Friday, February 23, 2018

Who Are You Calling a Midget?! - Edward Elric Progress Part: 1

Hello all.

I'm back with quite the surprise. I seriously never thought that I'd be sewing my next costume so soon! I had no plans in doing a cosplay before well, maybe April or summer, if even that. But here I am, giving Edward Elric from Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood that high priority push sorry Link, I get back to you in spring/summer :DD all thanks to that cosplay hype inducing conversation with my good friend Firith. Since my buddy recently finished Brotherhood and was all stocked up to cosplay from it, I got the perfect opportunity to finally bring the fullmetal brother Edward Elric to life! Edward has been on my cosplay list for a while now and he happens to be one of those cosplays that I'm not too keen about cosplaying alone, for some reason. Maybe because he's kinda over-done and not too interesting design-wise? Dunno. But if any of my friends would end up loving the series as much as I do (read: possible pair/group cosplay) then I'm more than thrilled to do this little guy.

The idea to cosplay Edward Elric didn't come from me watching the anime, as many might think. No. It was more of a, how to say, coincidence that I even ended up watching the anime in the first place. To be honest, when I started watching anime some years ago, I wasn't that interested in Brotherhood as the design didn't reel me in. Yes, I can watch a series only because the design/style speaks to me. So how did I end up watching those 64 episodes of Brotherhood? Well, it all started when I was browsing cosplay.com years ago and found this popular thread called "Who Do I Look Like? Who Should I Cosplay?". Usually, I don't care about these kind of topics but I decided to be mainstream and post a photo of myself for shits and giggles, just to see what happens. Pure curiosity. It didn't take long before I had people suggesting me different characters. What I noticed though, was that several persons suggested me the same character over and over again, with one person writing something along the lines of "OMG you would make a VERY handsome Edward Elric!" and well, after receiving such a grand comment, I just had to watch the series and I'm so glad I did! Not only did people recommend an amazing character to me, I also got introduced to one of the best anime out there. Brotherhood blew my mind more times than I can count and Edward Elric stood out as my favorite, after that I plowed through all of those 64 episodes of awesomeness. Aside from Edward, I really liked King Bradley, Van Hohenheim, Greed and Olivier as well. Damn, what a cast... I'm speechless! <3

Before I drift away into "praising the hell out of what Brotherhood is" let's go back to the actual cosplay progress; So, the cosplay progress of Edward won't be a long one and that is because I only need to sew two parts of the costume myself, luckily. What I need to sew will be the black jacket-ish shirt and his iconic red coat. The rest of the costume, to my surprise, was already waiting for me in my wardrobe and some parts I could even borrow from my older costumes! Booyah! This costume won't be 100% accurate but I don't even care. I go with what I have, if I deem that it looks good enough for the costume. I'm not picky with accuracy, unless it's one of those characters who is dear/close to me. Yes, while I dig Edward a lot as a character, he's not that dear to me compared to other characters.

Now to the cosplay progress itself.

Anyway! On the 19th February mom picked me up and I stayed the weekend over at her place to sew on my new costume and spend time there. When I came to mom's and during the time she was at work, I went to the attic to look for a fitting fabric for the coat (we decided to start with it) and luckily, I didn't need to search long before I laid my eyes on an almost ideal fabric for it! It was this sturdier cotton fabric in this beautiful wine red hue! I absolutely loved this fabric at first glance! The problem reared its ugly face when I and mom noticed (after that she came home) that the fabric wouldn't be enough for the pattern we were originally going to make the coat out of. What we had to do was to find another pattern that would work for our fabric restrictions and the next days, I was plowing through mom's huge ass amount of sewing magazines in hope of finding that pattern we could use. I found like 3 or 4 different ones that could work and by looking at them together during the evening, I think our best bet is in one of them.

The issues didn't end there, no no. The next day (20th) when we decided on the best possible pattern (so far) I came across Problem Number 2 - the magazine had no pattern sheets! I looked for them, checked other magazines of the same brand, not there either. I couldn't do much more (I'm not confident/skilled enough to draw my own patterns by hand yet) so I let the project be for now and continued with reading my book until mom came home. I don't think we progressed any further that evening -aside from discussing the patterns- as we were watching television together and having a good time. I did tell mom about the "I can't find the pattern sheets" the following day and she was just as surprised as I was! She told me that she knows that there should be patterns in those magazines but she also recalled that back in the days, when she was running her fabric store, customers sometimes took/forgot to put back the patterns in the magazines. I'm just hoping we can find it and if not, I'm sure mom will find a way around this.

I don't know what more to say and I know that the photos is what -many times- makes a post interesting to read and since I don't have anything to show you guys this time around, have a sum-it-up gif of how I felt when the entire shit of a situation revealed itself for me :'DD

Mr. Bean is gold xD
We will look better into this the next time I go to mom's, which will hopefully be in the near future. Gotta add that I did, indeed, find 2 possible patterns for the shirt though, so let's see which one of those is the better one when I start sewing.

Oh and regarding the Automail (metallic arm); For now, I don't plan to make it nor in the near future. I might do it one day though, if I feel that I really want to upgrade the costume. But for now, I skip it.

Until next time!

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Old Costume Gets a New Look - Original Casual!Germany Photoshoot

Guten Abend.

2018 is here and I thought about starting off this year with something that is both old and new, in a way. You see, I had plans to photoshoot and eventually "re-debut" my original casual version of Germany (Hetalia) after that I found better gear for the costume back in 2016. Aside from getting all the stuff together for the new version of the costume, the photoshoot just didn't happen until, well, today.

While I didn't have any particular issues with the old design itself, I started to feel -as the years passed by- that the entire costume idea (even for being an original casual) was too rushed and, how to say, "straight from the closet" you know? I already knew back in 2015 when I debuted my Original Casual!Germany for the first time at Desucon Frostbite 2015, that I can do better and eventually will. So here I am, giving you guys -in essence the very same costume- but just with a new coat of paint and in 2018 standards. Here we go, enjoy!

DISCLAIMER!

I'm aware that the character I cosplay in this post might wear details/symbols that can be offensive or emotionally unpleasant to others. I, as a guy with his heart and morals in the right place, just want to make it clear that I DO NOT support, agree with, believe in or have any other connections to the ideologies/beliefs that the character I'm cosplaying is representing. Readers, please keep in mind that what I'm wearing is JUST A COSTUME and shouldn't be taken as anything more than that. Thank you.

Cosplayer: Frozen Angel (Germany)
Photographer & editor: Shiro Samurai





The default coloring on the photo below looked way too bright, so both I and Shiro Samurai agreed to give it a different color scheme. Turned out pretty neat, if you ask me.


All the photos were taken near Shiro Samurai's apartment and sadly, this photoshoot was cut short because of the freaking cold. I bloody swear it felt like -20 degrees but it was probably just around minus 15 to 18. I had a hard time to withstand the cold, as I've been feeling weak-ish since a few days ago. So I just had to keep the uniform with or on me to not freeze too much. Yes, the uniform jacket is actually surprisingly warm. For the new design, I went with a field gear look and when it comes to historical accuracy, the new design is definitely more legit as it has two WW2 German army surplus/reproduction items (shirt and belt for those interested). The old design had nothing, aside from maybe the bullet in the necklace, lol.

For those of you who haven't seen the old design from 2015, you can find it below. Feel free to compare the two and tell me what you think!

Design back in 2015.
and...

Design in 2018.
Before I end this post; I just want to say that as someone with a big interest in history, I always aim to improve and upgrade my historically inspired costumes to be, well, more legit. My goal is always to find that sweet balance between historical accuracy and costume-y. I just admire my passions and it's so cool when they can walk hand in hand at times <3

I want to thank Shiro Samurai for providing me quality photos throughout the years and for borrowing me his toy gun from one of his costumes. Thank you bro, stay awesome!

Oh yeah, I also wonder if I should try (at least once) to use my own hair for any version of Germany? Just a feeling that it might yield the best results. The wig looks too cartoon-y for him, in my opinion, so I don't know if any amount of hairspray will fix the problem. Let me know what you think of this peeps! Feedback is greatly appreciated.

Sedä pane (ei se sesxi) pyssy pojs xD
 

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Cosplay Year 2017

Within the coming hours 2017 is history and behind us, as it's time to welcome 2018 through the door. So what to say about 2017? Well, to say the least, it has been a different and memorable year for me. During 2017 I didn't attend a single anime convention, as I decided to focus solely on my life and what I want to do with it. It felt great to take that much needed, long break from all that stress that comes from the life of a cosplayer (not to mention the costs). Instead, I used the time to just relax my stressed out mind and to take care of myself and my life. The best moments of 2017 was when I saw Sabaton live in Luleå for the first time and when I went to visit Germany again in the summer. I also really enjoyed and valued the family dinner at mom's during the same day, 6th December, when Finland got its 100th year of independence. Lovely stuff baked in one very important year <3

I must say that even if I didn't attend any cons during the year, I didn't regret it at all. Hopefully, this long break will help me to enjoy the coming conventions a bit more. When it comes to cons of 2018, I will try to aim at either Närcon Vinter or Närcon 2018 and possibly also Tracon, if my economy and life situation allows it. I also want to say that larping has ignited quite the spark of interest in me, ever since I discussed it with my good friends Janina and Pumpkin, who are larpers themselves. I have told them how I've been feeling about cosplay lately and that cosplay, as a hobby, seems to be lacking in the experience department for me. I'm not lying if I say that cosplay has lost some of its excitement and glow for me. I need to experience something more, something that is more alive and more important to me as a person, somehow. It's really hard to explain how I feel about cosplay and I can't help but wonder, if larping is what I have always wanted to experience? Anyway, I don't think I will fully drop cosplay (if larping happens to be more of my thing) but I'm definitely giving larp and cosplay larp a try, if the opportunity presents itself for me.

Anyway, since I didn't attend any conventions or any manga day events or the like during 2017, it means that this year will go without the fancy "Cosplays of the Year" image. However, I did wear two different costumes for quick preview photoshoots but, well, that doesn't count.

Here is my "Cosplay Year 2017" summed up in a Monster Hunter themed gif. Enjoy.


I'm obviously the hunter guy, the Konchu (orange monster ball-thing) is my cosplay plans and well, the Rajang (big monkey dude) is my life, lol xD

Before I end this post, I want to thank everyone who has been a part of this journey through 2017. Special thanks goes to Janina for letting me stay at her place some nights during my travels in Germany and for great company. I also want to thank my other good friends, who have supported me throughout the year and been there when I have been in need. You know who you are. So thank you guys and gals, you are all awesome and I couldn't wish for better life companions <3

Happy New Year 2018!

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Swedish Premiere of The Unknown Soldier & Finland 100 Years of Independence

Morjens!

At first I was unsure if I should write a post about the Swedish premiere of The Unknown Soldier (original title Tuntematon Sotilas) because I guess not too many people would know about the movie outside of Finland. In Finland, however, the movie is very famous, well-received and loved across the country. One could say it has a bit of that national treasure status up here and some people watch it every Christmas as a tradition, I heard. The Unknown Soldier is one of those movies that has been re-made/remastered whatnot, up to 3 times now (years are 1955, 1985 and 2017) and each time it has been directed by a different person. The movie aka the 2017 one (duh!) had its premiere in Finland 27th October and in Sweden on the 6th December - the very same day Finland got its independence 100 years ago. Man, the feels are real. What a way for Sweden to celebrate little brother Finland!

The movie is of course about the years during 1941-44 when Finland fought Soviet Russia to keep their country's independence (since 1917) and what followed shortly after those years. I don't want to spoil the history for those who don't know it and want to see the movie. I would personally recommend The Unknown Soldier to those out there who has a knack for historical movies (especially war themed ones) and are interested in how war affects the human psyche and the everyday life of the soldier and those around him, like comrades at the field, friends, lovers, family and so on. If that just sounded like it was directed to you, then do yourself a favor and pick up any version of The Unknown Soldier and have a good time. Hope you like it.

DISCLAIMER!

I'm aware that the costume in this post might wear details/symbols that can be offensive or emotionally unpleasant to others. I, as a guy with his heart and morals in the right place, just want to make it clear that I DO NOT support, agree with, believe in or have any other connections to the ideologies/beliefs represented. Readers, please keep in mind that what I'm wearing is JUST A COSTUME and shouldn't be taken as anything more than that. Thank you.

Now back to the cinema premiere part of this post. As a guy who works at the local cinema in my hometown, I was of course working during both the showings of The Unknown Soldier. We showed the movie during the 6th and the 17th of December and as a big history nerd myself, I could -surprise, surprise- be seen selling cinema tickets in my fifty-fifty accurate WW2 German uniform during both showings. You're not getting past me without a ticket :DD

Photo taken during the 17th of December with my Samsung Galaxy's camera.

Photographer: Shiro Samurai


If someone is wondering or giving me the eyebrow right now, to why I'm wearing a German uniform during Finland's 100 years of independence, oh boy, let me tell you right away. It's a fact that Finland received plenty of help from Germany during those hard times, the opposite is also true. Heck, we wouldn't have our independence if it weren't for the Germans (and other nationalities) that fought against a common "enemy" by our side. As someone who has Finnish roots and who can also call Germany a second home of sorts, it felt really good to wear that uniform at the cinema (for the right reasons) and give the Germans the respect, recognition and admiration that they so rightfully deserved back then. Finland will remember their Waffenbrüders with warmth. Oh and guess what? The costume idea was even appreciated by the cinema visitors. One customer on the second showing of The Unknown Soldier asked for a photo (yay!) and there was also this elderly man, who looked at me first for a couple of seconds and then said with a funny, half-serious voice "I guess there is no idea trying to get a cheaper ticket from you, eh?" to which I replied, with a comedic voice, of course "No way, not gonna work. It's the same price for everyone here ;)". As usual, I was happy that the costume idea was well-received on both showings and the Finns seems to know their history.

However, there was a few visitors who thought I had a Russian uniform at first, which made me go "People plz...! xD" and of course, I corrected them.

If someone is curious how I spent and made my 6th December 2017 memorable, I spent it with my mother, stepdad and Shiro Samurai where we visited the graves of the fallen (in one of the nearby churches) and ate good family dinner towards the evening. We also watched the Linnanjuhlat (yearly annual celebration of independence) on television. Sadly, I and Shiro Samurai only saw the very beginning of it, with the president greeting the war veterans, as we both had to leave for our cinema work soon afterwards. I watched The Unknown Soldier during its original premiere on the 6th December and I was moved by it. Beautifully haunting and realistic telling of what hell war actually is.

As someone who honors the course of history and what it has taught us, I want to end this special post with a message from my core to all of those who have fought for Finland's freedom and independence. Here goes:

"Kiitos kaikille maamme sotaveteraaneille, kaatuneille ja muiden maiden kansalaisille jotka ovat taisteleet Suomen vapauden puolesta. Sanani eivät riitä kuvailemaan kuinka kiitollinen olen että saan elää tätä elämää tässä vapaassa maassa. Ikuinen kunnia ja kiitollisuus kuuluu meidän sankareille jotka antoivat kaiken. Minä en tuu ikinä unohtamaan yksikään teistä, olitte mistä päin maailmaa kotoisin. Sieluni muistaa veljeni ja siskoni."

Here's the English translation for those who don't understand a lick of Finnish:

"Thank you to all of the country's war veterans, fallen ones and soldiers from other nations, who have fought for Finland's independence and freedom. My words aren't enough to describe how thankful I am to be able to live this life in an independent country. Eternal honor and gratefulness belongs to our heroes who gave their everything. I will never forget any of you, no matter where your home is. My soul will remember my fellow brothers and sisters."

Written by myself, Alexis, on the 6th of December 2017. I command you to not steal, copy or use the message above in any other shape or form outside of this blog, without my permission. Thank you.

I was supposed to post this already on the 6th December but then I got occupied with other posts (that I promised to post earlier) and stuff, so this one ended up being a little bit postponed until well, today. Not too shabby, knowing that we showed the second showing of The Unknown Soldier this day which is of great importance for Finland's independence and culture.

Onneks olkoon Suomi 100 vuotta! Happy Birthday Finland 100 years! 

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Star Wars: The Last Jedi World's Premiere

Yo Star Wars fans!

On the 13th of December, it was time for the next chapter in the Star Wars saga to hit the white screen and my boy, have I been waiting for this day! This time, just like back in 2015 during The Force Awakens world premiere I was at the cinema again, as expected by now, either solely in costume (for the sake of the customers enjoyment) or actually working there during a movie showing. In 2015 I just had a filthy casual, directly from the closet, close enough Jedi outfit feat. my Anakin Skywalker robe and lightsaber. This year, I decided to take the next step towards wearing a full cosplay, so I took my young Imperial Galen Erso costume and wore it, without makeup. So basically I was just dressed up as a random Imperial officer with Galen Erso's rank bar, lol. So why didn't I bother with makeup? Long story short; I just can't be bothered to invest hours into putting makeup on mah face when the most customers (I bet) wouldn't even care or notice it. Conventions are a different story all together but now we're talking about the cinema here; where the average customer just wants to buy their movie ticket, munch on whatever they bought and see a good movie, not to look at your face. Face it. #punintended

What I want to say, all in all, is that makeup while working at the cinema is just not worth the time. At least not worth my time. So have a wannabe Galen Erso or a random Imperial officer, whichever you prefer to call my costume pick.

Here is photo proof that I was, indeed, in costume during all the showings of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Photo taken on the 16th of December with my Samsung Galaxy's camera.

Photographer: Shiro Samurai


As per usual, I had fun at my work (my position for the showings was to either sell and/or scan cinema tickets) and man, I just love my job! It always makes me happy when I can wear a costume to the cinema and give our customers that little "extra". Hopefully making their cinema experience more enjoyable and memorable. It just makes me really happy to see their smiles when they enter the cinema's main lobby to see, some staff members, dressed up. Best part is that my boss (who is awesomesauce herself) encourages me to dress up at movies, whenever I have something appropriate. Happy culture geek is happy, hnngh! <3

The "Comment of the Day" came from this elderly woman who looked at me when Shiro Samurai (in costume as well) went to start the movie and said casually "Oh, is the Jedi going to start the movie?" to which I replied "Yeah, seems like it" comically. I also got a few "cool costume" comments from some customers during all the days, but the vast majority just smiled when they saw me. We showed The Last Jedi during its world's premiere date (13th December) during both the morning and evening. The two last showings were on the 16th respectively 17th of December. Myself, I watched the movie on the 16th and I must say I enjoyed The Last Jedi more than The Force Awakens. Without spoiling anything for anyone, I must say that the story took an interesting turn (some stuff surprised me while others did not) and I'm curious to see how this new saga will end. All in all, The Last Jedi, in my opinion, is a great and enjoyable movie. It had its fair share of subtle humor, thought provoking scenes, suspense/excitement and lots of those cool galactic action scenes *pew pew* for fans to enjoy. Not to forget both new and old lovable characters, douchebags and heroes alike.

Unlike the other Star Wars movies, The Last Jedi actually had this one scene that almost creeped me out. It was borderline that I dared to watch it with my eyes open, I'd say. I just didn't like the scene or more like, the feel to it, but it was an important scene nonetheless. The best part of this movie? I think I found another character (again, whoops!) to put in my cosplay list. We'll see what the future holds.

For those curious, the Imperial uniform is from CosplaySky and the rank bar is from the Etsy store called Interstait Designs. Check them out!

Thank you for reading and may the Force be with you, nerds of every color!