Thursday, February 2, 2017

2017 is the Year of the Crossplay

Or so I say, as I see how this year pans out with the rest of my plans.

Anime LA was last weekend and I have to stop and say how absolutely awesome it was! It's great to see this convention grow over the years, especially since it's my favorite convention next to Fanime. I spent a chunk of Saturday admittedly dealing with masquerade, but overall, the convention as a whole was absolutely great. I talked to so many people, got to take lots of pictures of amazing cosplays, and I love how it hasn't lost that fun convention vibe. Even the weather was on our side!

The only new cosplay I completed for this convention was Sakura for our Cardcaptor Sakura skit, which unfortunately didn't go as well as planned for a number of reasons. It was a skit that we started working on a little late in the game, and in hindsight needed a little more time to sort out the wrinkles to. I will say though that I had a fun time working on my costume and just having the opportunity to perform was great enough, considering that there was a point where we almost didn't go ahead with it.

Sometimes when things don't go the way you want them to, the best thing that you can do is really put your focus back on and sort out through the muddled and confusing to draw out some of your better vibes out. I feel like I genuinely liked this skit, but parts of me were holding back out of a total committment to every aspect of the skit versus most of the other skits we've done really well with or the audience enjoyed clearly showed that we believed in what we were creating.

It doesn't necessarily mean that we have to go all out and get into every nook and cranny of our character's mindsets to nail a skit. I feel like our Sakura x Yue skit was a bit of a challenge from the beginning, primarily because I have my own opinions about that duo and what a unique relationship they have. It's a bit challenging to convey where their relationship lies, because almost often it relies on the skit having him as either her Merlin-esque mentor or guide, or a romantic interest, although it crosses a bit of a boundary there that might not be comfortable for everyone.

Going into future skits, I think one thing's for sure is that I'd love to be able to feel that spirit and committment to what we're doing, and that usually is felt by creating enough challenge and variety and less of solely relying on the audio and lyrics to carry the story. It's very rarely that we've tried to let the audio do the work for us, so why start? We enjoy a fun narrative when the audio helps carry it, not usurp it.

ALA comes at a funky time for a lot of people, I'm sure, and for me, it's been a rather strange winter season. It's hard to convey exactly what's exactly been going on, but for the most part, switching jobs and going through high and low periods in a quick amount of time really takes a toll. I don't think that it's necessarily responsible for why I just made Sakura because she took quite a few weeks (I should have a write-up soon when I stop being lazy-ish), but it definitely slowed down my productivity. Ironically, I slept way more than I thought I would, which leads me to think that I was hibernating, but at the same time, it wasn't a very healthy kind of sleep, and I'd like to be in a place where I can be mindful of my health, mind and body, to be creative and productive.

~~~NEXT COSPLAY PLANS!~~~

So moving on, I kind of am at a place where I'd like to actually do a few more projects than just the ones for Fanime.  It'll really depend on work and school however, since it's a little busier than normal, but I'm usually pretty comfortable with trying to move my schedule around. I'm banking that it might take a few weeks to find a new normal from here, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it'll be all good.

NOCTIS LUCIS CAELUM - FINAL FANTASY XV
Planned: Fanime 2017

I was sort of waiting for ALA to pass for me to have all crazy-nut excuse to get started on Noctis, which I'd love to have ready for Fanime. My current goal is to see if I can work on his Kingsglaive version, which is technically Regis's outfit, which requires me to get some nice screenshots I had in-game to sketch some details out. I also would like for it to be an attempt at armor, if I can try!

I actually wanted to make Gentiana first and even after playing through the game, she's one of my favorite characters and right up my alley on ideal character types. But I think Noctis speaks so much more to me, and I just love the idea of doing a really gritty design. I also feel like his character is similar to me in some ways, especially whenever I think of how I am with my friends. I'm not as serious as him, but I do stop to reflect on how much I've grown because of the close friends who have my back. Shii is going to make Prompto (because she's legit his real-life version), and the more eerily spot-on one is Lyric as Ignis, because I'm still convinced that someone designed him after him. My brother is very much like Gladio, although he lowkey wants me to make him Arden sometime soon.

I actually have done little crossplaying, although I do have characters like Amada Shiro from Gundam 08th MS Team and Kamui Shiro (wtf is up all with all the Shiro?) from X, but Noctis will be one of my first real attempts at it. I'm hoping that it also helps bring a contrast and a challenge than simply working with fabric, since Kougyouku is going to be primarily sewing.

DIVA - YUGIOH - THE DARK SIDE OF DIMENSIONS
Planned: HanadokiCon 2017, Fanime 2017

DIVAAAA~~ I actually got to see the Yugioh film (yesterday lol) in theatres and it was really awesome! I do agree with some mutual friends that the original Duel Monsters arc isn't one of the strongest in the Yugioh universe, but I absolutely loved how much tension there is. I particularly loved the main antagonist, Aigami/Diva, and came home feeling so energized and excited to do a Yugioh cosplay. I previously planned for Gagaga Girl, but I am sort of in limbo with that project.

Diva's got a reall nice design that's not too over the top, and I love the accent colors. I have the perfect material for his vest/coat piece that I purchased last year for another cosplay but never got to do. I am interested in also making the ankh jewelry and his bracers with different materials. I'm quite excited overall to do something different. All I'm missing is that Sera-imouto though.

REN KOUGYOKU - MAGI: LABYRINTH OF MAGIC
Planned: Fanime 2017

I'm usually pretty quiet about my masquerade cosplay plans until the month before, but I think at some point I must've hinted at it too much that the next big project was going to be a remake of an older cosplay. The first Kougyoku version I made was for Anime LA 2014, which I sewed at the same time as my Nico Robin cosplay for our One Piece skit. I was really excited to sew it and had lots of fun with trying to add my own touches to her design. It was a popular cosplay for me too since I rewore it to the Lunar Festival and got lots of pictures back.

The thing is, the costume was a favorite of mine at the time but I feel like I've gotten better at sewing and overall just being more precise about how I want things to look. The wig was not my favorite color since I wanted more of a brown tone closer to the manga's color, and the flower print I opted for on the bodice really isn't my favorite choice in hindsight. I am happy though that I spent time adding trims and details, which for sure I'll do again on this round.

So as a fun way to commemorate my experiences with sewing, I thought that it'd be great to redo her. I'm banking on likely redoing everything, even though I might be able to repurpose some parts and fix them, particularly the overskirt. I am working on patterning out a new bodice, and then playing with new parts of my sewing machine so that I can add more details and even look into some beading. Overall, I'd want her to have a cleaner silhouette.

The costume also has to be friendly and withstand a little more performing than normal, since we'll be doing some fun choreography for this skit. I'm actually interested to see how the result comes out for this cosplay since I'll have a comparison of what 3 years of sewing can do.

I'd be a massive derp if I said that plans don't often change, but overall, I'd like to play things by ear and hope that I can get these three projects done. I'm toying with some ideas for AX, but I'd like to see where the progress continues for these. It's weird to think that with ALA done, I'm inclined to go back to sleep and dream and then finally wake up a month before Fanime, but that's when I realize, "Oh wait. I should be starting now lol."

And with that, after this week, I really should start lol.

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