The Garden Filled With Weeds

Movie Reviews, ACG and Cosplay Discussion, or just any rambling topics that come to my mind.

Cosplaying and Fame – Are You a Model or Hobbyist? April 8, 2013


The inspiration of this post came from this amazing blog post on Nerd Caliber titled “The Pursuit of Cosplay Fame“.

A lot of cosplayers were sharing this post on my Facebook newsfeed, and after reading this, I couldn’t help but to pen down my own opinion about this issue.

This post took me quite a while to write, I did some research, not entirely detailed, but I needed to see more into this issue to actually make a stand about it.

Cosplayer pages had always existed, no one knew when had it started, but even before the event of Facebook deleting cosplayer profiles, cosplayers like Yaya Han and Jessica Nigri already had pages for them to connect with their fans.

Let’s all agree on one thing, cosplaying is attention seeking.

Not in the bad way, but in a way you’re expressing yourself, it’s exactly like a dancer or singer who would perform in front of an audience, you’re sharing something with your audience, in this sense people who are looking at your cosplay.

So in a way, you can’t be surprised to see cosplayers becoming celebrities.

When you try to relate fame with anything, we should probably look at the tabloid news for some idea of ‘how do people get famous?’.

Some earns it by working hard and being awesome at what they do, some were simply luckier than most and born with it, some just got famous for all the wrong reasons…

However cosplaying is different from the showbiz, many of us started purely treating it as a hobby, without any thoughts about getting famous or whatsoever, we invest money in it and expect no monetary reward.

Then came the time when the media started giving cosplay more attention, the general public started knowing about this hobby, and then cosplay became a possible career; people started earning money out of it.

There was this particular long argument on facebook about Tasha from Spcats’ recent StarCraft cosplay.

Tasha from Spcats

Do give the link above a read if you’re interested.

Spcat is a very famous Korean cosplay group, consisting of only a few females, most of their cosplay is of very high quality.

Tasha’s event photo

I can’t remember since when, but after their fame reached a certain level, they started doing paid jobs in cosplay, and there was many criticism about this.

The main argument is, what makes a person a cosplayer, rather than just a model?

Spcat had often been criticised for being just a group of pretty faces, always having photoshoots in the same few sets they have, some inaccuracy of costume details, and at times, people would doubt whether did they make their own costumes or did they get sponsored or were the costumes made by someone else?

Let’s take a look at the more extreme cases of actual models who are paid for putting on costumes.

A model was hired by a gaming company to cosplay as Athena from Saint Seiya for the huge event ChinaJoy, however the costume they provided was really exposing and they forced the mode to take off her safety pants.

Of course as a result, due to her costume being overexposed, the organizers demanded for the company to let the model get out of the event area if not they’ll debar the company from the event in the future.

There are a few key points to take note, the model in the picture, is an actual model, and her purple hair was dyed, she was definitely paid to do this and that’s why she can’t say no to a lot of requests from the company that hired her.

Then there is another celebrity in Taiwan, Sunny Lin, who became famous after she cosplayed the character Boa Hancock from One Piece.

She was praised as an ‘Otaku Goddess’, and had been the endorser of numerous games.

Then there was another case of the exact opposite of what we’ve seen above.

The child actress, Xu Jiao, who was famous for acting as the little boy in the Stephen Chow movie CJ7.

She’s probably more famous than most of the people mentioned above, and you know exactly what happened.

Yep, she’s all grown up now and she started cosplaying.

The above picture is just one of the many cosplays that she had done, mostly collaborated with a famous cosplay group named 304.

Right after posting her cosplay pictures on Weibo(the China version of Twitter),  she received a huge amount of negative feedback.

Most people just mentioned how the group 304 is only using her for publicity in the media, and how she’s using her fame to easily gain publicity for her cosplays, while other people who might be doing a better job doesn’t get the same amount of attention, and in some comments, mentioning how she’s exposing the cosplay community to the mainstream audience who don’t know anything about cosplay.

We’ve seen the two types of extreme cases in terms of cosplaying and fame, models who cosplay for money, and a famous person who started cosplaying.

Then let’s take a look at the inbetweens, those who became famous from cosplaying.

There’s Jessica Nigri, who was already pretty famous before becoming the official cosplayer of the game Lollipop Chainsaw.

Then there is Alodia Gosiengfiao, who became famous after competing in the AFA regional cosplay competition, currently she’s an actual celebrity in Philippines.

Despite being the representation of the cosplaying community, people still have doubts to whether Jessica Nigri and Alodia make their own costume, and worthy of their fame and status in the community.

However there is one person who is famous for her cosplays, yet no one ever questions about who made her costumes.

I’m talking about Yaya Han, I’ve only started following her after the local Singapore event ICDS invited her as a guest, and since then I’ve been following her page and twitter account.

Despite the fact that she gets negative feedbacks all the time, I actually really admire her and believe that she deserve and earned everything she’s achieved today.

Yaya’s april fools prank about selling her costumes, but it’s a nice collage of her cosplays

People can criticise how she doesn’t look good, or how her boobs are unrealistic, but no one could say a word about how she’s not putting in enough effort.

She sews her own costume, styles her own wig, makes her own props, have a passion for all the characters she cosplays…

Taken from Yaya’s fanpage album Yaya’s In Pogress cosplay photos

She’s the combination of both fame and cosplaying, she earns a living out of cosplay, yet doesn’t rely on others or becomes just a celebrity for people to worship.

Most of the times she would label the photos as ‘Modeled by me’, she sees herself as a model of the costume, giving modelling in cosplay a whole new definition.

Now that we have seen all sorts of cosplay fame, I suppose we can get to the actual discussion.

I know, that really took a long time.

What defines a cosplayer?

We can’t put in attributes like making our own costumes as a must, because in the community itself, we have many cosplayers, regardless of age and experience, who doesn’t make their own costumes, and would rely on online sources or tailors.

So then why are we criticising these cosplayers, who happen to get famous, about where their costumes came from?

Then there is another question, what separates a cosplayer, from a model?

This question is easier to answer, in my opinion, a cosplayer chooses what to cosplay, they know who they want to be, they have a passion for the character they’re portraying, they become someone else when they put on the costume, and they will feel happy when their love for this character is recognised by others.

A model doesn’t care about what character they’re doing, they just need to look good, that’s all.

Fame always comes at a price, and a word of advice for the cosplayers out there who wants to become famous.

1.Don’t attempt to become an actual celebrity through cosplay, it doesn’t work, it worked for Alodia, but it might not work for you. Very few people achieved mainstream fame through cosplaying, most of the famous cosplayers’ fame is restricted to just within the huge Otaku community globally.

2.If you can’t take criticism, might as well don’t even try to become famous. Because there will be criticism, there will be people calling you names and trying to make you seem less worthy than you are. It comes in a package, you can’t avoid it. If you have a very fragile heart that would break into pieces after hearing anything bad about yourself, then just don’t even try.

3.Don’t forget why you started. Don’t just cosplay because that character happens to be popular. Don’t forget that little joy you had when someone comes up to you to tell you how much they loved the character you’re portraying. Don’t let the magic of that die off.

In conclusion, there is no point wondering whether Spcat made their own costume, because they are gonna get famous no matter what, no matter how commercial they are, people will love them.

Let’s all admit it, they’re visually pleasing, they’re very beautiful ladies, and that itself will make them famous, regardless about their costumes or whatsoever.

The more important thing, lies within yourself.

If you don’t like the fact some cosplayers don’t make their own costumes, make your own costumes, invest your love in it, reap the reward by being proud of what you did.

If not, you’re just a giant hypocrite. 8D

——-

This post actually went way out of point, my initial intend was to talk about all the cosplayer pages and how people rate each other based on the number of likes they have, but then the Spcat incident happened, and I can’t help but evaluate this issue.

Then the above happened, and now this post is about all the famous cosplayers I know of.

Actually I’m not 100% happy with the result of this post, I got stuck so many times I was literally crumbling into a ball out of frustration.

I might make another post soon about sexy cosplayers and why they don’t deserve the harassment they get, because that’s what’s been appearing on my Facebook newsfeed lately.

Also, school’s starting in one week’s time, so… updating will get REALLY slow again.

I’m sorry ;v;

 

The AFA 2012 Experience November 13, 2012


For those of you who are looking for a detailed coverage of the event, unfortunately, this post will not be the one.(Sorry =w=lll)

This post will be talking about my thoughts and feelings about the planning of the event and everything.

First off, for those of you who had went to the previous AFA, you should know that AFA had always been held at Suntec, however due to the renovation at Suntec this year they had to find an alternative location.

Compared to Suntec, Expo’s convention halls seemed to be much bigger, the halls didn’t get too crowded to the stage you could barely walk.
However, unlike Suntec, Expo have fewer food outlet choices, some of the toilets can be crowded all the time.

The cosplayers attending the event greatly appreciated the open space in Hall 7 that’s kindly given to them as a place to slack and just laze around and get their photos taken.
Once again, as most of you know, back at Suntec it was the level 3, however level 3 may not always be available, so this time they did an awesome job at giving the cosplayers a comfort zone.

That was my thoughts about the event area.

Let me just give you guys an idea what exactly can I talk about in this post.

I bought the stage tickets for both days, but barely watched anything except the cosplay competitions.

I didn’t attend the Madoka movie nor the Anisong concert.

Neither did I join the queue to buy any merchandise or get into the maid/butler cafe.

Why? Because I’m broke. 8D

I’ll most likely be speaking from a cosplayer’s point of view, regarding how cosplay friendly AFA is getting.

I went to the event at about 12pm on both days, programs at the stage would have started already.

I went to the Expo hall 1-6 area to change, and it was a disaster.

The aunties attending other conventions were getting impatient with the cosplayers, the toilet was small, and easily crowded.

Note, this doesn’t only happen during AFA.

Expo’s toilet are almost always crowded.(I know because I like going there for book sales or IT show once in a while)

I’m not quite sure about the toilets WITHIN hall 7 and 8, since I only got in there after 4pm, when most cosplayers would have all been ready.

However the toilets within hall 7 and 8 are not that upgraded, and even smaller.

On the other hand, actually, Suntec Convention Center’s toilet isn’t any better. So, this isn’t exactly a complaint to AFA’s organizing team, but to Expo and Suntec.

Upgrade your damn toilets, trust me it’ll be appreciated.

The flow inside the convention halls were smooth, not as crowded as last year at Suntec.

Every booth is worth stopping at and spent some time checking out their cool stuff.

It’s a rather stress free environment, there was this karaoke booth that’s really fun, though I didn’t try but my friends did, and they enjoyed it a lot.

As we all know the SAO booth’s merchandise were sold out within a day, and K products was selling fast too.

This year they brought along a lot of famous cosplayers, some of which we are familiar with, some of which we know of, some of which we don’t…

Gotta be honest on this one, but there’s just too many guest cosplayers to the stage their value gets kinda degraded.

Remember when it was just Kaname? That was the time when he was treated like a real star.

However, this year, because of all the famous cosplayers around the world, it wasn’t so special…

Of course, all of them are awesome, I really love their cosplays.

It’s just the way they were presented to the audiences.

Anyway, the singles competition was awesome, I think it was like a gathering of all the best cosplayers of the day on stage.

Congrats to the Saber cosplayer from Philippines, sorry I didn’t catch your name, but if you’re reading this, I just want to let you know that my friends who absolutely loves Saber loved your cosplay to the maximum.

The Regional Cosplay Competition was just as awesome, enjoyed watching all the performances.

Congratulation to Team Singapore, Section 8‘s Shinji and Raistlin who was the champion, and everyone who had worked hard along with them to achieve this result.

I remember seeing on facebook about AFA publishing the competition requirement way too late to the stage they had to rush everything.

Hopefully next year AFA will improve on that.

For the two days I was cosplaying as Asakura Ryoko from Haruhi Suzumiya’s Melancholy, and Nagae Iku from Touhou Project.

Like most people would have said, most event are better on Sunday, and that is true for me during AFA.

Pathetic camwhore photo in the toilet ;____;

Saturday was so-so, my wig was in a mess, I took a while to search for the stage area, very few photos taken, couldn’t meet up with my friend who was doing Haruhi…

Awesome shot by Symple AndMeek, probably gonna end up on my dA if I get the high res >w<

Sunday was better, I was solo-ing as Nagae Iku, one of the Touhou characters which I started liking after a friend introduced her to me.

A lot of Touhou fans came to me and shared their love for Touhou with me, totally awesome.

When I was leaving the stage area, a friend(which I didn’t recognise, sorry) and his friends were screaming “IKU! IKU!! IKU!!!”, that was the moment when you realise that Iku’s name is just awesome.

A reader of the blog came to me and told me he was following my blog, have to give you a special mention because you totally made my day.

Ended both days with dinner at the fast food joints outside Expo area, saw lots of cute puppies because of the pets convention going on that weekend.

Things I wish could be improved…

Mainly for the stage area, during the RCC, when a team is performing, they need the screen on stage to be turned into the animation/video they’ve made.

But, the small screen for the audiences sitting at the back area is turned into the animation too.

The thing is, we can see the big screen on stage perfectly, but it is the humans who are performing that we can’t see.

For me, who is 170cm tall with heels, it was still okay, but for my friends who are slightly shorter, even when they’re standing up they can’t see much.

So… next year, maybe they could disconnect the two screens for a short moment, and just connect it to the camera who will be focused on the cosplayers who are performing.

That’s all I can complaint, this year’s AFA is indeed organized well, they’re getting the hang of it after 5 years of holding the event.

Of course we would also appreciate a cheaper ticket price, but I suppose that’s not very possible at the rate they’re going.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the event too, and if you couldn’t go for it, there is always next year!

Maybe, just maybe, AFA will soon come to your country too! Since they have been moving to Indonesia and Malaysia, there is a chance they will soon start holding the event at other Asian countries too.

Also, for my other readers, if you happen to see me during any events, don’t be shy to say hi to me, I’m a friendly person and I definitely won’t kidnap you and sell you away~

Coverage of Cosplay by Photographers I Really Like:

Some of the following albums still need updating from the photographers who are processing the photos~ Please be patient~

8bit Wonderland Day 2 / Day 3

Black Rabbit Photography Day 2 / Day 3

Brian Lim Photography Day 2 / Day 3

Shiro Ang PhotographyDay 2 / Day 3

A.R.C. PhotographyDay 2 / Day 3

 

 

5 Taobao Shop I Suggest You Don’t Buy From September 28, 2012


All speaking from personal experiences, no benefit is gain from this post, simply told from a customer’s POV.

In order to make it onto this list, this shop must have TERRIBLY disappointed me.

First of all, I’m not a picky buyer, most of the time I’ll give a good review as long as the quality is decent, even if it’s not, as long as it’s not bad, I won’t be that bothered.

Well, however, it might just be because I was unlucky, I happen to be the few customers they didn’t pay that much attention to?

Just a little bit of experiences I had, it’s not 100% accurate, after all I’ve probably just bought from them once or twice.

1. 1/2 Prince (Wigs)
Okay, this one isn’t severe, it was just a issue about my head being too big.
The problem probably lies with me, so people who are thinking about buying from this shop, don’t worry too much.
So, I bought a Shizuo wig from them.

I have to say, the style is perfect, simply perfect, perfection.

Actual wig

However, the flaw was that, it’s really thin.
Probably just 1 layer of fibre.
Another thing is, the net under the wig is really small, and my head had a pretty hard time fitting in.
But I must say, it’s really well-styled.
So my dear friends and readers who have a pretty small head circumference, just go ahead, because the quality is not the problem.

2.Meng Meng Cos(Cosplay Shoes)
Hmm… Where do I even start.
I was planning to do a Megurine Luki cosplay, and as every Vocaloid fan should know, Luka herself have really special shoes.
Golden boots, with the shoe lace slanting towards one side.
So naturally, I turned to Taobao.
Because I was using it for Luki, so I didn’t want it to be heels, it would be way too feminine for him.


I bought the pair that has a complete base, and when it reached me, I was stunned by how fragile the materials are.

Let me tell you, it’s just a layer of fake leather, the end.
The shoes were also a lot smaller, and the base was so small, and with the boots so fragile, when wearing it, your feet fall everywhere.
Most girls face this problem, the front of their feet is a little bit too big for normal heels, and that was the problem I faced with those boots.
Not just that, I can’t even close the lace completely to cover my socks.


I’ve only wore them once, and I don’t ever dare to wear it again.
After the event I even had to change to the pair of platform boots I had lent my friend earlier.
For my fellow cosplayers, you should know how uncomfortable platform boots can be.
But guess what? After changing to platform boots, I felt a lot more comfortable!
Don’t be fooled by the fact this shop had a crown, it’s only because very few shops on Taobao give such services.

3.The Hope(Cosplay accessories, eg stockings)
I’ll be straight forward about this one.
DON’T BUY FROM THEM.
I’ve bought from them twice, first was for my friends who were cosplaying as Stocking from Panty and Stocking, and that wasn’t that big of a problem.
After all I wasn’t the one using them, so I don’t have much of a say on that one.
So, based on the first good impression, I bought from them again.
Guess what? The stockings came to me DIRTY.
I bought 2 pairs of white stockings, 1 pair of black.
One of th white stockings had a patch of yellow mark on it, the other had blue.
The black one turned out pretty fine, but I was still pissed, because I’d rather they stain the black, instead they stain on the white, which makes it look mega obvious.
Also, for the free gift they give for every item you buy, basically, it was just things that the seller didn’t want anymore.
Take for example(taken from actual comment), expired instant coffee powder.
That’s so fucking useful, I wonder if it can earn me a MC for school/work.
Also, don’t believe what they say about the products being made in Japan, they’re probably made in China.

4.CosOnline (wigs, costumes, props, make up)
Actually, I don’t even have to mention this shop’s name, because you can’t buy anything from them right now due to the fact they’re heavily affected by the island fight between Japan and China.
But it’s still worth mentioning because I was really angry with what I got.
I bought this Panty gun, the seller had mentioned that it will look slightly different from the picture.(because of material difference)
But what I got, was VERY different from the picture.

Let me show you some picture of how different the actual product is.

Yep, and fucking 74RMB for this.
It’s not even about how different, it’s a issue about whether the seller is putting in any effort.
Don’t say shit like “you could make one yourself.”(I tried actually, and failed)
Well, she’s opening up a shop to sell such things, I have the rights to comment on the things she make.

5.Anselarno(underwear, stockings, mainly for females)

Maybe it was just a be choice of location to buy such things.
I bought two safety pants, because at that time I was thinking of cosplaying as some characters with rather short skirts, and I was sending in an order, so I thought, why not?


Then… When it came to me, it was really tight.
Maybe I just have really large thighs(which I do), but it was supposed to be free size, and the white pair I bought was translucent.
So during a photoshoot when my skirt flew up due to the wind, the photographer could still see things.(he’s probably disgusted rather than happy)

Well, just gives me a second thought about buying from them again.(their products does look really well presented)

Especially since the shop is Tmall, meaning it’s supposed to be branded and approved.(Big brands like Adidas, SK-II, CASIO, MANGO…)

That’s all I have for now, I’ll post a part 2 when I get more products from other shops, always trying new things, and my father isn’t making me very happy with his new girlfriend and a child I don’t fucking know came from where, so I’m not very guilty about spending his money now.

Just kidding, maybe half serious but whatever.

Do leave a comment about any terrible experience with taobao shops, that had greatly disappointed you with their products.

 

Cosplay Memes! September 18, 2012


Memes had been the big thing on the internet since I forgot when, and for all my cosplayer readers out there, there’s this one particular page that I know you would enjoy scrolling through.

My friend BPRX had created this page called Cosplay Memes.

Yes, you know exactly what I mean, memes about cosplay!

You might think, ‘Oh dear God, not another forced meme that isn’t even funny’, well, guess what, this one’s actually really good.

Why is that so? You see, the key thing about a successful meme is that people find relevance in them, and screams “THAT’S SO TRUE” at it.

Well, the memes on the page really does make many cosplayers scream ‘I’M NOT ALONE IN THIS WORLD’.

Still not convinced yet? Well, let me just show you some examples.

Well, those are actually my personal favorites.

The character my friend used is Danbo, and it is an actual cosplay costume he built and wore during one of the events, he explained it in this post why he chose this particular character as the main character of the memes posted on the page.

Also, you can just call him Danbo-kun when trying to communicate with him.

He’s really friendly and nice to talk to, so don’t be shy and just give him your suggestions of your idea of the memes on the page itself, or sent him a private message, I’m sure he’s fine with which ever way you’re comfortable with.

Hope you like this page I’m recommending, I’ll be in search for more fun things for my dear readers, so do look forward to it!

 

 
%d bloggers like this: