Friday, May 30, 2014

Fanime 2014: Cosplay

Part 2 of the Fanime posts..bring on the cosplay!

Our 2014 cosplay - dapper Attack on Titan survey corp uniforms! I'll have a detail post up later, but I'm fairly proud of my first foray into lolita sewing.  It's hard work and I was tired of ruffling things after doing just the skirt! :P
Sak, some serious side-eye. Penga-Sis as femme Armin.
The sword is a cane.
Which swivels to a sword! Handiwork of Friend E.
Femme Armin with her friend Eren.  You like the purse? Cause I've got a tutorial for you later mmmmhmmm.
Marco earrings! Poor freckle boy!
Other than AoT, Friend E also broke out the Vegeta hair again. (Tutorial here!)
And Sak and I tried our Pokemon Honeymoon Trainer cosplay again. This time three (!!!) people recognized what it was! YAY Fanime, you don't dissapoint, you master poke trainers!
Here with Cousin K, as One Piece's Kizaru
We also did Hataraku MgRonalds shirts again, though I didn't take any pics this time.

We searched for some Bravely Default cosplay, they were hard to find!
DeRosa! (Though, if you've played the game - you'd think maybe cosplaying DeRosa is a bit of a creepy character choice? :P)
And some more vidya game cosplay..
Animal Crossing! The construction on the head was superb, too.
Clever mashup of Assassin Mario Bros.!
We've all seen pimp Marios at this point - how about a pimp King Dedede from Kirby?
And the obligatory non-anime-non-Japanese-doesn't-really-belong-but-still-pretty-anyway cosplay..
There were SO MANY ELSAS. It was insane.
This MLP Applejack(?) had an apple cart, pretty cool!
Paperman cosplay! Cute!
And back to Japan..
Harima! From School Rumble, such a great character.
Majin Buu from DBZ - that expression!
Of course there has to be one Godzilla! I have yet to see the new movie..
Brock and Jenny from Pokemon - bonus points for having his eyes shut!
Honestly the heads scare me a little, but Penga-Sis really wanted a pic with them.
And two Yato cosplayers, because I am in love with the character from Noragami (watch! watch it noowww! Or read it! There's a manga and the art is beautiful!)

I started collecting gym clothes for Sak so he can do this cosplay too. Heeeh.

And last one - of Friend E's friend as armored titan - Great makeup and those contacts! Chilling!
I did not do a good job of photographing mid attack, but oh well.
This is obviously a very small sampling of wonderful cosplay at Fanime - we spent most of our time in movie rooms so we missed a lot of amazing ones for sure.

Until next year, Fanime - it's been great!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Fanime 2014: Recap

 Fanime's 20th anniversary! My 13th consecutive year! The 10th anniversary of meeting my Sak at con!

And for as many Fanime cons I've been to - this was all in all a very good year.  I got to do what I wanted, there was minimal drama, no one was harassed or looted from, and I got to hang out with my sister and my very good friend E, as well as several from our Cal Poly crew. Also saw many of my brother's friends, and my cousin too! I couldn't ask for more (except my dear dear cousin T! I MISSED HER SO MUCH).
They covered the VTA lightrail with bishies!!
I still haven't made any new friends, or come out of my shell to try and talk to new people..maybe by my 50th anniversary or something :P
So many people!
Anyway, here's my breakdown of 2014:

Beach theme this year.
Though I was fearing the dreaded 6 hour linecon of several cons past, instagram and twitter reports Thursday afternoon showed that the line was running smoothly and ahead of schedule.  When we arrived after work that day, we walked through the empty maze of tape, straight up to the reg booth! QR codes were scanned and badges were printed in seconds. I was completely dumbfounded.  Fanime really took the complaints to heart and super fixed the problems, it was amazing! The con was already a winner for the year just for the experience.  The badges are super nice too - no more paper label.  I was hoping for the penguin design, but the bishi speedo boy isn't bad at all.
No lines!!!!!!


We stayed at the Saint Claire again this year, because I like that it doesn't have many floors (waiting for elevators can be a pain).  It wasn't the cleanest room this year though, Friend E found a red hair in his duvet. Ick.
Annual key card art was a lovely plus as usual!
Hoody surfer boy is my favorite. Dunno about armpit man.
Swap Meet

This year swap meet was held in the civic center, which was different. We didn't go on Thursday, since the line was really long and people were reporting hours of waiting just to get in. What. I was a little peeved, but we came back on Friday and stood in line for over an hour.  I don't know if it was just my perception, but it seemed like there were less swap meet spots than usual. It was crowded, but that's normal.  I found a few gems as well, so the wait was worth it (though still obviously undesirable).
You have no idea how long I was looking for Princess Debut. $10 score! And those Panda Go Panda keychains are amazing. $1 each. YESSSSS. Penga-Sis bought banana Miku. So random.

Artist Alley/Dealer Hall

AA was held in the brand new, just built ball room on the main con floor, which was nice.  But it was cramped. Really cramped. As bad as South Hall's air quality was last year, at least it was big and open with plenty of room to walk around and browse.  Also, I don't really get the whole portfolio judging thing they did this year - the artists all looked pretty similar to year's past - was there supposed to be a huge jump in "quality" or something?  Art is so subjective anyway, so who knows.  Sak, surprisingly, was a little bummed about not having a booth this year.  I don't know whether it was because he just wanted to sit and streetpass/play bravely default all weekend, or because he liked selling things last year, but maybe we'll look into it again next year.  I do like having other people enjoy the things we create though, it's very rewarding!


One of the things I look forward to the most, the anime music video competition.  But unfortunately, I looked forward to it too much and actually ended up watching a vast majority of the videos BEFORE the con via Youtube/ Gah. My bad. It was still entertaining though. And I really think that Free/It's raining men video they showed prior to the competition should have made the cut.  Pandering to the fangirls, yes, but it was a good video! Here's the creators youtube page, it looks like the video will be posted soon now that con is over.

Anime Hell/Midnight Madness

The other thing I look forward to the most. Ha!  Anime Hell never fails to dissapoint, and there was a nice mix of new material as well as fan favorites.  It's kind of a blend of stupid Youtube videos, random Japanese commericals, trailers for new and exciting things, and short films. It's hilarious and there's a lot of audience participation which is fun. I like seeing newbies come in and just totally get into it.

We stayed only til about 2 AM although it goes all night. I'm not as young as I used to be, ha!

We didn't really attend many panels this year - but the one we did go to, Hilariously Bad Bootlegs, was pretty good.  They showed pictures/video of silly bootlegged products, and also gave tips on how to avoid accidentally buying them in the future.

Just like they fixed the reg line problems, Fanime also stepped up and fixed the cosplay masquerade problems as well.  They cut out all the pre-show filler, saving the martial art expo and karaoke winner for the intermission, which I think was a good call.  The A/V worked well for the most part, with a few hiccups but nothing major.  The host - at least he didn't do much joking, but I really think he could be..more charismatic? He seemed a little stiff and unexcited. Maybe it takes a couple years of warm up?

The acts were all pretty good - Fanime has a pretty good track record of good acts. In particular I liked the acrobatic man-Mai and the Epic Rap Battles of Anime acts.  Overall it was a very short masquerade, which was nice because it gave us time to get dinner and do other things later.

Oh - and the kiss cam before it started? OMG. Hilarious, but I imagine wildly uncomfortable for social anxious otaku like myself.  My sister and her friend were captured! I'm glad they didn't kiss or anything weird cause that'd make me a bad chaperone. :P

Anyway, in the next post I'll cover cosplay, since my sis was kind enough to ask lots of people for pics! In the meantime, a few more random con photos..
Didn't expect to see such awesome Otaku cars out in the neighborhood! 
Giant jenga in the game room.
Someone put all these super old convention books out on one of the tables. So cool!
A punching/slapping game!
And.. Sak and Friend E's first time getting peace bonded! Can't believe we've never had weapon props in our cosplay before!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Attack on Titan Greeting Card

Alright! Last card from my new batch - Shingeki no Kyojin themed!  This one is my personal favorite.

If I was in school I think I'd pass this to a friend during class, just to see if they could keep a straight face. :P
This Attack on Titan card is on cream linen paper, with a red liner. Originally I was just going to put colossal titan's face over the wall, but I thought it'd be more friendly with a greeting! It is a greeting card, afterall.  Am I the only one that often gets the theme songs stuck in my head? I don't even know the lyrics but the tunes..oh man.  The second OP was my shower jam for like, a week straight a few months ago.
And speaking of AoT, this weekend at Fanime we donned "fancy" survey corp uniform cosplay.  I will show it to you soon! It was fun, though there were so many titan cosplays it kinda got lost among the herd. :P

(And a repetitive note: this is card 4 of 4 of my new designs.  Expect a post soonish with all the designs and you'll be welcome to request them if you like. Freebs, naturally!)

Friday, May 16, 2014

Hiking Hawaii: Oahu's Pillboxes Trail

I asked my brother for hiking suggestions before we went on our trip.  Somehow forgetting to take into account the fact that he is 6'3" of muscle and no bodyfat. Who climbs rocks for funsies.

"Try the pillbox trail, it's really short and the views are amazing!"

Yeah, okay maybe.

"There's old military bunkers on the top too!"

Ohhhh. military bunkers. Yes please.

Anyway, after scarfing down beyond-amazing kalua pork eggs benedicts at Cinnamon's for brunch, Sak luckily found parking in the residential area near the trail head in Lanikai. Seriously there's like 3 parking spots.
Salty tender meat under a beautiful runny egg? Yes please!
I'm not sure if it's an "official" trail, but it did have a sign so I felt a little better about the whole thing.

The trail starts with a rapid ascent through two fenced off private properties. It's all dirt, so I would definitely not come here under rainy conditions.  There's some old rope strung along the steepest parts, which was good for when we needed to come back down the trail.
This looks lame cause it's a picture - but it's fairly steep!

Once you get past the property lines, you end up on a ridge.  And that's where I stopped having an enjoyable hike.  I am pretty afraid of heights, so putting me on a very windy ridge, some two feet away from ridiculously steep cliff on either side was a recipe for insta-freak-out.  One slip and I could just see Sak or I plummeting to our deaths!

Sak wasn't perturbed though.  Even though I wanted to turn back that very instant, Sak could see the pillboxes ahead and wanted to continue. Legs shaky, the only way I could do it was by looking only at the ground in front of me and clinging to Sak's backpack.  If one of us fell, at least we'd die together. How romantic.
Wee pillbox off in the distance~

The trail splits at several points, so we (me, screeching) chose whatever looked safer/less cliffy, and only ended up backtracking a few times.

When we finally reached the first pillbox, it was kinda, well - vandalized.  And there were weird noises coming from inside so I don't even know. I just wanted to get back to the car safely, so we didn't continue to the second pillbox. The distance to the first box isn't much though. Maybe under a mile?
Sak at creepy noise box - manly confidence or ignorant naivety?
Kiki stop laughing at me and get me outta hereeeee

But one thing I can vouch for is that the view was amazing. So there's that.


When we made it back down without dying, Sak took me to the craft store for much needed retail therapy. Haha. Though Sak will tell you the trail wasn't bad at all, if you're scared of heights this might not be the best trail for you. Also, I will take all of my brother's future hiking suggestions with some serious side-eye.

Also, I should have mentioned this in the last post but definitely check out Landrum Wife's Oahu hike posts - her series is very well documented and she has amazing photos!