May 30, 2014

Where are my Desucon tickets? A tale of panic and relief!

What's with the flashy title?
– Sit down and see, dudes and dudettes. I'll share my experiences.

You see, back when Desucon released their tickets I was a part of the ticket rush and I managed to elbow my way through and fetch two PDF-tickets. Now –with the con creeping close– I suddenly realized late a few nights ago that "hey dude, you haven't even received the tickets yet!" *booom* Stress. Panic. THE HORROR.

I immediately sent an email to Desucon and asked what was going on; I had paid and everything so why was there no tickets to be seen anywhere? I got an answer telling me to check my mail's trash bin in case the confirmation mail (feat. tickets) had been sent there by mistake and, if not that, to check my Desu profile on the con's website. I checked my trash mail inbox –nothing there– and then I logged in to the Desucon site and saw... the most horrible thing. You see, at the "payment situation" box it read cancelled. Motherfucking cancelled.

I immediately logged in to my bank and saw that yes, the money had been taken on the same day I ordered. I remember paying for the tickets instantly. Okay, so what was up? My cash was gone yipee but there were no Desucon tickets and my order was claimed to be cancelled. This didn't feel all that great. No, not at all.
I kept mailing back and forth with the Desucon sales support over the coming days and sent them a screenprint showing proof that I had paid from my bank.
Today I then got an answer that said that seemingly the problem was that because the payment was registered (or whatever it's called in English, "merkkaantunut maksetuksi" in Finnish)
on 22nd April in my bank and it had –for some reason– not been registered in Desucon's system and thus it said cancelled even though it had gone through on my bank. This contact person fixed it and sent me my printable PDF-tickets to my Desucon profile, YEEESSSS!

Phew, this feels like the biggest relief ever; for a moment I thought I was screwed for good! I had time to think all horrible possibilities – that I had accidentally, in all the rush chaos, paid to the wrong receiver or paid too late (I got told that if you didn't pay after a few hours of purchase it was automatically cancelled) and everything in between. But luckily it was just a system registration fart on their site. I am so relieved. I am 100% coming to Desucon now!

Oh, and before I leave I'll tell you guys that I've managed to get myself a sleeping place for the Desucon weekend, hell yeah! I'll be trolling over at a congoer's home who happens to live in Lahti and is going to Desucon as well. I don't think we have met IRL before but from what I've talked with her online she seems very nice. I'm thankful that she invited us over to her place over the con weekend! >w<

That's it, now to just continue working on my Desucon cosplays! Ciao ciao!

May 23, 2014

Okita wig styling, fabric and quick photoshoot

Hello neh ~

With Desucon closing in I decided that I should try styling my wig for Okita ahead of time. Cosplay plans spoiler ahead! This time I wanted to do the first season version on which he still has the hairknot in the back. I'm happy that this one wig I have (I actually have three wigs for Okita currently, oops) has some additional hair pieces that you can just clip on and tie into the knot. But yeah, this is what I started with:

Wig before styling. (has been straightened)
Wig after styling.
I must say I barely have any wig styling experience to speak of (I've mostly just cut wigs shorter, once I tried spiking a wig slightly and that's about it) so it's not the cleanest wig work ever but oh well, it's not horrible either.. I guess. Then again I'm cosplaying a version of Okita on which he is more or less constantly lying in bed; sure that anime has always-perfect-hair logics but it would make sense if his hair was a bit messy on this particular version haha... seli seli
   Making that knot was a fucking bitch, by the way. It took several tries and I would have needed at least four hands at times... but with some determination I managed to do it alone. I might have to retie it sooner or later though because some of the hairs came out of the knot and just, well, hang. ._. I've already cut some like this but more will eventually appear and it's better I just retie it when that happens instead of gradually cutting all the long hairs off, haha.

With the wig done I got excited and had to try it on with the cosplay makeup and contacts – and then I put on the whole shit. And I mean shit as well in the way that I used my old soon-to-be-remade-for-Desucon violet yukata that is too short, not wide enough and everything in between. Gah. I can barely stand wearing this thing because it's so bad. xD I need to remake it soon! Yep, cosplay plans spoiler totally revealed.

I went outside with my photographer and had a quick photoshoot between 21-22 May. Yeah, basically we had a midnight shoot but hey, midnight sun to the rescue! Main reason was to show off the wig but I ended up playing with blood as well...

Taken by Hasakitsuki.
We didn't get much in the name of good-enough-to-publish photos because of random photobombing cars in the background and me being a derp and such. I ended up taking a bunch of selfies though, cuz I wanted to have face-pics because of blooooooooood ~

Actually I have a bonus story to share! After the photoshoot I was... quite freezing so to speak, so we went back inside and boiled some tea. As soon as I drank from my cup I blew a coughing fit because well, I'm a master at choking on things. Like, it's bad. This made Hasakitsuki look at me with a "not again" face and then, when I moved my hand away from my face, I noticed it was bloody. Of course, I still had blood on my face from the shoot but for a split-second it looked like I had coughed it up and Hasakitsuki screamed at me "ARE YOU SERIOUS?!". Well, I'm sorry, but I can't help choking on pretty much everything and having random not so random blood on my face...

I'm pretty sure that I will end up running around bloody at Desucon as well, but we'll see about that. Before I promise anything I should really get going with remaking this dang yukata. I've already bought some fabric for it that is very very slightly darker than the fabric I have on this first version; would have preferred lighter but it's pisshard to find, like, it's not even funny how hard it is to find a pale-ass violet. Actually I found an almost perfect shade in Eurokangas but it was a scrap piece and there wasn't enough of it... *insert sobs here* Even this fabric that I ended up buying barely had the amount that I needed so I bought everything that was left of the roll in the store haha.

Fabric, slightly color raped because of bad lights.
Mom brought some violet sewing thread rolls that I can use, along with the sewing machine.
(flash photo)
I've borrowed the old sewing machine that used to be grandpa's but we'll see if this thing obeys my commands when I start sewing. I have a bad feeling about it. Last time I tried I barely sewed 10 centimeters before it decided it was time to fuck things up and not work properly. Heh, I don't have much hope in this thing but I will try taming it at least.

Oh, and I'm currently storing my styled Okita wig on my one-and-only wig head which means that my Kondou wig, which used to have this beloved place, had to move. Needless to say I had to look for a replacement wig head and after some seconds of thinking I had a flash of genius!

Konhorse!! ... or is it Horsedou?
It's beautiful. I know. xD

Valkoinen Samurai says byebye!
*slinks away into the darkness*

May 22, 2014

Cosvision 2014 – Epic samurai battle, fanboying and too much onion

Hello geeks & peeps!

The Cosvision weekend is now past, for a while ago, and I got to experience the first convention held in Finland that was solely dedicated to cosplay!
I must say that whoever came up with having a cosplay-centered con deserves a cookie because hey, I had a blast and there were a lot more interesting panels and cosplays to see than in your average manga & anime based convention. Also you don't get the unpleasant thought of "you don't belong at this con because you only come here to cosplay and hang with friends, so piss off and let the real target audience who attend the con's programs get the tickets instead" which has appeared lately in the Finnish con scene. Thus I voice a huge "YES PLEASE!" to more cosplay focused cons!
But enough of that, let's hear now about my Cosvision journey and all the epicness it included, let's go!

Pre-con journey (aka Attack on Spurgu) 8-9.5.2014

My journey to the south started already on early Thursday morning. Me and Hasakitsuki woke up, finished our suitcase packing and went to the new bus station in town when we were done eating breakfast and shit. We spent quite the time waiting for the bus in town because we'd rather be too early than too late. Oh, and also we prepared our stomachs for the con-diet-to-come by eating hamburgers at Max for lunch/dinner before we left. :'D The bus took us to Kemi around after-noon something and our train towards Turku (actually, Tampere, but we changed there to a Turku train) left from Kemi train station 19:31 local time.
We ended up molding at the train station and had an encounter with your ordinary Finnish possibly homeless spurgu drunk. He looked 50+ and was accompanied by another guy, potentially drunk as well. When we arrived at the train station he kind of, I dunno, greeted me in slang Finnish and it took me a while to understand but I just ignored him anyway and went inside the waiting room. The drunk guy(s) soon came in as well and sat down not so far from us. I decided to listen to music just so that he would be less likely to approach me further and it worked – but he went and talked to this random girl instead. This girl ended up talking with the drunk a lot and he offered her to drink directly from a bottle of alcohol he had been carrying... and she did it, eww! I was disgusted and lost a bit more hope of young mankind but oh well, to each their own. *shrug* God knows who else had drunk from it...

At some point me and Hasakitsuki went to the nearby Lidl and bought provisions for the journey and we happened to see the drunk guy go into the Rovaniemi train, to which we mentally sighed in relief – I mean, I wouldn't have wanted him in the same train we took! He made me very uncomfortable because he was overly social, said some not-sure-if-complimenting-or-suspicious comments to this one girl and yeah, I just don't like drunks around me. Period.
   In the train we just lagged, played video games, got so hungry we could die and barely slept at all. I swear when I finally was tired enough to be able to sleep on a train (which is not easy for me) then, of course, the guy in the seat in front of me had to snore. Loudly. Half the night at least. Not amused.
   We had a train change at Tampere not even five in the morning and when we stepped out of the train station –in hopes of finding some food place that would be open– I got all the Tracon feels all over again when we passed by the familiar roads! But enough of Tracon feels, we had fucking-hungry-stomach-feels and our Tampere stroll proved to be fruitless... until we found a McDonald's that *le gasp* was open. And there was a lot of students inside. Breakfast time five on the Friday morning, anyone? Normally neither of us would put our feet inside this place but it was McDonald's or nothing and well, hunger and sudden shit needs bathroom needs ultimately win you over, I swear.
   The continuation Train to Turku left 05:56 and well, during our almost two hours waiting time at Tampere train station we had yet another lovely meeting – drunk guy duo, take two. So we were just sitting on our blue suitcase in the underground part leading to the train tracks, minding our own, when two young-ish men approached us, of which the louder one started talking. We ignored him but then he started trying to ask us something and Hasakitsuki saved us by pretending to only be able to speak French. The second guy maybe wasn't drunk but the one talking to us was pretty surely and to make it better or worse? pretty much every third word he used was a swear word and he kept repeating "I am so pissed" and such. It was very uneasy and quite scary to be around them but finally the second guy told the other one to leave us alone already and so they moved away... but we weren't spared from random drunks just yet. *badumtssh*
At some point the main area of the train station opened and we moved there because it's more comfy and well, while we were sitting and waiting a security guard guy started confronting an old-ish man who was sitting with a very bent back. It quickly became obvious that we had stumbled upon yet another spurgu experience but at least this one was the least scary/uneasiness-inducing one. Basically this guy was drunk as piss (it was near impossible to understand his slurs) and the security guard guy tried to take the drunk with him but the drunk refused to budge –even though le security guy tried taking his arm by force several times and his backpack as well– and then they started a verbal fight and the security guy just... gave up and went away? I don't know but the spurgu stayed in place until he moved towards the R-kioski because he saw that the working lady appeared and was about to open the shop; the drunk asked when they would open and the woman screamed in Finnish "WE OPEN AFTER A QUARTER OF AN HOUR!!". I tried to hold my laughter because it was overly amusing for my tired brain; she surely wasn't amused by drunks.
   The train to Turku was chill and more comfortable than the previous one (on the Kemi train we ended up in an old cart and yeah, your ass gets glat in less than two hours of sitting) and soon enough we jumped off at Turku train station and awaited Ri-kun to pick us up and drive to their home place, aka our sleeping accommodation during the con weekend. At Ri-kun's we took a nap, watched the first episode of Shingeki no Kyojin –aka Attack on Titan– along with some cracky fandom stuff from the series and slept later than we should have. Yee.

No comment.
This was stuck in my head for the rest of the Cosvision weekend. xD

Cosvision Saturday 10.5.2014

We woke up 07:30, lagged around in bed for a while and then all three of us went to have breakfast and then it was time to put on our cosplays. My cosplay for the day was Hajime Saitou from Hakuouki Shinsengumi Kitan. I got to borrow Ri-kun's swords for Saitou over the con weekend because my wooden ones are still broken.
We arrived at the con not long after opening time and me and Hasakitsuki exchanged our con ticket receipt papers for fabric tickets.

Hasakitsuki showing the Cosvision con ticket.
With our tickets in our wrists we looked around the con building; I saw some familiar faces like Tombe and Hitsuwa! We also checked the merchandise sellers and I bought a Flareon Pokémon plushie as well as a Boo sensor light lamp from Super Mario to Jäätynyt Enkeli because he digs Boo.

The Boo sensor light at the store.
I took some generic convention photos as well of the location. I must say that Logomo (famous from Voice of Finland) is great for holding a con, it's roomy, easy to move in and the air quality was good inside. Also it was never crammed or anything; then again I guess Logomo could have fit a lot more attendants. I hope more people will come to Cosvision next time. Also the Artist's Alley was organized and positioned in one of the best ways I've seen at a con so far! Huge bonus for that.

Logomo building map in front of the entrance.
Logomo backside, I assume.
Inside, close to the info desk and entrance.
Artist's Alley.
Main hall.
Main hall seen from higher ground.
I was tempted by that surfing Jesus t-shirt but it was too expensive. :'(
Geeky merchandiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiise!
Cool medieval-ish stuff.
Hungry like a Titan!
At some point I saw a group of InuYasha cosplayers gather near the entrance and I went to ask them if they have more characters coming in later to the group; they told me to wait a bit more if I wanted a photo of the whole group and so I waited. A bit later I saw they had more cosplayers and I went to ask again but they still had more people on the wait. Then, just when I had agreed to go photoshoot a friend's cosplay I noticed that the InuYasha group had pretty dang many characters gathered (including rarer characters I've never seen cosplayed IRL before). I thought I'd find them later so I went to shoot and –of course– when I was done shooting I never saw the whole group again and this made me want to smack myself in the face. With a frying pan. Hard. :( I was pretty annoyed with myself for missing this opportunity because come on, InuYasha was basically the first manga I got to collect and love (childhood Pokémon craze excluded) and so, when I see Inu cosplayers, I feel all kinds of nostalgic feelings and aah. ;A; Oh well, I can always hope that the group would appear at a future con... *crosses fingers*

Towards the afternoon our trio got pretty dang hungry so we headed out of our geeky building to go fetch some food. We ended up in the Kerttu restaurant which is seemingly specialised for youths and poor students. Sounds like right for me! :'D eiku

Inside they had the most beautiful menu list I've ever seen:

Protip: Open on a new page to view bigger version!
I ordered the cheapest pasta they had and it was actually pretty good – it tasted a lot. Really. Also, considering how cheap it was you got a lot of food and the quality was nice! I would go to this restaurant again if I ever find myself at a con in Turku, hah.

Pasta for life.
After the food we went back to the con and had a quick photoshoot at the awesome rock cliff things outside. There was actually a cave in there that you could enter and it was almost pitch-black when you walked in a few steps. Actually surprisingly scary... and especially if you have vivid imagination, lol. Also, the cave turned to the right at some point (aka got even more dark) but I never went this far. Yeah, I'm scared.
We stayed close to the cave's entrance and had a quick photoshoot.

Cosplayer: Valkoinen Samurai (Hajime Saitou) & Hasakitsuki (oni!Chizuru Yukimura)
Photographer: Ri-kun

Actually before the photoshoot there was like 30 minutes or less left of the con so when we were done shooting the con had pretty much closed for the day... and it started raining. Good thing Ri-kun had taken with them two umbrellas so we got back safely into their car without getting wet.
At Ri-kun's place we took off our cosplays, chilled, watched the Eurovision Song Contest and cheered for Conchita Wurst who ended up winning the whole shit and it felt pretty dang awesome. Her song was great! I also really liked Norway's song. After Eurovision we went to sleep.

Cosvision Sunday 11.5.2014

We woke up 07:30 again. My eyes wanted to die but I managed to get up anyway. I swear I hadn't slept the recommended amount of hours since at least half a week or so prior to the con. We had our breakfast and started putting on our cosplays again. Today it was time for me to debut a new cosplay – Souji Okita from Rurouni Kenshin's Tsuiokuhen / Trust & Betrayal OVA.
We arrived at the con slightly too late for me to go attend Narudossu's panel or more like, I got an urgent need to pee just as we got to the con and everyone knows that bathroom needs and hakama is slow so I went to the "Miehenä cosplayn maailmassa" panel instead, which started 30 minutes after Narudossu's panel.
The panel itself was pretty okay, sometimes funny and sometimes a bit, I don't know, sometimes it felt like it took too long to move on to the next thing (they got sidetracked a bit) and I got a bit bored, I guess. Then again that might just be me comparing this panel to the similar one held in Oulu's Animeseminaari last year that I personally think was the better one of the two. But all in all this Cosvision panel was worth my time.

A few panel photos:

Actually a bit before I attended the panel I ran into Kenshin and we agreed to have the photoshoot after I was done.. and so we did! Good thing Hasakitsuki was wearing a lolita outfit because this made it a bit easier for her to move around and photoshoot us.

Cosplayer: Valkoinen Samurai (Souji Okita) & Anniilaugh (Kenshin Himura)
Photographer: Hasakitsuki
Photo editor: Anniilaugh

I must say that the photoshoot was probably the highlight of the whole con for me, it was way too much fun! Oh and all the derps – the sausage skin hakama, the wig that flew off, the elephant legs. xD This needs to be redone! I can't wait for next time! *hype*
Also Kenshin helped me down from that little 'hill' I was standing on; it was shit scary and hard to get up there with my wannabe geta shoes and even harder to get back down again. Luckily enemies are not always enemies and Kenshin offered to help. Funnily Hasakitsuki took some photos and I think this one looks a bit like "nuuu I didn't really want to kill you after all!"

Bonus! Helping Okita down!
Actually at some point we thought about having a follow-up shoot with battle damage and blood and such; but when we went to have our needed photoshoot break we headed for town looking for a cafeteria first.

Hungry samurai on the way ~
For some reason we didn't find any cafeteria and the nearest food store was closed because of Mother's Day so we went into the train station and raided the R-kioski that was there. Anniilaugh and Hasakitsuki bought cupcakes but I was too cool for that shit and bought "just a few" chocolate provisions for the train trip back. They were on sale, come on.

Wait, why this suspense?
Well, you see, I have a photo that I had a lot of fun editing... and it kinda went out of control...

Now the crack is out of my system. 

When we got back to the con we learned that Anniilaugh soon had to leave so we didn't have time for the epic follow-up shoot or more like, we would have had time but it wouldn't have been much and it would have been stressy. We decided that we'll postpone it for a later convention so that we will have more time. So yeah, Kenshin left our company *sniff* and me and Hasakitsuki just chilled around. Ri-kun showed up before too long and we all just sat on one of the tables and lagged – and then I got hungry. Yeah, I hadn't eaten any of the chocolates! I actually had a tuna triangle sandwich in Ri-kun's car so they went to fetch it for me because my feet were screaming of standing/walking too much. I got my sandwich before long and had a snack.

Yum, sandwich time!
It didn't take long after the sandwich was in my stomach when I spotted one of the Guest of Honors – KANAME☆. I think my brain did a backflip and I entered instant fanboy mode! I swear, this normally never happens, I don't know what went into me haha. Actually I had seen him before but he was busy so I was being a discreet stalker and waiting for him to look not-so-busy anymore so that I could go ask for a photo...

Yeah, this sums it up perfectly.
I ended up getting to talk to him a little, taking some photos of his outfit and then the inner fanboy got the better of me and I had to ask to get to take a photo next to him! agkdshk;sghjd yay ~ ;A;

With KANAME☆ !!
It was damn hard to stay collected but as soon as I was done I went and fanboyed to Hasakitsuki and my never-seen-before fanboyness infected her too... xD It was hilarious, I didn't know I could be like this, lol. But he is just so cool and if I have to have some cosplay idols KANAME☆ would be one of them. I also got his signature, zomg!

Happy day ~
Okay, back to reality. Or more like, the con itself. But truth be told after the short meeting with KANAME☆ there wasn't much con time left. 30 minutes or so before Cosvision was about to close me and Hasakitsuki went and changed out of cosplay – or well, everything except the cosplay make-up and the wig for now. We just quickly threw everything into the suitcase that we had taken with us to the con (stored in Ri-kun's car until the con's final moments when we went to pick it up) 
and then we waited for Ri-kun's friends to show up; we had planned to go eat dinner together in town after the con.
We ended up in a Chinese restaurant called Golden Dragon, just next to the train station. I ordered some chicked food with lemongrass and coconut milk because it sounded awesome but what actually was on my plate when it arrived was a buttload of onions, far from awesome. ONIONS. Did I tell you there was no single mention of onions in the menu whatsoever and that I really dislike onion in food in general? I've never been this disappointed in any restaurant dish before that shit had never even seen lemongrass in its life and where's the coconut milk anyway? There was no liquid-ish thing on the plate to even speak of. I swear the only thing on the plate was some bland tasteless slimy chicken and onions. It wasn't even chicken with onions, it was onions with chicken! (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻ 
I barely ate anything of my food but luckily one of Ri-kun's friend's had another dish that at least tasted a bit better than the crap I was served and which said friend let me have a part of. But yeah, I was dang disappointed, almost to the point of being furious and when we all went to pay I complained to the lady in the desk and told them to rename the dish "chicken with onions" to not screw over further customers. She didn't even apologize for the disappointing and misleading dish or anything, argh! I know for sure I won't ever put my food in this restaurant ever again. The toilets were disgusting as well. All my thumbs and big toes down.

After the craptacular food it was time for me and Hasakitsuki to leave for the train station and so we bid Ri-kun's company farewell and jumped into the train. The train ride back went without any spurgu encounters but there was a young girl on the seats on the other side of ours staring at us for half the journey in the Tampere train, fucking uncomfortable and anxiety-inducing. When we arrived at Kemi early on the morning 06:19 mom came and picked us up and all was well.

Let's end this with pics of the stuff that I bought!

Flareon plushie and Boo light, latter is now in Jäätynyt Enkeli's care.
Bottle of bloooooood... (feat. Hasakitsuki holding it)
A necklace, that is.
Oh, and here's a crappy con video of cosplayers/awesomely-dressed-people whom I took photos of. If you spot yourself and want the photo just leave a comment on the video or contact me by mail and I'll send you the photos!

I think I've talked enough for now.. but hey, there's the obligatory bonus picture waiting to end this shit. Here, have it!


serious fight. much intense. such scare. wow.
Yah, that's it for Cosvision! I'm already longing for the next one!
Thanks for reading and see ya!