Thursday, January 29, 2009

I Guess Borders Is My New Place For Impulse Buys...

I went to Borders today to buy a Thomas Guide for L.A./O.C. (I'll get a GPS when I get a new car...), and I ended up compelled to buy two cosplay/Japanese fashion books:

Japanese Schoolgirl Inferno: Tokyo Teen Fashion Subculture Handbook by Macias and Evers-It even includes a quiz as to what kind of Gal you are. According to the flowchart, I'm a bad gal. I should watch the movie Kamikaze Girls for reference...

Cosplay Girls 2: Japan's Live Animation Heroines by Cocoro Books-I got interested in cosplay photography because of volume 1. Volume 2 trades larger picture size for fewer pics. I do like how they mention the day jobs of some of these layers (according to the book, cosplayers prefer to call themselves "layers" now, though I doubt that term will catch on in the U.S...I'm still trying to make cameko as common a word in the U.S. anime con scene as yuri).

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Cosplay Scavenger Hunt List Part 2: Organizations first attempt

Part One was easy as all I thought about were school uniforms since the bulk of anime I watch takes place in schools...

Okay there are a lot of organizations out there, but here's a start (*I've actually seen at least one episode/played game):

Organization XIII (Kingdom Hearts game series)
Mithril (Full Metal Panic Series)*
Animate Store (Lucky Star)*
Marciano's 12 Sisters (Coyote Ragtime Show)*
Straw Hat Pirates (One Piece)*
Team 7 (Naruto)
Soul Reapers (Bleach)
Vesper (Mahoromatic)*
Chupacabra Research Society (Negima!?)*
Inuyasha's Group (Inuyasha)*
Sesshomaru's Group (Inuyasha)*
Naraku's Group (Inuyasha)*
Band of Seven (Inuyasha)*
Caduceus (Trauma Center game series)*
FOXHOUND (Metal Gear Solid game series)
Special Assault Team (Elfen Lied...okay maybe they're too generic to tie to a specific series)*
Devil Hunters (Devil Hunter Yohko)*
Social Welfare Agency (Gunsinger Girl...2/1/09)*
Metal Age (Shangri-La 5/27/09)*
Atlas (Shangri-La 5/27/09)*
Ishida Finance Group (Shangri-La 5/27/09)*

I guess I'll also have to assemble a list for old school games if I wanna get Sonic, Mario, and Link on this list.

I've Cosplayed at Cons, Now What!?!?!?!?!

I came across this film project...Warning, not intended for viewers under 17 for language, violence, and sexual content. If you're a fan of the Super Smash Bros. franchise, this is for you:

Field Test of New Gear-Cloudy Day/Indoors

Just for balance, here's some pics taken indoors in my apartment and at the Disneyland Resort to test out image quality for pics taken in daylight. Really, if a camera can't take a good daylight picture these days, it shouldn't be sold in stores.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Field Test of New Gear-Night

Well I finally got a new point-and-shoot camera to replace the HP R817. My first test was to see how easy it would be for me to take a picture in low light, so I tested the Canon PowerShot A590 at Disneyland at night. Before the HP, I used a Sony Cybershot DSC-P72 (which I still will keep as a backup on my adventures), so I want to get used to the user interface of the Canon before I start using it at my next major event (which is not anime/cosplay related, but will require the ability to take action shots). Here are samples from the Canon. P.S. It's always a special treat when local band Suburban Legends performs at Tomorrowland Terrace.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Cosplay Scavenger Hunt List Part 1: Anime School Uniforms

Since my first attempt at a list resulted in over 300 characters, I should start with something simple. Scavenger hunt list 1: School Uniforms (*series I've watched at least one episode of)

Mahora Academy (Negima series)*
Jindai High School (Full Metal Panic series)*
North High School (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya)*
Ryoou High School (Lucky Star)*
Otowanamori Nishi High School (Boys Be...)*
Youkai Academy (Rosario + Vampire series)*
Momotsuki Academy (Pani Poni Dash)*
Hikarisaka High School (Clannad)*
Miyagami Academy (Best Student Council)*
Aoi Academy (Maburaho)*
Fuka Academy (My HiME)
Ouran High School (Ouran High School Host Club)
I-Gumi (Ninja Nonsense)-Shinobu's school*
Ro-Gumi (Ninja Nonsense)-Izumi's school*
Karakura High School (Bleach)
Okitsu High School (Doki Doki School Hours)*
Saionji Girls' Academy (To Heart)-school Seria Kurusugawa's sister attends*
Cromartie High School (Chromartie High School)
Yamasaki Girls' Academy-Fuji (Girl's High)
Cross Academy (Vampire could I forget about this one 1/15/09)
Shohoku High School (Slam Dunk...any uniform, even basketball team uniform, counts...1/26/09)
Seishun Academy (Prince of Tennis 1/26/09)
Ashford Academy (Code Geass series 1/31/09)
Seiso Academy (La Corda D'Oro 2/4/09)
Sakura High School (K-On! 4/1/09)

Hopefully someone knows the name of the schools in the following series:
To Heart-school where the main characters attend*
Azumanga Daioh*
Cardcaptor Sakura*
Neon Genesis Evangelion*
Fruits Basket*
School Rumble

Now this should be a much easier-to-manage scavenger hunt list...Though it took me hours to figure out some of the school names...

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Anime L.A. Day Three

Well I was very flexible for the final day in terms of what I wanted to do. So flexible I arrived pretty late in the afternoon. I originally wanted to check out the crossplay panel hoping to get some sociologist's insight into the topic of transvesteism as it reminded me of my college days taking a gender studies course, and I wanted to see if the Shirayuki cosplayer from the night before was in a different outfit today. I didn't find that particular cosplayer (and she was wearing the same costume today), and it appeared that this was more of a costuming panel, so I left before it started. Instead of the crossplay panel, I decided to make a basket out of a milk carton. Since I figured out the cutting and folding pattern, I'm gonna work on a larger basket made of poster board sometime.

I spent most of the afternoon checking out the pool deck seeing if there were other interesting cosplayers and running into my other con buddies. After some searching, we finally found the martial arts demo, which I hoped would've focused on the Japanese martial arts of aikido and karate, but it focused on Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (which I consider a Japanese martial art thanks to the importation of jiu jitsu by the Gracie family), Muy Thai, and wrestling. It was still fun to watch professional MMA fighter Joe Camacho attacking Pedobear though (okay it was just a pose, but still fun to watch).

After that, I split apart from my con buddies to check out artists' alley the dealers' room to try to find some last-day deals. I broke my resolution to not spend too much money at cons, but I did get the Ninja Nonsense DVD box set with Shinobu headband and Onsakamaru squeeze toy and a Tsukasa Hiiragi (Lucky Star) plushy. I also saw a bunch of cosplayers playing red light/green light and dancing to the Lucky Star and Haruhi theme songs...

Well that's my recap of my experience at the first con of 2009. If I'm lucky, my next con could be the MCM (Movies, Comics, Media) Expo in London in May. That would be a lot cooler event for a California based otaku than FanimeCon...

If I took your pic and I didn't post it, please let me know...

Anime L.A. Day Two (part 2)

Okay now that I finally got some rest, I can finally recap my Day Two of ALA:

Most of my time was spent either waiting or volunteering (with a brief dinner break at Subway)....

Scavenger Hunt: kidnapping cosplayers to win prizes (pics of cosplayers not allowed)
Dealers Hall: where I saw the most cosplayers
Masquerade: waiting two hours to see the best hand made stuff. Killed time waiting by first reading Ueshiba's The Art of Peace and then giving life advice to two high school students sitting behind me (you think being a high school student is fun...wait till you're a college undergrad...the real world nor grad school can match the fun you have as an undergrad...). Favorite was granny Zelda (I only use point-and-shoot cameras, so I couldn't get a decent pic if I could, but you can probably find video of the event soon...)

That's what I remember as I called it an early night (10pm for a Saturday night)...

Anime L.A. Day Two (part 1)

I really wanted to get these pics up before I went to bed. I'll have more of a story in part 2. I cosplayed as Tomoya Okazaki in a summer uniform from Clannad (red tie)...Enjoy the few pics I had time to take (I was bored, so I did some more volunteering after volunteering for the scavenger hunt.)

Friday, January 2, 2009

Anime L.A. Day One

Well I just got back from a two week holiday vacation out of town before arriving at ALA, so I knew I had to make is an early night so I can unpack and ready my cosplay for tomorrow (I pseudo-cosplayed today by wearing a bath yukata, which would look like a white bathrobe with a blue chain pattern on can see it on my MySpace I believe).

Anyway, it's good I went tonight because there were two sessions on photography at cons. Besides the obvious tips about asking permission, here are some new things I learned:

-Watermarks protect copyright on pics you take.
-Most cosplayers don't know how to pose, so suggest one if you prefer.
-Take pics at eye level or slightly below eye level.
-You won't make (much) money taking cosplay pics.
-Take lots of pictures to figure out your style.
-Use optical image stabilization.

I'm still half tired from the driving across state lines to remember everything I heard at those sessions....

New anime watched in the anime viewing room:
Sol Bianca OVA
Here Is Greenwood

No pics taken because I only came to get familiar with the area and meet up with one of my friends...and the batteries died in my camera...