Sakuracon 2014

Whoooo Sakuracon 2014 is done! What a great time!  Be prepared for a wall of text!

Friday morning my friend MacKenzie got up at 4 am, got ready and headed off to the next town where we picked up our friend Ashley or Missy Raney Cosplay! The car was stuffed with 3 hoop skirts, 3 suitcases, 15 costumes, 4 staffs, a bow, 17 wigs, and 7 pairs of wings. It was INSANE!

Photo by: Missy Raney Featuring Missy Raney and the back of my car xD

Photo by: Missy Raney
Featuring Missy Raney and the back of my car xD

After we picked up Ashley we ventured off to Seattle! We arrived at around 9 am and proceeded to get dressed in the parking garage! I changed into School Uniform Asuna, MacKenzie into Kyoko and Ashley into Yamuraiha. This took a while but we were finally ready right before 10! The girls ran off to get their badges at registration and I ran to find Imari from American Cosplay Paradise to get my Industry badge! (Side note; I felt so freaking cool having an industry badge!). After getting my badge I ran into Riri Cosplay and her partner from Lifted Geek and chatted with them for a little bit before we both headed into the cosplay contest pre-meeting.  The Contest was under new direction this year, so it was a little different then last year. We checked in and confirmed our judging times then were out of there likity-split!

After the cosplay contest pre-meeting I met up with Arya of Moon and Star Cosplay. We were wearing our matching SAO school uniforms that Joanne K. Cosplay made us! It was so nice to have completely matching out fits, and I completely adore being the Asuna to Arya’s Kirito! Sadly our photographer canceled on us last minute so we didn’t get an professional photos, but we got a few snap-shots.

Photo by: Larry Hill

Photo by: Larry Hill

Then I ran back to the car to change into my next cosplay of the day! Ren Kougyoku from Magi Labyrinth of Magic! While I only got to wear her for a few hours it was really fun! I love wearing ball gowns, especially really bright ones! I ran off to find Ashley as Yamuraiha and also found a bunch of Magi cosplayers! I grabbed a few shots with them and then I saw the most wonderful Sinbad ever! Let me preface this by saying my favorite part of Magi is how gorgeous Sinbad is. I mean DANG! This Sinbad, cosplayed by Sky Captain Hana, was so perfect!  Ahhh!! So Ashley and I asked him to join our private shoot that we had with Fearless Photoworks and luckily he agreed! I’m so excited to see photos from that shoot! We ended up having quite a few characters!  We had myself as Kougyoku, Ashley as Yamuraiha, Sky Captain Hana as Sinbad, Nikkiole as Judal, and her friend as Morgiana! We found a perfect location for our shoot, right outside the convention center! It had the perfect amount of Asian and Egyptian inspiration plus tons of color!



Once we finished our shoot I had to run back to the car to change again! By this point I’m sure poor MacKenzie was so tired of all my changing! However I couldn’t help it! I had found out about a month ago that ACP wanted me to wear my Kougyoku to Magi Aniplex events, so I had scheduled a photoshoot. But just two weeks before the con I was asked to switch over to wearing Asuna for the SAO events. I couldn’t cancel my shoot so I had to change a ton! Anyway, I changed into Undine Asuna then went to the autograph room where I met the lovely Grove and helped to manage the autograph line for SAO’s character designer! Then right after that session I met LightRune46 and helped manage the lines for SAO’s Director! It was super cool to see all the swag that went through the line and to be able to represent ACP and SAO.

Photo by: Genjitsu Sinon: Grove

Photo by: Genjitsu
Sinon: Grove

But halfway through that session I had to run off to change into Madoka for the cosplay contest judging! This time I changed in the bathroom but it was still just as insane! However we manage to get everyone to the judging room in time and all clothed. This year judging was a little different. Rather then just sitting across from you and look at your costume this time the judges got up and personal with your costumes. They didn’t ask many questions, but I couldn’t tell if that was just because they didn’t have any or if it was because we were the last group of the day and they were just as exhausted as we were. Overall they seemed to like our costumes, which was pretty nice.  However I again had to run back to the car to change! I changed into my Undine Asuna (again), but this time with my new wings! I had a nice little shoot with Rose of FallMoonLitRose Photography then headed back to the hotel!

The next day was almost as crazy as day one! We got up super early and changed into our Madoka costumes since we had a dress rehearsal at 9:30 am. Like most con there were some technical difficulties so we had to wait for around an hour, but once we started running through the skits it started to go a bit faster. I thought our run through went extremely well! Now we were ready to start the contest! Again, like always, the contest started a bit late, but once it started going we booked through everything! Our real performance I thought was absolutely perfect! I have yet to see a video, but the audience’s reactions tell me it was good! However we did not win anything! However that’s no big deal! I’ve come to realize that the reason I enter cosplay contests is because it makes me push myself harder and harder to become a better seamstress and make better costumes, so even though we didn’t win I was happy with what happened.

Photo by: Darkian Multimedia

Photo by: Darkian Multimedia

Directly after the contest we had a photoshoot with On Impulse Photography. This was super fun! I don’t have any photos yet but I expect them to be wonderful! Since it was pouring rain outside we ended up shooting inside back in what I like to call the photographer’s corner. There were like 10-15 photographers all piled into this corner and while generally only our photographer was shooting us there were a few times when all the photographers started shooting us. It was kinda crazy to be posing and then see more and more cameras pointed at you!

Photo by: Undiscovered Photography

Photo by: Undiscovered Photography

I then ran to a bathroom and changed into Undine Asuna as I had to go to the Magi x SAO Character Designer panel! While we didn’t end up being needed it was still nice to go!  I’m usually not one to go to panels but it was really cool to see the way they worked and to watch them draw. After this panel finished I went back to the hotel and changed into Godoka. My friends Shannon and MacKenzie and I then met up with Elite Cosplay and got a few photos of our Madoka costumes! After that we went to the night time Madoka Magica Gathering! It was super fun especially with our light up props! While we were there I saw the most wonderful demon Homura, Deanna. I have yet to watch Rebellion but her costume was so wonderful that I knew I had to get some photos with her! So after the group shoot ended I invited her to join my group’s night shoot and she happily said yes!

So that evening at 11 pm we all meet with photographer Michael Yu and headed off to the fountain to get some photos! Micheal came totally prepared with multiple lights and gels to change to colors of the lights! His assistant even had reference photos which she posed us off of! It was super fun! Sadly our Homura was unable to make it (I really wanted photos of her and the Demon Homura!) but it was still a very very fun shoot! It was so fun it lasted until 2am! I’m usually asleep by 11 so staying up till 2 seemed crazy! We ran back to our hotel and passed out!

Photo by: Jonathan Konkol

Photo by: Jonathan Konkol

Day 3 was a short day! In the morning I wore Undine Asuna and helped out at the Private SAO guest signing! It was so fun to help out with ACP and Aniplex! I really hope that I have to opportunity to help out again! Once all the attendees had their items signed it was the volunteer’s turns to get our items signed! I asked the guest to sign one of the armor pieces of my Asuna costume! They both drew cute little Asuna chibis on it and signed their names, then after signing it the character designer showed me the character sheet for Undine Asuna from the new anime! It was such an honor to be shown that sheet before it was released to the general public! He pointed to Asuna’s underskirt on the design sheet then to the lace that I had added to my costume last minute and seemed to really like it! I felt really cool! I then told him that I need to make my costume more accurate now and he laughed! It’s so neat to have my costume signed by important SAO guests, it’s almost as if my costume is character designer approved. xD

My Signed Armor and Badge

I then met up with my group and went to lunch at Blue C Sushi (my favorite restaurant by the con center), and changed into our princess pony costumes! These costumes were such a hit! I couldn’t believe it! We only wore them for maybe an hour and we got so many photos! It was stunning! It was so nice to see all the ponies together <3 It was also wonderful to finally cosplay with Lumos Cosplay, Whom I had briefly met at Akicon. She is such a sweet heart and I can’t wait to cosplay with her more in the future!

After our shoot with Studio Henshin Photography I made a dash through the dealers hall. Could you believe that I hadn’t even stepped into the dealers hall yet??? I wanted to buy something but I had very little time and I’m bad at making rush decisions. So even though I saw the most beautiful ALO Asuna figure ever I walked out empty handed (yep I didn’t buy anything at this con! Totally insane).

We then began our drive home!

While this was my most crazy con in a while it was a great time! Note to future self; don’t try to do so much! Haha!

Well that’s all for now! My next con is a bit up in the air as I’m attempting to plan a big trip soon, but don’t know if it will be happening yet, but I’ll be sure to let everyone know!

Look out for pictures of all my costumes soon!

Till next time!

<3 Eli

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