May 22, 2012

Non-cosplay: MBC Korean Music Wave Concert 2012

I know this is primarily a cosplay blog, but there is so much going on in my life right now that doesn't involve cosplay! So in the next few months, expect more of these "non-cosplay" posts~

Anyway, I had the wonderful luck of attending the MBC Korea Music Wave concert hosted by Google and Youtube! My friend has connections to Google, so she surprised me with tickets, even though I fought long and hard to get some online. I didn't have school on the day of the event, either, so I had more reasons to go.
I woke up Monday morning at 4:45am and left the house by 6:15. I shamefully didn't ask my dad to drive me there the night before, but he still put up with my antics and brought me to Shoreline. My friends left at 5am, so I met up with them and camped out for THE ENTIRE DAY.
While in line, all I did was sit and eat while contemplating sleep. Sleep never came, but I met some nice people in line, ran across the parking lot at the idea of buying cheap posters (didn't have TVXQ, didn't get any), and was interviewed with 10 other people by a Korean news group...had to sing the chorus of SNSD's "The Boys" (even though I told the camera that I was there to see TVXQ orz).
Half of my friends were split up because only a small number of us got tickets from a Google employee, so once tickets were passed out to the online voucher line, we sneaked in to their area in order to get seats together. Waited in that INSANELY CROWDED line for over an hour, and then everyone fought each other to get into the security lines. That was the most difficult part for me. I was okay with waiting (even though I should have brought more things to do), and I didn't have a problem finding seats (my friends saved one for me), but that mob! I heard someone say "mimi", and all I could think about was what does mimi even mean? Because it means "ear" in Japanese, but that didn't really belong in context. I guess it means "push everyone in your path without mercy" in kpop fan language.
So after I managed to get through security and the mimi-mob unscathed, I speed-walked into the arena by myself...and my friends already had seats, lucky!

 this is basically how close we were to the stage. 7TH-ISH ROW. 
I could see idol-sweat and everything.
 Sun blinded-Kristina and fake idol-poser me XD
I don't even care that once we got our seats, we had to wait for maybe 2 hours.
Somehow, Kristina managed to get into the VIP area after the security was finished checking VIP-specific tickets...we weren't confronted about this, so yay!

 After brief speeches from the VP's at MBC and Youtube, Tiffany and Taeyeon came out as the MC's! Looking at female idols is so nerve-wracking. The more I watched, the more overweight and uncoordinated I felt XD
 And after Kara opened the show with one song (no pictures), MBLAQ was the first to do a full set~ I don't usually listen to them (although I do watch them when they're on Music Bank), but their stage presence was great! They're really good at maintaining their tough image while performing, even though they said they were nervous during their MC.
 Sistar was next, they looked so confident :O
It was so weird watching their backs during Ma Boy, I don't think they're supposed to move like that...
Kristina was really excited to see them, especially Amber. They seemed very relaxed, and they didn't depend on Amber to do the entire English MC~ 
 Our seats were so wonderful. I don't even like my camera very much, but it proved itself to be quite the hero with some select shots from the concert.
 Sun Ye came out to do a solo ballad dedicated to her father who recently passed away. It was amazing to see her sing, the video that played before she came in made me want to cry, so it was crazy seeing her perform without breaking down.
Seohyun was next to do her solo "Flying Duck"...which doesn't strike me as a very graceful animal, but she was adorable when she was singing and jumping around the stage.
Kara came back to do a full set, and I continued with my idol leg-envy.
they're they second reason why I even came so early.
They opened with Shock, which was the first song of theirs I had ever heard.
I'm surprised I didn't cry.
They continued with Fiction, and the members looked SUPER serious. Dongwoon was pretty close to us for the beginning, and despite our obsessive waving, he stared straight for what seemed like an entire minute.
They finished up with Beautiful~ It was nice to see the members relax a bit more :P
In the end, Kristina and I were waved to by Kikwang, Yoseob, Dongwoon, and Dujun!
I'm glad it happened, we seemed to be sitting in the Beauties-only section...
SNSD was next, but they were missing 2 members due to their hectic filming schedules.
I'm pretty sure they had the most/loudest fans in the audience, everyone went crazy when the girls came out. The performed The Boys, Mr. Taxi, and finished with their classic Gee.
The Wonder Girls were next~ They did a cute dance tutorial with the audience for Nobody, but everyone already knew the dance because it's a kpop classic XD
Almost done!
Super Junior came out in an odd fashion. Most of the audience was facing the back of the arena, but I couldn't see anyone. Eventually some of the members came walking down the aisles, while some of them surprised everyone with showing up on stage when the audience was turned around. They were really serious in their performaces, but they were all so cheerful in their MC~ Every member introduced themselves in English, and then Leeteuk took over and did a majority of their speech in Korean.

Easily the best part of the show, no wonder they went last. And I'm not saying that out of my extreme love for them. My friends who claimed to not like them very much were gushing after their performance. Yunho and Changmin's stage presence was unmatched. They're ridiculously serious while performing, they don't take single-second breaks to wave to their fans, and that's fine. BECAUSE THE PERFORMANCES ARE PERFECT.
 Opened with Keep Your Head Down, I was so excited to see this live. TVXQ always acts so rough when they perform this song (especially in Japan...) I was too focused on screaming and unleashing my true fangirl to think about anything else.
 And then they did Before U Go. I cried. My friends who were sitting 2 or 3 rows behind me said they knew, which confused me, because I don't think I cried too much or too loudly.
it's beautiful
and I totally forgot that in the live version, there's a dance sequence with sexy dipping and crotch grabs...I have a photo, but it's a bit blurry. I wonder why orz
 They did their MC next~ Yunho opened in English, talking to the audience about if they were having a good time, and then switched to Korean. Changmin came in with Korean, and then ended their speech with some adorable English: "ARE YOU READY TO GET CRAZYYY?!"
Oh Changmin, what are you, 5? 
I was so giddy to see this live. After Purple Line, Rising Sun was one of the first TVXQ songs I ever heard (even though I knew the original version...) I love the obscure choreography and both Yunho and Changmin look so confident and professional!
*just going to spam now*

In the end, I proudly cried and shouted constantly.
I'm pretty sure Changmin waved to Kristina and me, and while Yunho didn't wave to most of the audience, he did look over at our part of the audience during Keep Your Head Down (granted, he looked like he was about to shoot someone. Yunho always maintains that extreme look. Love him so much OTL)
What really surprised me was how loud the audience cheered when they came on. I didn't see many obvious Cassies, but TVXQ has been around for a long time, so of course they had such a reaction~ That, and how they performed. I already said that they were (and always will be) amazing, but compared to the other artists, TVXQ made everyone else look half-asleep. They were focused, had extremely clean choreography, and impeccable charisma.

Now that I'm home for a normal day...I don't even know. My brain has become a puddle of mush. This concert was so emotionally moving and a great experience. The only regret having is not making myself an obvious Cassie as well. I should have brought a poster or a sign, and wear my "always keep the faith" t-shirt Kristina gave me (I wore it the day before, how stupid)...

I have 3 days until Fanime, I still have some things to work out (COME ON UPS), but this concert made me feel so great! I know I'll try to channel some of the idols' energy when I'm shooting, I'm going to need it >.<

May 12, 2012

Fanime Countdown: 13 Days!

Almost done...just not there quite yet.
I'll be shopping this morning so hopefully I can finish everything by next weekend
Uknow the one.
Anyway, I have some more (but not really) progress pictures to share of what I'm hoping to finish in the next two days~

it isn't for me, but it's almost finished! Just need to buy and attach the white lace/ribbons.
This is for Miffy, who, unless I move to Japan and live in her closet, won't be available to cosplay with anymore D: So as a combination birthday-Christmas-we'll miss you-present, I decided to make this to go with my Panty cosplay. 

 Current Type-H progress, minus the base wig, because I don't want to wear it until my wefts come in (I hope they come in soon >.<)
Need belts on the top and skirt, so I also have to attach belt loops to the top...and now the top looks giant on me. I either lost weight or I did some secret technique last time I wore it. I'll probably bring my super-spy backless bra gives some extra padding so my costumes don't look like they're being worn by a prepubescent child.

Need to get to work! I'll be sitting in front of the computer attempting to reserve Google tickets tonight, so I need to get a much as I can before 5pm just to be safe.

I didn't even remember that I wrote this THIS MORNING XD
my brain just exploded a little bit.
Anyway, while I didn't sew like a monster, I got some cosplays OFFICIALLY FINISHED
both versions of Panty, and my Stocking commission are complete!

 love the trim. I just can't not
sleeves look sloppy on my dress form, but that's because they're Juliette sleeves and therefore too heavy to stay up without arms shoved inside.
But it's done and I'm happy~

Finished painting stripes on my socks for Panty, so I'm ready for Day 3 at Fanime.
Attached red belt-loops to my Type H top (not accurate, but I don't care anymore XD), bought belts at DAISO. Still need thigh highs and the wefts for my wig.

Stopped caring about curling my Kyary wig, so I went ahead and safety-pinned the massive bow onto the wig itself. May test it out to see how many pins I'll need to keep both parts stuck to my head...still need more bags, and my shoes.

May 6, 2012

Fanime Countdown: 19 Days!

I'm almost ready~ at least I think I'm almost ready.
Spent the last 2 days sewing and dying many things...but I only have a few pictures of what I worked on today.

As of right now, Panty (default) is complete except for the wig, which can be styled at the hotel. I dyed the dress again yesterday with a polyester-specific dye, and it turned out beautifully :D
I also sewed the bows for my friend's matching Stocking cosplay. I need to attach pins to the bows and buy/attach white ribbon/lace to the dress, and I'll be done!

I worked on Type H Miku for most of the weekend. I made my first pair of bootcovers, and I don't understand why I put them off for so long; they're surprisingly easy! I made the pattern yesterday, but I was convinced I'd need zippers to get them onto my legs. It turns out that my silly calves wouldn't fit even with the zippers, so I added a 3-inch extension to the backs of the covers, and now they fit without any closures~
Here is a boot at about 75% completion. They're complete now, but it's very hot in the Bay Area today, so I didn't want to put them on for pictures. After this photo was taken, I added a 6-inch cuff to the top and hemmed the bottom of the boot (around the toe). When I wear these, I'll need some double-sided tape to attach the covers to the shoe, but that's it! 

Wig wise, I'm at a bit of a stopping point. I was dying some loose wefts to attach to my Miku wig as twintails, but the color is uneven and a bit dark. I just bought some more, and if they're too dark, I'll dye the base wig a little bit. The only successful part of this wig has been the styling of the base.
 Originally a medium-length bob style that I bought almost 4 years ago XD
Layered with styling shears to a long pixie cut. A friend of mine will be borrowing it (without twintails or gray extensions) for his "Secret Police" Luki cosplay.
I really like the style of this wig now that it's been cut, though. My hair is naturally wavy, so even if I cut it, I'd have to put a lot of time into styling it. So when I'm in Japan this summer, I may just bring some wigs with me if I get too lazy to do my hair OTL

Need to keep working! Here's a list of what needs to be done:
Miku: attach wefts, buy accessories (belts, thigh highs)
Kyary: style wig, buy shoes (+attach ribbons), add more bags to the skirt
Stocking (commission): finish bows, add white details (lace/ribbon)

But I have 2 giant exams on Thursday. In 2 different languages. So I must cram. Or else I will write 3 advanced English literature essays in intermediate Japanese. And vice-versa.
And then I may be given permission to infiltrate Google headquarters to attempt to see my husband U-know the one :P 
Need to hurry up and finish everything!

May 1, 2012

Fanime Countdown! + photos and a completed cosplay

24 DAYS.
Not ready. Getting there, but not quite.
Lucky for me, the NorCal Cherry Blossom Festival was 2 weeks ago, so I had a new cosplay completed for the occasion!
and because it's finished, I'll be bringing Irabu to Fanime because it's a comfortable eyesore.
so have some photos:
 met up with Crystal and Trevor as soon as I arrived in JapanTown! And then we went on an adventure to find takoyaki...unfortunately, I think the booth trolled us. Didn't taste any octopus out of the 8 I bought OTL

We took a lot of pictures in line (it was at least 15 minutes long TwT). This is devoted to the back of my head and Trevor's unmatchable photobombing skills. 
 (photo by Kei Tsubasa)
We roamed around for a few hours (Crystal and I were interviewed for a TV program!), and found good spots to watch the parade. There was a lot of playing around. But mostly tie-pulling. They're just jealous because I finally have a ducky tie and they don't.

(totally aware of how out-of-focus this it)
All in all, I had a great time. This costume was recognized much more than I expected. Kuchu Buranko is a pretty unappreciated series because of the obscure characters and animation style. But the people I met through this cosplay were all so friendly!

About the costume:
The pants were the only thing I made completely from scratch. They're pink quilting cotton, and painted with my odd mix of acrylic paints. The ears are green felt attached to a headband. I bought the glasses from Forever21, popped out the lenses, and painted the frames with red acrylics and nail polish. I bought the tie from DAISO, made a duck stencil, and painted the ducks with fabric paints. Details on the wig are in my previous blog post. The lab coat was a birthday present from my mom...even though I found it and picked it out from a medical uniform store. The shoes are my trusted cosplay-sneakers from Japan (yayyyyyy).

And now for some progress photos!
still working on Kyary's skirt...needs a few more bags. Ever since I stuffed them with tissue paper, gaps started showing up.

Type H makeup test~ I finished the armwarmers, too, but I'm too lazy for photos...

I really need to start finishing more cosplays. I have lists made, but I need more motivation!