July 9, 2013

Skecon 2013 - Awesome little con & photoshoots galore!

I have returned home safely from Skecon and I've barely had time to recover from the after-con lag but I must get this con summary over with soon because Animecon is already knocking at the door - next weekend it's here!

I will try not to write a textwall about Skecon but it will turn into one anyway, promise but there will be lots of photos, seriously. Fasten your seatbelts now because here we go!


My Skecon journey started on Friday when I, Sairu-chan and Jäätynyt Enkeli headed for Haparanda bus station on the morning. The bus trip took around 4 hours and we were in Skellefteå around 13:00, aka the same time Skecon would open its doors. We weren't in a hurry so instead of walking directly to the con we went and ate lunch in a nice Chinese restaurant close to the bus station. We actually didn't eat Chinese food there but their daily lunch offer.. which was minute steak with pommes frites and parsley butter. It was cheap and surprisingly good, like, really.
We took our time at the restaurant and then we decided to go search for Folkparken, the building Skecon was held in. But.. seeing how none of us had been there before and shit we had to ask over ninethousand persons well, not really along the way about directions. After some confusion and derps in the form of escaping sleeping bags along the road we found our way to the con.

Skecon sign next to Folkparken's entrance
Our trio headed in and we got our con ticket arm bands and then we split up to change into our cosplays in the bathrooms.
I had planned to originally cosplay Hijikata on Friday but the weather forecast had promised rain and shit so I decided to wear Bakumatsu Renka Shinsengumi's Okita and switch Hijikata to Saturday instead because, well, silk kimono and rain is not a nice combination and also I was so out of energy that I couldn't be bothered to put on contacts and whatnot so yeah.. Okita ftw.
When we all had our cosplays on we walked around the building and checked the dealers and activity rooms and stuff. Soon enough we decided to go outside and let my new camera shine - photoshoots!

Cosplayer: Valkoinen Samurai (Souji Okita) & Sairu-chan (Suzuka Sakuraba)
Photographer: Jäätynyt Enkeli

Of course I got a solo photoshoot too!
Again photographer is Jäätynyt Enkeli.

Folkparken had some really nice outdoor locations for photoshoots; small flower park areas and that fountain thingy. My camera was singing hallelujah!

After the photoshoots we headed back inside because the sky had turned gray and soon-to-be-rainish so yeah. We found our way to the video game room and every cell in me screamed "NOSTALGY!!" when I saw the Super Nintendo there with some of the games I grew up with! I just had to play some Super Mario Bros. 3 with my twin because the Super Nintendo was free at that moment; most other game consoles people were playing on. Oh my god my childhood all came back for a moment when we played through the first two worlds, ah. <3

I approve!!! <3
At some point we also went to watch those convention record competitions. The first one we saw was the "put as many marshmallows as possible in your mouth" competition and god was it entertaining to watch. xD

Dan (the standing guy) took the record, I think it was 34 marshmallows, holy crud!
We also watched the next record competition, the "fold a paper air plane - but you are only allowed to use your head" competition. It looked pretty hard.. and you had to toss your loltacular airplane over 7 meters to get a record.

Paper airplane folding going on
There was some few other incredibly hilarious convention record competitions too, like the "eat 5 marshmallows as quickly as possible - with a dish brush" one which I do not have any pictures of. It was really entertaining to watch these though and I hope Skecon will hold something like this next year too.. and why not other conventions too? :'DD

Oh well, we later on went outside again to check if the rain had stopped -which it had- so we headed out again quickly to take some photos. Didn't really have a proper photoshoot but I snapped some obligatory ego photos. xD

When it started to get late we thought about going out to buy some food from the nearest food store.. which turned out to be a 15 min walk or such from the convention. We did get some people to draw us an awesome map but we didn't end up going because 1) it could have started raining again 2) we were tired and feet hurt 3) food store wouldn't be open for long 4) we still weren't 100% sure where to go. :DD

The awesome map <3 xD
Because we stayed we didn't miss Shimbukan's budo performance. *happy dance*

Demonstration of kendo tsuki against guy with samurai armor
Kendo match
They showed some iaido kata and a kendo match and then everyone who wanted got to try out kendo.. or well, more like picking up a shinai and taking turns hitting a kendoka with bogu (read: armor) on with either men or do strikes. Of course seeing how I used to practice kendo years ago I just had to take the chance to freshen up my rusty skills a little -even if just for fun- and pick up a shinai. After the try-out was over one of the Shimbukan members (can't remember who) came up to me and asked if I had practiced kendo earlier, I replied "yes" and his comment was "it showed". Felt pretty good to hear that after all these years I haven't practiced. ;A;

When it got late we all were hungry so we bought some toast and went to sit down and eat. You know, when you are really hungry even a toast with just cheese and ketchup tastes awesome!
The only bad thing was that the toast guys forgot or something so it took like forever until we got our toasts but yeah, it didn't bother me all that much.

Toast is toast
A cool self-photo I took during the toast waiting..
I really like the "half shadow" thing going on! 8D
You maybe noticed or maybe not that on the toast pics I don't have the armor on. I took it off after the budo performance because I got all warm and stuff. So much more breezier with just the white kimono and hakama and more comfortable too! I'm not saying that the armor was uncomfortable because actually it wasn't really bad, only slightly annoying if I wanted to sit down.

Just a random non-armor photo I took just before I changed out of cosplay
Oh well, when it got damn-we-are-tired late we decided to go to sleep. Luckily one of the Skecon workers asked if we were heading for the con sleeping accomodation place (aka a school's gymnastic hall) and if we wanted a guide.. hell yes! He showed us the way and thank heavens for that.. we would have gotten lost had we tried navigating our way there by ourselves all tired and stuff.
At the sleeping place we pulled out Metapod, Pinkpod and Emo Kakuna (read: our sleeping bags) and I fought with the new purple air matress.. I didn't get how the foot pump worked tired brain is tired so I resorted to blow it by mouth; it took forever and my respiratory tracts and shit hurt but I got it done. No way in hell would I sleep directly on the floor... I crawled into my sleeping bag like a worm -because the zipper had gotten stuck- fell asleep after an hour or two and then came Saturday.


"Hey, wake up, the clock is 09:00"
In the darkness I probably thought "fuck that, I'll sleep some more" and crawled deeper into my Metapod's comfy inside. I woke up 3 hours later or such and noticed Sairu-chan hadn't got up either but le twin had left... without cosplay. I sat up, super laggy, and zombie'd over to the bathroom in my silk bathrobe. I'm pretty sure I heard someone say "it's so fun to see how people look when they've just woken up" when I opened the door that separated the gymnastic hall from the changing room.. aka where the bathroom was. I dressed soon after that, took my blue suitcase and sword bag and headed towards Skecon with Sairu-chan. At the con we directly went to change into cosplays again and I warned my friend that I would take forever to get done with transforming myself into Hijikata. Fair warning.. and true.
After forever and a bit more I was done and I was pretty pissed too.. mostly because while I did get my contacts in easily this time one of them decided to be an ass and fall out more than once afterwards when I was applying the make-up. I sure wasn't smiling when it flew right into my face powder thingy aghjdshj, fuck!
Well well, when I was finally done I found Sairu-chan and we went to buy some breakfast at the con - a banana for me and an orange for her. We soon enough found Jäätynyt Enkeli, who had picked up his cosplay stuff for Sannan, and so we had to wait for another forever to pass before he was in full cosplay too.
When we all were done we headed out to photoshoot our Hakuouki cosplays. Of course the first thing I do is take some ego photos again.. because I can! xD

Cosplayers: Valkoinen Samurai (Toshizo Hijikata) & Sairu-chan (Chizuru Yukimura)
Photographer: Jäätynyt Enkeli

And because Sannan-san (photographer) was getting too close and doing questionable poses.. xD

"Eff off Sannan-san, it's my private time with Chizuru" :'DDDDDD
We took turns photographing each other so if you want to see more of the photos please check out Sairu-chan's and Jäätynyt Enkeli's Skecon con summary posts too! I will only post photos I am in on my blog post. :) And with that said we continue the photo storm..

ahjkdsahjkfd ;A; <3
Look at dem expressions oh mai
Random fixing hair photo..

We took a lunch break between the photoshooting and headed for Korvgubben to have some.. hamburgers. Korvgubben translates to "sausage man" but they had mostly burgers, how misleading. xD I ordered some hot cheese burger I dunno, never had one before but it was pretty cool with green jalapeno in.

Hamburger time
When we were eating at one point a lot of seagulls gathered next to the table and I was sure they'd come take our food or something but they flew away luckily... good for them because I would have turned rasetsu on them if they stole my burgerrrrrrrr.

Oh well, guess what we did after we got our stomachs filled? More photoshooting of course. This time with Sairu-chan behind the camera! Because Sannan-san got fed up with photographing. :DD

Photographer: Sairu-chan

Demon Vice-Commander ~
We then moved over to the fountain thingy and ahjfdskjh I'll just let the photos speak for me instead because I'm so in love with these!

Photographer: Sairu-chan

I photoshooted Sairu-chan's Chizuru cosplay too and before we headed back inside I just had to try take a few photos myself with both of us. It was some trial and error but after I found out how to get the camera's screen to show what the camera is seeing it all got so much easier!

Inside we lagged around until it was time for Tezya, one of the two invited (guest of honor?) Japanese artists to sing. I had never heard his music before but got myself a surprise - a good one. He was pretty great actually and I totally ended up buying Tezya's "Life My Babylon" CD that I got signed too, wiee!

Tezya singing
A few hours after Tezya it was Akeboshi on scene. They played some very nice somewhat relaxing kind of music and I really enjoyed it but too bad we couldn't stay during the whole performance because I noticed Sairu-chan was crying. Turned out she had a very sad memory of a late friend linked to Akeboshi's songs and she couldn't stay inside so we went outside to calm down, away from all people. I ran to get paper towels and took care of her as best I could.. that's what friends are for. <3 I don't regret missing a part of Akeboshi's performance.. I'd rather take care of my friends and make sure that they won't be alone when they need support.

We did end up taking some more photos to ease the mood -after the saddest phase was over- and weirdly enough some photos turned out good even though we weren't really focusing on getting anything decent, we mostly just.. were. It certainly wasn't the most ideal moment to shoot but nevertheless it wasn't that bad either.

Cosplayers: Valkoinen Samurai & Sairu-chan
Photographer: Jäätynyt Enkeli

I'm not the best at cheering people up..
... but even I succeed sometimes it seems ;_; <3
I had no idea I could be of so much help.. I've always had the impression I'm useless at cheering people up, I seldom know what to say or do and I just stand there awkwardly but now.. now I had to do something; seeing a really good friend breaking down completely like that really tugs at my heart and I actually ended up crying too (and I'm not the one to cry easily)... especially after Sairu-chan told me the details, oh god. ;_;

After everything was alright again we headed back inside and spent the rest of the time lagging around in the bean bag chairs after we found them at the pub. Bean bag chairs are full of awesome and I would have been a bit disappointed if there hadn't been any at Skecon this year because they were like... eh, the best thing with Skecon last year. xD Oh, and while we lagged at the bean bag chairs I spotted an unopened Dumle chocolate! MINEEEE ~

Free candy, not-so-scary demon commander approves!
We lagged some more at the bean bag chairs, bought some yummy mango flavored Pocky and then we decided to go sleep. Oh, and speaking of the mango Pocky! After I had finished one of the two plastic bags inside it I took it out and when Skecon started playing the 10 hour version of HEYYEYAAEYAAAEYAEYAA I randomly started singing (couldn't resist dammit!) and noticed -to my amusement- that the plastic bag worked as a voice changer and oh my God was it hilarious. xD


Ah, Sunday. The last and super laggy con day. I almost couldn't be bothered to put on my Kenshin cosplay but I did anyway because my hair looked horrible and it was a must to wear a wig. Again we woke up around 11:00 and soon enough got informed by the guys in charge for the sleeping accomodation that they will close the gymnastic hall 12:00 so we couldn't lag there. We woke up, packed our stuff and me and Sairu-chan walked to Skecon in our everyday clothes while Jäätynyt Enkeli already changed to cosplay at the sleeping place and thus joined us at the con later because we didn't feel like waiting and shit. :DD At the con we two changed into our Rurouni Kenshin cosplays but we did lazy versions because I just had no energy whatsoever to put on any make-up except color my eyebrows, some eyeliner and do the scar the quick-'n-easy way. Besides I forgot my tekkou gloves at home so couldn't do any proper photoshooting anyway.

Cosplayers: Valkoinen Samurai (Kenshin Himura, aka Hitokiri Battousai) & Sairu-chan (Tomoe Yukishiro)
Photographer: Jäätynyt Enkeli

We were super tired and it shows.. xD But I don't think it butchers the photos though considering how dark the OVA is and how subtle all interactions between Kenshin and Tomoe are.

I had a quick solo photoshoot too. Jäätynyt Enkeli as the photographer.

The con ended at 14:00 and we decided it's better if we are a little extra early back at the bus station. I went and changed my Kenshin wig into my Hijikata wig because le Kenshin wig is annoying because of the wig getting in my eyes all the time. But I couldn't be bothered to erase the scar so I was some random Kenshin and Hijikata hybrid.. and Sairu-chan dubbed me the "Gay Lovechild". xD

I must say we were really lucky because this one awesome Skecon guy with an awesomely big car offered to drive us and another person to centrum. Seriously, thanks, you saved our lives. ;_;

At centrum's bus station ~
We had some hours to spare so we went to a game store and I bought a fabulous Wario cap (no, not the one he wears but a blue and yellow one with Wario on!) and Sairu-chan and Jäätynyt Enkeli bought some PSP games. After that we decided to eat some dinner so we returned to the same Chinese restaurant we were at on Friday. This time we bought Asian food and man was it good!

Lilla Kina ("Little China") restaurant, the one we ate in
After eating more than enough we asked directions for the closest food store and there we bought a big bottle of Lemon Fanta, candies and Swedish punch-rolls. I know, super healthy con diet strikes again. 
With our bus snacks bought we headed for the bus station and there we lagged for an hour or something. 

Bus waiting, super tired style
While we were waiting for the bus a few LARP guys -at different times- came to say hi because they noticed we also were dressed weirdly. :DD We had some nice chats about LARP and conventions and stuff and two of the guys even took the same bus we took!

One of the LARP guys who took the same bus
I don't feel like talking about the bus trip more than that the bus was crammed as fuck and we all got separated until Piteå or something. When most of the other people had left we all nerdy folks gathered in nearby seats and talked and lagged and shared punsch-rolls the rest of the journey. It was pretty awesome.

Our bus arrived at Haparanda 23:25 and our trio steered our tired asses towards our apartment the LARP guys stayed at Luleå and especially my ass was a zombie along with some other not-so-nice things. Oh well, we got to the apartment safely and that's all I had to say about Skecon. :)


This is now officially my "gorilla face". xD
I seemingly look like that when I scratch my head..

RAWR sisäkumi shinsengumi haori face censor mursu attack!
(and Chizuru looks pretty terrified..)
 We three also did a "Draw me like one of your French girls" challenge and here's my take on it!

I'm sexy and I know it ~
Oh, and we totally had a quick Hijikata x Sannan photoshoot just for the lulz but it was all hilarious shit in shitland and we totally suffered fatal brain cell losses.

Sannan: *pleased trollface*
Hijikata: You know.. this is pretty awkward... go away...
Sannan: hurrdurr~

Hijikata: I. Fucking. Can't. Take. It. Anymore. *headdesk*
Yeah. Hijikata would so rather date Chizuru...

And as the end climax have a photo of our fabulous Sannan-san. <3

I'm outta here before Sannan eats me!


Jäätynyt Enkeli said...

Goodness our derps and gay pictures! So topped last year!


Sairu Chan said...

This truly was better and more derp than last year! Thank you for this con! <3 xD

Hijikata Y U SO SMEX? >8D

Arawn Elidd said...

I thoroughly enjoyed your con summary and was really touched when you comforted Sairu-chan. (I lack the skills for comforting people too, so I can understand what it was like for you). It's so awesome you got recognized for your kendo skills by a Shimbukan member! I must say I love those ego photos - you look so amazing and awesome! >:D The fountain photos are all so breathtaking. *_* (And the derp photos, just epic win - I LOL'd so hard, omg. x3) Can I just tell you that you have such a damn perfect face for cosplay~?

Mouru said...

Tosi upeita kuvia ovo

Ri-chan said...

Such a fun con you had! Those record competitions sound hilarious, almost as hilarious as all the awesome derp photos at the end. And you got so much nice photos too!

I love how nerdy people are so nice to each other, giving rides to people they barely know and making boring bus rides awesome.

And for the record, I share the feeling of being rubbish at cheering people up. But I guess awkward hugs and rambling works too when you just show you care.

ひとり said...

Olette niin, niin, niin, niin söpöjä <3 ;;__;;