Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Anime Expo Day -1

Well tomorrow I'll pick up my badge and event tickets for Anime Expo, and I guess I should remember why I started this blog in the first place...to compile a cosplay scavenger hunt list....

Well I'm packed for AX, and my costumes are ready to go, so I guess I have a little time to come up with a top 50 hit list for cosplay:

*Watched at least one episode

School Uniforms:
Kuniko Hojo (Shangri-La)*
Ohashi High School (Toradora!)*
North High School (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya)*
East High School (High School Musical...not everyone does anime/manga cosplay at Anime Expo)*
Ryouu High School (Lucky Star)*
Hikarizaka High School (Clannad)*
Jindai High School (Full Metal Panic!)*
Seishun Academy (Prince of Tennis)
Azumanga Daioh*
Seiso Academy (La Corda D'Oro)*
Ouran High School (Host Club)
Youkai Academy (Rosario + Vampire)*
Tohru Honda (Fruits Basket)*
Sakura High School (K-On!)*
Cross Academy (Vampire Knight)
Ashford Academy (Code Geass)

Working World:
Animate store employee (Lucky Star)*
Gamers store employee (pink haired Hinata Miyakawa, Lucky Star)*
Anna Miller's waitress (examples can be found in Lucky Star and Full Metal Panic: Fumoffu)*
Fast food restaurant (Tsumugi Kotobuki, K-On!)*
Battle waitress (Mikuru Asahina, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya)*
Bunny girl (found in way too many anime series)*
Female gondolier (Aria)*

Gundam (because it's the 30th anniversary):
Ray Amuro
Bright Noa
Char Aznable
Sayla Mass
Athrun Zala
Stella Loussier
Lacus Clyne

Cowboy Bebop (because last year was the 10th anniversary)*:
Spike Spiegel (Keanu, don't screw this up)
Jet Black
Faye Valentine

Shinichi Watanabe (because he's funny):
Nabeshin (Excel Saga, Nerima Daikon Brothers, Puni Puni Poemy)***
Inspector Widgett (Yukika Karakuri, Nerima Daikon Brothers)*
Mako/Hideki/Ichiro (Nerima Daikon Brothers)*
Ilpalazzo (Excel Saga)*
Excel (Excel Saga)*
Hyatt (Excel Saga)*
Sunako Nakahara (The Wallflower)
Kyohei Takano (The Wallflower)

Hayao Miyazaki (because he'll be in California this month):
Porco Rosso*
Kiki (Kiki's Delivery Service)*
Yubaba (Spirited Away)*
San (Princess Mononoke)*

And characters you'll see tons of:
L (Death Note)
Ichigo Kurosaki (Bleach)
Sora (Kingdom Hearts)
Akatsuki warrior (Naruto)
Monkey D. Luffy (One Piece)
Yoko Littner (Gurren Lagann)
Kamina (Gurren Lagann)

And because I see it mentioned a lot, and there was a section dedicated to it in the latest cosplay book I bought, D. Gray Man:
Yuu Kanda
Lenalee Lee
Allen Walker

I think that's 50 more or less...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

This Is Coming Out of My Travel Savings Fund...

So today, I wanted to get the gloves and choker (that is worn over the turtleneck to give the illusion that the yellow squares are part of the shirt I don't want to destroy) for my Meito costume. I got the gloves done in the superhero wannabe style as per my vision for Meito using fingerless gloves, arm warmers, and pieces of yellow fabric and iron-on adhesive:

I tried making a choker using an inch-wide strip of black fabric I would cut from a fabric quarter I picked up yesterday, I realized that I can't cut straight, so I went to the store to get some black nylon ribbon that I hope works. I'll find out hopefully later this week as I'm officially done doing cosplay related work for the weekend since I went on some impulse buys after having dinner at a sushi place nearby...

In the shopping center where the sushi place is located, there is a Kinokuniya bookstore. Following a lead from one of the blogs I follow, I stepped in looking for Kanon: Visual Memories art book. When entering a store for the first time, I like to browse around first before asking questions. In hindsight, considering my ability to read Japanese is very limited, I probably should've asked first before spending way too long in the store. But maybe it was good to browse first as I was able to find a copy of volume 3 of the Cosplay Girls series, We Love Cosplay Girls.

The book comes in a box. Considering that the volumes seem to keep shrinking in cover size (as shown in the pic with the previous two volumes), I hope volume 4 is not much smaller. What I do like in this third volume so far is excerpts (translated in English) from what appears to be a Japanese cosplayer's blog. I'll have to thumb through it some more to evaluate the volume fully, but I like getting these books as they make useful references for identifying characters cosplayers (or "layers" according to volume 2) are trying to emulate.

After checking the art book section, I finally asked the cashier as I was paying for We Love Cosplay Girls if they had Kanon: Visual Memories. After checking the back room, they found it, yay!

The bonus CD contains 86 (yes eighty-six, hachijuuroku, ochenta y seis) versions of Ayu's "uguu".

Now I gotta find the Air and Clannad art books...

Saturday, June 20, 2009

10 or So Days Before AX 2009...

For Anime Expo 2009, I commissioned by cousin to make a costume for me as she mentioned she could make a costume for much cheaper than what a typical commission would cost (only considering materials and not labor). Anyway, with a little over a week before AX, I checked on her progress. There's still some work to be done on my end (gloves, a fake turtleneck collar as I want to be able to use the turtleneck outside of cosplay)...

While I checked on the progess on the main element of the costume, we went to lunch at Royal/T in Culver City, a maid cafe/store/art space. Because it was also an art gallery, I refrained from taking many pictures even though I was told it was okay as long as it wasn't for commercial purposes (with my limited anime/manga/video game/J-pop/J-rock knowledge, I would have a hard time making enough to buy a cup of coffee, but I hope my knowledge increases quickly over time).

Anyway, I started with an iced Kyoto Sunset tea with peach syrup:

(notice the maid in the background?????)

For lunch we both had curry and rice. My cousin had chicken curry while I had beef curry:

Not too spicy, not too sweet, not too thick, not too thin, just right curry.

For dessert, we had cheescake souffle with strawberries in a zinfandel sauce, fluffy and sweet:

I usually don't eat the strawberries in a cheesecake, but the sauce really made them very enjoyable.

Well there's work left to be done on my costume, but at least I could help by finishing off the hat:

My vision for Meito is that he probably made the hat (okay, so according to the Animate legend, the Anime Tenchou kanji was written on the hat by his predecessor who was attacked by a rival anime store) gloves, and jacket because he wanted to be a superhero (see Anime Tenchou vol. 1 for details of his rise to glory). So while I can try to even out the yellow trim on the hat, I think I'll keep it...it lends itself to the low-budget superhero vision I have...wait till you see the gloves...

So anyway, if you've never been to Akihabara to visit a real maid cafe (I went to Cafe Mai:lish when I went to Japan), Royal/T is a great place to get a glimpse inside a working maid cafe with a SoCal personality...

Friday, June 19, 2009

Cosplay Flair...(aka really bored tonight)

I'm wondering what buttons to put on my Meito Anizawa costume for Anime Expo....ideas??? These are buttons and pins I've picked up at previous anime events, ordered online, or, in the case of the Ask Me button, come from a Winter CES I worked at when I was in high school during winter break...I really like the pins listing the stations on the Yamanote Line in Tokyo that I picked up when I went to Japan years ago, but I'm not sure if anyone would understand them...

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Cosplay Scavenger Hunt Part 7: Konata Is My Wife....(My Primary Hit List for AX09)


Considering I tend to watch slice-of-life shojo anime series more, I should first compile a list of female characters that otaku would marry. In addition to the above article, I've also based this list on Anime Expo forums, my own cosplay photography reference books (I assume that multiple cosplayers dressed as the same character in the book indicate popularity of the character), and what I've watched...Obviously, marriage is just a hypothetical situation, and many of the characters I've observed have not shown enough character development in their respective series to really determine compatibility with a character...there's a reason why you date and get to know people in the real world before you ever really consider marriage. Also this list refers to cosplayable characters...Makoto from The Girl Who Leapt Through Time was one of my favorite characters, but a white polo shirt and blue pleated skirt can be any high school student uniform, as was the case when I was in high school...for all the young people still in high school...college is better...

*Seen at least one episode

Mio Akiyama (K-On!)*
Taiga Aisaka (Toradora)*
Azusa Nakano (K-On!)*
Yuki Nagato (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya)*
Haruhi Suzumiya (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya)*
Tsuruya-san (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya)*
Rukia Kuchiki (Bleach)
Kyou Fujibayashi (Clannad)*
Kotomi Ichinose (Clannad)*
Tomoyo Sakagami (Clannad)*
Yukine Miyazawa (Clannad)*
Mitsui (Clannad)*
Ayu Tsukimiya (Kanon)*
Mai Kawasumi (Kanon)*
Sayuri Kurata (Kanon)*
Mishio Amano (Kanon)*
Shiori Misaka (Kanon)*
Kaori Misaka (Kanon)*
Nayuki Minase (Kanon)*
Kano Kirishima (Air)*
Moka Akashiya (Rosario + Vampire)*
Mizore Shirayuki (Rosario + Vampire)*
Kurumo Kuruno (Rosario + Vampire)*
Ruby (Rosario + Vampire)*
Shizuka Nekonome (Rosario + Vampire)*
Shirara Shirayuki (Rosario + Vampire Capu2)*
Ageha Kuruno (Rosario + Vampire Capu2)*
Nana Osaki (NANA)
Rei Ayanami (Neon Genesis Evangelion)*/(once I realized how pitiful Shinji was in Evangelion 1.0 You Are Not Alone...I stopped watching...)
Belldandy (Ah! My Goddess)*
Urd (Ah! My Goddess)*
Peorth (Ah! My Goddess)*
Lind (Ah! My Goddess)*
Sayoko Mishima (Ah! My Goddess)*
Megumi Morisato (Ah! My Goddess)*
Satoko Yamano (Ah! My Goddess)*
Kagura (Gintama)
Hino Kahoko (La Corda d'Oro)
Kasumi (Dead or Alive...sad if you only like her from DoA Extreme Beach Volleyball)
Candy Cane (Rumble Roses)
Shiho (To Heart)*
Ai-Chan (Yatterman)
Toru Honda (Fruits Basket)
Chii (Chobits)
Yoko Ritona (Gurren Lagann)
Minamo Kurosawa (Azumanga Daioh)*
Sakaki-san (Azumanga Daioh)*
Tomo Takino (Azumanga Daioh)*
Koyomi Mizuhara (Azumanga Daioh)*
Yukari Tanizaki (Azumanga Daioh)*
Kagura (Azumanga Daioh)*
Kuniko Hojo (Shangri-La)*
Sakura Haruno (Naruto)
Hinata Hiyuuga (Naruto)
Kate Ashley (Red Garden)
Kaname Chidori (Full Metal Panic)*
Teletha Testarossa (Full Metal Panic)*
Melissa Mao (if she gave up smoking...Full Metal Panic)*
Ren Mikihara (Full Metal Panic, Fumoffu)*
Ren Tsuruga (Skip Beat!)*
Xia Yu Lan (Full Metal Panic: The Second Raid)*
Mahoro Ando (Mahoromatic)*
Kiri Komori (Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei)
Sheryl Nome (Macross Frontier)
Nodoka Miyazaki (Negima)
Ryoko (Tenchi Muyo!)
Misa Amane (Death Note)
Miku Hatsune (Vocaloid)
Fujiko Mine (Lupin the 3rd)
Konata Izumi (Lucky Star)*
Kagami Hiiragi (Lucky Star)*
Nanako Kuroi (Lucky Star)*
Yui Kobayakawa (Narumi) (Lucky Star)*
Misao Kusakabe (Lucky Star)*
Akira Kogami (Lucky Star...suggested in forums)
Koalla Su (Love Hina...someone in the forums suggested this)*
Matoko Aoyama (Love Hina)*
Kitsune Konno (Love Hina)*
Naru Narusegawa (Love Hina)*
Mutsume Otohime (Love Hina)*

After spending some time at Disneyland the other day, I have learned that teenage girls rarely act like any of the characters listed above...I'm also pretty sure for many otaku, you need a combination of traits from the above characters in order to have compatibility...

Considering the number of characters on the brides list, I feel I'm not up to the task of setting up a grooms list (I still have Anime Expo 2009 to prepare for...setting up a special master personal photo scavenger hunt list for the biggest anime convention in the U.S....take that Otakon!)...Please leave your suggestions in the comments, and I'll post that as Part 8.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Ayu, Kotomi, Misuzu, Kano, Nagisa, Shiori, Mai, or Sayuri?

I now understand what being moe'd to death (Soujiro Izumi, Lucky Star) may be like...I still can't choose my favorite Key character yet (though Clannad currently has most of my favorites...).