Anime North 2016 Pre-con Survey

Hey my freaky darlings! With Anime North 2016 only 6 days away (I am counting Friday as a day) it is time to create the annual Anime North Pre-Con Survey!

I ended up combining a few questions due to their similar topics.

What’s your name?

Katrina, this is also the name I place on my badge along with my last name. We pre-registered like usual and also decided to pay the wee fee to get them mailed out and after a mistake on Anime North’s part, ended up with our two badges but a few days a part. Long story short it will be nice to be able to write my badge in something other than the Anime North markers of messy doom.

What do you like to be called?

I usually go by Katrina but I will respond to Kat, Kitty, Technikitty, ‘hey you’ or I will respond to the names of whoever I am cosplaying.

 Where are you staying?

This will be my sixth year staying at the International by Hilton Hotel. Extra note, I absolutely LOVE the new owners of the hotel they are a thousand times more organized than those who ran the Doubletree and haven’t lost our reservation once!

 What day are you getting there?

It is my family tradition to leave home around 12:30 on Friday hit up a Timmies to get travel nom (sadly my potential noms for this year have been greatly diminished due me developing a Milk sensitivity), this year I am thinking a Strawberry Shortcake donut and a drink of sorts (I might pre-purchase a soy drink to bring with me).

Then we go barrelling down the 401 blaring the Pokemon Theme (Original and Johto) as well as ‘Everything is Awesome’, various Disney songs, and the ending song from ‘Wreck-it-Ralph’.

Usually we get caught in traffic but we are cheery folk who tend to take life from a half-full standpoint and enjoy the time we get to spend with each other chatting pre-con.

How long are you staying?

We tend to stay from around 1:30 on Friday to about 2 PM on Sunday. Usually by Sunday we are tired and ready for a non-hotel shower and a rest. Plus by Sunday we have done all of our shopping

Fun fact a lot of people say that the best deals are on Sunday but I tend to get deals all weekend by being sweet and having a large chest (I once got a Living Dead Doll originally set at $50 for $30 just because the vendor liked my smile).

Will you be cosplaying? What days? As whom?

To be honest I very rarely stick with a set plan for what day I wear my cosplays. For me my plans are usually based on the temperature of the day as well as when certain photoshoots are being held. This year I am not doing Cosplay Chess due to Anime North not organizing it in a timely enough manner so my only main event will be the Pokemon Photoshoot on both Friday and Saturday. I may see if my sister wants to go to the Smash Brothers shoot but we’ll see.Ribbet collage

This year I will likely be wearing my 50’s Jigglypuff Gijinka on Friday because I need to keep it ironed and putting the dress in my suitcase would kill it!

Saturday Morning I am leaning towards wearing my Star Wars Zabrak OC and then I will change just after lunch back to Jigglypuff for the Pokemon Photoshoot I am hosting.

Both nights I will likely change into Super Sonico as it is really more of a cooler temperature cosplay.

Sunday I have really not decided on yet so I will just go with whatever I feel like. Maybe I will wear a variant Sonico as I am bringing another dress I could wear for her.

Who will you hang out with at the con?

I always go to conventions with my sister though we may end up running into one (or two) of my sister’s friends or even my girl Hatter.

Fun fact, I refer to all of my friends as Batman villains to my sister to help her keep track of who I am talking about. Hatter is my fellow nerd friend who loves hats and ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and I know she is going to AN this year so I may run into her at some point.

Extra fun fact my code name is Scarecrow.

Are you attending any panels?

Anime North has some pretty interesting Panels organized for this year. You have everything from the classic ‘let’s talk about our favorite series’ to neat new ideas such as ‘Anime vs. Science’. Last year a lot of people were very annoyed due to a large number of non-anime panels but this year their whining was ignored and we got panels for series like ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘Orange is the New Black’. They also created a lot of lifestyle based panels such as ‘Otaku Health Goals’ and ‘Japan on a Budget’, so there really should be something for everyone this year.

So far we are leaning towards checking out ‘Unpopular Opinions’ at 11PM in the Plaza Ballroom because frankly I LOVE drama and ‘Most Embarrassing Behaviour: Lolita Pose Off’ at 9PM on Saturday.

Staying in the International is pretty great for attending panels as you can just grab the elevator downstairs, catch your panel, and schlub back to your room. The only ones the International does not host are the gaming ones and the Yaoi ones (but we all know how much I LOVE the Yaoi fandom).

Are you attending/participating in any public performances? (i.e Masquerade)?

As I stated, my sister and I have participated in Cosplay Chess on and off since 2009 but this year we will not be participating as. For those of you who have no idea

Will you be attending any raves / Will you be partying at the con / Do you drink at cons?

I chose to put these three questions together as I feel that they are all very similar in topic: Con partying!

Anime North raves are pretty infamous for being quite tame in comparison to a lot of other conventions and many even say that that was the reason Atomic Lollipop, aka the party con, was created. However, for me Raves are still a place of drunken annoyingness and a draw for the younger more immature crowd of AN. So that is a big N-O good buddy.

Life is just a big party for someone who lives life with a positive attitude but I will not be participating in any ‘classic’ style partying – though one year I did get invited to a party by a hyper Jiraiya who barged into my unlocked hotel room my very first year at AN and was scared off my con mates Mom who was quick to point out that we were underage before he was dragged off by his girlfriend who was cosplaying Tsunade. True story.

As for drinking … I don’t drink so that is a big no. I can’t even be a milkaholic this year due to my new milk sensitivity.

Can I talk to you/ Are you nice?

No you may not talk to me you dirty peasants! Can’t you see I am a big mean tsundere! In all seriousness of course you can, my sister and I are both very social people who love chatting with other nerdlings about various topics. Plus in all seriousness I am more of the dojikko or deredere type … the guys in my Anime Club referred to me as their ‘moe girl’.

As for ‘am I nice’ I have been told that I am quite a lovely person

How can I find you?

You won’t. I will find YOU! In all seriousness though there really is no way to actually find me at a con. I don’t constantly tweet or facebook my position since I do have a few stalkers I would prefer to avoid.

Can I buy you drinks/ Can I give you stuff/ Can I snuggle with you?

To be brutally honest I would prefer if you kept your money for yourself! But if you have cosplayer or blog cards you would like to give me I would be happy to take one!

As for hugs as long as you ask I am all for a hug for the most part but if you have bodypaint on I will likely refuse to protect my cosplays. No offense meant of course. The same goes for photos, as long as you ask I will be happy to pose either with or for you.

What/where will you be eating /Can I come with you for food/fun/etc?

Hmm well breakfast we always bring with us, though sometimes we do grab something from Starbucks. My sister and I always save a good chunk of money for AN so that we can not only buy stuff but food as well so we do tend to eat out most of the weekend.

As for ‘can you join us’ as long as my sister is okay with it that should be just fine. As little girls we were both excluded a lot from things or ended up as ‘third wheels’ to groups so we do tend to be very careful to ensure that when we add a third person that neither of us get left out of the conversation.

What are you looking to buy?Ribbet collage3

To be honest I really don’t have much of a set wish list for this year. Usually I do but this year I only have two things that I absolutely want to get and both are ironically of the same character! I want to pick up the new Joker Nendoroid and an Arkham-verse Joker funko. Other than that I know I want to visit my favorite store ‘The Littlest Gift Boutique’ and see what I can see there (the cat loafs are pretty damn cute).

What’s your goal(s) for the con this year?

Have fun of course! Maybe meet some new people but otherwise I just want to have a good time with my sister.

Are you ready for Anime North?

I would say that I am 70% ready for Anime North. I still need to finish my Jigglypuff ears, brush my Sonico wig out and get my dress shortened. But as I am a jobless loser at this point I have time to do these things so I am not stressed.

I am however stressed about my Jigglypuff wig as it ISN’T IN YET! I had purchased one wig online but when it arrived it was too short for me (aka my hair shows) so I had to order a new one and it was set to arrive the 24th at the latest. Yay for cutting it close.

Creation of a Gijinka

For quite a while now I have been wanting to make a gijinka of Totoro from My Neighbor Totoro, one of my favorite childhood movies.

There are a few very famous cosplays already done of Totoro but because it will be a gijinka, you can really do whatever you want but first I went about planning the cosplay.

To start I searched already completed Totoro gijinkas to see what kinds of costumes others have already designed, to (a) avoid copying a pre-made one and (b) to see what elements are universally added.

Ribbet collage

Dustbunny / D_Zaretskaya / BellaHime/ sparklingbird

 

The main things I ended up discovering based on my research where:
1. Dark grey dress with white chest
2. Full silhouette – in both short and long dresses
3. Gray wig
4. Soot sprite underskirt

The first two make perfect sense since Totoro is a fluffy grey creature, which easily incorporates into a grey full-silhouette dress paired with a grey wig. The only part I really questioned was the soot sprite underskirt. Pretty much every Totoro gijinka I found had done the same idea and though it is cute as hell I decided that I wanted to try a different idea.

Based on the fact that Totoro is described as a ‘forest god’ I wanted to go with a very elegant look and for some unknown reason – known to no one except the cosplay gods – I started thinking about Elsa’s train in Frozen. Fun fact, I am not a fan of that movie but I AM a fan of Elsa’s dress, the train in particular. So I decided to add a long see-through black train to the dress with a trim of soot-sprites along the edge.

From these ideas I drew up a chibi concept sketch. Why a chibi you may ask – because I can’t draw anything else. In the sketch I incorporated the shape I found myself liking in wedding dresses into the design as well as my preferred wig style and the Elsa-inspired train. Resulting in this chibi –

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So as you can see from this I decided to go with a slightly smaller ballgown, so closer to an A-Line style, with cap sleeves and a sweetheart neckline.

The train itself is a whole separate piece attached to a choker and the wrists. The soot sprites run along the trim of the train. I decided to go with this sort of train so that I can remove it if it gets too warm or tedious to wear at my con.

As I am not a great sewer I have chosen to outsource my design to a commissioner. So next time on the The Life and Times of a Canadian Nerd, I will be taking a look at how to choose a commissioner!

Though first, I am going to go explore my fashionable side and talk about my top 5 favorite dresses for the holidays!

 

Anime North 2015 Pre-Convention Photo

Well Anime North is officially only like 27 days away and you know what that means – it is time for the Pre-Anime North survey!

The survey is based on a bunch of random com surveys I found throughout Tumblr.

Name: Katrina ‘no I am not sharing my last name here’
Age:
23, College Student
Gender:
Female
Badge Name:
The same as my regular name since Anime North has a ‘real name’ policy

Where are you staying: I think the DoubleTree has changed its name to the International Plaza. It is the second priciest hotel for AN but it is the most convenient so my sister and I always try and get in there.
How are you getting to the convention:
My mother drives my sister and I to AN and pick us up on Sunday. She Ribbet collageloves seeing all of the costumes as we arrive at the hotel.
Which days?
I always arrive on Friday usually just after 2PM and stay till about the same time on Sunday, though this time varies year to year.
Cosplay:
Super Sonico in her blue yukata and my original Twi’lek OC (though this picture is of the character Suu Lawquane whose outfit and design is what I based my outfit on)
Whats it from?
The Twi’lek race is from Star Wars, though her design and character were created by me. Super Sonico is owned by Nitroplus and this particular design is based on a FREEing statue.

Where will you be at the con? All over the place really. Though I spend most of my time either in and around the convention center or at the hotel I am staying at.
What’s your favorite thing to do at the con?
Simply wander around and snag some photos of fellow cosplayers. Sometimes my sister and I simply sit and watch people.
Who will you be with?
My younger sister, Alyshia, though it is likely I will meet up with friends from college.
Are you going to any panels or photo shoots?
I don’t tend to attend the panels as I prefer reading to listening to nerdy topics of discussion. You get juicer facts that way. As for photoshoots I attend and run the Western Photoshoot and I may pop into the Disney shoot as my Twi’lek since Disney owns Star Wars now.
Are you going to any raves/dances/concerts?
I never do. I am really not a convention dance girl. Too many little kids for my taste.

Are you eating at the con or bringing your own food? A combination of the two really. We always pack snacks for in the hotel and carrying around in case my sister or I get hungry or shaky from lack of protein.

Can I talk to you? But of course you can. I am a real chatterbox.
Are you nice?
I try to be. Even when I am feeling off I try to be friendly and cheerful.
Can I ask for a picture?
But of course.
Hug?
If you ask first you certainly may. My twi’lek is going to be skin toned so you don’t have to fear paint smearing.
Fanservice? 
I guess it really depends how much fanservice you are thinking about.I realize that Sonico is a pretty fanservicey character, but everyone has a limit.

Can I hang out with you? Just around the con outside, but of course.
Can I buy you things?
That is very flattering but I will likely decline. Save your money for you!
Can you drink at the con?
I can but I won’t because I don’t drink

The Magical Boob Plate

Hello my lovelies!

I apologize for being absent so long but unfortunately I have been crazy busy with school and the internship that was attached to it

Anywho, so today I am going to talk about an interesting topic that has dropped out of popularity for a now but will likely be back and forth depending on whether or not we are in con season.

Anime characters and video game characters, as well as western characters tend to have big assets. Large chests are a staple of anime, western and video game characters as they appeal to the people these forms are made for: Not shockingly though very few of us actually have the real assets to fill in the shirts of these famous characters. So you have two choices (1) get fakies which seems pretty extreme just for a hobby or (2) ignore the bust size of the character and cosplay them anyway.

A cosplayer in Japan though, came up with a third option: fabric made breasts that cosplayers can wear like breast plates to give the illusion of larger breasts. These breast plates are fabric made and combine cardboard or other sturdy materials and ‘skin tone fabric’ to make something like a boob shirt.

fake-boobs-cosplay-portadaAs soon as they arrived on scene cosplayers exploded with excitement. Cosplay Commission pages blew up with people requesting their own ‘set’ so they can cosplay their favorite top heavy heroines.

A lot of people are pretty impressed by this new cosplay breakthrough but they really are not that ground breaking. Drag Queens have been faking breasts for ages and frankly theirs not only move more realistically but also fit better skin tone wise.

Now onto my personal opinion.

I am really torn about these new boob plates. A major concern I have with these new boob plates is how hard it will be match your skin tone to the fake boobs. Now a lot of people could argue that the ‘photo look perfect of the Japanese model why wouldn’t mind?’. Fun fact younglings, Japanese cosplayers are notorious for photoshopping their photos both in and final progress and I suspect that in non-edited photos, the fabric breasts would be beyond obvious.

I do see some positives though:

  • Don’t have to worry about nip slips if you are wearing unrealistic outfits such as Ryoko from Kill la Kill or Ivy from Soul Calibur.
  • Personal chest heater for when you want to wear a skimpy cosplay inside a chilly convention hall.

But with every positive comes a whole lot of negatives.

  • Nearly impossible to get the skin colour exact. You will likely end up looking like you are wearing a boob tank top or crop top.
  • I can sense the 4chan comments already – though a lot of people probably don’t care a flying feck about that
  • High risk of overheating. These are fabric stuffed pillows stuffed onto your chest! In warm weather you may as well be wearing a fleece onesie.

So all in all I would say that these boob plates are a real catch 22. On one hand no nip slips and the opportunity to wear that big busted cosplay you always wanted but on the other hard to match skin tones and serious overheating. They have not been out for too long so we will have to see how cosplayers in the West react as they continue to either shrink or grow in popularity.

Finally Fixed WordPress!

Hello my geeky darlings!

I am so sorry that I have been gone so long but WordPress has been being a total butt and absolutely refused to let me post anything I wrote.

It finally appears as though I finally fixed it however, though to be honest I really have no idea HOW I did so.

Ah well, never look a gift horse in the mouth my ducks!

Anyway, coming up in my blogverse is the continuation of the Anime challenge, why I do not cosplay to Fan Expo, Fan Expo vs. Anime North, and what to wear to a con when you don’t cosplay!

VoWeOMR

Anime North 2014

10358738_627666140654027_9118590229713997548_nSo two weeks ago I was at my 8th Anime North, the 4th largest anime convention in North America, as a cosplayer but mainly as an uncostumed patron due to the heat of the weekend. This year had proven shockingly stressful to prepare for due to low self-image impacting cosplay, an unexpected new roommate (who proved to be a real doll and has been invited for next year), and a lost hotel room (which was solved due to the awesomeness of my fellow congoers). I could write a truly massive post and talk about every little thing but I’d rather just hit the highlights and show some great photos!

Friday

My truly fabulous mother drove us to the con just after 12:30 but before we left I had to deal with an almost panic attack induced by the fact that my Mao cosplay was actually poorly fit and needs a few adjustments before it can be fully debuted at a con. Ultimately the costume was left behind, making way for my Scholar cosplay to be my lead cosplay.

Upon arriving at the con we chose to sign into the hotel, the International Plaza, first so then my Mom could head back home and not hit as much traffic. It took us an hour and a half to get all signed in but I think that was heavily impacted by the fact that the front desk did not open till 3!

After signing in, and me changing into a casual Batgirl inspired outfit we headed to get our badges. I was expecting it to take ages to get them but instead it only took around 10 minutes, maybe less.

At 6 I officially began the Western Comics and Movie Photoshoot, which was pretty popular, though not nearly as popular as many of the anime shoots (no shocker there). It ran incredibly smoothly except for a few overly excited preteens in closet cosplays breaking into the photos and screaming constantly, but that comes with the territory.
After the shoot we finally headed to the photoshoot where I came away with a Horror grab bag (my regretted purchase) and a new Arda Wig that I brought purely for its beauty ♥‿♥

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My favorite cosplay all weekend! Gangrel from Fire Emblem: Awakening. Sadly I have no idea who he is …

Saturday

Saturday was cosplay chess day! Which is insanely fun if you have never done it before. Both my sister and I signed up for the 10 a.m. Magic vs. Science game with my sister as Chiaki Nanami on the Science side and me on the magic side as a scholar, both as pawns. It was a LOT of fun but it felt like it took forever and ultimately my side, magic, all chose to sit down and relax till we were moved due to how long the chess players took. Much to everyones shock, it ended up as a tie.

After the game, my sister and I popped into the dealers room where I came away with an adorable Harley Quinn tank dress which I changed into upon returning to the hotel. It was incredibly hot Saturday with no breeze, so I really only ended up wearing my Scholar dress for cosplay chess and the new Harley dress most of the weekend. I was shocked though, I still ended up getting photos taken! I am guessing because of my big boobs …

The rest of the day was easy-osey, my sister went to the Dangan Ronpa shoot while our roommate and I sat in the shade, we headed back to the dealers room and I purchased the first omnibus edition of Empowered, a rather naughty western comic by Adam Warren. I took a break in the hotel and then we had dinner at the hotels Japanese restaurant.

Sunday

This is always a short day since we do have to get home and back to the real world, my Mom came to pick up our luggage at 11 AM and then my sister and I did one final sweep of the dealers room where I got the second Empowered omnibus.

After that we hung around till my Mom came back to get us. Then cue, post con sadness and planning for next year … I also ended up getting our hotel room as soon as I got home due to our hotel already opening up booking!

All in all it was another great year, though I did not get to cosplay as much as I would have liked due to the heat. It was totally my fault though, I need to learn to always consider the temperature of the month when choosing my cosplays.

Next up in the con world, Fan Expo 2014 where I will be cosplaying Hipster Harley Quinn.

Cosplayer Profile: Brooding Tiara

Name/Cosplay Alias: Alyshia, Brooding Tiara702480_605157619571546_1445513658_n

How long have you been cosplaying: 5 years

Who have you cosplayed so far:

  • Rukia Kuchiki (Bleach)
  • Iceburg (One Piece)
  • Kuma (One Piece
  • Mr.9 (One Piece)
  • Coronation Vivi (One Piece)
  • Jade Harley (Homestuck)
  • Okama Sanji (One Piece as well)
  • Chiaki Nanami (Dangan Ronpa)

Which was your favorite?
Chiaki Nanami, I honestly felt so adorable! The outfit fit perfectly and I genuinely felt that I looked quite good in it overall.

Which was the hardest?
Coronation Vivi, I had to custom order it, which is usually no problem but gathering a number of images of course can be rather hard when she only wore it for a few minutes xD Though sadly the outfit didn’t turn out and arrived the morning we left for AN !

Which was the easiest?:
Rukia by far, all I really did was find a nicely made outfit on ebay and order it, I just had to style the wig but all in all, quite a snap

729177_605157719571536_1092077886_oAny dream cosplays:
None right now, I’ve pretty much done all that I wanted to to date

What are you currently working on/What cosplay do you have planned next:
Mahiru Koizumi from Dangan Ronpa. Should be rather fun, great excuse to keep the camera out!

What is the best thing about cosplay: |
Being able to be anyone that you want. You can disappear into a character of simply be yourself, such freedom.

What is the worst thing about cosplay:
Judgmental bitches, those who feel that just because you aren’t a mirror image of a character then you can’t cosplay. Or simply because you look a little different, no fun!

Why do you cosplay:
I’ve always loved dressing up and this way I can do it on a larger scale and with more people.