Monthly Archives: December 2010

Microbes and Lace

This semester, we watched Moyashimon in anime club. We picked it for our comedy series and since we played it after Mushi-shi, we called it our ‘microbe power hour’. Apart from me thinking that the Oryzae microbe is the cutest thing since Hello Kitty, it was always refreshing to watch a comedic take on university after a stressful week in one.

And then we got to the last couple of episodes. Everything came together, the series’ episodic insanity made sense thematically, and… spoilers ahead!

This is Kei on the left. That's AU Edward Elric on the right. Just kidding.

Kei’s my favorite character because he had that grounded personality and comparatively subtle humor that made Moyashimons over the top situations believable without detracting from them. But then he totally bailed a few episodes in, leaving me a sad Kei fan and wishing just as much as Sawaki that Kei would pick up his phone and let Sawaki (and me!) know if he’s alive. He’d already pretty much made the ‘I need more casual cosplays!’ list on the second episode.

Remember Kei from the last pic? This is also Kei.

After being gone for half the anime, Kei reappears… looking very nice in full gothic lolita dress. This wouldn’t be a problem for me, except that I loved this series enough already and the ending of the anime was pretty much about going off and finding exactly what it is you want to do, even if people have other plans in mind for you. And as far as going off and finding exactly what I want to do, this is a pretty important semester for me.

Naturally, I had an immediate, instinctive ‘MUST COSPLAY!’ reaction. So basically, I can’t get my mind to accept cosplaying a female character no matter how much I love her, but Kei here brings out that part of me that always wanted to be a gothic lolita.

~greyrondo

Images from animesuki.com, are-are.net, concretebadger.net

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Wigs vs. Real Hair

Not cosplay: I’ve gotten a haircut. Cosplay: a friend of mine who knows me very well asked me Friday over lunch if I had gotten it cut for the sake of cosplay.

Which got me thinking about using a wig versus using your real hair for cosplay, especially in the context of your first cosplay thanks to the First Cosplay Saga.

I’m biased towards the ‘always use a wig, all the time’ for my personal cosplay, for two reasons.

1) None of my characters ever go anywhere near my natural hair so some terrible, permanent things in the way of bleach and dye and extensions would have to happen.

2) I spent the first two years of my cosplay life in Houston, Texas, where the humidity teams up with your hair specifically to make your life resemble a circle of Hell. So even if my hair looked just like the character’s in the hotel room, it would be gone as soon as I stepped outside (or even into a different climate controlled environment). I used half of my real hair once, and this is what happened:

Check out those bangs on my right side. What are they even doing? I have no idea.

Wigs are flexible, but they are not one size fits all. And a majority of the time, proper wig adjustments don’t happen during your first cosplay between one thing and another. The first time you wear a wig for cosplay, chances are decent you haven’t worn a wig for an eight to ten hour stretch before. This, combined with the fact that typical anime hairstyles will do things like block half your normal vision or your peripheral vision, will give you a headache the first couple of times. And I can’t stress enough that your first cosplay is supposed to be fun, not irritating.

But you can’t get over the fact that, with proper maintenance, you have total control what your ‘hair’ looks like and you usually only have to do it once. And depending on the cosplay, having the right hair is even more important for character recognition than the clothes themselves.

Did I get my hair cut for cosplay, like my friend had guessed? No. But later that day, I snuck into anime club just in time for Durarara! after attending another event. Afterwards, a girl told me she was two seconds away from shouting out “Izaya-kun!’

Needless to say, the fear that I’ll look like that weirdo is enough to make sure that I never skip the mascara in the morning. But if I can get that while wearing makeup, a peacoat, and skinny jeans, I’m not going to bother with my wig at Ikkicon. So here’s my official position. If you have the exact hair you need and you know it’s not going to try anything funny, go for it. But put a wig on your to-buy list for when you grow out of your hairstyle, but not your favorite character.

~greyrondo