Thursday, February 8, 2018

Cosplay - Natsuki

Character: Natsuki
Series: Doki Doki Literature Club! (Link)
Debut: October 2017
Costume: Kureiyaa/thrifted/Bodyline
Wig: Epic Cosplay's Aphrodite in Princess Dark Pink

I have a love/hate relationship with Doki Doki Literature Club! I don't actually think it's all that great but I do think that it was also really fun. It wasn't my first visual novel, either (I think that goes to Planetarian). I found that the same sort of reaction it was trying to get out of me was the same sort of reaction plenty of better games had already done really well. However, DDLC was short, free, and easy for me to obtain so I gave it a try. I was a little spoiled because of someone who rudely (though incorrectly) spoiled it in a Steam review within the first hour that it had been out on the platform.
Not to spoil too much, but I like games that have dark ideas behind them so it did end up being fun to play in the end. I even liked the slight horror of hoping I'd pick the correct word for a certain person in the poem minigame.

I relate to Natsuki and her struggles, though. I ended up putting a closet-play test of her up online about two or three days after the game released on Steam. Apparently I was the first DDLC cosplayer up online so that was kind of cool. The costume sort of evolved from there and I was able to bake cupcakes for a more proper photoshoot of the costume.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Outfits - School Inspired

I've been cycling through different fashions all of my life. For the last few years I've really fell into a 'school uniform inspired' style. It just feels really classy to me (no pun intended) and I feel more comfortable in a skirt and button-up. I do like to add some of my own personal touches to them sometimes so it doesn't completely follow the nanchatte seifuku "style" every day. I think one of my favorites is to wear a haori (japanese kimono jacket) with it rather than a blazer some days. I have a heavy and a lighter haori; in the summer, sometimes it's easier to wear the lighter haori rather than a cardigan/blazer because wind travels through it better and if I walk into the freezer section of a supermarket, I won't get super cold.

I'm really kind of lucky, actually. The place I live is next to the sea. We have a navel base nearby so it isn't unusual to see sailor and sailor-style outfits being worn around. My seifuku outfits don't really draw a lot of attention like they would have in my hometown. I get more comments on my other school uniform outfits. I'm often asked which school I go to, to which I usually give some sort of awkward explanation.

I try to keep a few pictures of my school inspired styles on my Instagram but I've pulled a few of my older ones off of there to post here.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Maid Cafe - Sweet Tea Cafe Part 2

On this post I'll be discussing the day of the cafe. If you're interested in reading about the preparation, go to this post.

The day of the convention arrived and we set out to put together our cafe. Since our location had been shifted around due to problems reserving the previous year's room, we had came up with new layout ideas for our new area. While we didn't have a lot of room to work with, it was on a landing where there was going to be a high volume of traffic all day. This was good for us because it meant that more people would see our cafe for themselves while passing by.

We all quickly worked on getting things set-up in a way that everyone would be able to move around the cafe comfortably, especially those who would be serving our customers. The center where the convention was hosted allowed us to borrow it's furniture as well as some tables and chairs from the other rooms.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Cosplay - Tsukuyomi Sasami

Character: Tsukuyomi Sasami
Series: Sasami-san@Ganbaranai
Debut: Anime Weekend Atlanta 2013 (September 27th)
Costume: Kureiyaa

This show was kind of crazy and off the wall, but in an interesting "I want to see where it goes" sort of way. I decided to cosplay the pajamas version because it looked so comfortable. I've been wearing a lot of costumes to conventions that, while they weren't uncomfortable, eventually would become uncomfortable. Somehow I did nothing but comfortable costumes to the convention that year. The costume itself was relatively simple to make since I could look at the pajama shirts I already had to see how I should make a pattern for it. Maybe I should wear it again for another convention soon..... It really was super comfy.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Maid Cafe - Sweet Tea Cafe Part 1

I've been visiting this conventions Maid Cafe for a few years. For the last two years, I spent some time volunteering as a maid for it. It wasn't living up to it's potential.

The Maid Cafe wasn't a cafe at all. It was more like a bake-sale in the artist alley, not using the space as efficiently as they could. I knew after my first year of volunteering that I wanted to help change it. I'm really a shy person though, so it wasn't until early February of 2016 that I finally got the courage to ask if I could help. Apparently it was appreciated just as much as I appreciated being welcome to the team. One of the first things I asked was along the lines of "What are your goals this year for the maid cafe?" The original organizer told me that she wanted it to become an actual cafe but that the space constraints had prevented it from being so. I had planned it out pretty much as soon as I had left the building the year before what I would do to turn the space into a cafe. So I showed her a bunch of floor plans I had come up with.

Well, that's the main part anyway. I'm going to try and keep this short(ish), but if you have any questions about what kind of work we had to do that I do not cover, feel free to ask in the comments or something.

Anime- Winter 2016 Wrap-up

I'm finally able to start on the Spring 2016 anime season, but I thought that perhaps I'd write up a bit about what I saw in the Winter 2016 season. At least, the ones I thought were good enough that I watched through them (or plan to).

My rating system is as follows:
5 - Loved it
4 - Great
3 - Good
2 - Okay
1 - Fair

Haruta to Chika wa Seishun Suru

A show that felt like it was following in the footsteps of Hibike Euphonium, HaruChika followed a music club/band as they tried to gain enough members to play in competitions. However, the show was actually less about music (and rarely animated them using the instruments until the end of the last episode) and more about solving mysteries and riddles that would pop up with each new episode. Haruta plays the equivalent of Sherlock while Chika gets the bumbling role of Watson. Well, I guess it's not quite that clear-cut. It's difficult to tell if they're friends or rivals, but I think that it's probably a combination of both.
Their reason for rivalry? The two of the both have a crush on their music teacher. You can expect pretty much how the show goes from there. While it wasn't the most elegant and you could see the answers to the mysteries from miles away, it's still a decently fun watch. The art is cute and the ending song was my second favorite from this season.
I just really wish that they would have focused a little more on the music part of the show.

Rating: 2/5 

Boku dake ga Inai Machi

Bokumachi is my top pick for show of the season. The story revolves around Satoru, who works in pizza delivery and lives alone. He also happens to be able to go back in time to fix problems when the world deems it necessary for him to. He continues going back in time until the problem is fixed and he's beginning to find it annoying. That is, until his mother is murdered and he has to go back in time to try and stop it. The only problem is that he was sent to his childhood instead. Satoru then knows he has to save the lives of those killed in a serial murder case to find out who killed his mother.
I think the word I'd use to describe the show is "thrilling". Unlike most of the other shows this season, I was eagerly awaiting for the next episode and would watch as soon as I could get my hands on it. I went back to read the manga after finishing it and while I prefer the manga for pretty much the rest of the story, I personally preferred the show's version of the ending, which felt less drawn out. I highly suggest this show for anyone who is looking for a "thriller" to watch. Also, the ending song was my number one from this season.

Rating: 5/5 

Dagashi Kashi

Dagashi Kashi's story is pretty upfront. Kokonotsu helps his dad with a candy shop but dreams about being a manga artist instead. He doesn't have any plans on taking over his dad's candy shop. Hotaru is from a famous sweets manufacturer and has come to Kokonotsu's dad in hopes of bringing him to work for her family's company. His dad won't leave unless Kokonotsu agrees to run the shop. From then on, Hotaru makes it her goal to try and convince Kokonotsu to take over but she's prone to using bizarre methods to do so.
Woooow. What to say about this... Well, its really funny, I liked watching it but it seems like the kind of show you could find on Adult Swim (I wouldn't be surprised to hear that they've picked it up anytime). The bizarre and suggestive humor kind of lends itself to that sort of impression. I don't think it helps that for the first several episodes I was watching subtitles that were extremely 'localized'. If you're looking for a laugh while simultaneously throwing your hands up in question, well, this is one of those kinds of shows.

Rating: 3/5

Hai to Gensou no Grimgar

Okay, I haven't watched much of this one yet; I'm still trying to get through it.
Lately we've had a lot of the 'people from our world thrown into a fantasy rpg-like world' theme in anime. This is one of those, except they don't remember being in our world. They'll remember phrases that would only work in our world but question where they even came from, but it's so insignificant that they don't really carry on with it. The story follows a band of people that I can only describe as "newbs" due to their complete lack of understanding about battle. They're the ones that the better team didn't want. Now they must learn to live and survive in this new world.
The show is pretty interesting and seems a little more realistic than a lot of the other shows of the genre. It seems like it tries to follow the 'screw-ups' rather than the overpowered, which is actually an interesting idea. The art is really pretty, too- at least when there aren't some obvious mistakes when it comes to animating a character on a background with a camera pan.
The background music is actually really pretty, too.

Rating: ?/5

Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo!

On the same genre, we had Konosuba this season.
Kazuma, the protagonist, dies in a very unexpected and embarrassing way.  The rude goddess he meets in the afterlife, Aqua, gives him a choice of either going to heaven or being put into a rpg-like world that needs help with an evil villain. If he chooses this world, he can retain all of his memories and can be granted one single thing to take with him. After becoming really annoyed with the goddess' rude behavior, he chooses to bring her. Now they must defeat the Demon King before she can return to being a goddess. It would probably go a lot smoother if the adventurers of powerful classes that joined their party were actually competent.
This show was hilarious to watch. I highly suggest it to anyone who likes a good comedy. The place where the season ends, however, does feel a bit anticlimactic. Luckily, I've heard that season two was already announced. The characters, though mostly incompetent are actually really enjoyable (probably because they are incompetent, they are interesting.) It's certainly creatively written.

Rating: 4/5

Musaigen no Phantom World

Phantoms in this show's world were recently discovered to be real as they can now be seen. What's more is that there are now people who have developed special powers in order to combat the more unruly ones. Haruhiko and his friends are such people. They are in a club that specially designates teams to control phantoms who are causing problems in the world.
This show was a decent watch. It's a 'monster of the day' style show so the plot feels like it's a little everywhere sometime. I think the art is really pretty though. It doesn't really feel like you need to put a lot of thought into watching the show, so it's easy to watch. There's an episode about cats though.
It was entertaining enough to continue watching it but I think I'd only suggest it to people who find 'monster of the day' shows to be their niche.

Rating: 2/5

Kanojo to Kanojo no Neko: Everything Flows

The story is told from the point of view of a cat who loves his owner very much.
Pretty simple, right? It's beautiful in it's simplicity, though. Daru the cat, while given a human voice to translate his thoughts, is still very much a cat in actions and thoughts. As realistic as we can imagine a cat thinks about their owner at least.
It's really cute, but also a little heartbreaking. Daru watches Tomoka, his owner, fall into a spiraling depression while he has to deal with the facts of life as well. The episodes are short and there are very few of them, and yet the story seems to fit in them. If you have a few minutes to waste or you just really like cats, this is absolutely worth watching.

Rating: 5/5

Koukaku no Pandora

Nene is a full body cyborg living in a world where robots are common. What she wants most in life is world peace and she's willing to work towards it. When she meets a scientist and her cyborg on her way to live with her aunt, she's offered a way to achieve world peace. After the scientist installs a new program into Nene's system she leaves her cyborg, Clarion, to protect her. Now Nene has new powers that she can help solve the problems on her new home island to further her quest towards peace.
This show was actually really cute. I'd actually think it was aimed at kids if it wasn't for the extremely suggestive transformation or one of the perverted mascot characters. There are actually a lot of Ghost in the Shell references in the show, so it was kind of fun to try and pick some of them out from what I can remember from Ghost in the Shell. If you're into the sort of 'saturday kids anime' shows and don't mind some suggestive gestures and talk, this is probably right up your alley.

Rating: 3/5

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Cosplay- Komachi Onozuka

Character: Komachi Onozuka
Series: Touhou Project
Debut: Seishuncon 2011 (June 5th)
Costume: Kureiyaa

I can't think of anyone I know who doesn't like Komachi. In any case, I certainly like her. Her carefree spirit is really fun.
This costume was actually a remake of an older version of the costume. The first version was rushed and had the bare minimum to work with. I wanted to make sure I used everything I could from the first version into the second as not to waste supplies. I mostly settled on structural upgrades and focusing on a small amount of details. I had been working out how to put my own spin on the cosplay without it being completely inaccurate. I decided to go with a curlier hairstyle and leave most of the other details the same and it's a decision I'm glad to have made. The curls really balance out the costume, I think.

The scythe was made by a friend. It actually comes apart at three different points to make it easier to travel with, which is pretty cool. Make no mistake, though, it doesn't fit in even my largest suitcase.