Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Otakuthon 2014 Con Journal

I have three words to describe Otakuthon: Oh My God.  It was amazing!!  I had the most fun this past weekend at any con I’ve ever been too.  I didn’t get to do all that much in terms of panels, but I talked to some really awesome people, made new friends and felt 100% magical in my costumes.  Here is a brief rundown of each day.

Friday:  The day started out with me frantically styling my Sakura wig.  I woke up late and only started working on things around 1:30 ish.  I spent two hours working on the wig until I was satisfied with it.  In the meantime we determined that my apartment was not going to have water in the morning.  This made us look into booking a last minute hotel room for Friday night, which we managed to get!  I spent another couple of hours packing and getting everything ready.  My boyfriend came over with his stuff and we got a ride to the hotel with our friend.  We checked in, I got changed into Mew Zakuro and we headed to the con. 

We got there around 7 pm just in time to check out a few cosplays and head over to the World Cosplay Summit.  The show itself was a little short but the cosplays were awesome!  I was really looking forward to seeing Melting Mirror/Calamity Cosplay and Detailed Mess’ skits.  Personally I found some of the skits a little too wordy; I prefer to see flashy things.  We ended up staying up super late in the board game room playing Click-Clack Lumberjack (which was surprisingly amusing) and Dixit which was super cute.  Once everyone beside my roommates decided that they were leaving, my boyfriend and I went and did a little photo shoot of my Zakuro.

Saturday:  I woke up super early to get ready for masquerade registration.  Being the person I am I wanted to get into costume before heading to the con just to reduce the number of trips to and from the hotel.  I ironed my costume, showered, put everything on, packed and head out the door.  I got to the convention center and checked my weapon.  I was given the wrong directions to the masquerade registration line and I almost didn’t get in!  I was number 77 out of 80 in line.  And it was only 9:40 am!  The masquerade registration (from my understanding) was only supposed to open at 10:00 am!
Once I finally got through the registration line I walked around a bit and went into the dealer’s room.  I wanted to try and find a small Kero plushie to bring on stage with me.  Of course I never did find one but I did run into somebody who I was not expecting: Jesse from Midnight Armour!  I wasn’t keeping tabs on the guests because I’m not normally one who follows that kind of stuff so I was kind of surprised.  We talked and I showed him my first large prop I made (Sakura’s staff).  He wanted to know if it was light so I let him hold it.  He agreed with my statement of feeling 20% more magical J  I then determined that he was going to be a judge for the masquerade which I thought was awesome and scary at the same time!

After meeting Jesse I met up with my boyfriend and we went to attend Jesse’s panel, “Meet the Hero”.  It covered a lot of what the cosplayers had to face behind the scenes and how the show actually worked.  It turns out that the cosplayers were only told one or two weeks before the con that they were being flown out to a specific place and they had to make a costume for it.  So all that drama of being last minute in making costumes wasn’t their fault!  He also revealed some funny incidents involving a mechanical bull.  After the panel we went to a cheap Italian place to eat before rushing me to the green room space.

The green room at Otakuthon this year was so fun!  It made my weekend!  We walked in, had our dens assigned and our judge’s photos taken right away.  I was placed in den 12, entry number 72 alongside my friend Bandit Spurs.  We made friends with everyone in our den and even with people in different dens.  I got to meet Shushuwafflez who was wearing her gorgeous Queen Esther gown, Anniechie dressed as Maiden Zelda, Piratica in her Nonon cosplay and many others!  There were three craftsmanship judges, one of them being Detailled Illusion, and three performance judges which included Jesse from Midnight Armour.

Sometime before I was judged the food arrived.  I was distracted by food (they have good cookies!) and then even more distracted by a couple of guys who were cosplaying Ashura Ou and Yukito from the Tsubasa artbook.  I had never seen those cosplays done before so I decided to chill with them for a bit.  I apparently stayed too long away from my den at this point because my den mom came and scolded me, telling me to get back.  It was not going to be the last scolding that night.

Eventually the show got started and participants were able to show off their costumes and skits on stage.  Since den 12 was one of the last dens, we were in the green room with nowhere to go for a long time.  A few of the participants stayed in the green room to watch the rest of the show after they finished.  A few of my den mates and I went on a paparazzi spree to pass the time.

By the time our den was called to line up, I was starting to get the jitters.  When I get the jitters, I tend to bounce… a lot.  So I was trying to refrain from bouncing which resulted in me vibrating.  All along the line the girl behind me kept trying to calm me down.  I only became calm the moment before getting up on stage.  I had only a vague idea of what I was doing, namely that I had to pick up my staff and book off the stage and that I wanted the mood of my skit to be emotional.  Being on stage everything seemed to move in slow motion.  The music to me seemed like it was going too fast and I had to exit the stage a little bit before the music finished.  Heading back to the green room I was welcomed by my den exclaiming how beautiful my skit was.  Fors those curious, you can find my portion of the show at 8:15.

After the masquerade I met up with Henrickson for a private photo shoot, my very first one.  I was unsure of how to proceed with things and I was also pretty tired at this point.  I think things turned out well though, I’m looking forward to seeing the edited photos J After the shoot my boyfriend and I went up to the hotel room that we had booked as a large group (a different hotel).  We stayed up pretty late playing games and hanging out.

Sunday:  I had a very good complimentary breakfast Sunday morning.  The only thing that was missing was the bacon but they made up for it with chocolate brioches.  Since we didn’t have to check out of the hotel until 1 pm we headed out to the con early.  I wore Sakura as I had way too much fun being magical the day before (and I had decided that the white rabbit was going to be pushed back to another con).  My boyfriend and I attended a leather working panel for an hour before heading back to the hotel to check out.  The panel was pretty interesting and informative.  I asked a few questions, mentioning that I am a klutz and got told that maybe leather working wasn’t meant for me (jokingly of course).

We had to run to the hotel earlier than expected because we were given the wrong message regarding hotel check out.  Luckily we had packed up all our stuff before we left that morning so it was quick and efficient.  We check in our baggage and hurried off to the masquerade awards ceremony.  It was in a tiny panel room with people sitting on the floor and standing up along the back and sides of the room.  They announced the award for the World Cosplay Summit first and the team Detailed Mess won!  I am so happy and excited for them!  Bandit Spurs was late getting in and she missed them announce her award she won for craftsmanship!  I ended up winning the Most Touching Performance award!  It is official, Bandits and I are now Journeymen!  The awesome Tsubasa group also won an award… for best in class for craftsmanship!  Aww man, so many deserving cosplayers got recognized for their effort and work!  Congrats everyone!

After the ceremony was done, we spoke to Jesse lagers for a bit and asked him if he would be willing to take some photos with us (Bandits wanted at least one picture with a judge).  Detailed Mess unfortunately had to run to catch a train so we couldn’t talk to them.  Jesse was super fun to hang out with though and he even said that I had really good stage presence!  Looks like I know what my strong point is now!

We decided to wander the dealer’s room one last time before the con closed up.  I got a cat collar with a little bell on it J  We found one of the people who came to our room party in the artist alley and I supported her by getting two adorable digimon buttons!  We searched the entire room for prosthetic ears but in the end we didn’t find any.  Once everything closed up, Bandits headed back home and my boyfriend and I decided to go and take some pictures along the way to the hotel.  We got some really great shots of my Sakura cosplay!  It was a good way to end the con.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Anime North 2014 Con Journal

Man I am super late in posting this!  Things have been crazy since my last post!  I have also been very lazy :P  So to make up for it I am going to post like mad this month to cover everything that has happened in the past couple of months, starting with my first con journal of the year!  Here it goes!


·         My friends and I left Montreal early Friday morning to head to Toronto
·         We stopped in Kingston for breakfast
·         We ran into some rain on the way and hoped that by the time we got to Toronto it would clear up
·         Got to the congress center two hours before the con opened and managed to get our badges in a timely manner
·         Went to check in at the hotel and I changed into Mokona Modoki
·         We attended the armouring panel and learned how to shape metal sheets into curved forms
·         I left after the first panel to go meet up with a friend, who I never managed to meet up with
·         Masquerade registration was open so I got in line for it figuring that I wouldn’t be able to get to the con early enough to register for it Saturday morning
·         I got to meet some awesome cosplayers while in line
·         I didn’t have my music on me so I promised the masquerade staff that I would bring it to them first thing in the morning
·         On my way to the dealers room I bumped into one of the guy from my group and we decided to eat something
·         Afterwards we wandered the dealers room and artists alley
·         We took quite a few pictures of cosplayers
·         I got a lift back to the hotel early while the rest of my group went to the rave


·         I woke up super early and got back into Mokona for the morning and carefully packed Mew Zakuro into my boyfriend’s bag
·         I got the hotel to order a taxi for me and got to chat with a cute Dutch couple about cosplay (apparently their son cosplays back home!)
·         I got stuck in traffic which resulted in a very pricey taxi ride (it took double the time!)
·         As the masquerade staff asked me to bring them my audio asap I went to the registration desk first
·         After handing in my music, I wandered around a bit and took more cosplay pics!
·         At noon there was a CLAMP photo shoot, Mokona had lots of fun!
·         I met up with my friends after the shoot and ate with them before heading into the dealers room
·         I found Worbla but managed to resist buying it
·         They had a cosplay changing area in the dealers room which was awesome because changing in a bathroom stall is not fun
·         Walking around the con I discovered that the top I had made was slightly too small and that the snaps were not strong enough to keep it up if I breathed too deeply
·         I managed to discover a way to keep my top from falling (without relying solely on safety pins)!
·         Before I had to go to the green room I took a little nap on the grass while my friends hung out with other cosplayers
·         I woke up with a little sunburn L
·         Anime North organizes their masquerade with all the entries in order so I was assigned a den with other novices
·         Once all my judging, audio, and photos were completed I started to wander the other dens and talk to some other cosplayers
·         I was one of the earlier entries and I completely improvised my walk on
·         I found that once people went on stage, they didn’t stay to hang out but rather left to go do other things
·         I got to meet some really cool cosplayers!  My den dad was also pretty chill
·         After the masquerade (none of my friends watched my performance L ) I met up with my boyfriend and got something to eat
·         I decided to try and stay up with my friends but I was so exhausted that I ended up having to make them bring me back to the hotel


·         As we had to check out of the hotel, we all got up at the same time and packed our things
·         I had two things to do on my agenda: attend the Ghibli photo shoot at noon as Sheeta and go to the masquerade award ceremony
·         My friend and I barely arrived at the shoot on time but I was one of the first on site; nobody seemed to know where it was exactly
·         The location wasn’t the greatest as we had large power lines overhead but we still had fun J
·         After the shoot I attended the ceremonies (alone, again) and it turns out that I was awarded an Honourable Mention for tailoring in the novice division!
·         I met up with my group for one last tour of the dealers room and I finally caved and bought a roll of extra-large Worbla
·         We were sad when we had to leave the con L We decided that we would have a nice large dinner all together before heading back to Montreal

Overall Anime North was an amazing, super fun experience.  It was the con that I wandered around alone the most and at times I rather liked it!  I hope that I can go back again next year!