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.

Kingdom Hearts III at E3 2015

Kingdom Hearts III at E3 2015

At the E3 2013 conference, Square Enix and Disney Interactive announced the development of the long-awaited title Kingdom Hearts III in the form of a teaser trailer, which showed a compilation of CGI cutscenes from the previous Kingdom Hearts games in the beginning and then faded to Sora grabbing a Keyblade different from his own and fighting a horde of Heartless in Twilight Town. The graphics have drastically improved since Dream Drop Distance, thanks to a new animation program called the Kingdom Shader. My Alaskan cruise had just stopped in Ketchikan when I saw the trailer on YouTube, and I was completely surprised that Square Enix actually got around to producing Kingdom Hearts III at all.

Now, two years later, my cousin from my father’s side of the family was there to witness the new trailer for Kingdom Hearts III at Square Enix’s conference. I called him and asked if they posted a release date at the end of the trailer, and he said that it still reads “Now in Development.” I groaned. Two years after the initial announcement, I thought Square Enix would be towards the finish line in cooking up Kingdom Hearts III, releasing it to the gaming market by next year the latest, but some people (my cousin included) believe that it will be done later than that.

The recent trailer for Kingdom Hearts III–dubbed in English, and showed teenaged Eraqus and Xehanort playing chess–revealed a few things. First, Sora’s new outfit, which is a combination of his KH2 outfit and the one in Dream Drop Distance sans the “X” sigil. Tetsuya Nomura, the creator of the Kingdom Hearts series, was pressured by his staff to design that outfit for Sora to accommodate for his Flowmotion moves. I’m not exactly sure–nor is anyone else entirely sure–if Sora is gonna wear that outfit the entire time, or if he’s gonna magically change from his KH2 outfit to his new one when the need requires just like his Form outfits. Second, some of the new Disney film worlds that Sora, Donald Duck, and Goofy are going to travel to, and the only one added to the World Map so far is the world based on 2010’s Tangled. And finally, the Keyblade’s transformations. It can turn into dual bazooka-lasers at will, and change into some Disneyland rides, including the Mad Tea Party teacups and the Thunder Mountain train. Not to mention, a pegasus drawing a chariot. Everyone was hyped to see all of that.

The new teaser trailer for Kingdom Hearts III also made me ponder about some challenges that Square Enix and Disney Interactive will face. The first of these is who will voice Ansem the Wise (if he’ll appear in the game at all) and Master Xehanort now that Christopher Lee and Leonard Nimoy, respectively, have recently passed away. Actually, Lee was replaced by Corey Burton in Re:Chain of Memories, Birth by Sleep, and Dream Drop Distance, so that part of the problem solved itself. The real problem is who will take Nimoy’s place as the voice behind Master Xehanort. When Nimoy died earlier this year, I didn’t know that he voiced the main antagonist in Birth by Sleep and Dream Drop Distance, but I do know that his voice-acting in the games was incomparably legendary. I do hope they find someone whose voice is equal to that of the late Nimoy. Honestly, I wish any Star Trek fan would’ve told me that Nimoy voiced Xehanort before I read his filmography on Wikipedia. Another challenge is asking Utada Hikaru if she will write a new opening theme song for Kingdom Hearts III. I understand that in most anime a new opening theme by a different artist will play at some point, but I think Square Enix is crazy if they’re thinking about replacing Utada with someone else as the main singer of the series. I know Utada is still on hiatus from music and has gone through some trials and tribulations, including the tragic death of her mother, Keiko Fuji, and her marriage to Francesco Calliano, but had she not sang for the Kingdom Hearts series I wouldn’t be listening to her music today.

As for the release date…well, I just hope that Kingdom Hearts III comes out next spring or next summer. If Square Enix decides to release it by the time I earn my Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications, I will be seriously pissed. After all, Nomura stepped down from Final Fantasy XV so he could finish producing Kingdom Hearts III as quickly as humanly possible.