Cosplaying as Musicians

Cosplay is not a hobby contained only to anime and manga fans. There is huge amounts of western comic book and video game representation at conventions. Even certain alternative fashions, both eastern and western, make their appearance. If you’re into steampunk, visual kei, cyberpunk, lolita, decora, any subset of Japanese fashion, etc, you can throw your con badge in the air and be pretty certain that the person you hit could be your new best friend. If you take into consideration the overlap of so many interests in one place, it’s not so strange that people also choose to cosplay as Japanese musicians!

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu is an obvious contender for most cosplayed j-pop artist. Not only does she have a memorable, unique image, but her fame has spread overseas in ways no other pop musician from Japan has! Every new video she puts out showcases bold new looks that cosplayers who love a challenge gladly take on.

Perfume has had time to rack up a huge fanbase over the past 14 years. While Kyary eats pseudo-kawaii Harajuku fashion for breakfast, Perfume takes on a more high fashion approach to their coordinated idol outfits. This doesn’t mean their outfits aren’t as ambitious; I’d love to see some Spring of Life cosplays at a convention someday!

We take a departure from the pop scene and get into the intersection of rock music and goth fashion with this cosplayer. Although it’s slightly less mainstream, visual kei and goth fashion is still as prominent as ever amongst fans of bands like GazettE.

A lot of visual kei arists are known for having wild (i.e. amazing) hair and makeup, making it a challenging and appealing cosplay endeavor.

<p>And, I mean, who doesn’t want to be Miyavi?</p>
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Eat More Anime Food (For Your Cosplay)

We all know that the more dynamic a cosplay photoshoot, the better and more realistic the photos will look. Having a cosplayer stand in front of a blank wall may convey the quality of the styling and costume but there’s so much more you could do! Whether it’s the environment around them or other cosplayers, it’s the interactions taking place in photos that convey personality. Although it’s a very simple idea, adding food to your cosplay photoshoot adds a huge layer of depth! What kind of food have you seen your character eat? How enthusiastic are they about eating? Do they share their snacks with friends or pets? If you think about it, you might realize that there are heavy associations between your favorite characters and their snacks of choice. Just to name a few; L from Death Note is has a notorious sweet tooth, C.C. from Code Geass eats mostly pizza, Sailor Moon eats everything, etc. Certain snack and drink brands have been popularized outside of Japan because of anime, such as Pocky and Ramune.

If you’re cosplaying a high school student, odds are the most appropriate food prop for your shoot is a bento box. Bento boxes can say a lot about a character depending on how elaborate the meal is or how cute the box itself is. Who does your character have lunch with? What’s their vending machine drink of choice?

Maybe your character often finds themselves in front of a hot bowl of ramen!

Or maybe your character is just consistently late to high school?

A little effort goes a long way in cosplay photography; treat yourself and your crew to a special lunch during your next photo shoot and you’ll bring those characters to life in the process!

Keeping Conventions Safe for Everyone

For a lot of people, anime conventions serve as a safe place where certain types of self expression are welcomed and celebrated. If you’ve been to conventions, you know the amount of time you’ve spent anticipating the weekend; saving money, booking a hotel room, making travel arrangements, getting in touch with friends, and generally building up the expectations of a great time. Despite the effort it takes, some people are lucky enough to attend many conventions in a year. For others, particularly the younger crowd, it’s outside their means and control to be able to attend more than one or two, so imagine how special a single con might feel for any given attendee. You get what I’m saying; conventions unify people through enthusiasm in ways that are different from day-to-day life.

So if we’re all so excited to be at a convention, why is it that base levels of human decency aren’t always a given? There has been a history of harassment and even assault at conventions over the years. Although social media has provided an outlet for people to share their stories and spread the message that things need to change, it can just as easily be used to perpetuate the things they’re striving to end.  Over this past San Diego Comic Con weekend there was an incident where a cosplayer was found bloody and unconscious on the side of a road without ID. As if this wasn’t unacceptable enough, it was the same weekend that Adrianne Curry chased down and beat up a man that was sexually harassing her friend. A little over a year ago at the 24th A-Kon, there was a group of people threatening con-goers with sexual violence over Twitter using the hashtags #gropecrew and #rapecrew as well as tweeting pictures of female cosplayers at the convention. Later in 2013 at New York Comic Con, a camera crew was sexually harassing female cosplayers. The video has since been taken down from YouTube but related articles can be found here.

Stories like these are heartbreaking for the entire community and as much mistrust as these incidents create, the force fighting back is much stronger. Groups like Geeks for CONsent are creating a presence supporting anti-harassment policies at conventions. Their website accepts submissions for personal stories in an effort to spread awareness and give a voice to victims in a safe way. A CNN article goes into detail about the goals of Geeks for CONsent and provides a video full of testimonials that they show at conventions.

Next time you’re at a convention, consider some simple tips that will help both you and everyone around you enjoy their convention to the fullest:

1. Ask for permission: Whether it’s making physical contact or simply taking a photo from afar, the most respectful way to approach a situation is by asking what the other person is comfortable with. Especially with cosplayers it’s easy to forget that they are not the character they are portraying, but an individual person with their own personality and feelings. If the person is a cosplayer, it’s safe to assume they also put a lot of effort into their costume and it might be fragile and subject to breaking from physical contact. Similarly, if you would like to take a picture it’s important to ask first. Cosplayers are generally more than happy to pose for photos if you ask, so it’s disrespectful to catch them off guard. You want a nice photo and they want to look good! If for whatever reason they decline, don’t take it personally. There are a million reasons for someone to not feel comfortable being photographed at any given moment, and in an era of social media, people have the right to avoid putting themselves in a position where their photo might be spread on the internet.

2. Don’t take things personally: This goes hand in hand with asking for permission. You couldn’t possibly know the circumstance of someone’s experience without having ever met them. You don’t know what they will respond positively or negatively to, even if you are well-intentioned. If an uncomfortable situation arises, the easiest way to diffuse is to genuinely apologize. If you don’t feel capable of handling a situation or someone is being persistent or aggressive, immediately tell convention staff. They are there to help keep your weekend safe and positive so don’t feel like it’s your responsibility to deal with someone who has disrespected you or anyone around you.

3. Look out for others: If you see someone in distress, do not simply keep it to yourself. If you prefer not to get involved directly, tell convention staff. If you misread the situation and everything is fine, no one will be upset by your considerate behavior. Everyone wants to do their best to keep everyone safe, especially if it’s within their control. If one of your friends says something or does something that is making another con attendee uncomfortable, it is your responsibility as their friend to make them aware that their behavior is inappropriate. If friends are able to keep each other in check, it will lead to a much smoother, pleasant experience.

We all make mistakes and we are all learning, but if we strive to be aware of how we interact with and affect other people, we are taking a huge step towards everyone’s goal of creating a safe environment! Stay positive and have fun!


Convention Tips

Whether you are new to the convention world or a veteran, there are a few things that you should keep in mind while you go and nerd out with fellow con-goers. We don’t expect you to follow these tips or you have some of your own but these are good things to keep in mind!

1. Keep hydrated. Now this may sound very simple but while you are running around the convention center, taking pictures, buying merchandise, etc. you might forget to drink anything. Same goes for keeping yourself full as well. Nothing is worse than being dehydrated and hungry while waiting in the long lines. Make sure to bring a backpack and fill it with little snacks and a bottle of water.

2. Carry a small bag. Going along with number one, you need a bag in order to carry your snacks and your drinks. It’s especially essential just in case you buy small items and the seller doesn’t have a bag to give you. We know carrying a bag is a hassle but if you think about it, you’ll probably end up buying a bag anyway at the convention.

3. Small sewing kit. You never know if your cosplay is going to rip or tear and it is always good to have something for a quick fix. Also, if you make your own costumes it is always important to make sure that your costume stays together. Who knows, maybe someone steps on it and rips it. Granted you would have to sew it by hand but it’s better than having a ripped costume.

4. Money. This one is obvious. In order to buy any cosplay, merchandise, or any food at the convention, you need to have money with you. Credit cards are okay too but most places might not have an ATM machine for you to retrieve your money. Be sure to keep extra for food, hotel, and any other expenses you might need. Like your mother always said, “Don’t spend it all in one place!”.

5. Lastly, you want to have fun. What is a convention without a little fun? Forget the drama, forget that test that you have the next day; well don’t forget that but you get the point. Forget all the problems you are having and just relax. Conventions are for fun, they shouldn’t be stressful. Even if your costume didn’t get finished, or that photo shoot didn’t go as well as you had wished, you still need to have a bit of fun.


Cosplaying in the hot weather

Summer is quickly approaching and many of you are excited to break out your cosplays but remember to keep in mind things such as the weather. No one wants to sweat in their cosplay but it’s an unfortunate fact that all cosplayers have to deal with. There are a few cosplays that will keep you cool and we have compiled a list of three cosplays that will keep you from sweating too much in the hot weather!

1. Yoko Littner from Gurren Lagann.

She is a strong type of person and she will definitely keep you cool during the hot summer, especially during August. She is famous for carrying around a giant gun but if you don’t want to be stuck lugging that around conventions or for photo-shoots or if you really don’t want to splurge on the gun, you can just go in her traditional bikini top and shorts.

2. Super Sonico

Who wouldn’t want to cosplay this adorable character? Her costume features a blue jacket, shorts, and a tee-shirt. Definitely summer ready cosplay! You won’t have to worry about the heat getting to you in this cosplay. If you nix the jacket, you definitely are prepared for the summer! You’ll be able to keep cool and look fabulous in this outfit!

3. Sakura Haruno from Naruto
For you Naruto fans out there, this is definitely the cosplay for you. It will keep away the heat due to the fact that it is sleeveless and is accompanied by a pair of shorts. Aside from the gloves you will be able to fight the summer heat as well as some ninjas!

These are the top three cosplays that you should think about wearing during the hot months of summer! They will definitely be a huge hit at your next photo-shoot, anime convention, or just to show off to your friends. Happy cosplaying everyone!

Pinky Paradise Circle Lens Review: Grang Grang Choco & Vassen Jewel Pink

Picking cosplay lenses can be tricky sometimes. If you’re buying them online it’s always a crucial step to find reviews with real life photos to know what they might look like on you. Things like the way the diameter and color will appear over your natural eye color will always vary but you’ll get a much better idea if you see photos of the lenses in different types of lighting. We recently did a Pinky Paradise haul and we’re here to share some of the results with you!

Geo Grang Grang Choco
Diameter: 14.2mm
Water Content: 38%
Base Curve: 8.6mm
Life Span: 1 year disposal

Enlargement: ☆☆☆☆☆
Color: ☆☆☆☆☆
Comfort: ☆☆☆☆
Overall: ☆☆☆☆☆

If you have brown eyes, I highly recommend these for daily use. The enlargement is noticeable but not so dramatic that you have to wear makeup to pull it off. If you want a more natural look, perhaps going with the lighter of the two brown Grang Grangs would be a better choice since the outer ring is very dark. The darkness makes them very dolly without being unnaturally huge and that makes them super ideal for my taste. If you happen to be going for an unnaturally large look, they also come in 15.0mm! Although comfort depends on the person, I would say these are comfortable enough to wear everyday. Overall, if you’re looking for subtle dolly lenses I would definitely try these out.

Vassen Jewel Pink
Diameter: 14.5mm
Water Content: 42%
Base Curve: 8.6mm
Life Span: 1 Year Disposal

Enlargement: ☆☆☆☆☆
Color: ☆☆☆
Comfort: ☆☆☆☆
Overall: ☆☆☆☆

I have almost no complaints about my Vassen Jewel Pink lenses! They absolutely enlarge and show up very vividly on dark brown eyes. They are super comfortable and I love the way they look in general, I just wish they showed up a little bit pinker. On dark eyes they have a hint of a wine color instead of the cotton candy, light pink I was hoping for. If you have light colored eyes or are going for a slightly darker pink, theses are perfect for you. Overall, they are super great and I recommend them if you don’t mind the color being a little less dramatic than expected.

We’ll be back next week with a couple more circle lens reviews for you! Definitely check out for your cosplay contact needs!

Cosplay Wigs 101: Removing Shine

If you’re thinking about getting into cosplay, you might not know the steps you can take to make sure your wig looks as fantastic as possible! Even the highest quality wigs need a little caring for to keep them untangled and looking new over time. Having a realistic and well-styled wig can be the difference between an okay and an amazing cosplay. You can take this first step the same day you buy your wig:

Removing Unnatural Shine

What you’ll need:

– 1 cup fabric softener

– 3 cups water

– bucket

– wig brush

– baby powder

Before and After photos from YouCanCosplay

You just bought a wig today! Make sure it’s ready for the con by taking these steps right away! Start by mixing your fabric softener with water in a bucket. If 1 cup of softener and 3 cups of water is not enough to submerge your wig in water, keep adding more in the same ratio of softener to water. Flip your wig inside out and swish it around the bucket to make sure it’s fully saturated. Leave the wig in the bucket between two to five days.

Once it’s been soaking for the desired amount of time, take it out and let it dry. It’s best to wait until it’s dry before brushing or combing it as to not damage the fibers. Please consider that this process may make the wig color(s) a little less saturated than before!

After it’s dry, if you feel it needs a little more shine taken out, brush some baby powder through your wig. A plastic comb will create static so use a wig brush if possible! Make sure it’s evenly distributed and pat out the excess so it doesn’t get on your costume. Your wig should be looking a lot more natural without that synthetic shine! Good luck!

Top 3 anime you should be watching

Lets face it, there are tons of new anime that come out on a daily basis and it’s hard to keep up with all of the good ones. Well, I’ve compiled a list of the newest anime out there and ones you should take a look at:

1. Golden Time. Banri Tada has just been accepted into a law school in Tokyo. He goes to this school after being in a traumatic accident in which he loses all of his memories of it and a little bit of what happened before the accident. Sounds like a typical anime right? Someone has amnesia and is going to school is pretty typical but what sets this apart from other anime is that there is an epic love story thrown in! Still typical? Yes but it gets better I swear.

Banri ends up meeting a head-strong girl named Koko Kaga. She is a rich girl that has eyes only for Banri’s new friend, Mitsuo Yanagisawa. Thing is she has been following Mitsuo since she was little, determined to always be with him. Eventually somewhere down the road she falls for Banri and he eventually recovers his memories, realizing he is now regretful of his decisions. It sounds like any other anime but it brings forth comedy, unique characters, and an over-played plot done right! Definitely worth it to check it out.


2. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. The story is told by the adventures of the Joestars, a powerful family with English roots. The series spans several generations, with each part featuring a descendant of the Joestars as the main character. There are many parts to this series but the art style definitely gives you that old anime feel to it. It is slowly gaining popularity as the story progresses. If you’re into the old anime feel, this anime is for you!

3. My neighbor Seki. The series follows a girl named Rumi Yokoi who is constantly distracted by her neighboring classmate, Toshinari Seki, as he indulges in elaborate hobbies and somehow never gets caught in the process. It is a comedy that makes you want to roll your eyes at how Seki never gets caught. It is really enjoyable and I’m sure you’ll get a kick out of it!

And there you have it! The top three anime that you should be watching. Check out these awesome animes and have a wonderful time laughing, crying, and maybe even singing along to the theme song!

Magical girl anime gaining popularity!

Hello all! I’m here to talk to you about Puella Magi Madoka Magica! Since it came out in 2011 “Madoka” has been taking the anime world by storm! In my opinion I believe that it has become a huge hit as a magical girl anime. Now most would say that it has changed the way magical girl genre animes are made but it still has elements to being a traditional magical girl anime. It is light hearted in the beginning but as you go through the series you start to get attached to the characters; like any other good anime. So far there has been one movie that has been released and has made it big within the fandom.

Many people claim it has changed their views on what “typical” magical girl animes are done. It has dark aspects to it as well as life lessons thrown in there to keep the viewers coming back for more! I believe (and hope) more people will check out this enjoyable, sweet yet dark, anime. It has a very friendship type of feel to it. Every age of anime fans will be capitivated by the art-style which is something that has not been done before. Taking a closer look at even the eyes of each character, it has a rough sketch type of look to it. Each character has their own quirks and little things that make them special. This anime is definitely unique to the magical girl scene with it’s cut-out type of battles that go on throughout the series.

This anime is definitely worth it to check out for all types of fans, not just magical girl fans!

Tattoos in the Cosplay World

When you ask someone what they think the most important part of a good cosplay is, the answer won’t always be the same. For some people the goal is to experience being someone else for a day, some people praise immaculate craftsmanship over all else, and others want to get as close to being the physical representation of that character as possible. With tattoos and piercings rising in popularity and public acceptance in recent years, cross-over with the cosplay community is to be expected; how does a person with visible body modifications go about cosplaying? Some people go the route of choosing costumes that will obscure any tattoos or using makeup to cover up. Piercings have the advantage of being removable for photo shoots and convention days. Some people will be selective about which characters to cover up for and which might go well with a little bit of extra ink.

vera-baby from DeviantArt as Misty from Pokemon

So what about the people that don’t think that their tattoos take away from their cosplay and accept them simply as a part of their body? Is it lazy to not make an extra effort to closer resemble a character? The best aspect of being a cosplayer is being a part of a community that genuinely believes that having fun and expressing your love for a character or show or video game is the root of why we all do it! Just in the same way that you don’t have to be born with the same gender, body type, or eye color as the character you cosplay as, it’s what you bring to the character that makes it unique. We found some inspiring photos of cosplayers proudly wearing their tattoos! Tell us what you think about body mods in cosplay!

Aerithflowergirl5678 from DeviantArt as Tifa from Final Fantasy 7