Wahoo! My fourth con and yet my first time going with a big group! In the past, the most that I'd gone with was three others, two of which didn't cosplay. So to have a group of SEVEN all COSPLAYING from the SAME ANIME was SO GREAT!! lol Seriously, that was probably my favorite aspect of the con. But let's start at the beginning.
In Anime Club, we decided that we wanted to have more events so I suggested a convention, and since Ohayocon fell at a perfect time (the weekend right after Christmas vacation and school started back up), we decided that would be our best bet. They then left it up to me to find an anime we could all cosplay from. They told me that they had to be easy costumes too, so I was a bit limited (7 people, easy costumes, all same anime... yeah, not exactly an easy task, lol), but as soon as I thought of One Piece I knew we had to do it! (I would have loved to be the 7 deadly Sins from FMA, but.... hahaha, yeah, they wouldn't have done it - SOMEDAY I WILL THOUGH! Did I mention that I wanna be Gluttony? ^_~) Anyway, why was I so set on OP? Simple: we had the PERFECT Luffy candidate! Yeah, that was the main reason I settled on it. ^_^;; But anyway, I offered roles to people, handed out manga, gave them colored pictures, and sent them on their way. The thing was that out of 7 people, first of all, I had to make my own, of course, and my sis' because I always do. I then offered that my sis and I would make a friend of our's costume. THEN my sis told a friend of hers that we could help him too. Not that I minded, but let's just say that I didn't have a Christmas vacation. ^_^;;
~ Our Cosplay ~
First off, as I stated, the main thing for me at this particular con was making the costumes. I had to make a Nico Robin one for my sis, a Chopper for myself, an Usopp for a friend, and Zoro's three swords. I went to work on Robin right away since we found the perfect dress to alter from Goodwill (I mean, come on, a nice prom dress for $5!! and the material was the perfect quality and color!). The skirt wasn't much of a problem, but the top... yeah, that gave me some more issues. ^_^;; I eventually worked the out though, even if it doesn't look extremely high quality. But I guess that's what you get when you work without patterns... Anyway, with the coat over it, you couldn't tell so yeah! We had tried to find a coat to alter, but that was a no go (after 5 thrift stores and a Plato's Closet - nothing!). So we knew we'd have to make one (well, ok, my mom sewed the coat for us since it would have taken us forever, thanks Mom!). But with the right pattern and a few alterations, it turned out perfectly! Adding the designs was a bit nerve wracking, but they turned out well considering the gold material was a pain in the you-know-what! And as for the boots, well, I left that part up to my sis. We took a picture of the original boot and a finished boot. I mean, look at them! Nice job, sis! She put a LOT of hard work into them, and it sure paid off!
The next things I focused on the most were Zoro's three swords. Wow, ok, of all the things I have ever made for cosplay, not only did I love working on them, but they turned out great! Well, considering how cheap they were. Under $20 to make 3 swords isn't too bad. I actually made them out of non-corregated cardboard, scrap form core, scrap material, and paper mache, as seen here. What ended up using all of the money was all the Sculpty clay I had to buy for the detailing. I needed like 8 packs! o_O But it worked well, so I won't complain. And considering our Zoro later told us that he had had several people ask him if they were real... Yeah, that made me very happy. ^_^ Let's just say, I love them and would consider going around as Zoro myself if only to show them off some more, lol. So be sure to click on the pic to get a better idea of what they look like. ^_~
My next task (well, ok, I worked on most of these at the same time, switching on and off, but this is the general order) was to make Usopp. This in a way was difficult since the guy I made it for wasn't around to try it on every 5 seconds like I was used to. ^_^;; But it was the easiest of all the costumes I had to make thankfully. And because of that, we wanted to make it as accurate as possible. Meaning that he needed long curly hair and a long nose, lol. Well, we had a wig (it wasn't perfect, but it was a dark brown and free), but we still needed a nose. It was kinda funny since the one that looked the closest was not only the cheapest, but the kind with a string so we didn't have to buy that glue stuff. ^_^;; Hey, remember, this is all cheap cosplay! Uh, unless you count Robin's... but we won't go into that. ^_^;; But yeah, luckily it fit him ok (not perfect, but I did the best I could!). The part I was most worried about was the top (yes, Usopp has overalls, but since he also has a white sash, well, I just made it look like overalls, lol). I made them out of a pair of pants (so the material would match the shorts) and I just barely had enough to fit the measurements he gave me. But what is funny is that he said what bothered him the most was the wig. ^_^;; It was too small. But on the bright side, he got tons of comments on his nose, lol.
And lastly I worked on my own. I was a bit disheartened when I couldn't find any pants the right tan color (found a perfect shirt, but no pants...) and I had to be a brown Chopper, but the costume ended up looking cute regardless, even if not accurate. I had an interesting time making things like the hat, antlers, and hooves. They were all made out of cardboard and LOTS of masking tape (at least 3 rolls!). The antlers also had paper mache. But yeah, if you look closely here, you'll notice that there are some old pizza box tops. Yeah, I made the hat with those. ^_^;; Actually, as much as I LOVE my hat, I was really afraid to wear it because it was to small. I was so afraid it would give me a killer headache. But, honestly, I barely noticed! I mean, when I would take it off to, say, eat or watch something (so I wouldn't block anyone's view), it felt good, but having it on didn't even give me a headache! I was so happy. This was the first con I was really worried about that, and yet it was the first one I didn't get a headache at! Ah well, it all worked out ok. The hands and feet were a little difficult at first, but once I got it down, it took me a lot less time than I thought it would. And I thought for sure my shoes would get stepped on and crushed to bits, but I was only half right. Oh, they got stepped on alright (by our Luffy, mostly, lol), but they are still intact! Yeah! This is honestly the first costume I would have/feel obligated to change before wearing it again! So yeah, happy enough with it.
~ Day in a Nutshell ~
Heh, ok, since we were about 2-3 hours away and registration started at 9, we decided to meet at 5 so that the latest we would leave would be 5:30. Good plan, yes? Well... one of our group members ended up being really quite late. ^_^;; So we didn't even leave until about 6:45. It ended up being fine (I was thinking too much of AN 04 and the long reg line - there wasn't one at Ohayo, thankfully!), but still, I could have slept in later! I ended up running on about 4-5 hours of sleep. Not that I got really tired, of course. Put me in a con and I can run on no sleep!
Once there, we all changed, got our tickets/badges, and tried to decide on what to do. I realize now what the downfall of big groups can be. ^_^;; But it ended up working out all right. We decided that there wasn't really anything in particular that was going on that we really wanted to see, so where head to first? The Dealer's Room, of course! ^_^ I actually liked it better than the AN one. They had anime and manga, sure, but there was also a nice assortment of trinkets and t-shirts too. Very nice! And they had a good amount of FMA stuff too!!! ^____^ I so wanted this 2005 calendar... but not for $30. ^_^;; It was really nice, though. Had some nice original drawings (manga FMA, not anime) that I hadn't found on the net yet which is probably what enticed me the most. Anyway, I ended up getting a keychain instead. I had hoped to find a non-chibi FMA one, but since I didn't see any, I bought a chibi Ed and Al(!human) fishing from whatever flashback episode that was. ^_^;; It's funny since Al has this huge smile on his face and is holding a fish while Ed has his typical deadpan stare and no fish, lol. We then went to eat lunch.
Anyway, after that, we decided to check out the Fashion Design Contest... only once we got there we realized that that room was running really late and they were just starting the J-Pop/-Rock cosplay contest. So we stayed anyway. Seriously, I saw some of the coolest looking costumes at the whole con in that room! Anyway, it didn't last too long, but was cool nontheless. We decided not to stick around for judging. Since we still had some time before the concert we planned on going to, we split up for a bit. One of us entered the DDR tournament, one or two stayed with him, I ended up going in search of my camera... lol But a group of us ended up checking out the Artist's Alley. Before I really got too far, I heard someone say... something. I think they might have called my character's name, but I didn't hear them well. I ended up turning around and this girl behind one of the tables starts telling me about her stuff. Yeah, I'm so descriptive, huh? Well, the reason is because, honestly, I didn't know if she was even talking to me and she wasn't talking too loud. ^_^;; Anyway, I eventually figured out that she was talking to me and that she was trying to show me her pins. She had practically every One Piece character, too. It was a rather impressive collection (even if she did make them). And since they were really cute, I bought one of Chopper (she even gave me a discount since I bought one of my cosplay!) and wore it around the rest of the day (and I got my sis to go back and buy one of her character later, lol). I would have gotten a Sanji or Luffy, but the Chopper one WAS the cutest one. So the reindeer won out, lol. There ended up being a lot of cool art there, but there wasn't a lot in the way of crafts, sadly. One table also had stickers for $0.25 so I used the money I saved on my pin to get two of them - an Ed head and an Al(!armor) head. We then met up with everyone else in our group (except the DDR guy, he was still in the tournament waiting his turn) and went to the concert.
Now, you may be asking "Well, ok, but what concert?" I shall tell you! First off, I had found out a few months ago (back when it was first announced on the Ohayocon site) who would be coming to perform. When I saw the name I was pretty excited. Not only had I definately heard of the guy, but I had really liked everything I'd heard him sing. And that was none other than Steve Conte. For those unfamiliar with the name, perhaps you'll recognize him as Yoko Kanno's main male singer, having sung songs like "Call Me Call Me" from Cowboy Bepop, "Stray" from Wolf's Rain, and "Living Inside the Shell" from Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. So I was happy that he was performing. We got there late, but luckily it hadn't started yet (surprise surprise). But once the band got on stage, well, Steve looked like he was trying to get out of the 80s but couldn't quite do it, lol. He had "the hair", on the long side, kinda shaggy, and black. But despite that, the music was decent. I was expecting a little more anime music since he was at an anime convention, but I only heard 2 songs I recognized and only one I knew well (even if it was one of my favorites, "Call Me Call Me"). I was hoping for "Heaven's Not Enough" from Wolf's Rain, but I didn't hear it. We left a little early since we wanted to see the AMV contest replay, so he may have played it after, but ah well. Still, not too bad, and he was so... strange that it made it amusing. So I'm glad I went (although I'll go on a little later about why I still wish I hadn't...).
Our DDR guy joined up with us then (he had gotten knocked out early by last year's champ by 10 points!) and we tried to get into the AMV replay room, but Fruits Basket had been in there right before and the room ended up being full (we had wanted to see FB too, but again, opted for the concert). So we ended up not seeing that either. It was then that we decided to eat dinner. Three members of our group ended up changing into normal clothes (Usopp, Robin, and Zoro). We then headed to the Masquerade, which, as with all Masquerades, had a huge line. While in line, there was a guy trying to get everyone to hug his Pikachu. It had a sign on it that said "Glomp Me!" and he was keeping track of how many people would do it. ^_^;; I refused (yes, I Pokemon that much), but our Zoro did. And, well, it made for a fun picture, lol. Once we got in and it started up, well, I'll give them credit for trying to be original and keep it interesting. They had a guy in a blue sequenze (ok, I so can't spell that word) suit get summoned as the "cosplay guru" or something like that. He was kinda annoying, but in the "the crowd can openly boo him and laugh at him" sorta way. The skits... mostly not so great, but some were pretty good. There was one girl who sang songs from the Sound of Music, only using her own anime related lyrics involving takoyaki, her favorite "anime things", and how to "solve a problem, like Kikyou". The last one was funny, but the other two were mildly entertaining. Kill Kikyou! Erm... ::cough:: Anyway... Another good one was some guy in a, uh, well, I think it was from Full Metal Panic (a little rat thing with a hat and bazooka?). He kinda walked on and did a one sided skit that was basically just him at the con. "Ok, so now that I'm here I think I'll check out the dealer's room. Excuse me, do you know how to get to the dealer's room?" ... "Oh, you've been asked that 50 times already?" ... "And you want me to go away? Oh, ok, just, stop jumping up and down, ok? Well, hey, do you know where... huh?" ... "You want a picture?" ... "Ok... one second." ::pose:: "Ok, now... what? Oh, you wanna play with my bazooka? Well..." Kinda thing. It was funny, honest, lol. The way he pulled it off was exactly as it should have been. However, the downfall of the show was all the yaoi references... and I mean by everyone. Announcers, performers, grip guys... Yeah, a little at first was humorous, but mostly just plain annoying.
After that it was pretty much time to leave. We were all going to head out when one guy goes "And I had hoped to stay longer..." That made my day! I had wanted to stay late too, and with 2 cars, we could! So 3 of us ended up sticking around. We didn't do a whole lot - watched some anime (Dragon Half, some of Panda Go Panda, and some other one that was way too serious for as late as it was), went to the dance, and ended the night with our first episodes of Invader Zim, lol. Man, that is the perfect time of night to watch wacky, stupid dubbed anime. Right when you are at your loopiest, lol. So yeah... we ended up leaving at 2am. ^_^;; And we still had a long drive ahead of us...
Well, first, we wanted to stop for coffee. Yeah for White Castle! And once we got going, well, none of us were used to that car, so it was a bit... interesting. ^_^;; But we eventually got started. And you wanna know what? It had snowed. And not just a little. I had to drive most of the way since I was the most awake (and I had offered anyway, lol), but... ok, not only do I not drive much, but I'd never driven in the snow! I did ok, but there was one instance where I was glad that practically no one else was out. I was going too fast toward an exit ramp and had to stop so I wouldn't spin out. ^_^;; But it was fine! I swear! For a first timer who hates driving, I didn't do too bad! Although you may wanna ask the 2 guys in my car. ^_^;; Anyway, yeah, it took over 4 hours to get home. Way to long... I got in bed around 7am. (And then my sis woke me up at 12:45! But that's for another time... ^_~) And so ended our little Anime Club day trip to Ohayocon!
~ Randomness ~
Ok, first off, there was one guest that was going to be there that I did actually want to see, and that would be Vic Mignogna, the dubbed Ed voice actor. Not only was I so happy about his job on FMA, but I had seen and heard that he was a lot of fun. But the signing was at the same time as the concert. And I thought "Well, I don't want an autograph anyway. I just want a picture." So I thought nothing of missing it. Until I later found out that it was an actual panel and not just a signing. I saw some pics and heard bits and pieces from a girl that went to it, and, well, I would have rather have gone to that. ^_^;; I tried finding him at one point for a picture, but I never saw him... Ah well, he'll show up at more cons now that he's a bit more famous. But I would have liked to see him playing with the Roy on a string someone gave him, lol. He apparently had fun torturing it.
But on that note, well, sort of... During lunch, it got really crowded. Why? And no, not just because it was lunchtime. There was a church youth group con there too. ^_^;; They were all nice to our group so it was cool, but during lunch our Zoro (I think) mentioned that he had heard about "some DBZ voice actor, I think" that had talked to them about how anime isn't always "of the devil" and such and that he'd basically given a mini sermon, lol. Immidiately I thought of Vic. I knew it had to be him. But it wasn't until I saw the review on A Fans' View for Ohayocon that it was confirmed. You should check it out. The part with Vic is only 2 paragraphs long, but it's cool to read about a Christian voice actor trying to talk to other Christians about anime (FMA in particular). But yeah, that did make me a little jealous since even the other con got to see him and I didn't. ^_^;; Ah well. Still pretty cool.
Another thing they had there was a table set up for the Anime Network. Now, it wasn't too exciting or anything, but if you signed their petition, you got a free (nice sized) Peacemaker Kurogane poster. I hadn't seen a lot of the series, but it was pretty decent from what I saw. And I'm glad I got it because it's the first more serious looking poster I have. The others are all bright colors and look nice, but not as... serious. Yes, I've said that before, but it's the best way to describe it. I love'em, but I'm glad I got a little more contrast.
And that will do it for my little description of Ohayocon 2005. Overall, I wouldn't say I liked it any better or worse than AN 04, but the group cosplay was definately my favorite aspect and something that has set it apart as a great day. ^_^ I shall end this with my small collection of cosplayer pics. I surprisingly have more pictures from Ohayocon than Anime North, even though AN was a lot bigger... Go figure. I just felt the quality of the cosplay was that much better. Enjoy!