Persona Universe : My Own Shadow

So, I’ve been playing Persona 4 way too much recently. I mean, the storyline is pretty awesome, graphics are alright, and gameplay is pretty hectic (with 4 jobs, 6 social links to build, and people to save from a T.V Death, poor protagonist doesn’t have any time to do anything else) but this is ridiculous.

But i guess my favorite part about the game is the Shadows. Not the monsters you fight in every dungeon, I mean the Shadows of the characters. Their true selves that they’ve repressed so much, they don’t want to believe that it’s truly them. Monsters that gain their true form when denied, who give the characters the ability to have a strong enough heart to accept who they truly are, and who give the character a facade to survive life’s difficulties with.

*SPOILERS*

Yosuke who secretly fears being alone. Chie who acts tough, but needs Yukiko’s friendship. Yukiko who wants to escape Inaba. By denying their true feelings, they end up hurt and in danger, but their friends, who have seen the ugliest part of their heart, still comes to save them. By admitting that this is who they truly are, they gain their Persona, and new found strength within themselves and in their friendships.

*SPOILER END*

I started to look at myself. What facade was I wearing? Was I wearing one? What would my Shadow say to me? What thoughts have I repressed so much that I can no longer accept them without fear of losing those nearest to me?

credit for this picture goes to ketchup-suicide of deviantart

I tried to write as my Shadow, scribble my fears and hopes and truths onto a scrap of newspaper with a sharpie. Among the swirls and shapes, i can just see…nothing. Am I like the protagonist in the sense that I have nothing to hide? Have I already fought my shadow and beaten it, accepted it as a part of me, no matter how much I may want to deny it? Or have I  just suppressed my Shadow to a point where I can no longer even reach that darkness, or tap into those inner thoughts and feelings?

I wonder if my Shadow will ever manifest and show itself to me, even if its in the form of a crazy hallucination. I want to be strong and not be afraid of who I really am or what I really think. Spill my heart and soul to those I love and care for, I don’t care. I just want to know that I can accept who I am, good and bad. If there’s someone there to save me from the danger denying it brings, at least I’ll know that I’ll never be alone.

By aelitameier

Sac Anime Winter 2012

This weekend I had the wonderful chance to head to SacAnime Winter convention at the Rad–i mean, the Woodlake Hotel (ewww, I hate the new name) and spend time with new and old friends.

As the first con of 2012 (and the first of my last year cosplaying), I was majorly impressed and Fanime has one hell of a con to top. I have never had so much fun at a convention. Little/no drama. Nothing missing/stolen. Made a TON of new friends. Had lots of pictures taken. What wasn’t to love?

When we arrived on Saturday (about half an hour later than everyone else in our group XD) we dumped our stuff in our friend’s car and wandered. Got some pictures, found almost everyone, and just generally messed around. While our friend ran away to visit other people in a different city, we met up with other assassin cosplayers! 😀 Aside from our group of 5 (2 OCs, an Ezio, an Altair and a Malik) there were a few other Ezios, another Malik, a random Altair, and a LEONARDO DE VINCI <3. Leo got so much love from us, haha! There was a Templar/Maria there (I honestly have no idea) too.

We had to run away to get our room so everyone else could dump their stuff out of the cars, so finding everyone was an adventure all on its own. When we got into the room, our Malik was missing her Altair. While trying to give her instructions, an awesome Brotherhood Ezio with a polearm (pike, i think, to be more specific) was underneath our window, so we used her as our guide for Altair. Poor Ezio looked so confused! But when Altair finally found us, we apologized to Ezio, who said she wasn’t really doing anything. We invited her up and she ended up hanging out with us for most of the day.

Once we got ourselves together and looking like professionals (which is a challenge within itself with all of our craziness, haha!) we headed out again as half the Brotherhood. We met up with the majority of the other assassins and one Master Assassins Ezio (to who my OC friend and I bowed, crying “Maestro!” like the respectful assassinas we are) and made our own little gathering. A Fang (who was our Ezio with a legit belt on Sunday) filmed Brotherhood Ezio pushing my friend and I off a “building” (just a bench, but still funny) and we were almost crying “Maestro, its too high! don’t make us jump!” and she said “Too bad” and when she “pushed us” we screamed so loud we almost gave a nearby trap Ciel a heart attack. We had a few more “playful nudges” before finally filming a pile of dead assassins on the floor.

After a lengthy time screaming and cheering and calling Malik a “novice” we all headed to the pool to put our feet in the water. When we had lost all feeling from the shins down form the cold (at least, I was the only one who put her feet in the cold pool and not the hot tub), we returned to the room for food, Polearm Ezio in tow. We ate, partied in the room for a bit, then some of the others changed to either go raving or swimming. I gave Altaf (my OC friend) a manicure when she realized that it was too cold to swim and there were too many bodies in the hot tub). When we got back to the room, more partying occurred before PoleArm Ezio had to leave for her own hotel room. Around 1, everyone was ready for bed, but the midnight munchies hit so Malik and I drove down to Taco Bell for food. Around 2, everyone was full, tired, and ready to pass out.

I woke up around 8:30 on sunday morning for my panel at 10 (Check us out on Facebook, Samurai Senshi). It went great and I saw our prologue episode for the first time ever, and it BLEW MY MIND. Being a part of this project and hearing my voice alongside so many others is an amazing experience, but seeing a part of it come to life with color and movement is such an amazing feeling. We took a few pictures with the team then headed to Lunch with some of the group. After a rather unhealthy lunch on my part, we hung around the hotel and got checked-out of the room. We had one more mini-gathering of Assassin’s Creed before I had to go. It was really sad to leave and wave to everyone one last time while I was driven away.

I don’t think I’ve ever made this many friends or had this much fun at a convention before. My voice was practically gone, my clothes totally covered in grass and dirt stains, but it was all so worth it. I really hope that I can meet up with everyone else again at the next convention and make an even tighter Brotherhood with my AC friends. ❤

By aelitameier

Cosplay Plans for 2012

Hello Everyone, and Happy New Year! One of my resolutions for this year was to save more money for college, car, and other things I want to buy and for my future. Sadly, I had to cut one major thing from my life that has been an almost annual thing since I’d started.

After 2012, I will stop going to/registering for major conventions in California, such as SacAnime, Fanime, WonderCon (which I have never been to), AX (also never been to) and AOD. As much as I love going and meeting people and making friends, making a fool of myself in public and not caring, my wallet and bank account are in need of the money more than my wonderfully fun hobby of convention-hopping. I will definitely still attend Cherry Blossom Festival in SF (since no registration is required) and I might go to certain conventions for a day, but no registering or staying in hotels. Too many times, the dealer’s rooms have emptied my wallet, as has making new costumes.

But, I’m not going to just slowly die out of the convention scene quietly like a wilting daisy. No way. I’m going on one last spending spree on my dream costume. I’m gonna have the costume, the makeup, and the props. 2012 is my year of Sailor Jupiter!

This is going to be an abnormally long post, but I want to basically just spill my guts out with my love for her.

One of the first animes I had ever seen was Sailor Moon. I knew the opening song by heart and could recite just about every Scout’s catchphrases and attacks. Sailor Jupiter was always my favorite though.  I don’t know why. Usagi was klutzy, funny, but somewhat annoying. Ami was smart and quiet. Rei was cheeky, snarky, a bit mean. Minako was a bit too over confident and arrogant. But Makoto, Sailor Jupiter’s real name, had the greatest personality. She was tough and fearless, but lonely and a hopeless romantic. She could kick monster butt using the power of lightning and she could cook with a passion like no other. Maybe I liked her attitude. Green was never my favorite color, but I’ve always adored roses, so maybe her earrings made me love her? I remember putting on a pair of red clip on earrings, a Princess Belle dress, putting my hair in a ponytail and running out to the living room yelling “I’m Sailor Jupiter, and in the name of Jupiter, I will punish you!”

But as I’ve gotten older, I can see why I admired her. I’m not a particularly neat or hard-working person, and I can’t cook anything aside from boxed mac and cheese. I’m not very tough, I’m a bit of a cry-baby in recent years, and I’m not very athletic.  I’m…not much a hopeless romantic as her, albeit a bit cheesy when it comes to my ideas of whats romantic, but I used to be, long ago. But I want to be strong like her. I want to be someone who doesn’t mind working hard for friends and family, if not for myself. I’d love to be more athletic (it wouldn’t hurt my physique much, that’s for sure, haha!), and I’d kill for half-way decent cooking skills. She’s a sort of inspiration to me. In PGSM, the live action, she was orphaned at a very early age and had to take care of herself, all the while trying to support herself and be a good person to those around her. Even if she is fictional, a story like that, where someone can persevere through the toughest times and still be a great friend and comrade, not to mention a great house-keeper, is inspiring to me, and I guess, at the core of it all, I’ve always wanted to be like her. (more about Sailor Jupiter can be found on Wikipedia or WikiMoon)

I’ve put off the costume for 13 years, give or take a few, and this year, my (not really) last year of cosplay, I’m going to give her the love and attention I’ve always wanted to. My wonderful, wonderful boyfriend got me the costume (despite many many protests from me), and probably, without him, Jupiter never would have come into my possession. With an alteration or two, it will indeed be perfect, however, a costume alone does not a character make. I’ve made an entire list of her props, from Anime, Live Action, Plays, and the Manga, as well as Sailor Supreme by stefanolattanzio on youtube, and I intend to make/buy them all.

First on the list is the remainder of her normal costume. The tiara, her signature earrings, her hair-ties, and her boots. The first two I intend to buy and the boots I hope to just make boot covers for a pair of shoes I already own. The hair-ties I think I can find somewhere. May hair is mostly like hers, but I got a clip-on ponytail to get the right volume, curl, and length for her hair. My real hair isn’t long enough, and I can’t make it “poof” like hers. In PGSM she has an additional costume piece, a rose chain belt, which I intend to buy since I have no idea how to put a rose inside a ball and keep it beautiful forever, haha!

Her transformations wands, canon and otherwise, will also be made. Some of which can be found here, in KarolHofman‘s deviantart gallery (last two wands are on the next page), and more on silverstar-aanti‘s gallery (take a bit of hunting around to do, but they’re all there). I don’t have all the plans for all the wands written down yet, but I know that for the Crystal Power wand, shown below, I hope to use a 3 in diameter green crystal ball and paint on the symbol myself. Crafting the wand itself will be a slight challenge, but I’m more than willing to try. Not sure if I will use the same crystal ball method with

other wands similar in look or style. I also would very much like to make her Lightning Spear and Star Tambourine from PGSM.

Another element I wanted to add to my Jupiter costume was something representative of her attacks. For example, I plan on altering an old dragon kite (had it for years, not using it anymore) to make something along the lines of her Supreme Thunder Dragon. Making a second tiara with the extended antennae (only shown during some of her attacks), and probably just going to make a few accessories with ribbons and fake flower petals (Supreme Thunder and Flower Hurricane, respectively).

I’d really love to make a transformation video, but I’ll have to get everything together first, haha!

Maybe in the future ‘ll make other Sailor Jupiter costumes, like her Princess Jupiter  dress or some of her fan-art costumes (the ones I really want to make are in my deviantart favorites folder), but we’ll have to see if I’m rich enough to rejoin convention life.

Please check out all the deviantart links I’ve posted here, and please support these wonderful artists and their creativity, hard work, and brilliant imagination. I will be posting millions of pictures (well, not really, but you know what I mean) of the costume, wips (work in progress), maybe a blog post about crafting the more intricate props, and definitely pictures of the completed costume with props.
Thanks for reading, everyone!
P.S : I know I’m a college student, and I don’t care if people thinks its funny/weird that I still love Sailor Moon and the Scouts. Sailor Jupiter is an inspiration to me and others around the world, and if I can ever be anything like her, it would mean so much because she is everything  I want to be, and I hope that I can someday be as kind, strong, and caring as she is.
By aelitameier