Baby’s First Cosplays

I’ll admit it- I was bit by the cosplay bug when I was still very much in my weeaboo stage. I was a sophomore in college, and I was intrigued by the idea of dressing up like characters that I liked. So I headed to the Middle Tennessee Anime Convention for a…very strange weekend.

It’s been a long time, so I’ll just say that I’m no longer friends with any of the people I attended the con with, and since hindsight is 20/20 and all that jazz, I totally understand why I had an absolutely miserable time there. It also didn’t help that I knew absolutely nothing about conventions or cosplay and I was woefully unprepared. But it makes for some hilariously terrible pictures!

I tried cosplaying as Anna Kyoyama from Shaman King for the first time. It wasn’t great. I bought an ugly black dress from Goodwill and wore it with a pair of Skechers slides that were way too big and a piece of red fabric that I don’t even think I hemmed. The bracelet and rosary were all right, and I was even able to use the rosary for the second time I tried the cosplay. But overall, not great. Especially since my idea of hair and makeup at the time was…not good.


I also tried cosplaying as Tohru Honda from Fruits Basket, in an attempt that can only be described as “what on earth was I thinking?” I wore a navy dress (also from Goodwill) that for some reason I thought looked exactly like Tohru’s school uniform (spoiler alert: it did not) with yellow ribbons, white knee socks, and brown mary janes. I also didn’t know anything about wigs, and while there are a lot of great cosplays that allow the cosplayer to use their own hair, this was not a good choice for me. But I was excited, and that was the most important part.

The most important part of this whole ill-fated attempt was that I finally tried sewing for the first time. One of my roommates in college had a sewing machine; she taught me the basics and set me loose. I bought McCall’s 4948, their token Alice in Wonderland pattern, and gave it a try. Overall it wasn’t the greatest construction, but it also wasn’t terrible. The fabric especially was beautiful; I honestly wish I could find it again so I could remake the whole piece. I didn’t do a horrible job, but I never added the collar, the seams weren’t finished, and the zipper was…not the best.  I also made a petticoat dress underneath using McCall’s 5095 (a sundress pattern) that didn’t offer a lot in the way of fluff but still looked pretty cute peeking out from under the skirt.

The pinafore was a little more misshapen, but again, I made a wearable garment for the first time, zipper included. As you can see I once again didn’t wear a wig and showed off my great MySpace styled hairstyle instead, but it could have been worse. And yeah, some kids made fun of me because I was more Disney/storybook Alice than American McGee’s Alice, but I was pretty happy with how the costume turned out.

I had such a negative experience with that con that I didn’t try again until Akaicon in 2015, but it turns out I do like cons when I go with the right people! And at the end of the day, all that really matters when it comes to cosplay is that you have a great time. So if you’ve thought about trying it, go for it!

Anna Kyoyama from Shaman King

Full disclosure- this is not the first time I attempted this cosplay. No, the first attempt happened when I was a little weeaboo attending her first con (where I had a terrible time). The dress was ill fitting, my makeup was bizarre, and it was raining heavily so my hair was an absolute wreck. It was…not good.

Since then, I’ve mostly outgrown my anime phase. But I still have some fondness for certain shows and certain characters. Shaman King and Anna Kyoyama are prime examples. I still have a special spot in my heart for that show and that character. So when I needed to come up with a quick and simple cosplay for Akaicon 2016, I decided to give Anna another try.

Anna’s standard outfit is very simple- black dress, red scarf (sometimes worn as a bandana), and sandals. She also wears a blue bead bracelet and a white bead rosary. The beads were the easiest- I’d gotten those together for my first version of the costume and still had them in storage. They were both purchased at Claire’s; the rosary was completed with a wooden bead painted gold and a maroon tassel from the home decor section of Joann’s. The red scarf was the sash taken from my Kristoff genderbent cosplay.

Since I was on a time crunch, I pulled the shoes from my own closet. My Blowfish Garens don’t get a lot of love- I don’t wear heels very often- but they really are surprisingly comfortable! Sure, they’re not exactly like Anna’s slide style sandals, but they worked in a pinch.

The dress was ordered off of Poshmark. Anna’s dress is deceptively simple, but the skirt is definitely flared, so I scoured all my usual haunts for a possible contender- eBay, Amazon, Modcloth, Forever 21. On Poshmark I discovered this super cute scuba knit dress from Boohoo with the tags still on, got a great deal on it, and it arrived just in time! It’s slightly too big at the top, so I’m planning to take it in a little (when I remember, which, let’s be honest, I don’t until I pull the dress out of my closet to wear again).

I opted to go without a wig, which, yeah…usually a cosplay no-no. But this was such a simple costume and I was pretty much only wearing it on Sunday for closing ceremonies, so I didn’t mind too much!

Plus I got some pretty cute pictures with the Akaicon mascot, Jackie (who just so happens to be my sister).

So @seanmocha totally guessed my cosplay correctly so now he has to be my favorite Sean forever now. Sorry all the other Seans I know. But Anna Kyoyama from Shaman King has been my favorite manga/anime character since I was a middle school nerd. #annakyoyama #shamanking #annaasakura #cosplay #akaicon2016