Saturday, April 30, 2016

Cosvision 2016 Summary

Yo geeks!

Cosvision 2016 has passed us by and this year, it was held in Hämeenlinna, Finland during the 23rd-24th April. I had my expectations on the con after hearing from Shiro Samurai that it was a success back in 2014. Cosvision was something I really wanted to experience this year and did it meet my expectations? Definitely not, sadly. Keep on reading and I will tell you peeps why; some of you might get some eye candy along the way, especially if you like Hetalia ;)

But now it's time for a con summary.

Friday (pre-con)

When the clock had passed 13:00 (Swedish time) mine, Shiro Samurai and Sacchan's long carpool ride towards Cosvision and Hämeenlinna located in the south had begun. The ride took us around 8 hours and most of the time went to random poop humor, laughing at funny city/road names and of course, cosplay topics. Somewhere after Oulu I and Sacchan felt like smoothies so we stopped at Hesburger to fetch a pair. The service at this specific Hesburger was painfully slow and I really mean it, I cringed. When we were done drinking our smoothies -mine was a disappointment- Sacchan's old trusty rusina Renault hit the road again.
The driving continued smoothly and safely and so did our poop humor. Somewhere between Jyväskylä and Hämeenlinna when the clock was close to midnight the car driving in front of us hit the brakes suddenly. We, of course, followed and thought "What is going on? Is there a reindeer about to cross the road or what?" but when we came closer and drove slowly past the other car we saw it; on the other road there was an owl that looked like this one but young. The instant I saw the fluffy fellow on the other side of the road, I became worried of its well-being as it didn't move an inch and had its eyes closed. I hope the little one wasn't hurt and is okay now. The owl stayed heavily on my mind during the entire con.

The clock was somewhere around 01:00 (Finnish time) when our trio finally made it to Hämeenlinna. As soon as we entered the city, I picked up my phone and called Firith, to let him know that we were in Hämeenlinna. With the help of a phone navigator we found our way quickly to our Sokos hotel's parking lot. We parked the car and soon afterwards, Firith and his friend came to greet us. After the greetings the four of us walked together to the hotel's information desk and from there we got our room cards. I and Firith shared a room while Sacchan and Shiro Samurai shared another one, right next to our. Inside our room, I unpacked some stuff for the night and while at it, I laughed with Firith about our natural in-character differences for our next pair cosplay duo. We spoke randoms and fell asleep somewhere after 02:30... whoopsie daisy!

Saturday

The first day of Cosvision was here and during the morning, I looked more towards the morning buffet than putting on my cosplay, lol. At 08:00 (local time) our alarms rang and since I'm a morning person -who have no problems getting up- I had my head clear in no time. I was surprised to find out that my sceptical "dude, get up" glare was enough to get the persistent, not-a-morning-person Firith to separate from his hotel bed rather quickly. Damn, do I really look that intimidating? xD
Firith, I hope that I didn't scare you too much. Really ;__;

With both of us ready, we headed towards the morning buffet located on the first floor. Our rooms was on the 3rd floor so we had to take the elevator down. When we reached the buffet, we took a quick look around the area and noticed that Shiro Samurai and Sacchan was already emptying their plates and casually talking. The two of us agreed to join their company after fetching something to fill our stomachs with. The buffet food was great and one of the better ones I've had in a while, actually. I especially enjoyed the Karelian pastries, so good!

All photos taken by Shiro Samurai.

3rd floor room corridor.
Morning buffet! Yum!
After finishing what was on our plates, I and Firith headed back to our room to change into cosplay. My cosplay for the day was Prussia from Hetalia and Firith accompanied me as 2p!France, also from Hetalia. You see, both of us had been counting days and longing for our next Hetalia pair cosplay ever since Desucon Frostbite 2015 ended. So yeah, I guess you can say that this day was special for us.
To my surprise I got into cosplay fairly fast, problem free and smoothly, save for the left eye makeup that decided to poop on me. I'm amused that my right eye makeup went way better this time, usually it's the other way around for me. After that I got into full cosplay, it didn't take long before Firith was done as well and with both of us ready; we went to knock on our geeky neighbors' door. They weren't completely ready to leave just yet; Shiro Samurai needed some time to put on the final parts of his Darkrai (Pokémon) gijinka. Luckily he had the majority of the cosplay on and once he was in full cosplay, we left the hotel to check the surrounding area for fitting photoshoot locations. Really close to the hotel we saw a small harbor with some boats and next to it there was some ruins. We stopped at the ruins as the nightmare material -aka the Darkrai- among us wanted a small photoshoot there. I and Sacchan took turns acting as the photographer.

After the small Darkrai photoshoot, the four of us agreed to not take the fast way to the con building - which was to go through the city. Instead, we took the slightly longer road that took us through a park and eventually lead us to the city. To find Verkatehdas -aka the con building- wasn't a problem at all. Along the way, we also found Valintatalo (a food store) which was close to our hotel; this became our provisions supplier during the con weekend. We reached the outdoor area of Verkatehdas and the first thought that hit my mind was "Is this really Cosvision? You gotta be kidding me!" when I gazed around and noticed the few colorful spots of con attendants spread out here and there. It really felt like I had attended a local con with the "hang with your friends" atmosphere and paid over 100 € in total for it. One can say that I was disappointed to say the least and also desperately clinging to the wish thinking of "Please tell me that the con is not this dead indoors!" as I and Shiro Samurai went indoors to fetch our con bands, while Firith and Sacchan decided to take a small break outdoors first.


Entrance area.
Main area, taken from the staircase.
Dealer's Hall.

As you can probably tell from the photos above -no matter the location- the con atmosphere/con hype just wasn't there. The main area had the same feel to that of a train station, where people just seemed to wait for something or for time to pass meanwhile talking with their buddies. When I first walked to the main area and took a look around, it freaked me out. Honestly. Wherever I turned my head there was people sitting on their asses, wherever possible, and talking with their friends as if there really wasn't anything else to do. You could tell just by looking at the majority of the people around you, that many of them seemed like they were bored out of their mind. Let me tell you, they weren't the only ones. While exploring the con together with my geeky gang, I got one disappointment smacked into my face after another and before I knew it, I thought "Cosvision, you gotta be kidding me! Did I just pay 100+ € for some incomplete wannabe local con in the south?!". Yupp, my expectations of Cosvision to be a slightly more popular and livelier con with a similar cozy, relaxed feel to that of Skecon - went brutally in the wall. What I had attended was a dull, lackluster, "hang with your friends" type of con, with zero to no entertainment or things to see. Cosvision got really dull and uninspiring for me within, like, 10 minutes and I swear - if I wouldn't have Firith by my side, I would have entered the state of boredom insanity really fast. Cosvision just lacked everything and I mean everything, that makes a con fun and worthwhile. Just what went so wrong when they had 2 years to plan and make the con something great or at least good? The con just felt so incomplete/rushed/poorly planned and like a waste of potential. Really, I hope they will make it better next time.

Like mentioned above, what really saved my Cosvision experience was my company. Definitely. I really don't have much to say about what I did as the majority of my con time went to hang around with my friends and kill time by roaming through the seen-way-too-many-times-already Dealer's Hall and their stuff. I was happy that at least Firith found a figurine that he had been searching for. We also spent some of our time outdoors, while we discussed randoms and if there was any good photoshoot locations close by. While outdoors, we quickly noticed that the wind was fairly cold and it didn't take long before Firith was freezing in his 2p!France cosplay. Sitting next to him, while he started shaking, was mentally painful for me. It didn't take long before I had enough of what I saw, so I took action to do something about it.

BRO HUG! <3
After a few hours or random talking, all of us agreed to return to the hotel somewhere around 16:00. On the way we stopped at Valintatalo as I really wanted to grab something to eat and at the hotel, Sacchan and Shiro Samurai changed out of cosplay. We took a break from the con and I could just breathe out after the chock that Cosvision was for me. During our time at the hotel, the other half of our company left for the city to find a Hesburger to eat at. Meanwhile the others were on their burger hunt, I and Firith stayed at the hotel and ate the provisions we bought from Valintatalo. You see, Firith had bought a can of beer (Karhu brand) and well, he asked me if I wanted to give it a try. You see, for the longest time I've been kinda curious to give the beer culture a try so of course, I was up for a sip! #dadinfluences

It was quite an interesting taste and I was surprised to find myself liking it more than I thought I would, haha. However, I think that the brand was a bit too strong for me but I would be up for finding the right brand for me as I liked the base taste. Then again, I love beer sausages, maybe that explains something.

At one point Sacchan and Shiro Samurai came back from the city and soon afterwards we headed out again - towards the con. Along the way, we learned that the con had already closed its doors at 18:00 for the day. Guess what happened in our heads when this information reached us? I bet all of us thought something along the lines of that Cosvision couldn't get any more disappointing at this point, it just did. Just why on earth would a con close its doors as early as flippin' 18:00 during the main day?! Ugh, I'm out of words and this is exactly where the beauty of my derp face comes in:

DISCLAIMER!

I'm aware that the character I cosplay in this post might wear details/symbols that can be offensive or emotionally unpleasant to others. I, as a guy with his heart and morals in the right place, just want to make it clear that I DO NOT support, agree with, believe in or have any other connections to the ideologies/beliefs that the character I'm cosplaying is representing. Readers, please keep in mind that what I'm wearing is JUST A COSTUME and shouldn't be taken as anything more than that. Thank you.

Thanks face, you really are useful at times.
Since there was no point for us to go back to the con -as it has closed for the day- we all agreed to use the remaining hours of daylight to find a place where Shiro Samurai could photoshoot my Prussia and Firith's 2p!France cosplay. Firith got some solo photos taken of his cosplay, while I didn't really find any location that clicked for me. Just around the corner of the building where the photo above is taken, we found a building with wooden walls. I liked it, to me it looked like it wasn't from the current timeline. It looked older somehow, especially with the faded red paint on the surface.
The two of us went up the stairs and so did our photographer. I tried to think of some cool friendship/rivalry photos between that would fit our characters and well, I hit the blank state pretty fast. I was stuck. The second topic that crossed my mind -to my very surprise- was fanservice. All I can say when it comes to fanservice, is that I'm overall against it but mind you; I don't hate it and if it's done with a deep/beautiful meaning/message behind it, heck I might even enjoy it. Firith is one of the very few people I would ever agree to pose with -especially when it comes to Hetalia fanservice- since I know what is going on in his head and vice versa. For me, it's a huge safety thing when I know that the person I'm posing with has the same mentality/view of things as I have. But now, it's time for the photos I promised!

Cosplayers: Frozen Angel (Prussia) & Firith (2p!France)
Photographer & editor: Shiro Samurai

Note: Those of you who dislikes/can't stand the pairing Prussia x France (FranPru/PruFran) please scroll past the photos below and keep on reading. I don't force you to watch the photos below. Thank you.

- I want to make it clear to each one of you reading this post that I and Firith are just friends. We are good friends but just friends. Thank you for understanding -




After the photoshoot we all agreed to walk back to the hotel. The wind had gotten really cold at this point so both Shiro Samurai and Firith were in pain and freezing. Back at the hotel Firith and Sacchan went to the bar to order a glass of  wine, while I and bro went to our respective hotel rooms. Somewhere around 20:00 or even later, the whole gang came to my and Firith's room after that he changed out of cosplay. Firith took off the cosplay and we all noticed that he wasn't okay, his feet and legs were swollen thanks to the killer shoes and he also had other pains that came from the cosplay. I know it's not my fault, but I felt responsible for the pain that Firith went through since he cosplayed 2p!France also for my sake. I damn hope you recover soon and that the pair cosplaying with me, was somehow worth the pain you went through that evening...

Somewhere close to midnight, Firith started to get his limbs back slowly and when the situation started to look better, Sacchan and Shiro Samurai went to sleep. Before going under the blanket, I gave Firith some massage and he returned the favor. We both had some pains and were stiff as rocks, so the massage was really appreciated. Afterwards we had a small talk and somewhere around 01:30 I escaped to dream land.

Sunday

Sunday dawned upon us and I got my ass up when my alarm hit 07:00 in the morning. My sunday cosplay would have been Luka Crosszeria (The Betrayal Knows My Name) but I decided to not cosplay him, as I just knew that I wouldn't enjoy it. Because of this, I decided to either photoshoot Luka within the coming months or to cosplay him at my next con, whatever con that will be. Just like on Saturday I was fast to get up and meanwhile Firith got himself ready, I fed my luggage with my stuff.  As soon as Firith was done and in casual gear, the two of us headed downstairs to enjoy the morning buffet for one last time. This time I and Firith ate our breakfast alone, as Shiro Samurai and Sacchan had already left when we came. Nonetheless, we had a good time.

With our stomachs full, we returned to the hotel room. I kept packing my stuff while Firith went to put on his Ayame Sohma cosplay from Fruits Basket. I got my stuff packed fairly fast and when I was done, I just waited for Firith to get into cosplay. He got fairly fast into cosplay I must say, we had some hours left before we had to leave the hotel at 12:00.We talked randoms and later Sacchan and Shiro Samurai came to knock on our door - it was time to dump our luggages and stuff to the white rusina's back. The clock struck 12:00 and we left the hotel room cards at the reception and left. Shiro Samurai and Sacchan took the car to the con, while I and Firith decided to walk to the con.

As soon as I and Firith arrived at the con, we headed towards Artist's Alley as Firith was interested to buy something from there. I tagged along, having no idea where Artist's Alley even was located. When I saw where the whole thing was located it didn't surprise me why I missed it too. It was behind one of the entrance walls, completely covered by the wall no matter what direction you came from. You wouldn't know that the Artist's Alley was there unless you either happened to have the con map in your hands or went into the area out of curiosity. There wasn't even a sign telling peeps that the Artist's Alley was behind that wall. No wonder I never found it. The only indicator there was that could tell you that something happened there was that people went there and took their time to come out. Anyway, when we got to the Artist's Alley corner, Firith walked straight to Purple Octopus' table. He found himself a Harry Potter themed necklace and I found myself a dragon one, which I really liked.
There was also this one seller who had been working together with SilliS who is a Finnish youtuber well-known for his hilarious Donald Duck videos. Non-Finnish people very likely won't know this guy, but his Donald Duck videos exploded here and became a meme. Pretty much everyone knows about it here and now there was someone selling -as official as the merchandise can be- stuff from it! YES!

I bought that Scrooge McDuck necklace because "TAPAN SUT AKU! FUU FUU!" is glorious xD
We spent the last con hours by talking pretty deep shit and I think somewhere around 13:30 or later, we bumped into Sacchan, Shiro Samurai and Ri-kun (whom we also ran into during Saturday). Around that time Shiro Samurai photoshooted Firith's Ayame Sohma cosplay. They got some good photos taken and afterwards the 5 of us spent some time together and ate together. Cosvision closed at 16:00 and somewhere around 16:20 or so, my and Shiro Samurai's mom called us and told us to hurry back to the north as there was seemingly some kind of storm approaching the southern parts of the country. When we heard the bad news, we knew that we had to hurry back to the north - so we went to say our goodbyes to Firith and Ri-kun. Firith left a few minutes before us and for me it was really painful to tell him my goodbyes. I missed him the instant he left. Once outdoors, we headed towards the con's parking lot, got inside our rusina and hit the road towards the north, leaving Cosvision and Hämeenlinna behind us.

We drove back to the north safely and without any problems and somewhere around 01:30 we arrived at my and Shiro Samurai's hometown in northern Sweden. Somehow, we managed to avoid that stormy weather that was supposed to hit the southern part of the country and -possible-central parts of the country too. Nice that we didn't need to worry about it anymore. I tried to sleep during most of the trip back home, as I was fairly tired and somewhere else in my head - why I was also very silent. During the 8+ hours long ride back to the north there was this one resting place I was waiting for. We laughed so hard to the name of this resting place when we first passed by it somewhere between Kemi and Oulu. You see, the name of this place is Haarakangas and well, it literally means "crotch cloth" in Finnish. People who have watched Hetalia will know exactly what I'm laughing at! xD

Yupp, "crotch cloth" is a legit resting place here in the north! xD
As soon as Sacchan's white Renault parked in front of my apartment, in the middle of the night, I grabbed my stuff from the car's back and said my goodnighties to Sacchan and Shiro Samurai. I immediately went to sleep as soon I entered my room, I was so tired and fell asleep rather quickly too. The "next day" aka later during the same day we arrived in the north, I decided to snap a photo of the two necklaces that I bought from Cosvision's Artist's Alley.

I really dig that dragon one, it's so pretty!
I'm not gonna rant anymore about Cosvision, I believe I got my message across what the con was and felt like. I just hope that the next time they organize it that they improve it and -hopefully- make it something closer to the Cosvision back in 2014, that my friends said were a success. I hope that the con can take the feedback they get from their visitors and work towards a more successful event next time it's arranged.

...
...

Thank you for reading all the way to the end and yes, I know that some of you are waiting for me to throw in those bonus derp photos anytime now. Guess what? My face decided to take a holiday so have some fanservice a lá Prussia instead. Why? Because I can, hah!

Bonus Picture!

#whatsmyproblem

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Cosvision 2016 Cosplay Plans

Hello geeks!

My next con for the year will be Cosvision - a con held in Finland at different locations every second year since 2014. First time, Cosvision was held in Turku and I didn't attend it but Shiro Samurai did; something I came to regret afterwards after hearing from him what of a successful event it was. This time, I'm going to Cosvision and I'm, of course, not traveling there alone.

I will travel southwards together with Sacchan (who will be driving) and my bro, Shiro Samurai. Originally Ronya was supposed to join our trio to Hämeenlinna -where the con is held- but things got in the way for her, sadly. At Hämeenlinna, our carpool company will meet Firith, the last person in our con group and the strongest reason for me to attend the con. Dammit, I've been missing his company beyond words since Desucon Frostbite 2015, which feels like forever ago! ;__;

Now to my cosplay plans. At Cosvision I will cosplay the following:

Saturday

Prussia from Hetalia.
Way before the con, I spoke with Firith and we both agreed on to cosplay from Hetalia on Saturday. We just had way too much fun cosplaying from it at Frostbite 2015 and so we had to team up again! It's lovely when you find someone who loves the series and has the same mentality as you do, especially when you cringe at the fandom. This time I will be Prussia and he will be 2p!France.

Let's see if I have time to make that one small change to the costume that bothered me since the end of Närcon Vinter this year. Anyway, can't wait to pair cosplay again! <3

Sunday

Original Casual!Luka Crosszeria from The Betrayal Knows My Name.
It's time to cosplay the handsome Luka Crosszeria again! Man, I've been waiting to carry that massive sword around and look badass while doing it! This demon guy was an easy pick for my Sunday cosplay after that I went through all of my "cos-able" characters. I wanted something easy and comfortable since I'll be traveling back -likely in cosplay gear- on Sunday; but at the same time I wanted something that is not too "boring" to look at because well, Cosvision is an event focusing on cosplay after all.

That's it for these plans and see you at Cosvision!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Lens Review: EOS Pop.C Light Gray

Hello everyone!

On Sunday the 3rd April, I decided that it was finally time for me to put on and try out my next pair of lenses, namely the Pop.C Light Gray! My reason for opening these is because I will need them for a cosplay that I will wear at my next con, which is soon. Seeing myself reviewing gray lenses this time feels kinda funny in a way. Want to know why? You see, back in 2013 when I started using circle lenses for cosplay, gray was that one color I wouldn't even think about buying simply because I have naturally gray-ish green eyes. Back then, I just found it pointless to buy lenses of the same eye color as your natural one(s). This is why I only bought lenses for characters who had either an unnatural eye color or for those I wanted to cosplay as accurately as I possibly could, while being the way I am. I was cheap and narrow-minded, I admit.
Today, I'm gonna review the Pop.C Light Gray lenses as I have come to realize -as a cosplayer who loves photoshoots- how much lenses can actually add to a costume, despite being a small part of the costume itself. But now, it's time for the lens review. Let's go!

As per usual I biked my ass towards Shiro Samurai's place and when I got there, I put on the lenses and somewhere around 18:00 we went outside to take the photos. I'm so happy that the summer half year is finally here, I've been so sick of the northern polar nights lately. Summer time means extended hours of daylight and that means more hours for cosplay fun outdoors. Win-win.

Photographer: Shiro Samurai

The bottles my lenses came in.


The batch of photos below are all taken at bro's during a semi cloudy but still sunny April evening around 18:30.

One lens in.
Facing window.
Bathroom light.
Flash photo.
White corridor light.
Yellow light.
Back against sun, outdoors.
Facing sun, outdoors.
As per usual I will end this lens review with the distance -aka outfit of the day- photo! This should be a given to my readers/followers by now ~

Man, it took a while to get a decent photo with that sun shining so bright.
Lens review:

Color: 7/10 
The color is there and the black ring gives a nice add to the gray.
Comfort: 7/10
At first I thought that my right lens was defective as it felt like I had shampoo in the eye when I wore it. Luckily, this went away when I rinsed the lens and put it back in. The longer I wore these, the more comfortable they got. My eyes got quickly used to them too and I didn't feel them anymore after just a hour or two. I wore them from 18:00 to 21:00 before I decided to take them off for the day. No discomfort.
Design: 6/10
These are cool but not quite my preference. The black outer ring is what makes me enjoy them.
Enlargement: 5/10
There is a small but noticeable enlargement. However, it still looks good on my small eyes.
Naturalness: 5/10 
Gray is a natural eye color but these still "pop" at you, especially when you're close to the wearer, thanks to the enlargement and design. I don't think that these are very noticeable if seen from a distance though.
Opacity: 6/10 
Their color covers my naturally gray-ish green eyes and does a good job on it. Color is opaque.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Too Much Nostalgia! - Secret Childhood Cosplays!

Hello everyone!

I got interested to read Shiro Samurai's post about nostalgia and childhood characters that he'd like to cosplay and guess what this did to me? That's right, it kicked the nostalgia right up in my face and got me in the mood to write this back-to-the-past post. Curious about what series and games I loved as a kid/early teen? Or what characters I admired, related to and grew up with? All of the characters on this nostalgic list despite their big differences, have something in common; each one of them has been with me since I was a kid/early teen and has throughout the years reminded me of the wonderful, good ol' days. These guys and the shows they are from mean something to me, be it a character that I love for their big nostalgic impact or one that actually taught me something in life. They are all special in the way that each of them made my childhood enjoyable and therefore has a special place in my geeky heart.

Oh and I didn't put the word "secret" in the title just to make it sound extra fancy. You see, usually I share what I plan to cosplay with my good friends before revealing the characters here for the sake of possible pair/group cosplay ideas. But for my childhood heroes today the story is a different one. These characters I have kept to myself so that I can -hopefully- equally surprise my new readers and long-time friends alike. No priority sneak-peek to anyone, gwahahahaha!

Let's see if my choice of nostalgic characters can surprise you or put a nostalgic smile on your face! Enjoy because here are my never-before-mentioned childhood heroes whom I'd love to cosplay someday!

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Character: Dark Yugi
Series: Yu-Gi-Oh!


When Yu-Gi-Oh! came to its popularity peak here, I wasn't that much into it save for collecting monster cards -that in my opinion- had an appealing design, most of them being dragons. First after that I saw a few random episodes of the anime on tv, I came to really like the series; its dark/intriguing settings along with interesting concept and ideas really clicked for me. Being a sucker for most things supernatural and with a gothic/dark theme to it, Yu-Gi-Oh! was like the best of both worlds. Out of the characters -which I know of, so far- from the original show, Dark Yugi (Yami Yugi in Japan) has to be my favorite, easily. I'm at a word loss right here when I'm trying to describe how much I digged Dark Yugi as an early teen and I still like him a lot. He is such a clever badass character and his design is so spot-on for me. Heck, I even had a mancrush on him! Yupp, mancrush on Dark Yugi. There, I said it.

Despite Yu-Gi-Oh! having the shortest hype period out of all the series I was into as a kid/early teen, I first came to realize its importance in my life during my late teens. Yu-Gi-Oh! was the series that opened my mind to a lot of fascinating things and these things came to later change my life and how I lived it - to a more fulfilling one.

Character: Digimon Emperor
Series: Digimon Adventure 02


When Digimon came out along with the first merchandise I was against it, thinking that it was an over detailed rip-off of Pokémon, which my childhood centered around pretty much. But this faulty image of Digimon came to disappear already after that I saw the first episode of the Digimon Adventure anime on tv - it wasn't like Pokémon at all, save for children having monsters as friends/companions. It didn't take long before I came to love Digimon and Pokémon equally, including buying Digimon merchandise and following the Digimon Adventure and Adventure 02 anime on tv. I followed the first anime more regularly though as a kid, as I didn't know the Adventure 02 airing times.
 But during last year I decided to watch the entire Adventure 02 anime together with Shiro Samurai and what to say about the character I want to cosplay? Well, those who have seen the anime knows what of an asshole the Digimon Emperor is, but guess what? I love this guy for the exact same reason as I love Anakin Skywalker from Star Wars - appealing design, a touching bad-to-good story, character depth and of course, character development. The episode were the "Digimon Emperor" comes to realize what horrible deeds he has done in the past as his old self and reverts back to his true self, packed more than enough of an emotional punch to send many manly tears rolling down my cheeks. This guy's story made me cry a lot mentally. He really did. What a lovely, impactful character in a "kids show"...

I also decided on the Digimon Emperor because I found that version of the character to be the most memorable and iconic for the character's growth. Besides, I don't mind cosplaying a bad guy who also has an appealing design, since cosplaying a douche gives you the privilege to make evil faces all day! Hell yeah!

Character: Team Rocket Grunt
Series: Pokémon FireRed / LeafGreen


Team Rocket Grunt. Probably one of the reasons to why you hate Zubat/Golbat and their Supersonic move, am I right?

As a kid I disliked each of the Team Rocket hideout areas/dungeons in the early Pokémon games for the following reasons: status effects especially poison and confusion, too easy battles in too long/bothersome areas and of course, this. Even if Team Rocket grunts (and newer grunts) can be a nuisance to deal with, I have to admit that these guys' funny vocabulary, silliness and stupidness is what makes battling countless of them worth the time. These guys are funny, silly and just super nostalgic for anyone who has been into Pokémon since the first generation.

Team Rocket grunt is an easy, recognizable, iconic but also very nostalgic cosplay which gives you the freedom to use pretty much any wig or pair of lenses you feel like, as each grunt is an individual and looks different -at least in the anime- and has no set design. I originally planned to cosplay the original Team Rocket grunt from Pokémon Red/Blue but I ended up choosing the FireRed/LeafGreen version later as I would have felt too uncomfortable having the whip that their sprite has in the first generation games.

Character: Shin Kazama
Series: U.N. Squadron


Nowadays when I either see or read U.N. Squadron or Area 88 (Japanese name of the series) somewhere, I get instantly taken back to my early gaming days when I used to play this game on the Super Nintendo during the late 90's together with my bro, Shiro Samurai. None of us ever beat the game nor came close to it; it was insanely hard. Period. But I remember that I once managed to beat the third level of the game and when I did, oh boy, it must have been the most satisfying, euphoric moment in my gamer life. I swear. It was such a big thing and even today, I'm very proud of that achievement and the determination I had to mow that sucker of a boss down. Good times man, good times.
Some people might have completely missed this hidden gem but for me it was a precious game. This side scrolling shoot-'em-up game, along with Super Mario World, came to be a big part of my early childhood. I loved these two games and my Pokémon games to pieces.
Most of mine and Shiro Samurai's U.N. Squadron gaming moments went to play the first two levels over and over again, so when we managed to shoot that second level's aviator boss to pieces, we were so excited to finally see what the next level was like. You see, after that you beat the second level you can choose which of the limited available next level stages you want to play. However, the game didn't tell you jackshit about how much stronger the enemies were in the level you picked so... yeah, the amount of times we got rekt in the new stage that we so long fought to get to, lol. Anyway, we had a blast playing this game every time and certainly didn't mind playing the same stages time after time since U.N. Squadron has one of the best game soundtracks I've ever heard. Even today I happily put on an U.N. Squadron mix and listen to it for hours. Yes, it's that good.

Years went past and I bought new consoles and games, whenever something interesting came out and so I didn't touch the Super Nintendo nor its games for years. As a kid who don't have English as my mother tongue, I came to forget the name of this wonderful game as the years passed by. It was first around the end of 2015 that I finally found U.N. Squadron again on Youtube and, around that time, I also found out that there was a manga and two anime made of the series as well. Of course I went to watch both of the anime and Shin Kazama, who is the main character, ended up being my favorite fighter pilot. Shin Kazama is a man who just wanted to live a happy life with his girlfriend and he was tricked into serving in the military. Throughout the entire anime he wants nothing more than to get out of there and back to his old life. But to get out, he needs to stay alive and get an insane sum of money which basically means getting blood on his hands. He's such a tragic and conflicted character whom I can't help but love and have dem feels -including nostalgic ones- to. The anime is a psychological one and a strong one at that, some scenes made me really think about what I saw and shed some manly tears too. U.N. Squadron is a really nostalgic game and for it to have a good, impactful anime just made it even more precious to me.

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That's all for this nostalgic post and I hope you guys had an interesting time getting to know my precious childhood heroes and what they have meant to me.

Thanks and bye!

Frozen Angel out.