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By Sean Jacobs On 5 Sep, 2014 At 01:49 PM | Categorized As Comics/Manga, Conventions, International News, Old School Otaku | With 0 Comments
Baltimore Comic-Con

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One of Maryland’s finest comic book retailers

Opening day is among us for The Baltimore Comic Con at the Baltimore convention center. The scene is brimming with an cornucopia of talented cosplayer out front of the Pratt Street entrance at the Baltimore Convention Center. Like previous years at the BCC the lines are seemingly endless and with that the downtown inner harbor area of Bmore is teeming with characters from all over the DMV (DC, Maryland, Virginia) and abroad.

High Quality Statues on deck baby!

Today I Sean Jacobs will be roaming the Comic-Con landscape on the lookout for the bizarre costumes, interesting comic book finds and anything that might surprise me. This is my first Comic-Con I am excited to spend four hours covering the spectacle that will unfold upon my virgin eyes. I have seen documentaries and have read articles on these events but, on this day I will witness hopefully a panel and whatever else that is planned in their itinerary.

Nice company's like Valiant are present at the Comic-Con

Stay tuned as Real Otaku Gamer peers into this event and shares with you our experiences at The Baltimore Comic Con.

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By Amy McGarey On 9 Jun, 2014 At 03:43 AM | Categorized As Conventions, Otaku Events | With 0 Comments
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Last Saturday, I attended my local comic-con, Tri-State Comic Con in Huntington, WV. It’s a one-day comic convention in its third year and this was my first time attending. Huntington is the largest town in the Kentucky-Ohio-West Virginia tri-state area, where there is virtually nothing “nerd-friendly” to go out and do. Have you ever seen “The Wonderful Whites of West Virginia”? That’s a pretty good representation of the local scene, which was why I was so surprised at how awesome a comic convention could be in my hometown. First of all, the guests were so amazing. I couldn’t believe that Gail Simone and Daniel Way were coming to my hometown! They both did a panel at the con, but I’ll get into that later.

What I Bought

First off – my haul. I ended up going for a ton of wall art. I actually spent way more money at this convention than at Lexington Toy and Comic Con.

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My favorite item – TARDIS by Playing With Pallets. Be sure to check them out on Facebook. They make all kinds of wall art and outdoor art with comic book and tv show themes and they do custom orders.

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I bought my second print from Brett Pinson – Michonne – who is my favorite character from The Walking Dead. The first one I bought was Serenity from LexCon. I love this guy’s work and I’m going to make it a tradition to buy his artwork at every convention I go to.

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I got three prints from Billy Tucci of Crusade Fine Arts. Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, and Batgirl will be framed soon and hanging over my couch in the living room.

The Panels

I only went to two of the panels this year – Gail Simone and Daniel Way. Gail Simone was the first panel of the day and I was so excited to see her! She talked about how she started out writing comics and ended up at DC writing Batgirl and Birds of Prey. She made a very good point – that writers should be able to write characters from all points of view. Female writers shouldn’t just be stuck writing female characters as well as male writers shouldn’t be stuck writing only male characters. I was sitting beside a six year old girl dressed up as Batgirl, and during the Q&A portion, she asked Gail Simone what she liked about writing Batgirl. It was the cutest thing ever!

The Daniel Way panel was very interesting – of course he wrote for Deadpool, Wolverine, Venom, and other Marvel characters. There were a little fewer people attending this panel, which was such a shame. Most of the people who were attending were little boys, and they were mostly asking him questions about Marvel history. There was this one guy who kept asking questions about Venom, saying how much he hated the comic and how many bad reviews he had written about it. That part was funny but also very awkward. I was sitting in the front row, so I was trying to keep a straight face the whole time.

Cosplay

I didn’t stay the whole day, so I missed the cosplay contest. I showed up to the convention at the earliest possible moment, and couldn’t stay the whole time because I had to get home to my puppies. I was actually thinking of cosplaying Poison Ivy, but I chickened out at the last minute. I like to get a feel for conventions first before I feel comfortable cosplaying at them. Anyway, at the times that I was there, I didn’t see very many really great cosplayers, but I did see some good costumes on my way out. Next year, I really will cosplay (I swear!!) and I will plan to go later in the day, so I don’t feel uncomfortable walking around in costume for hours at a time.

Will I Go Again?

Absolutely, I would go to this convention again and it has restored my faith in my local area having events that don’t revolve monster trucks and mud. I also have a renewed interest in making sure I go to all of my regional conventions. In August, I am very excited about going to Fandom Fest, which is in Louisville, KY and in October there is Tsubasacon in Huntington. If you live in the Appalachian area, I would definitely recommend traveling to Huntington for the weekend for Tri-Con 2015!

By NightingaleSilva On 14 Mar, 2014 At 11:49 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, Tales of Real Otaku | With 0 Comments
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I remember my very first gaming console: A Sega Master System. I was about 8 years of age when I had received it. That right there was my gateway into the realm of gaming. My favorite games to play were ‘Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?’ and ‘Alex Kidd In Shinobi World’. From there, I got my very first NES and SNES. I was done for after that. Those two systems started what would become a life-long obsession for me. I got those two Nintendo systems when I was about 9 or 10…I’m almost 27 now, and I’m still obsessed with Nintendo, and it’s an obsession that I am proud of and will never quit obsessing over.

Mario Bros. was my first game, then there was The Legend of Zelda. That game is what created the gamer within me. The Legend of Zelda sparked a fire in me so fierce, I could hardly contain it. Still to this day I play the original Legend of Zelda for the NES and all of the ones that came after it. It was the story behind the game, the fantastical world of Hyrule, that drew me in deeper and deeper as the series carried on. Hands down, I can say that The Legend of Zelda is my all-time favorite game series.

As a little girl, you’d expect me to be playing with dolls and ponies. Instead, I was busy adventuring, saving the land of Hyrule, and defeating Mother Brain in Super Metroid. Gaming has molded me to be who I am today. Today, I have found passion in a career that is based around a world I love so dearly: Video Games. I am a gaming journalist for several websites, and as time goes by, I can only hope to branch out further into the world of gaming journalism. I am ambitious, and know that I will reach my goals one day!

So who am I you ask? Well, the name is Felisha, but I go by Nightingale . I am an avid gamer, cosplayer, anime enthusiast, artist, writer, blogger, sculptor, mother, and a wife. I have many responsibilities and many titles. But what is it that defines me as a gamer, anime enthusiast, and so forth? As I’ve mentioned previously in the beginning of this short novel, you see why I consider myself a gamer. I never out-grew gaming, and it never out-grew me.

Life-long Gamer Addict: 

Today, I own a Nintendo GameCube, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo Wii U, 3DS XL, and PSP Go. Not to mention the multitudes of emulators and roms on my smartphone. I will always be partial to Nintendo because that is what I grew up with and loved, but I love my many other consoles as well, and game on each and every one of them in my free time.

Part of my gamer set-up!

Part of my gamer set-up!

As a child, video games helped me escape a world I didn’t really care for at times, and helped me sink into a world where I felt I belonged, and where I was most happy. They hold a special place in my heart and always will till the very end.

Anime Enthusiast: 

I didn’t get into anime until much later on in life. I remember my first introduction to it being Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball. Later that moved on into Cowboy Bebop, Wolf’s Rain, Witch Hunter Robin, Fullmetal Alchemist, and so many others. Still to this day I watch anime…some of my favorites are Attack On Titan, Soul Eater, Hare+Guu, Elfen Lied, Spice & Wolf, Fruits Basket, Ouran High School Host Club, and Rosario+Vampire. I even read manga too! As it is just the comic version of all my favorite animes!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Current Anime/Manga Obsession: Attack On Titan

Current Anime/Manga Obsession: Attack On Titan

 Cosplayer In The Making: 

I have a long ways to go when it comes to cosplaying, with only a few under my sleeve. I think the most elaborate one I did was one of Midna, from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess in her human form. I made everything by hand…I even hand painted all of the intricate designs on her cloak, her sleeves and on her skirt. It took me at least 3 months to complete it all. Someday, I’ll revamp it, making it better and more professional. My last cosplay was Saya Takagi from the anime High School of the Dead, the only thing I hand made from her costume was the pleated skirt…First project on a sewing machine, and I just had to go and make a pleated school girl skirt…

My human-form Midna Cosplay

My human-form Midna Cosplay

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My Saya Takagi Cosplay

Everyday Nightingale: 

Most days you will find me in my comfy pajamas, typing away on my computer while video game sound tracks play in the background, with my 3DS XL at my side. And while doing all of this, I also tend to my baby girl who is almost 2 years old while I’m missing her 5 year old sister who is away at kindergarten. Amidst all of that chaos, I add more fuel to the fire by working some days for my apartment complex, and babysitting three others kids about 4-5 days a week. Luckily, through it all, I have an equally geeky gamer of a husband to keep me somewhat sane through everything I do. I am a busy woman, and that at times gets in the way of my ‘otaku-ness’, but I’m still a super geeky otaku gamer at the end of each and every day!

Everyday Otaku, Nightingale

Everyday Otaku, Nightingale

Whoever said you can’t do what you love for living was dead wrong! I do what I love everyday and make somewhat of a living off of it! I can only hope to continue using my Otaku Gamer wit to get me far in life, and make an awesome living for my two beautiful girls and my loving fellow-otaku of a husband. Peace, love, & Video Games! Nightingale, out!

By Isabel On 24 Feb, 2014 At 06:52 PM | Categorized As Animation, Comics/Manga, Reviews, ROG Fashion, ROG News | With 0 Comments
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I stumbled upon a little documentary while I roamed around Youtube and while it’s far from perfect I think it gives a balanced overview of otakus. It’s so well made in fact I think it’s the one documentary to show any questioning parents so they have a good understanding of our little subculture.

The piece True Otaku: The Documentary is an amateur documentary that explains the otaku fandom by going straight to the source, questioning regular fans and industry professionals in Otakon and Anime USA about many different topics related to the subject.

Looks like our old banner!

Looks like our old banner!

It explains the anime boom that occurred in the US and how it led to the surge in anime fans that created such large conventions, lolita fashion, fan groups, and cosplay. Granted, they focused too much on cosplay and not enough on anime and manga, nor popular otaku video games such as visual novels and the unbelievably popular shooter Touhou nor fighting games like Persona 4, and not even on collectors of anime merchandise, but it’s a good introductory film to any questioning individual and I believe if  everyone saw it they’d have more respect for the otaku community.

You can see the film for free on Youtube where it’s split into 3 parts: You can watch the first part here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdv0n5DUb4E and see the rest at leisure. Happy watching!

By Isabel On 20 Feb, 2014 At 07:08 PM | Categorized As International News, ROG Fashion, ROG News, ROG Tech, Toys and Merchandise | With 0 Comments
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I recently learned about a new crowd funding project that I believe has been long overdue. A luggage made with cosplayers in mind. This project is led by Frentep, a Japanese company who make products to empower geeks. This latest endeavor is to mass produce luggage that make it easier for cosplayers in Japan to travel around with their costumes, as the social norms in Japan make it quite embarrassing to travel without your cosplay gear out. The luggage might be made with Japanese consumers in mind, but its features can be appreciated by any cosplayer, here are the product features.

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  • Detachable straps on the side of luggage allow for easy transportation of long objects that wouldn’t fit in the suitcase, like an umbrella or a sword. There are bags on the bottom of each side so objects don’t fall or scrape.

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  • Comes with a flat surface to turn the bag into an instant makeup stand.

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  • Thin enough to fit in crowded areas but if you need more space you can open zipper to get more space.
  • Easily accessible small pocket in front for business cards.
  • Waterproof, perfect for a wet umbrella.
  • Wheel stoppers.
  • Cover that acts as a partition between items you want to keep out of sight and pockets for essential items.

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The effort is being funded using MotionGallery, a Japanese crowdfunding site. Don’t let the language and distance barrier get you down, donations from all over the world are accepted! Only downside is oversea consumers who pledge enough money to have a reward mailed to them have to pay shipping and handling fees in addition to the donation, but if you want it badly enough it’s a small price to pay for the world’s first suitcase catered to the cosplay community. You can get the suitcase if you pledge roughly 15,000 ¥.

If you want to find out more about the project or even help by funding the project go to: https://motion-gallery.net/projects/coscase

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We are back with our “Ultimate Fan” series of contests here at Real Otaku Gamer. This time we are partnering with Nintendo of America to provide the prizes for the contest. These prizes are subject to change based on availability. We will be giving away some of these limited edition musical chests from The Legend of Zelda: Link Between Worlds.

Second prize will be a Nintendo 3DS prize pack with a Nintendo Bag, sticker books and some AR Card temporary tattoos.

Now, let’s get into the rules, just get all of your Legend of Zelda swag together. We mean gather everything from posters, games, toys, soundtracks and other Legend of Zelda related merchandise. Take a picture or two (if you need to) with you in the picture holding a sign with your name or username you want to use.

Once submitted, your pictures will be validated by our art team, then they will be judged my a team at Real Otaku Gamer. Once we pick the pictures we want to be considered, then they will be sent to Nintendo of America to be judged.

You can send all photos to contests@realotakugamer.com. This contest is limited to US residents only. Sorry to our International fans. You can send in your photos for consideration for the second prize. Make sure to “like” us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.  The contest entries need to be in by January 20th 2014.

Good Luck to you all! Thanks to Nintendo of America for all of their support. Please leave a comment below.

 

By otakuman5000 On 11 Jan, 2014 At 11:25 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, Interviews, ROG News, Tales of Real Otaku | With 0 Comments
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560059_545217922223147_21166582_nI had the wonderful pleasure of being able to interview Leon Chiro, a respected cosplayer throughout the nerd community who has won several awards for cosplays like Dante from the Devil May Cry series, Tidus from Final Fantasy X and Dissidia, Caius from Final Fantasy XIII-2, and the list goes on and on. Today we get a sneak peak into the life of a competitive cosplayer from his humble beginnings, his current works in progress, and everything in between.

ROG: The classic question; we all started somewhere in our cosplay careers. Tell me a bit about that – how old you were, what inspired you, your cosplay inspirations, and what convention you did your first debut.

LC: Ok, so it was 2010…

ROG: Oh, so you’ve only been doing this for a little while!

LC: Yeah. I only started to cosplay seriously when I realized what cosplay was. But my first convention was in 2010. I’m coming from the modeling world, and I was asking myself, “Ok, I love doing pictures, but what if I try to take a character I love a lot and I model with them?” So, I was thinking of doing Tidus because he’s my favorite character ever, and I was thinking, “what if I contacted somebody to see how much this costume would cost?” And they said, “Oh, that’s simple!” And I was like, “… what?” “Cosplay.” “Ok, what is cosplay?” So he explained it and I was like, “Oh. Hm. Sounds like a carnival thing.” He said, “No, it’s more than that…” So he explained it to me. I could never imagine what the cosplay world was. So, I took my Tidus cosplay, I went to the convention alone, and I was a nobody. I didn’t know anyone and no one knew me. That was fine because I was like, “Woah.. where the [expletive] am I?” (Laughter) Someone came up to me and said, “you should enter the cosplay contest [with the Tidus cosplay] because you are very, very good.”

ROG: Yeah, you did a really great job on that. I’m shocked that was your first cosplay.

Leon Chiro's cosplay as Tidus from FFX

Leon Chiro’s cosplay as Tidus from FFX

LC: Yeah, I did Tidus’ first and second version. So yeah, this guy said I should do the cosplay contest. Ok, what is the cosplay contest? Well, it’s like a masquerade. You have to do an exhibition and interpret your character, and I said “oh, sounds cool!” I discovered that I made it to the finals without knowing it. I wasn’t expecting that. A lot of people were surprised because I was anonymous and I came from nowhere, and I arrived in a place that other people have been trying to get to for years. I don’t know what I did… I did it with my heart. That’s the thing – I did my character with my heart.

I have to say that a lot of people started to go against me – “Oh, he’s nobody,” “He only has one cosplay,” “He has too much success” – just people talking bad about me. So I said, “Ok, it’s time for me to do a second cosplay.” I did Dante, and I tried to do the cosplay contest, but I didn’t arrive in time and I had some problems. People still continued to talk bad about me because they were like, “Oh, he’s just doing it for the body” or “He’s just doing it because of the abs.” By then it was 2011, and I wanted to stop because I was like “What the [expletive] is this world?” I’m coming from the modeling world where a lot of people respect me.

ROG: Cosplay is supposed to be fun, and unfortunately there’s a lot of hate.

LC: First of all, it was just supposed to be fun. Secondly, in the gaming and comic world, if I’m winning a lot in a short amount of time, they should be happy for me, and that wasn’t the case. I wanted to stop, so I stopped for two months and I thought about it, and I said, “Ok, there are a lot of haters, but I met a lot of special people and I wanted to do an achievement exhibition for them.” So I entered the cosplay contest, and the winner won a trip to Lucca. I won first place with Dante, and a lot of people were against me because I was doing good. It’s not easy in the beginning and you’re alone and you don’t have recommendations, but I started like everyone else – a nobody. Everything I did, I did by myself.

Leon Chiro as Dante from DMC3

Leon Chiro as Dante from DMC3

I started to get more motivated, and I was like “Ok, you hate me because I’m doing good? Ok.” And I did Tidus from Dissidia, and I started to face more haters, and I was winning every contest I entered. People started to look at me with more respect. I went to Lucca with my Kung Lao cosplay because he’s my favorite character from Mortal Kombat and I won the Best Interpretation Award, which is the hardest award to get. When you win in Lucca, you can say that you’re a professional cosplayer. Winning that award made me really proud of myself, so after I won, that’s when I made my facebook cosplay page towards the end of 2011. So yeah… that’s my story. After my first convention, I won something like 14 in a row, including Lucca. The most important thing was that people were starting to know who I was and that I did good work. That was the main victory. It wasn’t about being popular – it was about being respected. I got a lot of respect for my Caius cosplay because it was very hard. Do you know of Kamui Cosplay (another respected cosplayer in the community)?

ROG: Yes, I recently liked her page on facebook because I saw it on your page. So I watched some of her tutorials on YouTube – they’re really helpful.

LC: To me, she’s the best cosplayer in the world. I had the honor of her complimenting me, and that was really satisfying… someone that big complimented me. I’m also talking to Rick Boer from Ubisoft, who’s the official Edward Kenway cosplayer (from Assassin’s Creed IV), and it feels great to have his respect because he’s such a humble guy. He’s my Assassin’s Creed idol. (Laughter) So that was a long reply for just one question!

ROG: (Laughter) It’s not a problem! How a cosplayer started out is usually a long one. All right, so an editor from ROG and I were talking and we were discussing that cosplaying seems to be mostly female dominated. What do you think about that and how to do you feel taking part in something that’s so female based?

1531739_565873086824297_1431166684_oLC: It depends, because people usually focus on half-naked girls. But for me, they’re appreciating cosplay – they’re appreciating modeling. It’s not the same thing. I’m not looking for likes (on facebook) – I want to earn them. I try to mix the two because I come from the modeling world and I’m doing cosplay from my heart. It’s female dominated because it’s easy to be popular when you’re barely wearing anything. It makes me laugh because girls will be like “Oh, you’re judging me because of my half-naked pictures?” They barely know what they’re talking about, and after you see their page, you’ll see them in bras and barely wearing anything. Girls will get angry and nitpick other girls’ cosplays, but they’re the ones doing sexier versions of a particular character. A lot of girls will judge girls that they can’t be as good as.

ROG: As a girl, I understand that totally. All right, so have you ever been an invited guest to a big name convention? And if not, what would be your dream convention to be invited to?

LC: I’ve been invited to a lot of European conventions, but I still haven’t been to America, for example. It’s unfortunately really expensive to go there.

ROG: Yeah, which is a shame. But, in the same way, I haven’t been to Italy because it’s really expensive. A friend of mine just left for Rome a few days ago and I was mentally cursing her (laughter).

LC: I mean, for me, a lot of people that go to America are really lucky. But even if I was invited to an American convention, I don’t think I’d be able to accept it anyway. I’d love to. I hope one day someone sees my cosplay and invites me over, I don’t know. This year, I was invited to three conventions. I’m taking things step by step. If you reach an achievement, it’s because you deserve it. That’s what we learn growing up. For me, it’s hard to keep up the good work because people love my cosplay, and they have a lot of high expectations. I always have to do my best.

ROG: Sure, it can be a lot of pressure.

LC: No, it’s not pressure. It’s kind of motivation for me. If cosplay was a pressure for me, I wouldn’t be doing it and I wouldn’t be doing this interview with you (laughter).

ROG: (Laughter) Trust me, we all appreciate your work. So, you’re from Italy, which I already said I’m totally jealous of, and you’re jealous of the fact that I live in New York. What would you say the biggest difference between American and European convention scenes are?

LC: I wish I could know about the American convention scene, but I’ve never been there.

ROG: I wasn’t sure if you just meant you haven’t been to New York in particular.

LC: I can say about Italy and other European conventions that there is a lot less competition. There are two European championships, and they’re the EuroCosplay, and ECG, European Cosplay Gathering. In every main convention in Europe, they choose 2 representatives and put them against the representatives from all the other countries.
I’m really proud to say that I’m competing in the world championship for Italy. It makes things harder because the competition gets more and more intense. Sometimes, competition isn’t healthy here because a lot of people are doing all they can to destroy the other cosplayers, with flames, with fights.

ROG: So it’s not good sportsmanship.

LC: Yeah, there was this guy who used to be my friend, and we’re not friends anymore. He always used to come into my job and wanted the basics to cosplays, and he’s good now, but he’s so arrogant. At the first opportunity, after I helped him meet a lot of contacts, he turned his back on me and left, and spoke bad about me. For example, we had a TV show to do and they were going to choose two cosplayers – one male and one female. They called me instead of him and a lot of other cosplayers, and I was happy about that. He wrote to the director of the show and said, “how can you choose that shitty Dragonball cosplay instead of mine, just to make me look bad. I didn’t believe he wrote and the director said, “yes, he did. Do you want to read?” So I read it and I was shocked. I was like “what the [expletive]? I don’t know what I did to him. Maybe he just ate something bad (laughter).” So I began to understand that reputation in Italy isn’t always good because a lot of them aren’t able to be humble and honest to someone else. Cosplay is a hobby, not work.

ROG: Yeah, I was actually talking to the rest of my team a few minutes ago that I truly appreciate you taking the time out. It says a lot about the cosplay community – you being good at what you do and so respected, but you’ll still take the time out for others. I’ve known and met a lot of cosplayers who thought they were better than everyone else and slammed other people. We’re all nerds, we all play videogames, read comics, watch anime – whatever. We’re supposed to be a family, but instead we just shut other people down because someone can’t sew and craft as good as someone else.

LC: There should be a middle ground between those who share the same passion. It’s not everyday that you find someone who understands you. You can’t always talk to others about video games. For example, when I was doing my Tidus cosplay, I had my hair blonde. I wasn’t wearing a wig and I had to face university with blonde hair. People would call me names like fleshlight (laughter).

ROG: That’s awful! I thought it looked great. Who cares?

LC: Yeah, who cares? I can kick your ass whenever I want, so…

ROG: (Laughter) I’d hate to get on your bad side…

LC: (shakes head) Nu-uh. Ok, so I go to school for motor science… what I would like to do with that degree – that future degree. University is a

Chiro's cosplay of Kung Lao won him first place in Lucca.

Chiro’s cosplay of Kung Lao won him first place in Lucca.

cruel world. Not everyone can pay to go to university here in Italy. It’s very selective. They’ll choose the best 200 out of thousands of applicants. Luckily for me, they were extending applications to former athletes. I was a former national champion in athletics.

ROG: What sport were you in?

LC: 100 meters. I was a runner. I’m doing parkour right now because it gives me freedom of expression. I would take my degree, get a passport, and come to the USA. I’m doing this major for personal satisfaction. I want to create my own future and do the things I love. If I can do something with it, that’d be great.

ROG: That’s a great point. Most parents in America – when I tell my parents, “hey, I want to go to school for video game design.” The first question out of their mouth is going to be “what are you going to do with that degree?” There’s no such thing as going to college for something that makes me happy; it’s all about how to make money out of it. Good for you that you go to school for something that makes you happy.

LC: You pay for your time to study. You can’t live anymore because you have to constantly study. School should make you motivated, not miserable. A good teacher isn’t someone who knows everything. A good teacher is someone who can give you those few things during your time at university and motivate you. It’s not a competition of knowledge. Sometimes it could be a former student going through their own frustrations and they pass down to you what they’ve learned in life.

ROG: Great point. So, we’ve all had that one costume that was a lot of fun, and others that were extremely challenging. What costume did you have the most fun making, and which one was the most frustrating?

LC: Caius was the one that gave me the most satisfaction. It’s full of armor parts, and it was great winning because it didn’t show off my body [like how Dante and Tidus did], but I spent a lot of money on Caius. Especially making this (shows Caius’ weapon).

ROG: Wow… how did you make that?

LC: (Laughter) I don’t even know. It’s a bit damaged now. You can say that it looks good, but since I created it, I can say that it’s definitely damaged.

ROG: How long did it take you to make Caius’ cosplay?

LC: Ahhhh… a month. One month, every single day for five to six hours. If you look on my page, I have a work in progress album that you can see. I started with a piece of wood, and then cut the shape, added more layers of wood, and just added things piece by piece. I was covered in sawdust. I had so much sawdust on me that when I went outside, all the dogs kept trying to pee on my leg because they thought I was a tree!

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Caius was the most uncomfortable to wear. It’s a lot to put on. I went to a convention and I took three redbulls with me… I have no idea why I did that. When you’re anxious and nervous about getting on stage, I had to have a redbull. But then I was like, “Oh my God, I have to pee. What the [expletive] am I going to do?” I had to remove all the pieces of the cosplay. It took a half hour to put it on and fix it. Thankfully, the Dante cosplay from DMC was the easiest. I just had the coat, didn’t have a wig, and if I got hot, I could take the coat off. It’s hard with the Caius cosplay because he does a lot of movement, and it’s hard to move in his cosplay. I need to improve some things before I compete with it again for the debut of Final Fantasy XIII: Lightning Returns.

ROG: What do you enjoy doing the most – the outfit, the props, or the makeup and wigs?

LC: I hate the wig part. I have to make them in a way that it wont fall apart. When you’re on stage, you can’t have something like that go wrong. I mean, you’ve seen my Vegeta cosplay. It’s really heavy. I love doing makeup, but I love making my accessories. I’m well known for my props. I can get help with my tailoring and sewing stuff. If I have to do something with a coat, I’ll buy a coat and alter it. Come, on, let’s talk about it. I think it’s stupid. If you need orange pants, buy a pair and dye it. There’s no need to make one. I mean, sure, it can be satisfying, but really. Just buy a pair of pants and do what you need. With the accessories, you make it from scratch. I go to the woodshop, get the wood, and I get to work. Or you can use regular household items, like tubes from toilet paper, paper towels, or wrapping paper. Even plastic water bottles.

ROG: Obviously it takes a lot of work to keep your body in such great shape. What’s a typical workout routine for you? I know you’re all about ‘eating clean and training dirty.’

LC: I avoid fast food and processed food. I train 6 days a week. You have a choice between choosing an elevator or the stairs. Just take the stairs. Exercise is making changes in habits like that. People always complain because they don’t get the results they like because they’re not working hard enough. Or they reach their result and people think they can take a break. No, it doesn’t work like that. You have to maintain it. It’s not just your metabolism – it’s about habits. Everyone can be in shape if they wanted to. We have two legs, two arms, and a brain, and we can do whatever we want. I work out a bit less in the winter – one to two hours a day, a few times a week. During the summer, I’m training three to four hours, six days a week. I’m a trainer too, so I have to make sure I stay in shape. I don’t do the gym… I’m usually in the playground. You should see the face of the kids. They’re like “daddy! This guy is stealing our playground!” Well, you’re gunna have to fight for it. Round one… FIGHT!

ROG: (Laughter) Your cosplays are absolutely incredible. I see that your cosplays are all video game-based. Do you plan on doing any anime or movie characters?

LC: I do video game cosplays because video games, in my opinion, are the best ways to release emotion. Video games give you the power to choose, and to be that character. I believe in the power of books, but that’s the power of imagination. It’s still good, but they have limited potential. You can have great images from a movie, but not control. Video games combine the two – the freedom of movement and the wonderful visuals.
I did do a non-video game cosplay. Well, it wasn’t really a cosplay. It was a tribute to Spartacus. I did it for a new amusement park that was opening in Rome. They were doing different eras – Roman, Greek, futuristic… They wanted to do some entertainment with gladiators and they asked me, “do you have a Spartacus cosplay?” I said no, and that I’ll call them once I was done making one. I have a recycle box with material – if I don’t like a piece of armor, I’ll put it in there because I don’t want to waste materials. So I took out the box, and I made that cosplay in 4 hours with just the recycled stuff.

ROG: Care to share what character we should expect from you next?

LC: Sure, why not. I’m planning on doing Lloyd from Legend of Dragoon. I usually like to do characters that are newer, but I want to do some nostalgic cosplays too. So, Lloyd from Legend of Dragoon will be my next cosplay. Next, I’m going to work on Gladiolus from Final Fantasy XV. He is such a badass. I don’t think this cosplay is a secret anymore (laughter). I want to learn more about him before cosplaying him. Adam Jensen, from Deus Ex, is a dream cosplay of mine. I really wanted to do Nathan Drake. I could cut my hair, but I don’t want to cut it just for him. I want to keep my hair longer for some cosplays in progress and future projects.

ROG: I can say for myself that you’re a true inspiration for cosplayers around the world – whether just starting out, or an expert. To those just starting, what would you consider to be the best piece of advice you can give them?

LC: Like I said before, do everything with your heart. If you really love a character, do it from your heart, and don’t care about the critics. Don’t do it because you like it – do it because you love it.

So, there you have it – backstage access to the world of cosplay through the eyes of a professional. I was fortunate to be told some exciting news and future cosplays (I was sworn to secrecy!). Thank you again to Leon Chiro for graciously allowing me his time and contribution, 

You can find Leon Chiro on Facebook at Leon Chiro Cosplay Art and look through the rest of his work. You can also find him on Instagram at Leonchiro, and on YouTube at LeonChiroCosplayArt.

By Isabel On 2 Dec, 2013 At 06:40 AM | Categorized As Featured, PC Games, Toys and Merchandise, Uncategorized | With 0 Comments
steamsale

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If you’re anything like me, you have bookmarks filled with every website imaginable, divided into categories like Cosplay, Figure Sellers, Video Game Importers, and etc. constantly checking them to see if there are some sweet deals to take advantage of. I realize not everyone is this incredibly cheap and many look forward to Black Friday and Cyber Monday to get their discounted goods without much hassle. However it can be easy to overlook places with good deals if one is not aware of them, and this is where I come in.

Epic Cosplay Wigs

There are many wig sellers 0n the Internet, but the wigs of this seller are high quality and can be styled with everything from hair spray to hot irons without getting damaged. With the code EPICFRIDAY you get 20% your order storewide. Cosplay Wigs USA has a similar promotion with 20% the entire order. This is where Epic Cosplay has the advantage, their code not only gives 20% off their regular priced products but when you buy wigs from their Red Hot Sale corner you get 50% off! The website also offers free shipping in the US no matter what you bought, which makes this the perfect opportunity for cosplayers to get the wigs they need.

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Some of the wigs on sale are a short black wig which can be used for many characters and a long medium blue wig perfect for a certain otaku from Lucky Star.

J-LIST/J-BOX

J-List Sale

J-LIST or its SFW version J-BOX is a reputable but somewhat expensive site. It’s interesting how I constantly find figures I know I can find for cheaper elsewhere while other times I find amazing deals. But this online retailer is far from just a figure website as it sells all kinds of products from Japan, such as bento, candy, and kimonos. It also sells otaku items such as body pillows, plushes, manga, and mousepads. Right now, most of their items will have 12% off their cost, and some items have been discounted up to 50% off. If you’re looking to treat yourself take advantage of this opportunity, you’ll have fun browsing through their selection of products and might even end up getting something you didn’t know you needed.

HobbyLink Japan

This is a great website for figure collectors and contains everything from anime figures, to military vehicle model kits, to action figures from tokusatsu shows. They’re having a Black Friday sale ending Monday at midnight on all their already discounted items, resulting in items with ridiculous discounts like 80% off. Their selection of items on sale is not very big, but with the prices they currently have it’s worth checking out.

Steam

Oh how can anybody forget Steam, but there are some people unaware of this wonderful company. Today is your lucky day if you didn’t know about them because it’s Autumn Sale 2013. Many games have been ridiculously discounted, some up to 80% off! This is the best sale on digital downloads going on, make sure to take advantage of it. Some discounted games include:

  • Far Cry 3
  • Portal 2
  • Bioshock Infinite

As well as many other big games and underrated indie titles.

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So what will you buy with the insane savings you can get today?

By Isabel On 11 Oct, 2013 At 10:32 PM | Categorized As Comics/Manga, Contests, Featured, News, ROG News, Toys and Merchandise, Uncategorized | With 0 Comments
ComicFest

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ComicFest

Any hardcore comic enthusiast is bound to have Free Comic Book Day permanently engraved in their minds. Since 2002, the event has brought masses flocking to their local comic book stores for free comics. It’s a day celebrated all over the world that might just have a new comic centered event rival it.

Halloween ComicFest is like Free Comic Book Day except it takes course over two days. During Halloween ComicFest retailers that choose to participate in the event give away as many free comics as they want, with comic book publishers providing them with special edition comics for the special occasion. The goals of these events are similar, to raise an interest in comics and comic book shops, because money is always good. However this is where Halloween ComicFest has the upperhand. Halloween as a holiday raises mainstream interest in strange subjects like zombies, witchcraft, monsters, and other classic Halloween staples, which are very common in many popular comics. This makes it more likely that regular joes will participate and thus will introduce comics to more people.

The new event is starting off with a bang, having many comic shops in the US and Canada as well as some stores overseas participating. Currently 20 comics are available with enough varieties to please anyone. And the official website is holding a costume contest (US/Canada only, sorry) with fabulous prizes for those who win.

Halloween ComicFest takes place on October 26 and 27. Check out the official website for more information and to locate comic book shops participating in the event.

By Sofie Sohan On 12 Aug, 2013 At 10:36 AM | Categorized As Editorials, PlayStation 3/PlayStation 4, ROG Fashion, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments
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BethThe Powers that Be at Irrational Games have decided to give Elizabeth a complete head to toe makeover for the Bioshock Infinite: Burial at Sea DLC and I for one, am very pleased. I had surmised in an earlier article that the artistic style of Elizabeth hinted at film noir femme fatale type of look, and we can certainly see how that silhouette was inspired by that era, but there are still details that keep Elizabeth’s look very 2013.

As a New Yorker, it is an unspoken rule that you are judged first and foremost by your shoes. The smallest details usually speak the largest volumes about you. Elizabeth’s shoes, at first glance, seem like your typical do-goody 1940’s housewife type of shoes. They look like shoes that Ingrid Bergman wore in Casablanca in one of the scenes that she wasn’t important in. But at closer glance, there are slight rhinestone details and ruched leather that scream 2013.

These Adrienne Vittadini Cecilia T-Strap Pumps are just about the right heel height, and though slightly lighter, could absolutely work in a potential Elizabeth cosplay: http://www.lordandtaylor.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/en/lord-and-taylor/cecilia-t-strap-pumps

For those veterans willing to sacrifice less of a heel for comfort (hey, walking around a convention floor for 10+ hours in heels is HARD – trust me, I know) these flats from Sole Society are great: http://www.solesociety.com/shoes/addy-black-ecru.html

We move upwards on Elizabeth to the next detail of her clothing, her stockings. Maybe it’s because the first ever Lingerie Fashion Week has just ended, but in an age when many a girl will wear leggings as pants, stockings are quite an understated glamour. I personally like these Fredericks of Hollywood stockings, though the fishnet is slightly smaller than what Elizabeth seems to be wearing. In actuality, it actually looks like Elizabeth is wearing two pairs of stockings, one pair of sheer stockings with backseam and then fishnet stockings over those. But that, of course, is open to interpretation ;)  http://www.fredericks.com/Lace-Top_Backseam_Fishnet_Stocking/36985,default,pd.html?cgid=co60&sz=40&all1=all

The skirt Elizabeth wears is slightly more of a challenge. It’s clearly a knee-length skirt, but also very has a very high waist. I’ve found as a general rule, modern high waisted skirts are generally shorter in length, and like to hang around my thighs. However, I’m very excited that she’s wearing a high waisted skirt in the first place, which makes this cosplay very accessible for “curvier” girls (I am one of those too!). This ASOS Bengaline skirt seems like the best viable option, as it’s also a piece one could transition from cosplay to outfit: http://tinyurl.com/mcd95bx . Another option could be every girl’s favourite store, Forever 21’s  Rib Panel Skirt http://tinyurl.com/kp5d4bq.

Elizabeth’s belt, is very tiny, and seems to only be visible from her direct front. There are no ornamentations or other detailing on the belt other than the gold clasp itself. Though the details on this belt are slightly different, this J. Crew Snakeskin Round Buckle belt is beautiful and would look excellent. http://tinyurl.com/me9ja8m

The details on Elizabeth’s shirt, such as the cuffs, collar, bird pendant and ribbon will probably have to be lovingly crafted, these Lucky Brand Jeans Brooke Chambray Shirts are a great jumpoff point once the pockets are removed (or kept if you so desire!)

http://www.luckybrand.com/brooke-chambray-shirt/700691223558.html?source=CA_DF:700691223558:LCB&KPID=700691223558&CAWELAID=1782015895&cagpspn=pla&gclid=CO-5ptqE8bgCFUqY4Aod6GoAGA

Elizabeth’s makeup, is “dramatic” by 1940’s standards, which in 2013, seems relatively mild. However, her look is accessible to a range of shades. Her lipstick is a bold, seductive red and is easily my favourite part of her face, because it is a *massive* change from the previous instalment of almost-nude lipstick we’re used to seeing her in. Stila Cosmetics offers a great liquid lipstick at a reasonable price; their shade Firey is perfect for matching Elizabeth’s lip colour, and could even double as a great date-night lipstick! (Or if you’re more like me, that lipstick is also great for getting groceries.) http://www.stilacosmetics.com/product/stay+all+day+liquid+lipstick.do?sortby=ourPicks

The rest of Elizabeth’s makeup consists of a dark brown eye shadow, well-defined eyes, strong eyebrows and a very powdered face with a light blush, which still keeps her look accessible and easily replicable in case you accidentally decide to sleep in on day 2 of a convention because you were jumping in a lake at 5 am (Hey, it happened once!)  Urban Decay’s 24/7 Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Perversion is a solid black eyeliner that will keep your eyeliner solid all day. http://www.ulta.com/ulta/browse/productDetail.jsp?productId=xlsImpprod3590029

For powder and blush, it is slightly harder to give advice over a medium such as the Internet due to variance in every different person’s skin colour, but I personally really love Laura Mercier Mineral Finishing Powder, which can work on a range of skin colours. http://www.bergdorfgoodman.com/p/Laura-Mercier-Mineral-Finishing-Powder/prod24070032/?ecid=BGCIGoogleProductAds&ci_src=17588969&ci_sku=prod24070032sku2

These are just mere suggestions. The true beauty of cosplay, however, is that the interpretation of Elizabeth or any other character is completely up to the person who’s portraying the character. The important thing is to have fun and be confident in your ability! Have fun with this one, cosplayers. I know I will :)

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