Noh.. ei siitä tullut helvettiäkään. :-DD So yeah, needless to say every picture was something of this caliber:

Basically always someone (or everyone) cracking up left and right xD
It didn't help that it was windy and that a random old man in a car drove by and stared with these huge eyes - that was enough to completely kill my pokerface for the rest of the photoshoot. Durr.

Oh well, we figured it was better to move inside and photoshoot and so we headed for the library again. We took some books and went to sit at the round table and.. well, the quality of the photos didn't turn out much better. lol At least not everything was utter and complete derp.

I love how that biking E.T. is discreetly photobombing.. xD
But then Hijikata noticed that Chizuru wasn't studying and took a closer look...

"What the hell is that supposed to be?"
It didn't take that long until the clock had turned 13:00 or something and we decided to go eat outside. Our journey took us to a nearby Chinese restaurant and we had some food.. and Harada had fun photobombing.

After eating a shitlot of food and having everyone wait for me we headed back for the con building and -surprise surprise- back into the library again. This time it was only me, Hasakitsuki and Sairu-chan. We tried our hands on a follow-up photoshoot...

... but it quickly escalated when Harada appeared and decided that it is way more

Yeaaaaah... no comment.

Oh well, we kind of split up after this and at some point I (and later Hasakitsuki) got bored and went to watch people playing those dance mat game things. It was surprisingly entertaining but while I was watching -and waiting for Sairu-chan's mom to come pick us up and drive home- Hasakitsuki decided to have a quick sort-of-photoshoot.

Cosplayer: Valkoinen Samurai (Toshizo Hijikata)
Photographer: Hasakitsuki

That's about all we did. We left one or two hours before closing time because there wasn't really anything to do. Sairu-chan's mom drove us three back to our apartment and of course Sairu-chan stayed to sleep over the Saturday-Sunday night so yeah, we totally had a follow-up party gaming night! 8D We also had a cosplay photoshoot on the morning of 6th October but I'll post about it when I'm done checking through the photos soooooooo, until then... smell ya!

I know you want them! Bonus derps! Like there wasn't enough already lol

I can has moustache