Sakura-Con 2017: Day 2

Posted by in Balance and Friends, Life

Morning time. 8am. I look to my right. Meta’s nowhere to be seen.

“Oh, that’s right. He woke up early to go to the Dollfie photoshoot with Ken.”

Meta’s picture of Ken using his white jacket as a reflector during the Dollfie photoshoot

It was perfect, honestly. With him absent from the room, I was able to prepare the cosplay I had kept a secret for a long time… D.Va in her Taeguki skin!

After I had taken a shower, I started to put on the makeup that I had purchased from Target the day before. It didn’t take a while before I had realized I had forgotten to purchase eye liner. Thankfully my friend Leyzee was okay with helping me out! Before I went up to get her help with makeup, I had messaged the group chat about my indecision of whether or not I should wear the long haired wig. Leyzee’s then messages “commit or quit!” helping me finally making that decision.

About half an hour passed before I was able to go to Leyzee’s room for assistance. In prior years, she (and another friend) was more than happy to help me with putting on eyeliner and the D.Va whiskers and it seems that they’re still more than happy to assist me. I’m really lucky to have friends who are willing to put up with me. In any case, while Leyzee applying eyeliner for me, she was having issues. I actually have asymmetrical eyelids (one is a double eyelid whereas the other one is not) which made it difficult to apply the eyeliner correctly. Nevertheless, she managed to get the eyeliner on decently and quickly made the whisker markings D.Va is quite popular for. Leyzee has helped me with makeup on so many other occasions that I simply can not begin to express how thankful I am of her. If you’re reading this, Leyzee, thank youuuuu!

After we had finished up with makeup and putting the wig on in her room, I quickly went back to my room to get the rest of my props (and figuring how I should carry the rest of my stuff considering the body suit had has no pockets… obviously). After I had gathered my confidence, I went out to out in the wild and go out on a quest to take as many cosplay pictures as possible!

This is honestly probably one of the more boring parts of the blog post as that’s really all I did for a large majority of the day. I would walk around, find someone I wanted to take pictures of, give them my photographer card, and then head out to find a different person to take a picture of. This single activity is what I look forward to every con. I practically don’t go to ANY of the panels as I’d rather be spending my time taking pictures.

Cosplaying with a body suit, however, was truly a different experience. Since it was practically like a second skin, everything was much colder than usual. What was even more peculiar was since the body suit was made out of nylon and spandex mixtures, I swear I could almost feel the suit expand and contract whenever I would be anywhere near cold environments (such as the outside parts of the convention center) and either in the sun or when I’m inside the convention center. Not only that, I had actually worn socks underneath the suit. I mention this as I’m unsure if it was the cause for the feeling of some of my toes feeling crushed inward. Then the “headphones” were also causing pain on my ears. The way it was designed was to work as a hairband. Due to that nature, it put pressure on my ears (since I wanted to give off the realistic look of actually wearing headphones). Possibly one of the more literally painful experiences I’ve ever had (other than wearing heels).

The cosplay certainly did grab several people’s attention (with a few having some double takes), but it was perhaps more interesting whenever I would pass by other D.Va cosplayers. There were quite a large amount of people who were cosplaying as the gremlin hero to which I had already expected. It was pretty fun seeing the reactions from other Overwatch cosplayers as I passed by them. There were a few other D.Va cosplayers who also wanted to take a picture of me (and some with them). It was fun being dressed as someone who several people knew about and being asked to have a picture taken of! I know a few years back I would have a been a bit more embarrassed and honored if someone had asked. While I’m still quite honored people would ask for my picture, I have a lot of fun trying to come up with a fun pose for people to take pictures of!

Interestingly enough, today of all days, I bumped into two old high school friends friends of mine. While it didn’t last too long, it was enough to catch up with a bit of small talk and bid our farewells. I’m pretty sure one of them had a small mind break seeing me dressed as a female, but most of the friends I have are fine with those sort of things so I know they’re pretty accepting of it.

My friend, Higgy, also finally managed to get to Seattle to get registered to Sakura-Con! While I was looking for Higgy in the registration area, I suddenly heard someone laughing really hard.

That must be Higgy ahaha

It didn’t take long for me to find him due to the laughing. He had a feeling that I was going to crossplay, but I don’t think he had ever imagined that I would be able to pull it off well enough to momentarily convince him I was a female. I caught up with Higgy for a little bit before deciding to head out to the con.

Possibly the best “Hanjo” cosplay I’d ever seen!

When I met up with Leyzee and gang, Higgy had finished the registration and came by to meet up with me in the skybridge area. When we got together, Jack suggested a small photoshoot with me and Leyzee (since we both were cosplaying as D.Va). Higgy was kind enough to take pictures as well while Jack did his thing. It was kind of painful being outside since it was so cold, but I like to believe Jack did a good job getting our good sides. Though whenever I look at my female cosplay pictures, I’m never confident. I suppose it’s because I know for a fact I can do a good pose for male characters, but I can’t ever look at a picture of myself as a female character and say that it was cute. OH WELL.

When we had finished, Leyzee decided to walk around a bit before going back to her room to change into Captain Amari for the Overwatch photoshoot that would start at 4pm. Higgy also departed to do go have lunch with one of his friends. I had a growing suspicion I would be able to find Ken and Meta if I were to look for anything idol related. I knew there was an Love Live photoshoot near the skybridge going on so I went over there. Sure enough, I found them both. I hung out with the two of them for a little while until I asked if they had eaten lunch. Since they had not, I directed them to the Mod Pizza nearby so we could eat something.

Here we have Ken feeding one of his daughters~

Since it was close to the time the Overwatch photoshoot was to commence, I began to head over to the area where it would take place (where I found Leyzee and gang). When we got there, a different D.Va Palanquin cosplayer had caught my attention. I couldn’t help but notice the level of detail this person had put into D.Va’s hanbok. When I had pointed it out to the cosplayer, she told me she was once an exchange student in Korea. During her stay in Korea, her host sisters would often dress her up in various clothing, including hanboks. Due to that experience, she had a firm grasp on the kind of quality hanboks tend to be made in. Since she wanted to keep D.Va’s hanbok as culturally realistic as possible, she used fabric that could best replicate the dress she wore in the game. I was severely impressed with her dedication and practically thanked her for doing such a good job! As critical as I am of my own culture, I still felt honored someone would put that much thought into maintaining cultural accuracy in a cosplay costume. It’s only regrettable that I didn’t take a picture of her myself while we were waiting…

Prior to Sakura-Con, I actually had been aware one of my high school friends was going to be cosplaying as the character Zarya. As such, I knew it was only going to be a matter of time before she finally showed up at the Overwatch photoshoot gathering. It was pretty great to see her after so many years (until she lifted me up and almost supplexed me)! Since we all were waiting around for the photoshoot to happen, we just ended up talking and catching up.

For a while, when the photoshoot finally started, I had just stood on the side waiting for when my character was to be called up. After a couple groups went up for poses, I started to feel a bit anxious. I felt a lot of my time was being wasted on just standing around. To remedy that, I sat down around the middle area and began taking pictures myself.

During the photoshoot, however, some cosplayers began to have problems. Due to the nature of the area the photoshoot was taking place, there were a lot of uneven steps, pools of water, and sudden drops.

It didn’t take long before the photoshoot began to grow dull. Honestly, the only thing that I had looked forward to was were the groups my friends would be in. Otherwise, the photoshoot felt as though it was being dragged on for a long time. I grew bored and wanted it to end quickly. I don’t think I was the only one.

Towards the end of the photoshoot, everyone ended up splitting off to go do other things. It wouldn’t take too long before the photoshoot had actually finished and I too went out to do my own thing as well. Thank goodness.

Something I did not anticipate from wearing the body suit and sandals was perhaps how crushed some of my toes would feel. I honestly felt as someone had just been tapping the nails of my toes inward into the skin. While I did enjoy cosplaying as D.Va throughout the day, I decided it would be a good time to retire the cosplay and change out of it.

I never thought I’d feel so FREE wearing normal clothing!

I had forgotten just how much more willing I was to take pictures of cosplayers when I’m actually wearing something comfortable. I suppose that’s only natural, but it was almost like a reminder for me to realize the difference of being a cosplayer and a photographer.

By the time I had made my rounds throughout the convention center, I sent out a text asking what everyone had plans for that night. Atashi had suggested going to a sushi place called Sansei at 10pm so we could take advantage of their happy hour. I asked everyone that I was with at the time (Meta, Ken and gang + Leyzee, Jack and gang) if they were okay with that time slot. Half were okay with eating dinner at that time while the other half were a little on the fence. Since the restaurant is small in size, Atashi had asked how many of us there were so she could go ahead and make reservations. I decided to tell her there were 10 of us just in case.

Since we had about an hour to do whatever before we would end up going to dinner, I stood in one spot while grabbing cosplayers to take pictures of. I also did a few rounds to help pass the time as well. As time progressed, Carmina had sent a text notifying me she and her boyfriend had actually already eaten shortly prior and decided to skip out. Leyzee and gang also declined due to the fact it was likely our group would be split between the lounge (21+) and the general dining area. I had assumed Jack’s younger brother was over the age and thought there would be no problem at first. I felt kinda bad, but they apparently had already eaten sandwiches a bit before. So it was just me, Meta, Ken, a few of their friends + Atashi and gang.

It was slightly unfortunate when we had gotten to the restaurant as we both were separated into two different tables. Even if they’re close, we all know we typically socialize primarily with those within that table we’re at. I tried to talk to Atashi and have her join our conversation, but I also didn’t want to force her out of their table’s conversation too. In the end, we all still enjoyed ourselves and had a great time.

Sansei was surprisingly very good! I decided to actually drink and had their house sake (which was oddly delicious). I initially went for the Sansei special roll before deciding that wasn’t enough and had also ordered the pork slider burgers, eel nigiri sushi, and a spider roll. While kinda expensive, it was doable due to the happy hour that was set in place.

When we had left the restaurant, somehow the topic of Kemono Friends came up and one of Meta’s friends tried to convince one of Atashi’s friend to continue watching the show. What ensued was pretty hilarious.

After we had made a fool of ourselves, we all finally went our ways. Meta and gang decided to go back to the convention center to see what they could do whereas I would go back to the room and write this post. Hilariously, all I did for a good 30 minutes was just sit on a chair and just DUNNED. I suppose the fatigue of the con had finally hit me all at once and it hit me hard.

Now it’s about the same exact time where I finished the last one and I’m pretty pooped. I still have a few things that I need to (mainly get some autographs and hand out the rest of the photographs I had printed for guests). So let’s hope I wake up a bit earlier tomorrow~