Sweet Sixteen

As of July 7, I will have been cosplaying for sixteen years. Damn, son.

My induction into cosplay started out as an accident. I attended my first convention in 2000, as a PA/handler for a friend who was cosplaying. The same friend shoved his Kenshin costume at me at a con the year after (this was when conventions only happened once a year, y’all), and the next thing I knew, I had joined my first cosplay competition.

Such photo quality. The highest of resolutions.

I’ve attempted to retire from cosplay a few times over the years, but I just can’t seem to quit. Because the thing is, I really enjoy it. While I may not do the actual sewing, and am still hopelessly awkward in front of a camera, I enjoy the rest of the process. I like picking out fabric, constructing props, styling and doing makeup.  I have a tendency to hyperfixate, and cosplay just feels like the ultimate love letter to a fandom.

It’s only fitting, I suppose. To celebrate my cosplay sweet sixteen by cosplaying twice at this year’s ToyCon, with the amazing ladies I’ve been cosplaying with for over 10 years. I’ve never really done multiple days in costume at a con before because of the hassle, but Leng and I decided to make a thing of it this year and booked an Airbnb near the convention centre.


Day 1 – Viktuuri Poodle Skirts

This was something Leng and I had planned for YoiCon last March, but didn’t have time to finish. The idea for it came from our mutual love of vintage fashion, and the need to cosplay something from Yuri on Ice. Neither of us can really pull off cosplaying a dude very well, and while I love Katsuki Mari with all my heart, her outfits on the show aren’t really something I was interested in working on.

Leng sewed our skirts and petticoats (and did such a fantastic job too), while I took care of the Vicchan and Makkachin appliqués and did our makeup and styling. Styling wigs is the worst, but I think they turned out pretty well.


Day Two – Filipiniana Sailor Senshi / Mandirigmang Mandaragat

The #TitasofCosplay and I have been talking about doing a group again for the past couple of years now, but our fandoms just never seemed to align. Until Sailor Moon came up at one of our Stitch n’ Bitch dinners last year. Based on the Filipino Traje de Mestiza/Maria Clara, this is probably my most research-intensive costume to date. Sheila commissioned a fashion illustrator friend of hers to draw it up for us,  because we were bogged down by so much research, we were having trouble visualising a final look. 😛

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Filipiniana Sailor Senshi I can finally post the cosplay design collaboration with @mseira from last year (Oct 2016)!😆 It was a secret project since nobody did Filipiniana versions of Sailor Soldiers yet (So we're, like, the first ones! Yay!😉). Supposedly for the Asia Pop Comicon on August 2017 for the Linggo ng Wika month but her cosplay group decided to debut these at the Toycon PH happening next weekend (June 30-July 2, 2017). Super fun project for a Sailor Moon fan like meee!😍 Can't wait for the actual costumes!❤💕 Gonna make individual posts soon.😊 . . . #sailormoon #sailormoonph #markers #filipiniana #panuelo #innersailorsenshi #prettysoldiers #sailorsenshi #designcollaboration #cosplay #sailormoonfanart #toyconph2017

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The original plan was to have the baro and the panuelo made, but we found the perfect ones in the colours that we needed during our fabric run. While most of the group can sew, we also had the skirts made for uniformity haha.

Parurusahan ka namin, sa ngalan ng buwan!

Suffice it to say, that weekend was fun, but exhausting. I may refuse to accept that probably I’m too old to be cavorting around in costumes, but I am certainly too old to be doing so on multiple days in succession.

ただいま!

If you’d told me that two sports titles were going to be what got me back into anime/manga after more than ten years, I would have laughed at you. Loudly. To your face.

a.k.a in which I haven’t blogged in almost three months so let me share this heteronormativity-defying pit I’ve fallen into.

–o–

Yuri!!! on Ice hit me like a freight train. One minute, I was dismissing it as another anime full of ambiguously gay pretty boys that my friends wouldn’t stop talking about. Next thing I knew, I was willingly squished against hundreds of other fans in a packed events hall, spending a good few thousand pesos on merch at a YoI fan convention.

There are already so many good blogs and vlogs about this show, that I don’t feel like I have anything new to add. I will say that YoI was a breath of fresh air for me last year. Superb animation and choreography, no unnecessary drama, no exaggerated skills, wonderfully endearing characters with an equally wonderful portrayal of queer characters. If I had to nitpick, I’d say I wish we had more backstory, but it isn’t imperative.

A movie was recently green-lit, and I am equal parts excited and apprehensive. I’m of the unpopular opinion camp that is satisfied with just the first season. I like open endings, what can I say? I am also, however, trash of dumpster fire proportions and will still take everything they throw at me with gusto. We’ll just have to wait and see.

–o–

I read Ballroom e Youkoso at Khursten’s suggestion and Leng’s prodding because I needed to fill the void that YoI left in my heart.

Not gonna lie, it took me a while to get into the swing (ha-ha!) of things because coming from YoI, I found the sheer shounen-ness and seishun-ness of BeY, jarring. For a manga about dancesport, I just wasn’t expecting so much testosterone. By Volume 3, I realised I was completely emotionally invested and there was no hope for me now.

Sengoku can step on me for all I care and I’d still thank him.

The art is absolutely stunning and I am in love with how dynamic it is. What I really appreciate about this series though, are the relationships between characters. Because ballroom is a partner-reliant sport, the relationship dynamics in this series are intense and complex but not necessarily romantic — which I find so refreshing.  I’m all caught up with the latest translated volume and now have nothing to do until the anime premieres this July.

I am aware that I’m hyperfixating on these two titles, but I think it’s because I’ve taken an indefinite hiatus from Western Comics & related media and all that fangirl energy has to go somewhere hahaha! Oh well, アニメただいま!