6 November 2012

ECC: Oh boy what a weekend

I wanted to write about the first feelings of the MCM Expo and Eurocosplay straight away after I arrived back to Finland, but I’ve been waiting for the results and some pics. But here we go! This will not be the last thing I’ll write about the competition because I want to say some stuff also in Finnish at some point. So this will be a report about the trip. Other snippets of my thoughts concerning ECC can also be found here, but only in Finnish: http://desucon.fi/desucon/blogi/2012/11/kolmas-kierros-ecc-finaalissa

Picture by Matias Tukiainen
I came on the 30th place in the competition. No surprise there for me as I’m always the most sceptic and pessimistic about my own costumes.  A week before Expo I was literally crying because I didn’t want to go to London at all. I also felt like shit because I wasn’t happy with my costume and felt so embarrassed to go at the same competition with so many amazing and epic costumes. 

But luckily with the support of my friends the feelings of giving up went away and I decided that even if I wasn’t that happy with the costume, I could and would give my fullest to the skit and all the things outside the competition.  I went to UK to really represent Finland as a European cosplay country, fully prepared to meet new people and make friends with all of them and to know more about cosplay in other countries.

And now afterwards… I don’t even hate my costume. There are lots of things I’d do completely over if I started it now, but that’s how I feel about pretty much every costume I’ve done. I watched my skit and I liked it. And I’m sure I’ve never talked so much in one weekend during my life, so the stereotype of a shy and quiet Finns has been shattered! All and all I had such amazing time there and made so many new friends that I’m still overwhelmed. I’m happy I decided to leave all the stress behind to Finland. I did cry a bit after my skit out of sheer exhaustion and relief, but other than that brief moment, I had a blast! 

It was snowing in Helsinki when I left!
London underground! Love love love!

I arrived to London on Friday and after picking up my Expo badge, I went to hotel that was just about 500 m away from the Excel Centre. I must have looked so like a stereotypical tourist during the whole day because I was so excited about EVERYTHING. Flying, airport, underground, different kind of houses, hotel and the Excel Center. I’ve been to London once before, but still it amazes me and after this trip I feel like have to go back soon to just wonder around the city. This time I only saw the Heathrow airport and the tubes on the way to Ecxel and the hotel. 

My room, when it still was clean.
Excel Centre


You can’t compare the MCM Expo to any event in Finland, because the amount of people is so different, and because we don’t really have any fairs or expos about anime here, just different kinds of conventions. Basically the place is a huge hall, with hundreds of people selling stuff from wooden props to manga, and places for game demos, dance shows and so on. There was a lot of cosplay from all different fandoms and lot more ready-bought costumes than we have in Finland. Also I saw more male cosplayers in the first 30 minutes in the Expo than I’ve seen in Finland for the past four years. :D Not complaining about that!

People lining up during Saturday morning. A few of them.

First thing I saw there: people dancing Macarena. (And I was like "YEAAH! No caramelldancen!". And then they danced that one as well...)

We had a party in the evening at Expo, where it was so much fun to talk to people and see all the faces I so far had seen only in Facebook. Since we all only had badges with our names on them (though I did write “Finland” in mine) it was kind of hard to remember who was representative, who were their friends and from which country everyone was from. But as we all laughed, it would still have been hard to recognize one another next day with everyone's costume on. :D But still, for the next years I do hope they’ll have some kitschy flag things or some other way to see who’s a contestant. With such a big group of people it might be hard to actually introduce everyone to one another, but it would have been great if the judges for example had been introduced to us. Only by the time of the stage number lottery we did get some clearer idea who was who. 

Friday night.
The stage order.


But we had so much fun and I talked to so many people (and for those of you wondering, I do speak quite a lot better English than I write :D) and tasted many different candies and sweets from different countries, even though I had to decline some in order to fit in Bayonetta’s costume the following day. We Finns of course brought some salmiakki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salty_liquorice) with us, though not so many were brave enough to taste it! I also got to have a sneak peek of the stage. Then it looked far smaller than I had thought!

There was this really spooky side road to the hotel that I just had to take! (no, just kidding, it only looks spooky in this picture)
I went to sleep by midnight, because I really didn’t have anything left to do with the costume. And I actually slept all right, though in the morning I felt like I could have slept a lot longer. I guess the few hours per night –sleeps from the previous week were taking their toll on me. We had rehearsals on stage in the morning, but didn’t put my costume on yet, so I went thought the skit in my normal clothes once to see how the stage size and shape worked. Then I had hours of leisure time ahead of me because my judging was to happen at 14:30.


 If I had felt like a little bad about my costume in home, for a moment I felt like shit because the other competitors costumes were soooo good! So detailed and well made, I’ve never seen so many so amazing costumes in a one (or actually two) rooms at once. But once I was past the whole “I suck” phase, it was great to see all the costumes come together and to be able to help other as well. The atmosphere in the changing room was just as good as ever in a Finnish competition, almost everyone was chatty and friendly and borrowed stuff for each other and so on. 

The dressing room.

I was travelling all by myself, but Heidi and Matias were in London on a K-ON-holiday and in the Expo as well, so they helped me out a lot during Saturday. Bayonetta was actually quite comfortable outfit to wear, only the heels gave me some pain, especially when I had walked so much during the previous day. Judging was really quick and after that just few hours wait to get on stage. Heidi was the cutest Rikka when she put my props on stage. 

Just before going on stage, dancing Gangnam Style it seems! Thaks N8e-photography for this one.

Here's a better video. For those of you who can't see it because the copyright things, try ProxTube ;) My part starts in 15 mins.



And heres the whole competition, my part starts in 45 mins.

Bayonetta disapproves. Picture by foxychan81

I wanted to do a funny skit because even though Bayonetta is so sexy and epic and all, the game itself has lots of humor or at least that’s how I see it. So my skit was about Bayonetta shopping in Rodin's armory, dancing and finding out that every weapon has some fault. It fit the theme of the game quite nicely. The skit went ok, the lights were a bit too dark in the beginning and oh gosh how I’ve laughed at my facial expression on the on-stage pictures! But I had so much fun on stage, and I hope the audience saw that as well. Too bad the live-stream didn’t work at all.

I heard this is a German thing. Sure looks sexy.
Bad quality, but of course I had to take a picture with an angel :D

Backstage

Rikka is kissing a dragon :3

Some of us went to dinner on Saturday night and again, so lovely people and so much fun talking to everybody.  On Sunday I just went to Expo for a few hours before I had to go to the airport. I watched the beginning of the judges panel, but the whole “Let’s watch pictures of our cosplay from Facebook” –thing wasn’t that interesting, especially when I’d already seen most of the pics. I was too hungry to stay ‘till the end, but I hope the questions and answers part was more interesting to watch and listen. 

Too bad I didn't take that many pictures with everyone, this one I stole from the lovely Begum, taken in the restaurant on Saturday evening.

The judges
Too bad I didn’t have a chance to properly say goodbye to everyone, I really hope I had stayed in London for at least one night more, but nope, off to Heathrow. Thanks to delayed flights I had to stay in Helsinki for one night before finally going home on Monday. 

My loot.
Now after little over a week I feel like I might have slept enough and don’t feel exhausted all the time! Seeing all the costumes up close, I feel so inspired and want to do like so many costumes right away now now now! So yep, on towards the new projects, even though I do feel a bit relieved that there's no cosplay competition for the next 6 months or so that I could participate in. So now it’s time for all the nice and non-stressful costumes. 

awwww so cute!

This time do want to say a few special thanks. For some reason white faux leather was virtually impossible to find in Finland, but thanks to Iris, Perho and her sister I finally got the perfect leather for the gloves. The golden chain was my biggest worry, and when - with the best internet detective Heidi - we found the perfect chain, there wasn’t any store that would ship it to Finland. Thousands thanks to lovely Marika who helped me with the chain. And without the help and support I got from my home team H&H, the whole trip could not have happened. And all of you in Twitter and Facebook, thank you so much for the support. 

Thank you Madu for these pictures

It was an honor to represent Finland and such an amazing weekend, that I’ll definitely remember it for the rest of my life. And I’m sure to keep in touch with the friends I made there and I’m already kind of planning to go to a convention outside Finland at some point…

All of us! Thank you all once more and congratulations to the winners!

And even though Bayonetta was a pain in the ass (hah hah) at some points, I feel like I learned so much while doing it, that I just have to make some other leather-bodysuit-thingy at some point. Or actually I kind of already bought the fabrics… :D


Perho, this one's for you.


Ilona

7 comments:

  1. You look ugly as fuck and you want do more bodysuits? Please don't.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for taking the time let me know your opinion, it is always a pleasure to know my costume choices interest my readers. Just to please you, I promise to make at least two super tight bodysuits next year.

      Delete
    2. Well, it's your lost.
      You don't look good in super tight bodysuit, deal with it and stop being such bitch.

      Delete
  2. UruharaFC onnittelee joka tapauksessa 30. sijasta ja pintapuolin onnistuneesta Englannin matkasta :). Nämä ovat mahtavia kokemuksia, joita jokaisen seikkailunhaluisen cosplayaajan soisi kokevan ainakin kerran elämässään ja jos vain jatkaa, niin kisapaikkoja tulee varmasti aina lisää.
    Tavatkaamme jatkossakin täällä Suomen maalla coneissa ja myös UruharaFC lupaa pitää yllä Suomen vastenmielistä tasoa liian tiukoista ja etenkin liian paljastavista puvuista. Toivottavasti nämä kaikki nähdään vielä samaan aikaan jossain conissa.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kiitos kiitos kiitos! :3 Ja jo nyt onnea teidän vastaavalle seikkailulle Japaniin :)
      Näillä näkymin jo Frostbiteen saattaisi tältä suunnalta olla luvassa jotain ihonmyötäistä kokovartaloasua!

      Delete
  3. btw what is that white stuff? looks like hot glue or something.

    ReplyDelete
  4. ^ vihaajat vihaa

    Ilona olet ihana :3

    ReplyDelete

murheita, ideoita, ahdistuksen aiheita? antaapi kuulua vaan.