Monday, September 28, 2009

Why you make it yourselves..?

Occasionally on our various accounts people ask us where we got "that 'n' that" and we always answer that we made it ourselves. We are not fans of ready-made costumes or props. Cosplay for us doesn't only mean having fun in odd outfits (which we do enjoy). The whole process counts. We start from patterns, finding fabrics and materials and also solutions how to make different props and accessories. Contructing part isn't always pure joy. We and specially I do have breakdowns and want to quit, but sometimes little pain just pushes you forward. When you see the finished costume you get an urge to pat yourself in the head.

We choose to do costumes from scratch, because then they are unique. You can be sure that no one else have made it like you have and you even might have done little better than some other cosplayer. Little competition is healthy, I'd say. People do get their costumes bought and it's cool, but we just can't get enjoyment out of that. It's much more satisfying to do it yourself than boss around wearing something that anybody could have.
Sasori's body from 2007 (check Yoki's cute ponytail!)

Whenever you speak or read about cosplay you can't avoid the matter of mass-cosplay. I don't see mass-cosplays as a bad thing if the term is there to describe cosplay from popular series. But when mass-cosplay represents manufactured costumes made by oppurtunist companies, it's just idiotic and a sign of laziness. Ok, the point was, that when anime gets popular companies starts to manufacture costumes from the series. Easy access to costumes makes people to buy them. Big fan base creates herd of cosplayers who look the same.

I see cosplay purely fandom based. Wearing a costume is a sign that you like the series you are cosplaying from. I can't see the connection when you buy costume from company that benefits from your interests when it comes to your hobby. After all you like the series, you aren't the fan of the costume making company. I don't know do the makers of manga or anime get their share when costumes are bought, that is a matter I should see into before I start pointing fingers... But still, cosplaying is your own choice to display your liking and making your own costume is a sign of your devotion.

Then there is the accuracy aspect. Like all mass producted clothes, costumes are also made based on basic figures. They might not suit your bodytype or proportion. When you make a costume you can affect on measurements. Right cut can work wonders even if you don't have the exact figure of your character. Sometimes ready-made costumes lack details. When you work from your reference pictures you can get every little thing fall to it's place. And we do take reference pictures seriously. It would have been really easy to buy hitai-ate for Deidara, but they just are so ridiculously big and not in any scale compared to human that I just couldn't approve it.
Still some bending with the references is good or even needed, because sometimes characters designs just miss seams that are necessary to make a fitting clothes.

Dyeing operation for Sasori's wig from 2007

Of course there are some things that are really hard to do. Wigs are the possibly the most usual objects people purchase for their costumes. High-quality wigs which are styled according to the characters could be a possible choice for us, if we were to cosplay character who has ridiculously long hair etc. We have this far dyed and styled our wigs by ourselves and it really gets easier every time.

But then there is also things that you can't find anywhere. For example Mayuri's hat, ear-chin piece, detonator and... uh... face. When you pursue accuracy you just have to make the work yourself... Or you can commission it. I see nothing wrong in commissioning props or wigs if you give respect whom ever it belongs to. And this I could say about bought costumes too which are purcahed from costume-makers or possibly sewing skilled friends.

Mayuri's hat in making from 2007

There are lot of great tutorials when it comes to making a costume. They are not too hard to find and usually fellow cosplayers gladly answer questions. I recommend that if you have seen some costume which you are going to make and like the result go and ask directly from the cosplayer how it was made and what materials were used. Of course some people wan't to keep their secrets for themselves. If you don't get an answer try someone else (in our case, be patient... sometimes we just are slow or suffer memory loss). Search for forum posts or make one yourself.

As I said before, I don't think ill of people who buy their costumes. I just give respect to them who makes the effort. Crafting skills are not self-evidence but with imagination and guts you can work wonders.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


In the first post I asked what should we cosplay next. Then I remembered that I had this list about characters that we have thought about doing or planning to do when we get done with our current projects.

Here is the list. Tell us which pair would be cool to see done and made real!

Tokusa and Madarao from D.Gray-man

I so sympathize with these guys. They have so little air time in the manga even though they are interesting and complex characters. And in other hand they have kooky design and the fighting uniform would be rather easy and quick to do. And I'm fond of their personalities. Expecially Tokusa seems truly contra
sting personality. I would like to portray him, but because I have hunch that he is shorter than Madarao I just can't see it happening... But hey, I think Madarao is cool with he's funky hairstyle and all. I would gladly cosplay as him.

Haine... Bishop and Giovanni from DOGS

DOGS is one of t
he few manga that we both actually read. I fell in love with Miwa Shirow's character design and story telling. First I thought that we should do Haine and Badou, but then Giovanni stole Badou's place. We actually got some stuff for this cosplay. I managed to style Giovannis wig and do the patterns for his suit. But then all progress stopped. We haven't planned of going to any convention and we were busy with other things. I don't know, maybe we try again later with these guys.

EDIT: Yoki suprised me! She had almost forgotten the existence of DOGS and read the few updates that she had missed. Now in Haine is history! The new guy is the all-so-bizarre Bishop!

Setsuna and Lockon from Gundam 00

I think this was fully my idea! I really tried to get Yoki to watch this series, but she didn't find it as interesting as I did. But these were my favorite characters. I like drama and I saw these two the most tragical characters. I think Gundam 00 has been my most upsetting anime experience so far. There is many great characters in these series, but because Setsuna and Lockon are linked more than in one way they'd be the couple we'd do (if Yoki would approve).

Yoshimitsu and Tira from Soul Calibur III

This pair have followed us two or three years now. We have made some blueprints for the armour pieces and patterns for the clothes but then we got short on money. I think that character designs in Soul Calibur games are... well... exraordinary, but with all the details and rich materials it gets really expencive. But I still think that we really need to bring these lunatics to life someday or they will hunt us for the rest of our lives. I love Tira. Yoki loves Yoshimitsu.

EDIT: Originally we chose outfits from Soul Calibur III, but then Soul Calibur IV were published. We were bit worried if Yoshimitsu were playable characters when first bits of information started leaking out and there were no mention about him. But he was
! So both of our favorite characters from the series were included with new costumes and designs. Yep, it's hard to choose when you have so many alternatives...

Rush Sykes and David Nassau from The Last Remnant

Well... As you can see this game's character design is very pleasing. This is again my idea. Yoki was quite puzzled when I told her about this list and characters that I had included. I don't understand how she forgot. I chattered with her quite a bit when I first bumped to this game. I think that there is so many interesting patterns and material combinations that they just call me to make them.

Clef and Ascot from Magic Knight Rayearth

Magic Knight Rayearth is the one and only shoujo manga from which we might cosplay. I don't know how we chose these characters. I think it was only based on liking. There were also massive props and for me patterns and silhouettes that I really hadn't done before. All the previous we thought were worth trying and making. I really don't remember why we burried these gyus... But still... we never know what happens next.

There you go! This is my part of listing the characters we could or might cosplay. Yoki will do her own list and add the ones that I possibly have missed.

What do you think about these characters?

Friday, September 18, 2009

No... please let this be a joke...

I don't know is this bad time for my WMM to start acting like a *beep-beep-be-beep*... No, no the timing isn't bad... It's the the worst possible! I have tried everything but nothing seems to work. I concidered to upload some other editing program, but I'm almost 100% sure that my computer would explode if I did that.

We planned to shoot some materials for our vids next month. I hope I can get that shitty program work before that. We can't use yoki's computer for any editing, because it's condition is even worse than mine.

Uh, let's see how we manage to crawl out this...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Starting point

Now it's done. Blog where we post our experiences, tips and thoughts about cosplay spiced with many typos and almost-impossible-to-translate-sentences.

CasualtyCosplay is formed from two cosplayers from Finland. We started cosplaying in 2006 and so far have done costumes from Naruto, Bleach and D.Gray-man. Yoki did also single cosplay from Moomin as Snufkin. But in general, we do pair or couple cosplays with characters which are related to each other one way or the other. We have also done casual and street versions of Sasori and Deidara and original character cosplay.

We do our costumes ourselves from patterns to some of the props that don't need the hands of an expert. These props usually ends up being swords that we want to be made from metal. We always try to do precise job with the costumes. Details and choice of materials comes from the manga or anime, but the over-all image we try to keep realistic and natural. We could say, that the main point is to make the characters look the way they would look in real life.

The history of our costumes as seen on our account in YouTube:

Summer 2006:
Hitsugaya Toushiro (yoki) and Matsumoto Rangiku (hiron) from Bleach
Summer 2007:
Sasori (yoki) and Deidara (hiron) from Naruto
Kurotsuchi Mayuri (yoki) and Akon (hiron) from Bleach
Unofficial version of SasoDei were done at the end of summer holiday
Spring 2008:
Original characters Namami Akai (yoki) and Naoru Kenko (hiron)
Street style Sasori (yoki) and Deidara (hiron)
Summer 2008:
Jasdero (yoki) and Debitto (hiron) from D.Gray-Man
Spring 2009:
Snufkin (yoki) from Moomin

This years projects have been... few. We had some other things to attend and few "casualties" regarding health, so cosplaying have been on hiatus for us. Well... yoki was able to pull together a costume and all by herself! I just helped with some patterns and gave tips here and there. Yay, for yoki! But now we are going to start our next cosplay project... maybe next month or so and I have to say... I'm quite exited. And as all cosplayers know, when you start one you have three more on your mind.

yoki as Snufkin from Moomin. Pic was taken by Minttu Lehti

The next project will be done till next year, so I was thinking if we could make little easier cosplay while we are at it. Before that we need to have photoshoots from yoki's Snufkin and Jasdero and Debitto. But hey, we could still do one cosplay... right? Right?

Sounds like an evil plan! (yoki as Mayuri, pic taken by hiron)

Any ideas for a not too time-eating and moderately quick costumes?