I Used To Cosplay in My Free-Time, But Now, It’s Just Depressing


Image courtesy of Hope Smith

I’ve been part of the anime fandom for years. I enjoy reading manga and being involved in discussions about current anime and poking fun at my friends who liked the ones that “weren’t that great”, or went down hill (I’m looking at you, Sword Art Online fans!).

I also have been involved in the cosplay community ever since 2008, and I’ve always loved seeing people put in effort each year at the conventions. I was amazed at how someone could spend so much time on a cosplay, that I wanted to take a stab at it myself.

In the past 9 years, I’ve cosplayed many characters: Jack Frost (Rise of the Guardians), Nick Wilde (Zootopia), Danny Phantom/Fenton, Tadashi and Hiro Hamada, Bill Cipher, Dipper Pines, Sombra from Overwatch, Yuri Katsuki from Yuri on Ice, Sans from Undertale, Adrien Agreste from Miraculous Ladybug, Peter Pan, “Other Mother” from Coraline, Happy Tree Friends characters, Dark Link from Legend of Zelda, Kevin from Ed, Edd, and Eddy, Sock from the YouTube short Welcome To Hell, Nagisa Shiota from Assassination Classroom, Prompto and Noctis from Final Fantasy XIV, and more! I love to do a range of characters from different shows and video games.

Though, I have little money to spend and only so much time to put together a cosplay, I’ve found myself using clothing I already have in my closet to recreate a character. This is called Closet Cosplay (really original, huh?). I’ve been closet cosplaying for 8 years, and I only started getting sick and tired of it after seeing how much the community has thrashed my side-profession/hobby.

It’s really interesting how people will find anything to complain about, especially in a community that is supposed to have the nicest people. The toxicity of the community has pushed me over the edge multiple times, and it was only a few months ago when I decided it best for me to get out while I still could.

From body shaming to the minimal impact of one’s skin color, I find myself almost disgusted at the thought of judging a cosplayer by anything other than the level of craftsmanship they have. Even then, it is constructive criticism. It’s depressing to read about my community being so nasty to others within it, and I will not stand for it. I will back up the victim in any means necessary, because being shamed for cosplaying a white character, when your skin is darker, shouldn’t be reason enough to start a comment war on Facebook, nor say it to that person’s face.

I have a cosplay account on Instagram, and I’ve hardly touched it since summer because I didn’t feel welcomed in the community anymore. I am of African-American and Asian ethnicity. My skin is darker, but I will still get into any character that intrigues me.

I’ve been told, on multiple occasions, that I should stop what I love because I don’t look “exactly like Peter Pan”, or  I’m “too dark to cosplay Moana.”

I’m sorry; Since when do you run this account?

How people have the audacity to tell me to my face that I’m “too black to cosplay a Disney Princess, other than Tiana,” is beyond me.

I was a coward and ran away from what a lot of cosplayers deal with on a day-to-day basis. I’m sensitive when being critiqued, but strong enough to hold my own when it comes to something I love.

To the men and women who deal with people like this each day, I must say ‘thank you’. You deal with what I can’t, and that makes me no better than the people spewing hate your direction. but I will always stand behind you when the time comes.

Cosplay is meant for everyone. We’re all just a bunch of nerds who still play dress up!

Movie Review: Stephen King’s IT, 2017


UntitledWARNING: SPOILERS!

Over the weekend, I visited my boyfriend at his family’s house. While I was there, I suggested we go see IT.

I usually hate watching scary movies, but this was one that I decided, “Why not! What’s the worst that could happen?”

Everything. ‘Everything’ was the worst that could happen.

Although, I found myself enjoying the film immensely, I still have a hard time sleeping.

For those who don’t know, IT was originally created by Stephen King as a book. In 1990, IT got a movie adaptation that was created by Tommy Lee Wallace and starred Tim Curry as the original Pennywise The Dancing Clown.

In this new, remastered version of the movie, Bill Skarsgård brings Pennywise back to life in a chilling, horrifying, thrilling way. I thought Bill did a fantastic job at portraying the evil clown, especially with his smile and off-set eyes. Which, I found out, he could do ‘on cue’. Meaning that he could intentionally drift his eyes 2 different directions. This was one of the creepiest factors that caught me off-guard, but I found to be the most useful for his roll.

The movie takes place during a summer in the 80s, as 7 kids set out to defeat a living nightmare. Losers’ Club leader, Bill Denbrough, played by Jaeden Lienberher, has a strong belief that his younger brother Georgie, played by Jackson Robert Scott, isn’t dead. He is dead-set on the thought that his brother came out of another end of the sewers, after falling in to reclaim a paper boat Bill made for him to play with in the rain.

Throughout the movie, Pennywise takes advantage of Bill’s fear; finding Georgie truly dead. This was the main plot of the movie.

In my opinion, I thought this movie was very well-made. Just within the first few minutes of the movie, I was already in tears (Poor Georgie!).

There was always that feeling that Georgie wasn’t really dead, and was simply taken as hostage by Pennywise. I wanted to believe that the boy was alive the whole movie, but I don’t think anyone would’ve survived getting their arm bitten off and losing that much blood. Still, I have a huge soft spot for children, and I honestly wanted to believe Bill that Georgie was alive and well.

Bill was always full of hope, and would do anything to make sure his friends were safe and okay with his decisions. He was brave when entering the house on Neibolt street, and Richie even comments on his monologue, “He didn’t stutter once.” Which was a noticeable trait of Bill throughout the movie, and he would try reciting poetry to help him get over his stuttering habit.

Though, my favorite part of the movie had to be the ending scene where the kids go and save Beverly in the sewers. This was my favorite scene because it shows how Pennywise knows the fears of each kid, and uses it against them while they make their way through the sewer pipes. I enjoyed seeing the CGI effects when Stanley’s face was being engulfed by his fear, which was a women in a painting with an off-puting face. She is creepy in her own way, and reminded me of the Mother from Mama.

But I also liked this scene because we finally see where Pennywise hides and takes his victims. It’s oddly appealing to the eye, as you get a glimpse of all the children Pennywise has taken and killed over the years- which is hundreds. The pile of lost toys and clothes from his victims pile up in the center of the sewers, creating a mountain of sorts. Floating around it are all the children the clown has taken and feasted upon.

If that doesn’t creep you out enough, you must not like children.

Another scene I enjoyed was when Eddie fell from the ceiling and broke his arm, only to wake up to find Pennywise “untangling” himself from inside a fridge. This was a scene from when the kids went into the Neibolt house the first time.

The whole process of him getting himself out of a knot was disgusting, and made me cringe from my head to my toes. The discombobulation of body parts irks me to no end, but this was a scene that sent chills down my spine in a good way.

Altogether, I give this movie an 8.9 out of 10. I’m docking points because I would’ve liked to see more “scary” aspects than creepy. Not to say there were hardly any- there were- but I think the movie could’ve had more jump scares than just a creepy clown staring at children from afar holding balloons. I also thought- when a jump scare did occur- it was too obvious, and people knew when it was coming.

I highly recommend seeing this movie sometime before Halloween, so you know what to expect from your crazy neighbor who enjoys scaring the living hell out of children.

 

Ashes by NateWantsToBattle: Song Review


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WARNING: Spoilers!!!

 

You ever have a song that you listen to one time, and end up keeping it on repeat until you get sick of it? Well, I’ve been a victim of this ever since I heard the song Ashes, by NateWantsToBattle.

Let me tell you a little about the artist, first.

His full name is Nathan Sharp, and he creates song covers. I’ve been listening to him for about a year now, and I haven’t hated a single song he’s remade. He is from Richmond, Virginia, and specializes in Alt/Indie and Rock songs.

This song- Ashes- in particular gives me chills because the lyrics are a mix of creepy yet have a beat that makes me want to head-bang in my car and sing out loud with the windows rolled down on the freeway.

I also really love this song because it’s actually about a video game. The game is called Undertale, and-for those who don’t know- it’s a “Choice” game.

This means that whatever choices you make in the game will determine how the game is played and how it ends. It can be played on PC, and is hours of fun with a very dark undertone. If you like that sort of thing.

One of the endings is called- SPOILER- “Genocide Route”, which can only be achieved if you kill everyone without mercy.

Pretty depressing, huh? But I promise; it’s a good game!

Anyways, one of the lines in the song is, “Made your decision now you’re gonna have a bad time.”

This line particularly stuck with me because one of the characters you meet and befriend is a skeleton named Sans, along with his brother Papyrus. Sans is meant to be the comic relief of the game; cracking jokes and making horrible puns. When Sans gets upset or angry, he tells others that they will have a “bad time.”

Near the end of the game, once you’ve killed everyone in Undertale, your last opponent is Sans.

In short, a talking flower manipulates you to kill all your friends.

NWTB’s song Ashes is about how you became this monster who only kills for enjoyment, rather than trying to see the good in people.

I honestly thought this song would be used in more AMVs on Youtube, but I wanted it for myself and ended up buying it on iTunes instead.

Anyways, I’ve had this song on repeat for the past 3 weeks, put it as my ringtone for everyone in my contacts, and made it my alarm song.

I regret nothing!

To further explain how much I enjoy this song, another like is, “And in the end they’re gonna fall and fall to your hand.”

This line is a direct description of the manipulative, talking flower- who’s name is Flowey. He tried very hard to get you to kill everything and everyone, but you do have the option not to listen to him.

If you enjoy listening to songs that sound like they would be played at the end-credits of games, I recommend listening to NateWantsToBattle. He’s a really great artist, and I hope this review has intrigued you even a little bit to go have a listen.

My Mother is My Best Friend…Sometimes


UntitledI’m not a very sappy type of person. Not to my friends, not to my boyfriend of three years; Nobody. I think the only one I give any type of affection to is my dog, my boyfriend’s dogs, and my friend’s dog. Dogs are love, dogs are life.

Anyways, on my way home from school-my day goes from 7 AM to 6 PM every day- I stopped at Target to get a few things for myself. A gallon of sweet tea, a 4-pack of Starbucks chilled coffee, and a good-looking Hershey’s chocolate bar.

I can already feel your judgment from how much sugar I eat, and all I have to say is, “Treat yourself!”

After grabbing my items and getting back into my car, I came to the realization that I hadn’t called my mother in a few days. I like to keep in touch with her because, like most of us college students living on our own, I enjoy getting to know how to do this whole “adulting” thing. But I also realized that I don’t tell her how often I appreciate everything she does for me, and how much I love her.

So, I called her on her cell phone and asked how she was doing. She replied with the casual, “I’m fine” before I proceeded.

“I just wanted to call and tell you how much I love you, and I appreciate everything you do for me even though I don’t say it all too often.”

I thought we were having a sweet, mother-daughter moment.

Again, I’m not a sappy person.

My mother paused for a moment and asked, “What did you do?” as if I was about to confess to a crime I committed.

“Nothing! I just wanted to let you know that-”

“-Hold that thought. I’m gonna go get a glass of water.”

Mom! Really? I’m trying to be sentimental here, and you just ruined the moment! She cut me off as I was trying to express my appreciation. Mind you, I’m still in the Target parking lot, having a full-blown conversation with my mother about how she ruined the moment.

She thought it was funny, though, and I honestly thought it was, too. My mother has always been a little skeptical about the things I choose to do, but at least I know she has my back when something goes down. She knows I think of things without actually sitting on the topic and processing them, but she is definitely my biggest fan and number one supporter.

We continued our conversation as I drove home and had a nice, 40-minute-long chat about current events that have happened in the family and what I plan to do after school. She started telling me how a State job is good pay, and of course I said, “Oh! Money I can spend on cosplay, food, and video games. Cool!”

I could almost feel her give me that “mom look” through the phone. Terrifying. Pursed lips, risen brow, and that stare that sends shivers through your soul. It’s almost impossible to look her in the eye. You know what I mean!

I wish I had more time in my day to talk to my mother. She knows how busy I get during the weeks when softball and schoolwork dominate my life, and the little hour of time I have before she goes to bed is the only time I can sit down and chat.

Either way, any moment I can talk to my mom is never dull. It’s my time of relaxation and laughter when I’m stressed, and a way to pass the time if I need to rant.

Mom is always there, and I really do love and appreciate her for that.

Senior Year!


635921226034528274-610062224_Senioritis_by_Varcien

It’s been two weeks since school started, and I’ve begun my Senior year. Finally! I‘ve been waiting for this day ever since I was accepted to Sacramento State. I can admit that I’ve already begun having “Senior-itus”, and, honestly, why wouldn’t I? It’s my last year of school! No more getting up at 6 in the morning to go to class, no more looking for a parking spot on the 5th floor of the parking structure because, apparently, faculty and staff need the first three. I’ll be done with all of it!

It’s a shame that the position I’m looking at for work requires a Master’s Degree or higher, so I guess I can’t be too happy with my BA in Journalism. Damn, you, Pixar Animation Studios Story Board Writers (shakes fist angrily at the sky)!

Though I’m looking forward to graduation in the next few semesters, I’ll miss having the luxury of picking my classes before everyone else who isn’t a student-athlete. As well as walking past NARPs. Which- I literally found this out yesterday- means, “Normal Ass Regular Person”. I had no idea that was even a thing, and it has to be the best acronym I’ve ever head.

Other than dreading over the bittersweet feelings I won’t have until Spring semester, I’ve had a lot of time to think about what I’ll be doing as a career. I’ve been bouncing back and forth between wanting to be a journalist for a news station, or working on-board as a story board writer for Disney, Pixar, or DreamWorks. All of which are big company names, and I understand they won’t be easy to get into.

Nonetheless, I try!

I sent an email to one of the director’s at Pixar- or, so I thought it was Pixar-asking about internships over the summer of 2018. I wanted to know if there was anything I could do coming right out of college. Little ‘Ol me, just strolling up to Pixar like, ‘Hey! Gimme a job so I can eat tomorrow! Thanks, man!”

After sending the email, I didn’t realize I accidentally sent it to Disney.

Yeah, I don’t think I’m going to be hearing back from either of them. Which really blows because DreamWorks is last on my list of “good-paying-jobs-I-don’t-really-want-but-I-need-in-order-to-live-a-decent-life.”

Hopefully I can give them the old “razzle-dazzle” and send another email…with a different mailing address.