Anime Expo (AX) 2017 is approaching, and it’s that time of year where I’m scrambling to get all my costume together. This year, I am cosplaying as Honoka from Love Live! School Idol Project with my sister (as Kotori) and friend (Umi). This would be my friend’s first time cosplaying and attending a large convention, so for the last 6 months we were informing her of our experience and tips when cosplaying. Since I was already sharing my experience to my friend, who is cosplaying for the first-time, I thought I share my first cosplay experience on my blog.
My first time cosplaying was back at AX 2013 as Cardcaptor Sakura (CCS). I wore her red outfit from opening 1. My outfit was too big on me, even though it was an XS, and I did not wear a wig since my hair was dyed brown (see image below). My sister cosplayed with me as a Priestess in a red and white priest outfit, similar to the one Kikyo from Inuyaha wears. She also did not wear a wig because she had long black hair and straight-cut bangs.
Anime Expo 2013 – Sakura Kinomoto Cosplay | Anime: Cardcaptor Sakura
When we arrived at Con, we changed into cosplay in our car. I brought a pretty big bag with water etc. and to stuff all the merchandises that I was planning on purchasing. As we walked into the halls, we were stopped by a few people for photos. Here are some things I’ve learned based off my first cosplay experience.
Be prepared to get stopped – Not only are you going to get stopped for a couple of photos, be prepared to take off your convention badge and bag/backpack if someone asks you to. I love carrying backpacks and quite a few times, I was asked if I can take it off for their photo. If you’re with a friend/relative that’s not cosplaying, have them hold onto your belongings for a bit.
Try to have at least 2-3 poses ready – When I first cosplay, I thought my outfit was okay. I did not expect to get my photos taken. I had CCS wand with me so it was easy for me to just hold it up with two hands, and smile at the camera – Pose one, done. After the first shot, the photographer then asked can you do a second pose, and in that awkward moment I responded, “I don’t have another pose.” So be prepared.
Have a small cosplay emergency pouch – You’ll never know if you need extra safety pins, bobby pins, hair gels, sewing kit, extra false eyelashes, makeup, etc. I unfortunately had a couple of cosplay malfunction and did not have anything to help me. As a result, I had to walk back to my car and change back into normal clothes.
Stay hydrated! – Cosplaying gets tiring because you’re constantly stopped for photos. I’ve learned that even the lightest cosplay can make you de-hydrated. You’ll be going to con with thousands of other people, so bring a some water bottles to keep in handy. I try to re-fill my water at a water fountain every chance I get. Buying water at con is expensive, and you can be using that money to buy merchandises instead.
Know your character – Unless you’re cosplaying as an obvious popular anime like DBZ, Sailor Moon, Attack on Titan, or Naruto, you’re good. From my own personal experience, I’ve had people coming up to ask me what anime is my cosplay from, and for a brief info about the anime. CCS was from the early 90s so not many people remember it. CCS is my all time favorite anime and I personally know the series, manga, ova by heart, but I always try to re-watch it before con.