PAX PRIME 2015 & Summoner Yuna Cosplay!!

Hello, everyone!
Hope you’ve all been well! I’m finally on my summer break, which has already been packed with a weekend trip with the family and PAX PRIME 2015!!!

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What is PAX? 
PAX (penny arcade expo) is a video game convention that takes place annually in Texas, Massachusetts, Melbourne, and Washington state. Tons of game developers and companies come to the con with playable demos of their new, unreleased games for attendees to play. PAX Prime is the name of the 4-day convention that takes place on/around Labor Day weekend in downtown Seattle, WA. And by “downtown,” I mean it dominates the convention center, neighboring hotels, theaters – the con is HUGE!! It is gamer paradise.

Last year, I attended PAX as a vendor for Pink Gorilla, a local retro video game shop, and I returned as a vendor for 3 days this year. Selling video games to dedicated gamers is always a blast! ūüôā But this year was the first time I went to PAX¬†for one day as a general attendee, so I had one full day of exploring the con!

At the Con

Oh man, I can’t even keep track of everything I played!! PAX is notorious for its long lines – some of which can easily take a few hours of waiting – but if you plan your day accordingly, you can fill your convention experience with lots of fun game demos! The exhibition hall is filled with glowing screens and loud music from the games and the booths. Here are some pictures of what it looks like!

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The first thing I played was Dark Souls III. After waiting about an 1 1/2 hours in line, I finally got to play the 5-minute demo. . .in which I think I died like 10 times in the same area. To be expected!

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Outside the exhibition hall was this Dark Souls fountain. Photo does not do it justice, but blood spews from the corpse! >:D

While some demos were rather¬†short, Nintendo’s were quite generous. The line for the new Star Fox was always really long, but I heard the demo was 20 minutes long. The new 3DS Zelda Triforce Heroes demo let you and 2 other players work your way through an entire level – or until you ran out of lives. The game is a co-op adventure meant to be played with 3 people, so both hilarity and frustration ensues as you and your friends struggle to help each other through the courses.

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Super Mario Maker was also super fun! You can create and play through various courses, and download courses that other people made. You can also choose which Mario “generation” you want to make your courses in, from old school SNES to WiiU inspired stages and graphics. I tried out the advanced courses and they were quite difficult!

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I also got to play an oculus for the first time!! It was AWESOME!! I need more VR games in my life.

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But lets not forget the fact that you could take a picture with Pikachu at the Pokemon booth ūüôā

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But that’s not all I played! Final Fantasy XV (I believe it was the same demo that was on FF Type-0), Resident Evil, Street Fighter, Mad Max, Assassin’s Creed, Gang Beasts. . .and so much more!! If you love video games, you must attend a PAX!! Tickets sell out super fast, so keep an eye out for updates!

Summoner Yuna cosplay

I was so excited to wear my new Yuna cosplay on my first day of PAX!! I had worked on it all summer and it’s probably my best cosplay I’ve made yet! Someday I’d like to get a professional photo shoot done to show off my work, but here are a couple shots of my cosplay:

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Next time I wear it, I hope to have one of her staffs completed. I didn’t want to carry any props to PAX since it’s a very hands-on con and VERY crowded!!

I also wore my gunner Yuna cosplay on day 2 of PAX:

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To read my tutorial on how I made gunner Yuna, check out my Emerald City Comicon post!

SUMMONER YUNA TUTORIAL

Skirt: The amount of fabric you’ll need depends on (1) your waist size and (2) how deep you want to make the pleats. I got 3 yards of broadcloth for my skirt and used almost all of it. I used Velcro to close up the side since her skirt doesn’t completely close. I painted on the flower design with Tulip Soft fabric paint in petal pink after lightly sketching it with a white colored pencil. I also painted inside the pleats so the design wouldn’t look all choppy while I walked. Though it will take a few coats to get the desired color since it soaks into the fabric pretty quickly, a small bottle should do the trick.

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*The paint appears more of a light pink in person.

Obi: I got a yard of yellow broadcloth – broadcloth was my go-to fabric for this cosplay since it’s sturdy, easy to paint and sew with, and doesn’t look too “costumey.” I simply made a long band to go around my waist and used Velcro to attach it. I found pink fabric in my box of leftover sewing materials to make the pink strip underneath. For the bow, I sewed three rectangles: one big, a smaller one to fit inside, and then a taller, narrower one to wrap around them. I pinched the first two rectangles together to loosely for a bow, hand-stitching down the middle to secure the shape, and then slid the narrower piece over them and stitched that into place. The bow simply attaches to the obi band with safety pins. For all parts of the obi, I doubled up the fabric to make it thicker and more supportive. I also used my yukata’s obi ita (sort of like a rectangular cardboard thing that goes under an obi) for my cosplay to keep my obi nice and smooth.¬†Once again, I used more fabric paint of the same brand to make the leaves and branches. I painted one half of the waistband first, then folded it in half while the paint was still wet to make it symmetrical. . .which was REALLY RISKY!! I don’t recommend doing that, but somehow I didn’t screw it up and it worked out for me haha!

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TOP AND SLEEVES: …I think I got 1 yard of white broadcloth? To measure how long you want the sleeves, use a measuring tape and go from your wrist down to wherever you want the sleeves to fall to see how long you need to cut your fabric. Make sure you make the arm opening wide enough to slide over your elbows (measure the circumference of your upper arm first). It’s ok if it’s loose since you will tighten them with ribbon. I used Rit fabric dye in petal pink to dye the sleeves. READ THE DIRECTIONS AND FOLLOW THEM WORD FOR WORD. Also, if you have never dyed fabric, there are plenty of tutorials on youtube that can assist with the process. The dye appears a bit dark at first, but after giving the sleeves a rinse, the color softens. Given this was my first time dying fabric, I’m quite satisfied with the end result. I had a few moments where the dye would clump up and make little spots on the fabric, but you can easily get rid of them by immediately rinsing them ¬†out and/or brushing them with a paint brush to distribute the dye. I think this may have happened because my water was not hot enough to dissolve the dye powder :/ So again, read the instructions!! And use a test strip of fabric in the same color before actually dying your cosplay!

The top was a lot easier to make since it’s just a long white rectangle you wrap around your neck. Again, just put a measuring tape around your body to see how long you want your fabric. I wore a plain black bikini top underneath.

HIBISCUS:

I used a sheet of red foam and hot glued a pin to the back to attach it to a gold cord, which tied over my obi. I printed out a picture of the hibiscus and taped it to the foam as I cut. I used squeezable fabric paint to make the designs and put two eyelets to make the holes. I cut out a thin white ribbon to my desired length and strung on round beads from an assorted bead bag (also used beads from that bag to tie on the ends of my sleeve ribbons). The longer pieces are actually straws from my university’s dining hall that I painted blue ūüėõ Lastly, I made tassels and tied¬†them to the bottom.

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As for my accessories: I coincidentally owned bracelets and a ring like hers, and the earring and necklace I purchased from eBay.

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Any questions about PAX or my Yuna cosplay? Did you happen to attend PAX? What were some of your favorite games? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments! ūüėÄ Thanks for reading~

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Dangan Ronpa photoshoot!: Junko and Naegi cosplay

Hello, everyone!

It’s been a while since I’ve made a post. School and work have been keeping me very busy x__x And I am actually STILL busy right now (I literally have my homework up in another tab), so I’m gonna make this post quick, but I wanted to share some cosplay photos with you all! As you may remember from one of my previous posts, I attended an anime convention called Sakura-con back in April and cosplayed as Junko Enoshima from a video game/anime called Dangan Ronpa, and my boyfriend Keegan cosplayed as Makoto Naegi from the same series. Here are some of my favorite photos from our photo shoot! All photo credit goes to Zandrew Photography:¬†https://www.facebook.com/zandrewphotography?fref=ts

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About the cosplays

Junko: I bought the skirt and boots at Hot Topic; the choker from Claire’s; the shoelaces, wig, hair clips, and bow pin from eBay. I had the white shirt (not sure where I got it, but it’s just a simple button up shirt). The cardigan is actually a thick black button up shirt I got at a thrift store, and then I altered it to fit my figure and to be the right shape, and I added red buttons. The two white pins were originally white buttons and I drew the designs on with Sharpie, and I used squeezable fabric paint for the white boxy designs on the cardigan. I made the tie by ¬†buying a black tie and a black tie from Daiso, then sewed them together, used squeezable fabric paint for the symbol.

Naegi: Keegan and I worked on this one together! We first bought both the hoodie and black jacket from the thrift store. I added golden buttons onto the black jacket and hot glued a zipper around the hood of the green jacket. He used fabric paint for¬†the symbol on the hood and for the stripes. The hardest part was the hair. I used hair spray and some sort of hair glue to make it stick up and then blow dried it in place. I actually did it at our con’s cosplay repair station upon our arrival, so I don’t know the exact name of the hair products, but it worked super well and stayed up all day long!

Keegan purchased the monokuma doll at the previous year’s Sakura-con.

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Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed the photos! ūüôā ¬†If you have any questions or comments about the cosplays, con, photos, or anything, please comment below!

Spring Conventions and Cosplay! part 2: Sakura-con 2015

Welcome back for more convention rants! In my previous post, I ranted about Emerald City Comicon and posted some cosplay photos. This rant will be very similar, but is dedicated to my favorite convention: Sakura-con.

Though I have been attending since 2007, this was my first year going as a press member, as my boyfriend Keegan and I were co-writing an article for our newspaper.  We were able to interview Vic Mignogna (voice of Edward Elric in Fullmetal Alchemist, Tamaki Suoh in Ouran High School Host Club), Bryce Papenbrook (voice of Kirito in Sword Art Online, Eren Jaeger in Attack on Titan), and Hiromi Kato (director of Death Note, Tsubasa). Please check out our article here!: http://www.dailyuw.com/arts_and_leisure/article_657c02f6-ddac-11e4-af9d-4bcbfc27cd9e.html

Along with interviews, we also got to check out some cool panels held by voice actors,¬†party at the concerts and dances, and spent way more money than we should have at the vendor’s hall.

And, of course, we cosplayed.

DAY 0: Misa Amane (Death Note)

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Since I did her popular anime outfit for Emerald City Comicon, I decided to do her outfit from the cover of manga volume 4 for Sakura-con day 0 (badge pickup and casual photo shoot day, no actual con-run activities). As I said in my last post, I used my wig for Lucy from Fairy Tail. The top is a basic black tank top – I hot glued on the zippers. The rest is made up from clothing and accessories I already owned, purchased from Hot Topic, Spencer’s, and thrifting. I unfortunately was unable to make the blades on the gloves due to lack of time :/

DAY 1: Shiemi Moriyama with Keegan as Yukio Okumura (Blue Exorcist)

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DAY 2: Sakura Kinomoto (Cardcaptor Sakura)

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Just an FYI, I’m the one in the white with the star wand. I didn’t really do much work on the actual cosplay. I bought it on eBay and had it slightly altered to fit better. The Kero plush is actually a backpack, purchased at my local anime store. I did, however, make the wand from scratch with Keegan. I did all the painting, he did the crafting. The stick is wood, painted pink. The circle is a knitting hoop, also painted pink. The little wings are felt, hot glued to the circle. Keegan made the star from paperclay, along with the circular connecting part and the little bottom piece, then I painted them. Paperclay is super sturdy once it dries – I highly recommend it for cosplay crafting. It air dries to be rock hard, so you can use it to fuse any materials together without worrying about them melting in an oven.

***In the evening of Day 2, I was Junko Enoshima and Keegan was Makoto Naegi from Dangan Ronpa. However, my photographer is currently working on editing photos from Sakura-con, so I will upload those at a later time! He also has some of me in my Sakura cosplay. Stay tuned~~~!***

DAY 3: Lucy Heartfilia (Fairy Tail)

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For the final day, I was Lucy. Pretty simple cosplay, but fun and comfortable for the last day of an exhausting weekend. I originally planned to make the cosplay from scratch, but I found it on eBay for really cheap, so I figured it’d be more economical to just buy it. I bought the keys separately at my local anime store and I got the whip at Value Village around Halloween. I had Keegan draw my tattoo on my hand with a pink highlighter – it stayed on really well, but I don’t think it’s really visible in these pictures due to the distance and lighting. The Happy is a huge plush backpack I bought from my friend.

And so you have it! My spring conventions and cosplays! Stay tuned for pictures from my private photo shoots! ūüôā In the meantime, I am already planning my next cosplays….updates coming soon! If you have any questions about Sakura-con or my cosplays, or have a cool story about cons and cosplays that you’d like to share, please post a comment!

Spring Conventions and Cosplay! part 1: Emerald City Comicon

Hey, everyone! Long time, no post! I’ve been SUPER busy with my convention going (see previous blog post), but now the spring con season has come to an end.

To recap, Emerald City Comicon (eccc) was at the very end of March, and Sakura-con was this past weekend. I will split the posts into two blogs, starting with eccc. I wanted to make this eccc post last week, but I was very busy with school and work. I will post my Sakura-con blog by the end of this week, so stay tuned!

EMERALD CITY COMICON

…It was nuts! SO. MANY. PEOPLE. I worked on staff for half the day with programming. My job was to hang out in the big panel room, make sure the attendees are civilized in finding seats, asking appropriate questions to the guests, answering basic schedule info quesitons, etc….oh, and getting to watch the biggest stars hold panels! ūüėČ Now, I will admit, I don’t really watch that much TV, so I didn’t really know who most of the guests were, but they must have been really important people if hundreds of people backed a huge room just to see them! We had guests from shows like Supernatural, Doctor Who, Stargate SG-1, Sanctuary, Lost Girl, and the one show I actually DO watch and love – THE WALKING DEAD!

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Yup, that’s Scott Wilson, who plays Hershel on The Walking Dead. Steven Yeun (actor of Glen) was also at the con, but he sadly did not do any panels.

OH, and did I mention that the legendary STAN LEE was at eccc?

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It was like a rock concert in his panel. People screaming and cheering, rushing to find seats, packing the room. It was definitely the most memorable panel I have attended and I was so grateful to be given the opportunity to work at it.

However, I was most excited to see Veronica Taylor, who plays the voice of Ash from the original Pokemon anime series.

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Here is Veronica with her daughter (right).

I was even lucky enough to snag an autograph from her, signed to me and my big sis, on our cover for the very first Pokemon VHS.

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And now, for my cosplays!

FRIDAY: Ramona Flowers and my boyfriend Keegan as Scott Pilgrim from Scott Pilgrim comics

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Nothing too complex here. Both of our outfits were made from clothes we thrifted or already owned, but were still fun to wear! I highly recommend this for beginners, couples, and anyone on a budget or a time crunch!

SATURDAY: Yuna from Final Fantasy X-2

y2yYuna’s outfit was a bit more work to make. I altered a pre-made white tank top, sewed a white and pink lace trim to the bottom,¬†and made the Zanarkand symbol out of this weirdly stiff ribbon. Hood made from scratch from soft pink fabric, Velcro attachments to be worn like a collar. The braid is just a long piece of cording from the home decor section of Joanns with a tassle tied to it, and it’s pinned to the bottom of the hood. The necklace and earrings were bought on ebay, and the shorts, belt, and purse from the thrift store. I made the arm bands from yellow satin, hammered in the little silver eyelets, and tied them off with skinny black ribbon. The skirt is made from blue glitter satin with a lace trim sewn on top. The fabric is¬†lightweight and pretty, but isn’t light enough to make super flowy – it just looks pleated or gets kinda stiff if you try to make it all flowy-like, so I just made a few small pleats so it didn’t look totally pleated, but it didn’t just look like I sewed squares of fabric to each other. It wasn’t too hard to make, but it was my first time working with satin, which is VERY slippery….trick is to go verrrry slow and stick lots and lots of pins into the fabric before you sew it. Boots from Hot Topic (same boots I use in most of my pictured cosplays), laces from ebay. Guns were just plastic toys that I spray painted. Not too hard to make, but I do recommend it for someone who at least has basic sewing experience under their belt.

SATURDAY EVENING: Misa Amane from Death Note

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I own a lot of Goth clothing, so Misa is a very easy cosplay for me! The dress is from Dead Threads and was purchased at The Metro Clothing Co. The wig is actually my Fairy Tail Lucy wig (a cosplay you will see in my Sakura-con post). The only part I really “made” was the Death Note – a simple black notebook with the funky letters painted on. It’s a very simple cosplay for a Goth girl who already owns and wears this stuff frequently, but for a non-Goth, it can be a little pricey to just go out and buy Misa clothing and accessories. The dress alone was around $100.

SUNDAY: Junko Enoshima with my boyfriend as Makoto Naegi from Dangan Ronpa.

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Junko’s outfit is pretty simple, so I used mainly pre-made clothing to put it together. I altered a black button-up shirt to make her cardigan. I made it very fitted, swapped out the buttons, and used fabric paint to make the designs. I cut a black tie and a white tie, sewed them together, and made the symbol with red fabric paint. Naegi is also from thrifted clothing. I swapped out the original buttons and Keegan used red fabric paint to Naegi-ify the hoodie, which I hot glued a zipper to.

We also did Junko and Naegi for Sakura-con Saturday evening, so you will have to check out my Sakura-con post to see more! (To be posted by the end of this week!)

But enough about me! Here are some general cosplay photos I took. Sadly, I did not take very many since I was pretty busy with volunteer work.

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Thanks for reading about my cosplays and experiences at Emerald City Comicon! Please stay tuned for my Sakura-con post this week! In the meantime, do you have any questions about cosplay making? Were you at eccc and have a cool story to share? Comment below! ūüôā

TWO Upcoming Conventions! So much hype!

Please excuse me while I freak out, but I have not ONE, but TWO conventions coming up, back to back weekends! TWO!!

So let me explain some things first: I live in Seattle, Washington, and we have a few big conventions for geeks every year: Emerald City Comicon (ECCC) for all things geeky, Sakura-con for anime/manga and some video games, and Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) for video games. While PAX is during labor day weekend, ECCC and Sakura-con are both in the spring time. This year, they are one weekend after another. Which is AWESOME¬†because it’s like a non-stop geek fest. But awful because:

1.) I am an impulsive shopper at cons. Stuffed alpacas? BUY. Two t-shirts for a special deal? BUY. I also feel really guilty when I look at an artist’s work for a while and don’t buy anything from them. If a comic book artist tells me¬†about their hard work on their story, I will buy it. I know, they’re totally milking me for my money, but it totally works on me. Which is horrible for me, but great for them. (OK, it’s not too horrible for me because I never actually bought a comic book from a con that I didn’t really enjoy.) But anyways, usually, there’s at least a week or two buffer between the cons, so I can get another paycheck before the next round of geek mayhem.

2.) I’m a college student living in a dorm. I go home to my suburban home on most weekends to do laundry, chill with the parents, eat a home-cooked meal, swap out clothes, etc. I’m currently on spring break (yay!), but once I leave home this Thursday for ECCC, I won’t be going back home until April 13. Luckily I have most of my cosplays at my dorm already, but I’m so paranoid that something will become damaged at or before con and I won’t have the necessary supplies for repairs! I can’t bring the sewing machine, but I’m bringing along my paints, thread and needle, and hot glue gun just in case. The security of not being in my own home with abundand supplies is a little nerve wracking, though. Plus once the weekends are over and I can finally go home, I’m going to have a ton of stuff to drag home…

3.) No time to rest. At all. Once ECCC ends, it’s back to school and my two jobs. Then after Sakura-con? Work and school again.

4.) Extreme Post Con Depression Disorder. I get REALLY sad after Sakura-con. See, usually ECCC is first by a few weeks, so I’m a little sad, but I at least have something to look forward to. But after Sakura-con? Quite a while. Sure, there’s PAX a few months later, but it’s a very different con. I have a lot of friends – even some from out of state – that attend Sakura-con. We talk about it¬†and¬†plan for months in advance, go to all the late-night rave dances, do all sorts of fun stuff. I literally cry my eyes out when it’s over because I spend so much time obsessing over the con, I forget how to live once it’s over. I’m not boasting – it’s probably unhealthy that I care so much. But I do.

So as you can probably guess, I’m a crazy con goer. This is only my third year for ECCC, but I’ve been going to Sakura-con since 2007. I’ve spent almost half my life in the con lifestyle. I spend weeks planning out the perfect personal schedule once the event times are officially posted. I coordinate cosplays with my friends. I make mountains of kandi to trade at the¬†dances. I work as a volunteer for ECCC in the daytime and spend the rest of my time exploring the con…which is awesome, except I get very, very, very little sleep. Like 3 hours per night. Even though I don’t work at Sakura-con, it’s pretty much the same deal since I’m at the raves until 3am, and then it’s back to the con at around 9am. So between showering and getting ready, very little sleep is had. But because I’m a crazy con goer, I magically find energy. I wish I could find that energy on weekday¬†mornings when I wake up for school.

This year will be pretty crazy because I’m doing 2-3 outfit changes per day, between cosplays and rave attire. ¬†I’ve been working on my cosplays since summer. I’m really excited since I haven’t cosplayed since 2012. ECCC has quite a few cosplayers, but Sakura-con has a large and welcoming community. Gatherings are planned on facebook for cosplayers of the same series to meet up and take lots of fun photographs. Needless to say, I will be attending – and even hosting – a handful of gatherings during Sakura-con, and will also have private photo shoots with photographers.¬†Now that I’m all done with my cosplay making, I need to figure out what poses to make! Speaking of cosplay making, I made most of my costumes this year by putting together clothes from a thrift store, altering ready-made clothes, and some I made parts completely from scratch. I also styled a few wigs. Overall, I got a lot better at sewing and crafting, so I’m really proud of my accomplishments for the spring con season! I’m already excited to strengthen my cosplay making skills with future projects.

But for now, here’s a sneak preview at some of my cosplays! Most of them are older selfies I took in the process of making them – can’t spoil the surprise! Stay tuned for updated photos in future posts about these cons, where I’ll also talk a little bit about the process of making the cosplays!

First, here is my lineup for ECCC:

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Ramona Flowers with my boyfriend as Scott Pilgrim:

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Yuna from Final Fantasy X-2

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Lineup for Sakura-con:

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Shiemi from Blue Exorcist:

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Sakura from Cardcaptor Sakura:

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Lucy from Fairy Tail:

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Misa from Death Note:

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For the rest, you will have to wait and see! ūüôā

Have you ever been to a convention for anime, video games, and/or comics? Share your experiences and thoughts on conventions below!