Outfits and costumes

Sailor Moon ~ La Reconquista Day 2 (of 2)

Recalling our adventures in Part 1, the reason I attended the Sailor Moon musical on Wednesday was because we genuinely believed that our original Friday tickets had been lost in the mail, after being sent out almost a month prior to our trip.

Well… The next day, after learning that our tickets had been held up by Japanese customs, they were finally delivered Thursday night – barely twenty-four hours before the show! It was a close call, way too close…

And so, knowing that we would be going back to see the show a second time (yay!), I sent out a quick message to Coro (Nephlite) to tell her we would be back to again and waiting in the parking lot afterwards – and if it was ok with her, we’d like to meet with her and thank her again. She quickly replied that it would be fine, and confirmed she would be there to meet us. Awesome!

We spent most of the day on Friday with Mark’s cousin Lana and her mom Lise, Mark’s aunt. Lana had been working in Japan for over a year as a teacher, student and part-time model, and Lise was in town for a visit. Along with Mark, Kara and myself, Lana was also coming to the show – she’s a big Sailor Moon fan too and was happy to join us. In fact, she’d bought her own ticket, and during our adventures with the tickets she’d sold hers to another fan who was already coming to see it on Monday – more on that later.

Right before heading out to the Aiia Theater, we stopped by a gourmet burger joint in Shibuya, and while there Kara went into the washroom to change into her little Sailor Moon outfit, which had won her a prize at the Animethon convention in Canada the previous month. She was ready to spread some Moon Power back to the country where it all began!

Just like we did on Wednesday, we headed to the Aiia Theater at about 6:00 pm. It was a nice surprise to see our friend Eric again, who was hoping to get a ticket for himself to see the show one last time.

People were already lined up – perhaps a bigger crowd than Wednesday. This time around, there were more adult males, foreigners, and obviously some couples on a date. No cosplay, but some people were definitively wearing Sailor Moon t-shirts and bringing their own merchandise, such as dolls and Moon wands. The merchandise booth was very popular this time as well, and Lana picked up a cell phone case for herself. Kara was doing her own thing, posing for photos and she started being excited again to see the show. We even saw the helpful staffer from Wednesday night, who spotted Kara from inside and dropped what she was doing to come out and take a picture of Sailor Kara!

Finally, while we had sold Lana’s ticket to a girl who had come to see the show from Scotland, unfortunately she couldn’t find the theater in time – so we left her ticket at the ticket table and went in. She still had a ticket for the final show on Monday though, and ultimately did see the musical.

This time around, we were seated right at the front, in the second row – seats 14 to 17. It doesn’t get much better than that!

Once again, our staff lady provided us with a cushion for Kara so she could see better. But we were so close anyway, we couldn’t miss anything – we were in “upskirt view” territory and saw all sorts of details we couldn’t see from the back, right down to the transparent strappies the actors were wearing on their shoes so they wouldn’t fly off as they ran around the stage.

The show was exactly the same, but it was really great to see it again. The only difference was that we had the “Green Momoclo” member for the Love Cupid App on Mercury’s phone instead of the Red member from Wednesday’s show. Still, it was great to see it for a second time to catch the experience all over again. It was Mark’s first time seeing a Seramyu in person, and despite not understanding the language (or being a Sailor Moon fan), he still enjoyed it a lot. At the final curtain call, we were all waving our goodbyes at the cast and Jupiter and Venus were right in front of us! They spotted Kara and waved at her until the curtain was completely down.

We rejoined Eric at the exit (who also reported that the show was not sold out as there were several empty seats in the back) and on the way out we were met with another surprise – my ticket had been drawn to receive a door prize! We were handed a prize bag which included some “limited edition” Sailor Moon cups, and profusely thanked the staff in many languages as we left.

By 10:00pm, we were patiently waiting outside as people were leaving the premises, except Yuga Yamato’s fanclub who also stayed till she left in her chauffered car. Then suddenly (and much sooner than on Wednesday), almost the entire cast came out looking for us! Moon, Mercury, Mars, Venus, Jupiter, Nephlite, Zoicite and Queen Serenity all came out to say thank you for coming from Canada to see the show, and had also seen or heard about Kara and her Sailor Moon costume. Everyone was so excited and laughing that Kara was a little bit overwhelmed, in case you were  wondering why she no longer smiling for the group photo!

 

I gave Serenity (Jamie Natsuki) the Canadian maple syrup candies I had brought with us as gifts, for her to share with the whole cast. We then proceeded to take a few group photos – everyone wanted to high-five Kara again, and she was more than happy to oblige!

The cast left quickly after this all-too-brief meet, but with good reason: they were performing a matinee the following day at 1:00pm and needed to rest! We noticed that Satomi (Moon) left with a woman who appeared to be her mother (probably heading home – and after all, she was only sixteen years old) while the rest of the cast regrouped and headed to the nearest train station. Even our favorite staffer came outside to give us a final thank you and goodbye, and take a picture with Kara.

After arranging plans for the following day (Eric would be joining us on our excursion to Yokohama), we left. It didn’t take long for Kara, completely exhausted, to fall asleep in her stroller. Poor baby :) All the same, she’ll have amazing photos for her scrapbook!

 

After we got home from Japan, we learned that the audience had not been allowed to approach the cast after the final performance on Monday – there was a fence and bouncers between the crowd and departing cast, meaning we were among the very few (if not the only ones) to get up close with the actors like this. Once again, I couldn’t believe our luck to have been able to meet the cast, twice! It will definintely be an experience to remember forever…

My daughter Kara at Animethon 20 – Little cosplay Princess :)

Two weeks ago, I tagged along The 404s Improv Comedy group to Edmonton’s premiere anime convention Animethon!

I hadn’t been to Animethon in over 3 years! This week-end was the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the event – and also the return of my husband Mark Nguyen as MC for the big events such as the Opening/Closing Ceremonies and the Cosplay Contest.

Speaking of Cosplay Contest, I had planned for weeks to enter my daughter Kara in the new Junior Category and have her debut in the awesome world of Cosplay. After modifying her original Sailor Moon costume to fit her 3 year old body (she first wear the costume when she was 6 months old), I also made a full size “Moon Wand” using clay, paint and jewels from Michaels. We practiced her little “skit” for about a week to make sure she would be ready for the big stage.

Kara started to go to conventions and expos when she was 5 months old and never really stopped. She’s used to big crowds, long days, the noise, the costumes… and she’s hard to keep off the stage, especially when her mom or her dad are on it :)

Participating in the Cosplay Contest was just another milestone in her fantastic journey.

Being as photogenic as she is, it wasn’t long before she was swarmed by Animethon’s top photographers.

When she was called on stage as Entry #17, she immediately won the audience with her cute smile and strong “Moon Healing Activation”.  She did so well, and she knew it. We knew she would win something – and not just the “junior” prize. I was extremely proud, to say the least. Kara’s reputation was made. She was now a little cosplay star.

 

The Cosplay Awards were given at the Closing Ceremonies. Kara won FAN FAVORITE and once again was able to do her little skit in front of a thousand people. It was magic and the audience responded accordingly. Once again, I was overwhelmed by pride to see my tiny little girl owned the stage like she did. She’s definitively gonna be a performer later in life :)

 

Animusica 2.0 – Ganime 2013 Schedule

The countdown has started for ANIMUSICA 2.0, my Jpop concert at Ganime. I am now rehearsing every other day to make sure I am 100% ready for the big day! I have been pretty lucky so far not to catch any of the colds or flu going around at this moment (who doesn’t know someone’s who’s sick at the moment or who has lost his or her voice?!) so I cross my finger to remain healthy – and keep an healthy voice – until the convention! If you plan on attending the convention, please RSVP to the Facebook Event!

Animusica 2.0 follows the same pattern as the original Animusica show that was presented at Anime Revolution but with new material and the participation of additional vocalists! The show will also feature a 15 minutes long Sailor Moon tribute medley to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Sailor Moon franchise – and the upcoming 2013 anime! I will be performing my debut single “New Horizons” again, as well as an original song writen by my music partner Philip, and adapted in Japanese by Michael Dapello, the Anime North Idol 2011 winner!

Here’s my tentative schedule of appareances at Ganime:

SATURDAY January 26th

  • 2:00pm to 3:00pm ANIMUSICA 2.0 – Main event room
  • 3:15pm to 3:45pm Meet & Greet with fans (come say Hi after the show ^_^) – Lobby

SUNDAY January 27th

  • 11:00am to 11:45am My Little Pony panel feat. Mark Nguyen as the host and Irulanne as the singer – Papineau Room
  • 1:00pm to 2:00pm Gidol 2012 winner’s performance (feat. Irulanne and Clara) – Main event room
  • 2:00pm to 4:00pm Gidol 2013 (judging) – Main event room

I hope to see a lot of you there! :-)

Potential outfits for Anime Revolution !

Hello everyone !

Only 5 weeks left before Anime Revolution and I am slowly getting ready for the convention !

I am not your typical convention guest – or that pretty cosplayer with the perfect costume, make up, wig and shoes and who’s walking around all day with an aura of confidence and the perfect smile for hallway photos… I am the tomboy type, the hard working girl that honnestly, prefer to trouble-shooting at an event than to be in the spotlight. Let’s face it, I’ve had trouble all my life to wear dresses or anything girly – and don’t talk to me about putting make up and comb my hair! But I have been working (and trying) extra hard lately to prepare an appropriate “image” for the convention and make myself worthy of the attention. I have carefully selected different outfits that I hope are representing WHO I AM and that are making me feel comfortable during the whole week-end.

Here they are:

1. This is part of a new collection at Fansplusfriend and I consider it like a Goth Loli Chinese-inspired outfit. I’ve bought the gloves on Ebay and the headpiece on Fansplusfriends as well separately. I intend to wear this outfit during ANIMUSICA – my jpop show.

2. We have called this outfit the “Dragon Kimono” because of the dragons on the arm and the front piece. It’s a favorite among my friends – perhaps because it reveals more skin ;) Bought on eBay. There are other colors if you look for the same design. I’ll probably wear this outfit the Friday or the Saturday of the con.

 

3. My superb Lolita Kimono from Fansplusfriend that I bought back in 2010 for Otakuthon. The colors and craftmanship of this costume are just spectacular. I plan on wearing this Saturday during the special Sailor Moon event !