Saturday, May 28, 2011

Why I love May......

This past weekend was my most favorite weekend of the entire year.  As previously posted, I am a big fan of anime, which are cartoons from Japan.  I also like their counterpart to the American comic, manga.  I have loved this hobby since before I knew what it was.  I grew up watching Voltron and Thundercats.  Many a childhood hour was spent in the company of Optimus Prime and the Transformers.  As you can guess I never have been all that girly.  I would much rather be the hero than the damsel in distress. Then in college my friend and I discovered Sailor Moon.  This anime helped bring the whole of this wonderful world to the US, not just for me but for an entire generation of viewers.  Along with several others Sailor Moon reintroduced me to a hobby I though was only appropriate for little kids....yeah not so much. 
Anime and manga can be for kids, but it can be so much more.  It can be bright and fanciful, dark and deadly, horrific and disturbing.  It can have ghosts, robots, magic, and on the bit of the odd side, sports.  Its got ninjas, pirates, wizards, and elves.  It brings everything I can imagine into a pocket sized comic that reads left to right.  Don't get me wrong, I do love a good American comic book, but there is just something about Japan's delivery that keeps me coming back for more!
So this past weekend, in the Chicago land area, was one of the Biggest and Best conventions in the United States for fans of Anime, manga, gaming, and J-pop culture, Anime Central. This is my sixth year at the convention, and I love it more every time.  There is costuming, art, crafts, merchandise, gaming, videos, and raves. To pay respect to ones favorite character parading around in their chosen attire is the order of the day.  This is known as Cosplay.  One of my favorite series is Naruto by Masashi Kishimoto.  In this very well staffed epic ninja adventure is a secondary character by the name of Kankuro.  He is a ninja from the Village Hidden in the Sand.  His weapon of choice are deadly puppets...yes I typed it right.....puppets.  I know, I know, I get it all the time. Really?!?! Puppets?!?! Yep, puppets.  For the Cosplay I choose an older version of him, he has learned to store his arsenal of deadly marionettes in scrolls he carries on his back.

The costume its self is not that difficult.  I actually used the pattern I had to make the jammy bottoms from Craft Club and there was a top in there that matched his pretty well.  I got some nice comfy black fabric that does not wrinkle all that much and is machine washable, because no one should smell at a con. 
I am uber proud of the scrolls, as I worked very hard on them.  They are PVC piping with plumbing parts glued together to look like the rolled paper.  With some spray paint, felt, and fabric I think the look as close to perfect as possible.  The epic cool part is that we made one end of all the tubes detachable so we could store stuff in them.  This was a big help and a big hit at the convention.  People commented on how cool it was.
What do you think? I think they rock and I am super proud of this whole costume.  The good thing is that I get to wear my pride and joy again at Wizard World Chicago in August.  Let me know your favorite costume or if you even know what I have been rambling on about in this post. 
I really like the costuming thing and I have already been thinking about a new one, but for a few years down the line.  I do have an un-natural crush on a certain pirate......and it's not who you think.

Yo ho, yo ho, a pirates life for me........

Kelly, cosplaying ninja

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