Friday, 30 May 2008

Natsu no Cosplay

Hello again dear readers! I know, I know, you are STILL Roshiel obsessed (no, wait, that's Katan-chan). I mean, you are STILL waiting for Part 2 of the ODC + J&AP Event Report and you are absolutely right to think I will post it tomorrow (, since it is already dawning Friday). Except... I won't. Now, now, put down those swords, guns and magic batons - the update will simply move to Monday, since I will be in Salonika from tomorrow until Friday and I will come back Monday morning. Being as I am short on laptop technology, you will just have to wait until I return to my huffing-and-puffing Godzilla Desktop.

However, just to hone your appetite, I thought I would post the uber-cool poster room302 cooked up for Ordre de Ciel's Cosplay Party on the 7th of June. Remember "Time and Space in Otaku Land"? Remember "Anime Party Extraordinaire". Well, get ready for the sequel! Well, I do not think Sugizo will be able to honor us with his presence again, this time but as I say, NOTHING is impossible, merely improbable. As to the cosplay thing, though I might have made by first (successful) baby steps, do not expect me to wear anything other than a thin layer of clothes over my skin, with temperatures such as these. Unless, of course, you have a short, hairy semi-naked anime/manga character in mind, whom I could impersonate. 23 degrees Celcius is my tolerable limit and today we had 36! Word!

As you can see on the poster, Ordre de Ciel have allowed me on deck again (I am usually inside the hold, chained to the mainmast) and this time, I will say precious little about my set, save that I have named it "Promethean Heart". Now, some of you, upon hearing this, will instantly know what it's all about and yet some others, may find the answer right here in the blog. That is all but stay tuned, for I may have a little suprrise for you mid-week and of course, all will be explained in due time.

Here is your first clue...


P.S. My (probably) not cosplaying is NOT an excuse for YOUR not cosplaying!

Sunday, 25 May 2008

Ordre de Ciel + Japan & Anime Party - Ultimate Japanese Music Cosplay Party - Part 1

Yes, well... THAT bears an uncanny resemblance to some Bal Sagoth album (e.g. "The Splendour of a Thousand Swords Gleaming Beneath the Blazon of the Hyperborean Empire") or another - but I digress. I am finally able to start posting about that great party, which saw a number of special occasions (since, great music has already become the flagship of the Ordre de Ciel events). First, Ordre de Ciel had Somnium in Tenebris and Mona Risa over from Salonika to DJ (and VJ, which is always a great visual treat) alongside them, in their own, unique fashion (you will excuse the pun, I hope). Secondly, it was Larva's birthday this time around, which, of course, had to be celebrated in an appropriate fashion (you will see in Part 2). Finally, on a more embarrassing note, it was the first time I truly attempted to cosplay (no, seriously, that one time I was supposedly dressed as Tatsumi Saiga from Speedgrapher - at the first BIOS party - I could just as well have been going on usual outing, since Saiga wears black pants, a black trench-coat, a white shirt and a black tie, with the camera hanging perpetually from his neck - as does mine). This had a couple of... unexpected results but it's all good fun so just read on and see.

Before moving on to what you really anticipate (the photographs), I would like to "sort of-kinda-maybe make a statement". It has come to my attention that certain people (no, NOT those of you with whom we joke about it) have started drawing conclusions concerning my character, derived from the "how" and the "why" I take all these LOADS of pictures and take the time and trouble to edit them, correct them and what-have you, before posting those I consider the best ones - and their assessment has a direct cause-and-effect relation to the fact that the majority of pictures have beautiful (cute, sweet, sexy - pick your word) girls in them. So as to put your fears of "perversion" to rest, I will only say the following: firstly, though I believe it kind of obvious , I simply love taking pictures, almost to the point of addiction and it just so happens that digital technology has saved me the effort and money of going through dozens of rolls of film, as I used to. I believe it is an obsession with memory: I never forget, but how can I show what I see in my mind's eye, from over 15 years ago, to someone who was not there, or has completely forgotten?

Secondly, as I am sure most of you must have realized, at some point in our lives, there is more to a person than meets the eye, more than your first and/or outward impression. When I learn things about people, their characters, their hopes, their dreams, their fears, their virtues and - yes, indeed - their vices, I invariably perceive their outward appearance differently than before. In my eyes, the traits of their character reflect on their faces; that makes them either more beautiful, or uglier - regardless, when every once in a while you manage to capture, inside a picture, that thing which is seemingly impossible to describe in words, THAT is photography and to me, it is priceless. That old expression which, many lovesick (or indeed, in many cases, reptile-tongued) people have managed to turn rather corny: "the eyes are the mirror of the soul", holds quite true for me, if paraphrased - "the inside is indelibly etched on the outside, if you know to look for it". Evidently, not all of the hundreds of photos here fall into this category, but quite a number of them do.

On a final note, to end my incessant rant, at most of the events blogged here, 70% of the people present (and 90% of the people cosplaying) are female and I believe you cannot blame a straight lad for being distracted by lasses, more often than not. Now that (I hope) we cleared that mess up, on with the pictures!


Left to right: Glastenen, Somnium in Tenebris,
Mona Risa.

Antonio Boracci, an old friend from
the days of heavy RPGing.

Evil Lolita as #13 from Battle Royal.

Skuld Skauksson and Glastenen.
(Sorry for getting the name perpetually
wrong, mate).

Lockie (you know, the artist?) and
swords mix in very dangerous ways...

Seeing as room302 was going to play the
Hide Memorial Concert on the screens,

Hide himself decided to drop by

from the Great Beyond...

Velvet Vortex.

Louiza-chan as Nobu from
Lovely Complex (yes, you HAD
told me and I forgot - stupid me,

Lockie and our friend, Christina
(I mean, seriously, how many
and Christinas can you fit
into ONE bar?).

Though we weren't introduced with
the guys, I was told their cosplays
were from the movie



The elder Konoha sister, not
in cosplay but still cool as ever.

Katan-chan (yes, yes she is

...with Glastenen.

Hope & Darkside_Blues. Dude, are
actually doing an otaku gesture?

Misa Amane and Melo (who kept
getting that damn chocolate in front
of her own face), from Death Note.

Christina, as always, on the task of
"watering" our good mood
(where did
you suddenly vanish at?).

Hide became somewhat attached to KrizD...

Now, this here marks the beginning of that night's trademark peculiarity: Konoha-oneesama is holding a steel replica of a Templar sword, which was part of my cosplay. I swear, that sword must have gone around the bar at least three full times and usually, from girl to girl (WTF?)... Um, anooo, Jeannie-chan, could I have my sword back?

"I love it!"

"Um, yes but still, could I have it back?

Pretty please with sugar on top? Before

you hurt someone?"

"Nay, it must be MINE!"

"Oh, OK, catch you later, when you
are feeling
less homicidal Conan ninja..."

Keru-chan during a particularly frilly,
bubbly, cream-topped, j-pop song.

(Is that in fact some sort of cosplay?

The dress and posture remind me
Yuuko Ichihara from xxxHolic,
when she
wakes up with a hangover).

room302 takes over.

Jessie from Pokemon's Team Rocket
is snuggling her beer (what is the
character's name in Japanese?).

Rinoa Heartlily (FFVIII) and didi-doll.

Artact and Raven (back), Milk and Louiza,
dancing to the sound of Luna Sea.

...and here, Milk as Risa, again from Lovely
Complex, with Louiza/Nobu-chan.

"Um, Jeannie-chan, my ...

"Oi! Geddouta here before I bite
your head off. She will
give it
back when she feels like it!"

"There is really no point in taking your
picture without the sword,
you know..."

"Aww, come on, let the boy have his toy back...!"

"Sod off sista!"

"Ooooh, widdle boy can't do without
his widdle sword, can he? Boo-hoo!"

The younger Konoha sister can be really

mean sometimes... That never stops her
from being punky-cute though.

"Oh! Enough! You don't have to be so harsh
with him! GIVE HIM

"All righ', all righ'! No need
to go
all Mary-Therese on me!
Here boyo!"

Ah, at last! Arigatou gozaimaaasu! Now, here, I am supposed to be Hiiragi Renji, the "Falling Man" from Night Wizard. Although a very simple outfit (black pants, red T-shirt under a white shirt and a blue shirt/coat over both, with a black tie and untidy shirt-collar. Some sort of biker gloves - spiked, leather, cut-gloves was the best I could do - and the sword complete the outfit and no, I could not very well have the sword he has on the show!), it was sheer murder with all the heat inside the bar. It felt ridiculously hot with ONE T-shirt - imagine two more shirts over it. Two fun notes: the only reason I managed to have that tie around my neck, was because Artact knew how to tie it. Secondly, the red T-shirt is the one with the Fullmetal Alchemist designs (heh, geek).

Here is the anime character for
comparison - waiting for
your comments!

The first unexpected result of this outfit, was the massive fixation of people with the sword (more intensely illustrated in the coming Part 2). The second, that, along with Hide and Team Rocket, it ranked in the three winning cosplays of the night (in fact, Melo ranked higher than Team Rocket but she had left earlier). Outside the world of hardcore anime fans, Night Wizard, though relatively new, is pretty obscure, so I am betting it all had to do with a guy wearing a black tie, spiked biker gloves and waving a 10-pound steel sword around. Nevertheless, beet-red, I was happy and grateful to receive my prize (a signed copy of BLOOD's "Chain").

Now, there is still the matter of Larva's birthday and of course, the rest of the night, which proved to be... heavy metal, literally. So stay tuned for "Ordre de Ciel + Japan & Anime Party - Ultimate Japanese Music Cosplay Party - Part 2: Chronicles of the Sword"!

Signing off,


Saturday, 24 May 2008

Unexpected Error

Hello there people and thanks for your patience. As you can see, this is obviously NOT the Ordre de Ciel + Japan & Anime Party: Ultimate Japanese Music Cosplay Party (*phew* long title) update. Once more I must appeal to your understanding, as some unforeseen personal trouble has stopped me from doing the post properly and on time. However, God willing, the update will be delayed for only a couple of days, that is until Sunday afternoon.

Thank you for your continued support and readership,


Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Ordre de Ciel: The Last Sunday Sessions!

Yes, yes, I know that was over a week ago but I seriously cannot keep up with these people! I mean, as I write this, over 300 photos from the ODC + J&AP: Ultimate Japanese Music Cosplay Party, still wait to be sorted and edited. I am running ragged but oh, I have never had so much fun on a regular basis and sod anyone who says otherwise! That party was the one that brought the Sunday Event circle to a close, since from coming Friday onwards, Ordre de Ciel will be entertaining us on Fridays, with the exception of one Saturday every month, so that anyone who could not attend for various, time-related reasons, will now have that opportunity. It was the second time I was given leave to play a full set with the Ordre de Ciel (well, there was another time I played around 8 songs but that was a last-minute wish, expressed to room302 and let us leave it aside as a selfish antic on my part) and it was also an event with many dedications to people we love and care about, but that all was covered in "Haru Toki no Koe", so I will leave the mush out of this post.

Artact, Kyoshiro, Usagi-chan & Kame.

Chasing Raven with a lens!

"Oni Feast dude! I rock!" (Larva)

Keru-chan: "Mr. room302, so... so nice to see you again...
You know, I was thinking..."

room302: "Yes, I think Speedgrapher is chasing
my wife around right now, so..."

Raven: "Um, honey? Right behind you?"

room302: "Uh-oh... Baguette!"

There was an added funny factor to that event, since room302 decided it should be a crazy, Spring night, with everyone playing their sets independently, whether they fit together or not (and in my case, whether the changes made any sense or not). Hence, Larva started out with his heavy, knuckles-bared set, "Oni Feast", full of fast, strong, game music, raising the adrenaline and temperature from the very beginning. When my time was nearing, he chose to close off with Final Fantasy, if I recall correctly, much to my horror, since my set began waaaaay lower and slower but, hey, room302 said it was anything goes, so I swallowed hard and stepped up with "Haru Toki no Koe". Now, that entailed...

01 - FMP Fumoffu - Sore Ga Ai Deshyou (TV OP).mp3

02 - Hunter x Hunter GI Final - Moshimo Kono Sekai de (OVA ED).mp3

03 - Samurai 7 - Unlimited (TV OP).mp3

04 - Hunter x Hunter - Ohayou (TV OP 1).mp3

05 - Shadow Skill - For My Pride (TV ED 1).mp3

06 - Loveless - Tsuki no Curse.mp3

07 - Tsubasa Chronicles - Break the Sword of Justice.mp3

08 - xxxHOLiC - 19sai (TV OP).mp3

09 - Kenku Zenrakei Suieibu Umishou - Dolphin Jet (TV OP).mp3

10 - Fullmetal Alchemist - Melissa (TV OP 1).mp3

11 - Vampire Knight - Futatsu no Kodou to Akai Tsumi (TV OP – TV Size).mp3

12 - Anima Mundi - Dark Alchemist.mp3

13 - DNAngel - True Light (TV OP).mp3

14 - H2O - Footprints in the Sand - Katayoku no Icarus (TV OP).mp3

15 - Slam Dunk - Zettai Ni Dare Mo (TV OP 3).mp3

16 - Nodame Cantabile - Konna ni Chikaku de (TV ED 1).mp3

17 - Shion no Ou - Lady Love (TV OP).mp3

18 - Onegai Twins - Second Flight (TV OP).mp3

19 - Gensomaden Saiyuki - For Real (TV OP 1 Extended).mp3

20 - Fullmetal Alchemist - Kesenai Tsumi (TV ED).mp3

21 - Initial D Special Stage - Night of Fire.mp3

22 - Shin Getter vs Neo Getter - Storm (OVA OP).mp3

23 - D-Gray Man - Innocent Sorrow (TV OP 1).mp3

Well... as you can see (at least, those among you knowledgeable in anime), there are QUITE a few lighthearted songs in there, many among them J-Pop (what I call, "cheerily predisposed") and the first one is by far the most dreamy and fuzzy so, expectedly, there was some befuddlement caused by the change in tone, in relation to Larva's set and a healthy amount of humor, as some the following pictures illustrate...

On another interesting note, Artact was her
UN-usual cute self that day, practically oozing
girliness (no, I do not mean femininity
she is always feminine - I mean GIRLY-ness!)

Case in point, during
"Moshimo Kono
Sekai de" and "Unlimited"...

A brief reprieve during "For My Pride".

Right back at you, you horrible #@&!!.

*sigh* I just HAD to put on "Dolphin Jet"...


...and "Katayoku no Icarus", didn't I?

Evil Lolita seemed to like, probably the only Japanese
R&B song I have found in anime, "Konna ni Chikaku de"... well as the darker "Lady Love" (hmm, good timing)!

*sigh* Here we go again - "Second Flight".

room302 rocking... "For Real"...

...and pigtailed Artact
"Kesenai Tsumi"!

Well, I can forgive anything
for a look
like this...

I believe that would be during "Storm". Old
anime songs, especially those from mecha
shows tend to have a weird effect on people...

Well, at least everyone seemed to be having fun, so I really have no regrets about that wacky set AND everyone had been forewarned! However, the real, quality music fun started when room302 climbed up on the decks, with his "Bankai Hour", which included, among many gems, "I.V.", "Super Love", his very own, "Bankai" remix of "Ichirin no Hana", "The Phantom of the Opera" played solely on a bass by Heath and much, much more besides! It seems his music induced some peculiar behaviors...

Sweet Artact...

...going berserk on KrizD...

...and suddenly receiving a double counter-attack
from him and Raven!

Peaceful Yu-kun and Keru-chan.

My Fair Ladies but...


...Yu-kun becomes possessed by Hide!

Evil Lolita is already evil,
so, not much
change there.

Yu-kun keeps getting Hide-fied...

...while Keru-chan remains

Kame-chan goes through several
transformations, from cute... sly... haughty-cool (with Kyoshiro)...

...and back to... ummm, OK, this must
be an
entirely new psychological condition.

From rejective and sleepy
(Hope and Darkside_Blues
)... genial and smiling (no, he is not
her down, just your idea).

"Exhibit A" (your guess is as good as mine...).

Right after room302, a "Fighting Dreamers"
by Larva, sets a completely new mood...

...with a dash of X for spice!

THAT much beer immunizes you
against any and all mind-control...

...for the most part. Although
Artact is a regular beer-guzzler,
she could not resist can-canning
with Evil Lolita.

Artact & KrizD: Aww, so cute...

Girls, when you smile that way you seriously
scare the beJesus out of me (Raven
& Bunnydragon).

Will you PLEASE stop
pictures of me?

"Oh, mister photographer...!"

"Um, yes...?"

"What? Oh, nothing, nothing at all..."

"OK, seriously, what do you think of
my bodice?"

"Aside from being pretty stylish,
um, how
do you breathe?'"

"Oh, I don't really need to!"

(Our lovely Christina - and isn't she

much more pretty without the make-up?)

Larva and his ladies...

Myself and Larva's ladies (oopsie)...

I wonder what thoughts hide
those eyes, dear Countess.

"Ha! wouldnt' YOU like to know?"

The scion of Clan Skauk doing what
really excels at: headbanging! The reason...

...KrizD on the decks with
"Brutal! Filth!"
Rock away man!


"Ha! Two can play at that game!"

One for the family album: love you guys!

Larva: solo air guitar!

...and the party went on and on until 04:00 in the morning, the revelers all but trashed and the promise of the following week's joint party with Somnium in Tenebris and Mona Risa, already rocking away at the keyboards, guitars and drums of our minds. Now THIS is what I call J-fun from J-fans. See you again on Friday with the report on the Ordre de Ciel + Japan & Anime Party: The Ultimate Japanese Music Cosplay Party, as well as...

Signing off,