2023 was a slow crafting year for me. I typically produce 6-7 costumes each year and I made so few costumes in comparison. I need to remind myself not to be discouraged by it since I was dealing with a lot of life changes that slowed me down. There will always be next year to work on new projects and attend other conventions. I had a great time at the many convention I attended and I'm proud of the costume I did finish. Salty Vanilla has been a work in progress for years so I'm happy to finally wrap it up. Anasui is was a fun costume to wear since I love crazy Jojo designs. And Pokémon design are always a fun creative outlet.
So let's go over my 2023 cosplay year.
What I learned
Favourite cosplay - Anasui
Jojo has some fun designs and the thought that this is supposed to be a man's prison outfit just brightens my day. Posing in a Jojo costumes is an elite experience since nothing is too over the top so you can be a little wild and experimental with it. I highly recommend it.
I started off the year strong with Katsucon. It was nice seeing everyone after a few years of skipping it due to the pandemic and travel restrictions. It's busy as always but manageable if you go in expecting crowds.
I was a guest at Anime Detour and I had such a great experience. It was my first time at a midwest con. It was such a warm and friendly environment. I highly recommend you attend if you can.
After years and years of attending Anime North in Toronto/Mississauga, I got to be a guest in 2023. It felt like a real "I've made it" moment and something I would have never imagine for myself when I first attended back in 2006..
I was also a guest at East Coast Comic Expo in Moncton, NB. It was a great experience to see the cosplay scene in the east coast, which is a region I don't get to travel to all to often. I also stuffed my face with sea food the whole time I was there.
I wrapped up my convention season with Otakuthon, which is a staple of my yearly con schedule. It was a little hectic but a good time.
Forward to 2024
I don't have any big plans for 2024 although I might try to compete again if I can get a competition ready costume done in time for certain events. I'm also looking forward to working on more Pokémon designs. I'm continuing my work on my set of Eeveelutions using mesh fabrics and lots of rhinestones. I also plan to return to one of my favourite themes, Evil Queens.
2024 will be a year of several cosplay milestones for myself so I'm hoping to post more content looking back on my many years of cosplay.
I'll see you around at conventions or online!
It was my sixth year at Katsu and it had it different vibe than usual. It felt less crowded, probably thanks to the new badge policy. It also gave me a nostalgic con vibe thanks to hanging out with friends and meeting many new people. As always, I didn't run into many of the people I knew were there over the weekend, a fact of life for modern cons. Luckily I was able to have quite a few good chats with some old friends that live far away and I miss them already.
Another observation, Katsu always had a party vibe to it, but I feel as if it is becoming Dragoncon north with the partying (congregation of drunk people) in the lobby of the Gaylord which is leading to many memorable moments. See the DVD X It crossover, Mothman, or the Danny Devito shrine.
I took it relatively easy over the weekend. I managed to finish all of my costume in time with minimal hotel finishing touches (adding a handful of rhinestones to my dress and sewing down some buttons). I kept it to 3 costumes for the weekend, 1 per day and I was maybe in them for maximum 4 hours each. I find this give me more time to enjoy the con, see the sights, and relax. I'm technically there on vacation so it should feel like it by the end of each day.
Some highlights of the weekend:
What were your highlights this year? Any memorable costumes?
Katsucon is a yearly tradition for me where I look forward to seeing amazing work while also catching up with friends. With those two things in mind my mission was accomplished. I was really worried I wouldn't finish my projects in time but luckily I was able to pulled through without pushing myself too hard. The grind to finish Katsu costumes, aka "Katsucrunch", got the best of many people this year, which serves as a good reminder to take a step back and reevaluate things with high stress projects. I learned that lesson the hard way at WCS.
I have to give special thanks to a few people who made this weekend great. First off to Kurumasha for helping me finish my projects and lending me her wig. Second to VickybunnyAngel for being an amazing roomie, helping me in and out of costume, and also helping with makeup. Third to Jayuna, for helping me out of costume when Vicky wasn't there. Lastly to everyone who I caught up with ans shot with over the weekend. Thank you for your time and sharing it with me.
All right let's dive in!
All in all I had a good time despite the crowding. Honestly, I expect this every year from Katsu so it was not a surprise and honestly I thought it would be worse. I wore my cumbersome outfits on Thursday and Friday to avoid the worst of it. Crowding makes it difficult to get good photos but a little ingenuity, courtesy, and determination goes a long way. I would agree with some friends with the point that some of the usual photoshoot spots are getting overused but I think that is part of the deal when you attend a con several years in a row. However, it's still leaps and bounds better for shoots than conventions held in warehouses every year. I will be returning next year so long as my friends will be there since that is the bulk of the fun for me.
How was your Katsu? Did you run into any issues?
Busy but fun. Otakuthon is one of my staple events for the year and it delivered good times with my friends. I came into the city on Thursday evening and I was able to grab a few drinks with a friend on a patio and catch up after a few years apart.
On Friday I wore Nidalee, I didn't forget my necklace this time, and I got to shoot with White Specks. I immediately had to run to my panel afterwards and it went surprisingly well considering I thought it was cancelled and I had to make due without my notes.Afterward I had an amazing seafood dinner at the Captain's Boil. It's a pirate themed restaurant with bibs, gloves, and food in bags. It was glorious and delicious.
On Saturday I got dressed in my Fall Sawsbuck costume after attaching some last minute flowers to the skirt. I'm so stoked to get photos back for this costume. I felt majestic af in this. I love it so damn much with its warm colour palette. I also hung out in the Otakuthon lobby for a bit and I was pleased to see how warmly the costume was received especially since it's an original gijinka design.
The rest of the day was spent judging the masquerade and Otakuthon always has stiff competition. This year was the year of WOW. There were so many talented Sylvanas cosplayers, in addition to a lot of Hakuouki and Madoka Magika.
On Sunday I wore Ducklett and I took it pretty easy. I watched the WCS Canada performances, then jetted out for a fashion inspired shoot, then came running back for the award ceremony. I spent the rest of the day eating great food with friends and catching up with them.
All in all it was a good weekend despite the questionable weather.
Being invited to Anime Matsuri was a dream come true. After hearing so many good things about this event for years and having it on my "to visit" list I finally got to experience it. Everyone was kind and polite which made my first trip to Texas a blast!
MeltingMirror's Cosplay Blog
Learn more about my experiences in the cosplay world, from conventions to photoshoots and everything in between.