Cosplay Blues, Pt. II

Cosplay Blues, Pt. II

The first rule of cosplay is, try to make your costume look as accurate as possible to the character you’re trying to portray. So far, I got the following items for my female Sora cosplay:

  • Crown necklace
  • Blue tank top (though I may have to change it to red)
  • Black shorts
  • Cropped hoodie vest
  • Black faux-leather fingerless gloves
  • Black Mossimo shoes

The last items I’m trying to find are the yellow strappings and red pouch bags for my hips and thighs. I discovered last week that the yellow suspenders I bought at Party City won’t work for the strappings because they’re not long enough for both sides. I could try to buy another pair of yellow suspenders, but I don’t think my mom would want to spend another $10 on an accessory that the original character wears, so I would have to return them.

Here’s where the financial constraints come in. My mom and I spent almost $40 on the cropped hoodie vest Jack and I found at Justice, after which my mom said that my female Sora cosplay is the most expensive cosplay I ever undertook. On Tuesday night, I was waxing extremely desperate from trying to find the yellow strappings and red pouches for my black shorts at the mall. I talked to a girl who worked at Spencer’s about the issue, and she said to look on eBay or Amazon. When I got home, I logged onto the latter website and found exactly what I was looking for:

The leg bag accessory modified by Wing Seng, cosplay seller on Amazon.
The leg bag modified by Wing Seng, cosplay accessory seller on Amazon.

It was relief to find an accessory–er, accessories since there’s an extra leg bag–that looked exactly like it did in the drawing so that I didn’t have to go crazy looking for the materials that the crafts stores in my area might possibly not carry. When I showed my mom the leg bag(s) I needed, I thought she would be relieved, too. WRONG! She looked at the cost of the leg bags, which was $49.98 plus $7.04 shipping (because it’s coming from China, mind you), and said to me condescendingly, “Are you okay?! Only a rich person would want to wear your costume. I’m not gonna spend $50 [on that accessory]. You’re scaring me, Cristina.”

I looked up to my work-in-progress outfit hanging from my closet door and thought to myself, “Looks like the entire female Sora cosplay project is shot (unless I find an alternative to the leg bags I’ve been struggling to acquire for nearly a month).”

The next day or two at school had me convinced that maybe my own mother was right, that I am insane. Insane for taking on a cosplay project that I believed to be fun and fresh because I wanted to try something new. Insane for doing a cosplay that’s hurting my mother financially in the same manner as the unfortunate circumstances that have transpired this year–my grandfather’s death, my wisdom teeth surgery, and more recently, my brother’s non-lethal car accident.

I put in my best effort in everything I do, even if it emotionally kills me. Cosplay has become one of those things. I’m gonna try my hardest to complete my female Sora cosplay done by Halloween. I’ve always wanted to hold a Keyblade, anyway.

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Tight Deadlines and Cosplay Blues

Tight Deadlines and Cosplay Blues

School has made me feel like I lost total control of everything in my life, including sleep. My professor for Intro to Ethics has made the deadlines for assignments, quizzes, and discussion posts extremely tight, giving me the impression that I have little time to get the work from my other classes done, especially Geology since it’s one of those Science credits (my last one) that I CANNOT afford to fail. I’ve taken three online classes in the past two years I’ve been at Broward College–Intro to Short Story, Total Wellness, and Creative Writing–and the professors sitting in front of the computer for those classes never gave me a hard time with tight deadlines for every assignment they wrote. Here’s what the assignment schedule for Intro to Ethics looks like.

Tight Deadlines for Ethics

If you pay close attention, the written assignments and quizzes are due every week. Since there is a discussion post to make every two modules (there are 6 discussions out of the 12 units), those are due every two weeks if not more.

Meanwhile, I have to do pretty much the same thing for my Intro to Mass Communications, only the professor doesn’t grade the discussion posts until everybody in the class has made a contribution to the discussion board. Also, I have to write an essay about what TV shows I watch–which you guys already know by now–and how I access them based on the chapter in the Mass Communications textbook on television. It’s not necessarily an academic essay because there’s no research involved, but rather an opinion/analytical paper. That’s due October 7th, if not sooner.

For Journalism, I have to write an article about a cultural arts event I went to by October 12th. It happened last Wednesday, and I managed to stick around long enough to interview the person in charge of the event, the artists showcasing their work, and the people attending the event because it was held around the same time as the Journalism class, which my professor had to cancel that day due to some obligation.

Geology… I just took the first exam on Thursday, and I found out via D2L that I got a 95%, which was very impressive because I never achieved that feat in my first exams for College Algebra, Statistics, and Biology. What’s stupid is that professor gave a 10-question assignment on plate tectonics two days before the exam that was to be due by midnight Tuesday. I spent a couple days grueling over finding the answers on the websites he provided in the assignment description, and I submitted it Sunday night, so I hope to God I did well on that.

To put this situation simply–and please excuse my French–I am fucking overloaded.

❤❤❤❤

Since Halloween is around the corner, I decided to cosplay the female version of Sora from Kingdom Hearts II this year. I Googled “female sora cosplay” for examples of people who attempted this cosplay, and half of the models were exemplary while the other half were just abysmal (I know cosplay is supposed to be fun and not competitive, but still). Then I came across this drawing.

image

I thought it was perfect. The only problem now is finding the materials to match up to drawing. I already have the crown necklace, black faux-leather fingerless gloves, and black shorts, so that’s a start. Everything else is gonna be a mission.

Last week, Jack and I scavenged all over the mall for a black cropped hoodie only to find it in the one store we least expected: Justice, a tween girls’ store. I tried on one of the hoodies in a size 10/12, and it was a perfect fit. It was surprising to see that some of the clothes that are manufactured pre-teenage girls still fit me at age 21. Unfortunately, I have to wait for another time to buy the cropped hoodie. Hopefully they’re not sold out by the time Halloween comes around.

On Saturday, I went to Party City with my mom and bought yellow suspenders to modify them into straps for my upper thighs and hips. The real problem was finding the red fabric to sew onto my blue tank top, which comprised of 94 percent cotton and 6 percent spandex. I found that red fabric in the form of a catsuit, but my mom got beleaguered by the idea of me cutting even a sliver of the catsuit just for the sake of my cosplay, even though that was one of the many ways to go about it.

I want my female Sora cosplay to look adequate, but simultaneously I don’t want it to come out like crap. How am I supposed to use my imagination for this creative endeavor if there are people and things–my mother and the increasing demands of my college professors–restricting it? I’m just gonna have to do the best with what I have and the time I have left before Halloween–one month.

Pop Culture Mania in Miami Beach (Florida SuperCon)

Today, I went to SuperCon at the Miami Beach Convention Center with my brother with the intention of showing him that my anime/cartoon/gaming world is not as childish as he and my stepdad claim it to be. I was afraid that my brother wasn’t going to like at first, but guess what? He enjoyed it! He had just as grand of a time as I did looking around for anime and video game memorabilia and seeing some celebrities.

Speaking of celebrities, I wanted to meet J. Michael Tatum, the voice of Sebastian in Black Butler, and Roger Craig Smith, the 3rd-generation voice actor for Sonic the Hedgehog since Sonic Colors, but it was a disaster on the timing front. First, I was trying to find Tatum’s booth pretty much since I arrived at the convention, but he was nowhere to be found. All I wanted was to ask him when the English dub of Black Butler: Book of Circus will be released because I watched the English sub last summer and FUNimation hasn’t said anything about the English dub being in production. Not even once. Then, I look for Roger Craig Smith so that he could sign his autograph on a Sonic fan art poster I bought earlier only to find out that the line for his booth was full and that he wouldn’t return for another two hours or so. When I came back to Smith’s booth at 3:00pm (I heard he would come back at 3:30), a kid in front of me and my brother said that J. Michael Tatum was two booths down, which elated me. So, I went down there and squealed “I FOUND MY BASSY!”–I was cosplaying Grell Sutcliff, a grim reaper who has a giant crush on Sebastian, so of course I had to get into character. I said it to someone who I thought was another fan of Tatum’s work in Black Butler and other anime (including the recent Free!–Eternal Summer, which I would like to see), but turned out to be a convention employee who said, “The line is closed, but J. Michael Tatum will be back at 5:30.” The problem was, my brother wanted to leave by 4:30, which also turned out to be the ACTUAL time Roger Craig Smith would retreat to his booth. Being denied the opportunity to meet the two voice actors I know in the anime/gaming industry got me a little bit discouraged. However, every gray cloud has a silver lining. That silver lining came in the form of the incomparable Tom Kenny, the voice actor for SpongeBob SquarePants (and Ice King for all you Adventure Time fans out there). Despite that I was wearing a long red wig, Kenny said that I was beautiful in his SpongeBob voice, which flattered me. I asked him if he voiced the Mayor and Professor Utonium in The PowerPuff Girls, and he said while he did voice the Mayor and the narrator (“And so, once again, the day is saved thanks to the PowerPuff Girls!” Remember that line?), Professor Utonium was voiced by Tom Kane. No wonder I confused Kane for Kenny–their last names sound almost the same! Although I got no picture taken with him nor his autograph, meeting the legendary Tom Kenny satisfied me just enough. I was also surprised to discover that Kenny also voiced Spyro the Dragon in the following Spyro games: Ripto’s Rage, Year of the Dragon, and Enter the Dragonfly. I played the second game mentioned when I was 8.

The video game arcade room was very crowded. I came in hearing “For True Story” from Sonic Adventure 2, thinking somebody might be playing the game, but it was actually coming from a cover band…or something else…I couldn’t tell exactly. The gaming stations were so full, even the PS4 and Xbox One consoles that were available had their controllers missing and no games running at all. The only game I was able to play, however, was kinda like Dance Dance Revolution but had a different name. I danced to 3OH3’s “Don’t Trust Me” missing some steps on the dance pad, which had a center button in the shape of a circle. As much as I love Dance Dance Revolution–and other games like it–my red coat hindering my dance moves discouraged me from dancing to another song.

Now, let’s talk about some of the memorabilia I bought, shall we? Although everything from Pokémon to Kingdom Hearts to even Sword Art Online overstimulated my senses, I only got the cheap stuff. The Sonic fan art poster I bought for the Roger Craig Smith autograph that I never received cost me $10. Then I bought two clip-on bottle cap hair bows with Sonic and a Poké Ball on them for $7 a pop–I’m starting to regret that purchase a little bit. Finally, I got an Olaf decal for my mom and a Sonic decal for when I get my own car for $5 a pop.

As for my Grell cosplay, a bunch of people were so in awe of my modeling in it they came up to me and asked for pictures, which I gladly agreed to.

Despite some major setbacks, it was a lovely day for a pop culture convention like SuperCon. All I need to do now is get red wig fixed–it’s frizzy and knotty.