March 15, 2018

Okamicon 2018 – Chaos and doggos

Hello fluffbutts!

It's time to write about Okamicon, the new con in Sundsvall that was held on 9-11 March and which had marketed itself as being LGBT embracing. Don't get me wrong, pretty much all cons are LGBT-friendly (as it feels like a majority of congoers fit into that spectrum in one way or another), but Okamicon had it visible on their website and *prepare for it* ON THEIR MASCOT DOGGO. ♥ 
I'm not gonna lie, despite what my opinions about the con might or might not be I must admit that I am in love with their mascot and it's easily my favorite con mascot now and forever, period. I just love the representation of the different pride flags as the wolf's earrings and the design overall is just to my liking. Truth be told, part of the reason I even went to the con was because I loved the mascot so much, lmao. #fanboynumberone

I'm gonna open up my wordy treasure chest and let's get to the summary! 
Please note that the photographs have varying photo quality (aka light conditions) and that's simply because I didn't have a chance to take all photos during daylight hours as I was working a majority of my time there.

Okamicon banner at the entrance.
My journey to Okamicon started with cat puke. Wonderful. I woke up early on the morning and while in the bathroom I noticed that my cat Kili was gagging, but before I had time to react he had vomited all over the carpet. And not just any carpet – the fluffiest, newest carpet that would be as hard to clean as possible. I was like "are you fucking kidding me?" because I totally had not reserved time for anything additional and I was already stressed. So yeah, my morning starts with furiously cleaning up cat puke for a liberal 30 minutes before I get to do anything else. -.- By the time I get to the breakfast I get a call from Carina that her husband will come get me soon. I'm like "oh fuck I'm not even done with breakfast". So yeah, stressful.
I pack all the cat stuff, my con stuff and finish whatever morning preparations I usually do and headed into the car. I got a ride to Carina's place and my cats stayed there over the weekend while Sacchan and her friend came to take care of them. I waited for Carina's daughters to get ready and then we drove southwards to Sundsvall.

I need to mention that a bit less than a week before the con I had still not received any kind of working time schedule and this deeply worried me. I knew that I was accepted into the entrance team but nothing more. I had sent a message to my team leader, asking about my work hours (twice, to boot) but hadn't received a reply and it had been days – and the con inched closer and closer. I found this really weird and unprofessional because, earlier, he had replied on a timely manner but now that the con was extremely close the communication had dropped dead. Nothing. Nada. Dead.
Needless to say, while I was sitting in the car driving 600+ kilometers from home I started to feel anxious. "What if I got there and they had actually cancelled my shifts? What if..." Driving from so far away and not even knowing your goddamn working hours was a stressful combination – what if we drove all that way for nothing?
I got desperate enough to write a public message on Okamicon's Facebook page and that's when I finally got a reply. Except not from my team leader but from another con worker. Thankfully I knew him from another con and he said that he would act as the middle-man between me and my leader as seemingly my leader was really busy right now.
We talked about the situation and he said that he'd send me the work shift hours. We had some issues with getting it to work as my phone couldn't open the files at first, but we found a way and... I was about ready to flip my shit when I saw which shifts I had been assigned.
Okay, I appreciate that they tried to give me (and possibly everyone else) free time during the activities that we wanted to attend but... they're missing one tiny but crucial detail – I STILL LIVE 600+ KILOMETERS AWAY AND I NEED TO GET BACK HOME EARLY ON SUNDAY MORNING BECAUSE THE DRIVE BACK TAKES APPROX. 7 HOURS AND I HAVE SCHOOL ON MONDAY TO WHICH I HAVE TO WAKE UP EARLIER THAN A CHICKEN HAS TIME TO FART. I CAN'T WORK ON SUNDAY UNTIL FREAKING 17:00.

Fun part? Because I didn't know my working schedule, before the departure day, we couldn't plan on how early we'd have to leave so that I would surely be there on time for when my shift starts. We knew that the con opened 17:00 but we had no idea who'd work the first pass and thus we didn't aim to be there exactly when the doors opened. Also, there was a traffic accident and stuff and so the trip took a bit longer than usual anyway – I remember when there was 15 min left to the opening (and my shift, which I had now been made aware of) we were still in like Härnösand or something...
So yeah, very professional to give someone who lives 7+ hours away the first shift of the day and inform about it late as shit, aka on the afternoon OF THE ACTUAL CON DAY. Halleluja. -.- And I would have been without the info until I got to the con, if I had not actively asked about it...

Okay, enough salt for now.
We eventually got to Sundsvall, where we struggled to find our hotel (more like hostel) and there we quickly left our belongings before heading to the con. I was really tired and drained at this point and I think, most of all, I just wanted to eat and go sleep.

We had room number 112. Send help pls.
I was already at least 1 hour late to my shift and when I got there I was relieved to notice that my team leader was a really nice guy. I asked him what my work tasks would be and if it was similar to how things were done in Skecon (I worked entrance there) and he was like "nothing's like in Skecon because there's total chaos everywhere :D" – how reassuring. I looked around me and yeah, couldn't deny that.
Amidst this mess there was a positive thing too; I heard that my shifts had been completely scrapped because the Okamicon organizers had deemed that the second entrance (where I was supposed to work) was pointless to keep and so they closed it. This in turn meant that I could personally jump in and choose what working times I wanted on the first entrance – holy frick my salvation! I later heard some rumors that they planned to take the second entrance back but seemingly it never happened. So confusing.

Okamicon entrance. It was held in Centrumvillan, some sort of school building
me thinks, not 100% sure.
The rest of my company went to eat pizza and I had to stay at the con to work. I had explained at the con that I can't do any shifts on Sunday (because we'll leave early) and so I had double shifts on Saturday to compensate. Because of my lateness I worked extra, until about 21:00 or something (I can't remember exactly), before I called it a day because I got too tired to continue. My team leader was very understanding as it had been a long trip down. He also apologized for the schedule mess and lack of responses, seemingly he had been sitting in a train or something? Not too sure how that limits you from checking messages (and not responding for ~days~) but oh well, I'll buy it.

EDIT: I got it confirmed that he didn't, in fact, have any phone network on the train, which explains things.

Inner entrance doors. Notice the doggos. Those were plastered
all over the place, it was hilarious.
My work mates were friendly and I liked the overall feeling of the con, despite the chaos on Friday. Then again, I did hear that the reason for some of the chaos was beyond the con's control. Seemingly they didn't get permission to rig the event on the day before, as they had wanted to, and so they had to build it from scratch on Friday – the same day on which the doors would open. Yikes! Needless to say they got a less-than-stellar start and a tight time frame to prepare the convention for the masses. It's understandable.
Also, I heard that when the opening hour was closing in that some con workers just stood there doing nothing when there was a lot of stuff left to do. Now there could be all kinds of reasons for that so I won't say anything more about it since I don't know the details. Another thing I happened to hear was that some stuff that the con had ordered had not yet arrived on Friday and that also contributed to the chaotic feeling.

The con ticket was super cute with a galaxy color theme!
As a con worker we got these special t-shirts to wear to make it clear who's an attendant and who's a worker. Ordinary con workers had these super bright pink shirts, security had lime green ones and the organizers had dark violet. Also, all workers were called 'kohai' and organizers were 'sempai'. Maybe I'm getting too old for these jokes as I wasn't too sure how to feel about having a shirt that says "notice me sempai" on it, lmao. I felt a peculiar mixture of amusement, embarrassment and cringe, sprinkled with a spice of weeb.

My pink weeb workshirt. :))
The back was better tbh.
(yes, the photo is taken on a mirror but is flipped)
Back at the hotel I went to sleep before long. I was really tired. Like no shit.

Saturday came. I went to eat hotel breakfast, which had the smallest variety I've ever seen but oh well, there was enough good stuff to get me filled and content. Brie cheese on bread, fuck yeah!
Back in the hotel room I started attaching my shiny Mightyena gijinka's ears to the wig. I had literally sewn the ears in a hurry the day before the con and had some problems trying to attach them to the wig. After a lot of twisting and turning I managed to get them to stay on with the help of safety pins (I also tried handsewing them on but it didn't work).
My work shift would start at 12:00 and I got a ride from this same wonderful person who drove me to the hostel yesterday night when Carina couldn't. He arrived a bit late but everything went okay anyway and I jumped straight into my working shift. The con felt a bit more collected now and things seemed to run decently. I was working until 16:00 but I had permission to go and snap some photos, while the sunlight was still going strong, and so I did.

It was really chill to work at the entrance. Main tasks were greeting people, checking that everyone had con bands on their wrists (aka paid to get in) and check that the metal piece keeping the band secured wasn't loose. We also of course sold and scanned in tickets, watched so that no drugged or suspicious people etc came in and helped opening the doors for those who had their hands full and such.
Most of the time it was slightly boring (I felt a bit abundant as well, three people working at the same time felt a bit overkill on such a small con) as you were stuck sitting in the same place for hours on end, but that's a pretty obvious part of the job as you kind of double as a gateguard, lol. I must mention though that I was a bit disappointed that there weren't any candies for us entrance worker; we were kinda promised that on the online application lol, "come work here and get sweets!".
Also, one thing we noticed was that seemingly Okamicon had forgotten to inform that they had hired Centrumvillan for the whole weekend and that all other activites were cancelled for said weekend – we had several youths walking in and expecting there to be some sort of "fritidsgården" activity but we had to turn them around and explain that no, there is no such thing this weekend as Okamicon is here. It got a bit tiresome after a while. How come it had not been announced in advance?

Okamicon seen from the entrance.
Entrance view but from a different direction. The green
area is the cafeteria.
Sloth cafe. (on Saturday they sold
alcohol-free drinks, shame those weren't
available with food tickets, fml. :C)
Speaking of food tickets. We con workers got two for each shift we did, which basically translated to two meals. Not very nutritious nor healthy meals though, mind you – toast and a soda or Billy's pan pizza and soda. I know cons tend to have crappy food options (this is not just Okamicon) but at the same time I can't help but roll my eyes at the irony how the typical con mantra is "eat, drink, shower and sleep" and still the food options are so limited and poor in nutrition that it kinda defeats the purpose, lmao.
And while we are on the food talk I must admit that there was something that bothered me with Okamicon's menu. While applying to work at the con we all had to fill in if we had any (food) allergies and I had mentioned ham in there – not because I'm straight-up allergic but because I avoid it on a high scale because the consistency and taste of a majority of pork products makes me gag. Okay, so when I got to actually order something I must admit that I felt let down that there were so few options... and none were ham-free or had it compensated with something else (any other meat, anyone?). I mean, Skecon last year had a myriad of Billy's pan pizza flavors (incl. Gorby's) but Okamicon only had *drumroll* the original one. The exact one that I can't eat to save my life. I swear I was the only kid in grade school who legit hated pizza days because it was Billy's original and that shit makes me gag to hell and back. I simply can't swallow it. Everyone probably thought I was weird as fuck.
Okay, so no Billy's then. My other choice was toast. Toast with ham and cheese and grill spice, if wanted. You could get vegan version and such but there was nothing to make up for the ham if you opted out of it. No ham just meant a toast with cheese and possible grill spice, nothing else. I'm sorry but that's so poor that even a poorfag like me feels disappointed. *headdesk* It wouldn't have been hard to have at least another option like chicken or literally anything else, just ~something~ for us that can't stand eating pork. Tuna would have been godtier, just saying.
Felt pointless to mention special diets in the first place when applying and then have it not accounted for. Blah.

Literally what I lived on for two days. Toast with cheese.
(except for candies and hotel breakfast)
I can't claim that I felt especially healthy and full of energy at the con but my overall feeling of it is still positive. Okamicon had a roomy and light location (a lot of windows) that provided a comfy feel, similar to that on other small-scale conventions.

There was little merchandise to buy and I'm not sure if there even was an Artist's Alley at all? Correct me if I'm wrong but I can't remember seeing it.

Dealer's hall.
Dealer's hall.
Dealer's hall items. There ain't no con without Pocky and Ramune.
Second-hand video games and stuff.
Besökarnas försäljningsbord.
"Besökarnas försäljningsbord" (lit. visitiors selling table) was there though, although it mainly consisted of manga pockets and thus nothing of interest to me. The only thing I bought was a Ho-Oh figurine – I suspect it's one of the earlier pre-order bonus figurines that came when ordering Pokémon video games and thus it's typically worth more than what I paid for it. xD Besides, it's really nice looking!

Some kind of activity room...?
There was stuff to do if you got bored.
When my first Saturday shift ended on 16:00 I quickly went to change into cosplay. I had 4 hours of free time before my night shift would start. An organizer had told me earlier that there were no separate changing rooms and so, if you wanted to get into cosplay, you had to change in the toilets. Now this wouldn't have been a problem but there were like... three toilets in total. All three were of course occupied when I was out of my shift and I didn't feel like waiting for an unknown time and so I asked an organizer if there really is no other bathroom anywhere? Turned out that there was one in the karaoke room but it was a bit hidden. There we go.
While I was there I heard three guys singing together We are Number One and it was fekkin' glorious. Possibly the best part of the whole con. x)

Shitty photo but whatevs, proof at least
that I wore shiny Mightyena.
I messed up my makeup (damn those triangles under the eyes, my brown eyeliner died on me...) but at least I didn't have the possibility for a photoshoot so it didn't matter that much in the end anyway. I want to photoshoot this costume later and fix the ears so that they actually stand up. Don't wanna be sad doggo. Oh and yeah, I totally picked Mightyena to fit in with the con's canine theme. :D

While in costume I had a group of really young kids asking me if those lenses were my real eyes. I just said that no, of course not. How can anyone even think that? xD They said that my eyes looked creepy because they were so bright that it looked like they were shining in the dark... ooooh. To be honest I was standing in a darker corridor at this time, hörrhörr.

No con without drawn memes somewhere.
Something that surprised me at Okamicon was the oversized chess board and the other colorful game game placed on some of the tables near the entrance. I've never seen that done before! I have no idea how to play chess but, if I knew, I think I would have tried it. I should ask my friend to teach me...

Chess and whatever-that-colorful-one-is.
Okamicon was on two floors. Near the entrance were stairs leading to the basement floor. Down there was the cloak room, the Harry Potter themed chill room and the video games room. On first glance it looked like there wasn't much going on there (narrow corridor with closed doors) but if you peeked into the rooms with open doors you found activities. I didn't stay for long but I noticed that the Harry Potter room had crafting supplies on the table and it seemed like the motives were inspired from the wizard world.

Stairs leading downstairs.
Close-up on the cool video game sign and the tournament list.
The video game room was one of the first things I checked out as soon as I was done putting on my cosplay. My initial reaction was disappointment, mainly because there were no retro consoles and everything was from the two latest generations (or that's what it looked like on a quick glance). I've said it before on previous con summaries but I'm a retro lover and one of the best ways to kill time at a con when you're alone is to play on a Super Nintendo or a Nintendo 64, at least for me. But guess what? There wasn't even a single Nintendo console, blasphemy! D: I only saw Xboxes and PlayStations; nothing wrong with that but yeah, why no Nintendo? I understand if the kind people lending their consoles simply didn't have any but yeah, I was looking forward to playing some older games to spend my time because I was alone at the con for the whole duration of it.

Video game room.
Video game room.
I was about to sit down and play some Soul Calibur 5... until I realized it was for Xbox. I don't know how to Xbox. And so I just walked away.

The Harry Potter themed crafts and chill room.
One thing that makes me sad is that I missed/forgot about the two activities that I really wanted to go see, namely the Pokémon 2000 movie (nostalgy!!) and Your Name, aka Kimi no Na wa. When I realized on Saturday afternoon, while working, that I had missed the Pokémon movie I was not so happy. *insert dramatic no here*
This means that I didn't go to any activities. I did consider the cosplay competition at first but I quickly scrapped the idea when it dawned on me that it starts super late on 22:00. I don't understand why the heck you'd put the main program of the con on such a late hour? I've seen some other cons do it as well (looking at you, Närcon) and I'm sitting here like "why the actual fuck?", lmao. The younger audience will probably leave to sleep before that and oldies like me will be too tired at that point anyway. I just don't understand why cosplay competitions can't be held on like the early evening or such? Would make a lot more sense. Heck, if I participated in the competition I would be too tired to even put on the cosplay so late and, if I had worn it since the con day began, then both me and my costume would look like a greasy potato once the competition finally got around. I guess it works for some people but for me it's just a major turn-off when I see that the cosplay competition runs until midnight. Just no.

Okamicon posters galore.
Weird ships...
I'm actually struggling to remember what I did and that's probably because I didn't do much at all. ^^" Frankly, I was quite bored for most of the time – not because the con was necessarily lackluster but because I was without company for the whole weekend. Normally small cons are super enjoyable when you share the fun with people you like to hang out with but, this time, some shit happened and my travel buddies were barely at the con at all (they found it boring) and so I was left on my own. I missed my usual con company and I think the lack of being social made my overall con experience a bit.. meh.

The door leads to the cosplay workshop.
Cosplay costumes on display.
I have no idea what the purpose of those displayed costumes were (used on a panel maybe? I got the impression they had all been competed in) but they were standing outside the cosplay workshop. No offense but that kimono outfit was so wrinkled that it was impossible to not notice it. It looked so out of place because the two others were so crisp and neat. :S

Karaoke room.
I'm not sure if there was a Guest of Honor but I must say that I did expect the LGBT focus to be more... visible. I could only find one booth that catered to it, although if there were panels I'm not sure. Still a nice little thing but I guess I was just expecting more? I feel like I'm being soooo negative. xD

Okamicon general view.
The LGBT promotion booth.
I changed out of cosplay around 19:00 and prepared for my second Saturday work shift, which was from 20-22. Somewhere along the lines I started to get a headache and, luckily, once my shift was over (just when people started lining up for the cosplay competition, in fact) this same guy who gave me a ride earlier showed up. ;A; He was my con hero, bless.

I was surprised to see the sleeping accommodation in the
con building?! Convenient (assuming it's not noisy).
I don't feel like talking about the car trip back home and such and so I'll just end this summary here. It's already a lot longer than I intended, oops.

Okamicon or Okamehcon?

I have really mixed feelings about this con, to be honest. There were many issues of varying degrees but things did, on the bigger scale, work sufficiently enough to make the whole experience feel like a con experience and not just a clusterfuck with brightly colored people in it. A lot of the con feel came from the funny decorations (doggos everywhere) and the kind people. Also, I am fully aware that this was the first Okamicon and thus some degree of error is to be expected and forgiven but, tbh, I've been to a lot of other (then) small first-time cons that did things better.
It was a slow-paced and relaxed "hang with your friends" type of con and I went in with low to average expectations – I did expect it to be bigger than the cons in the north and that's simply because Sundsvall is about half-way in Sweden and so I thought it could attract more visitors. I was disappointed by a lot of stuff but I would still say that I want to see how Okamicon will evolve and thus I would attend it a second time. It was decent – nothing extraordinary but not a complete flop either. There is a lot of room for improvements and I'm pretty sure that the organizers are already aware of what to do differently for next time.

One thing that I've forgot to mention, and which did bother me, was that there seemed to be no printed activity schedules or such anywhere – so the only way to know what was happening, when and where was to keep religiously checking Okamicon's website and/or social media. I also heard that it was pretty pointless anyway because seemingly a lot of the planned activities were moved, cancelled etc. 
I feel like I've come to expect activity schedules to be visible somewhere at the con and thus the lack of any gave the false feeling of there actually not being anything going on. Okay, there were a few papers taped here and there informing about a single activity but there weren't many of them... and one of them was placed in a dangerous place. -.- I mean really, put a sign on one of the stair steps so that you trip on the stairs while trying to read it as you go up? I almost faceplanted thanks to that dumbass sign; whoever thought it was a good idea to place it there deserves a cactus up their ass. :)

tl;dr – Okamicon faced some major hiccups but it was still somehow enjoyable enough to deserve a second chance from me (aka I would go there again), possibly because it was powered by cute shibes and loafbutt corgis being plastered all over the place.

Thanks for reading and I promise, no hard feelings despite how savage I might have sounded. x) This is definitely not to be taken as a "I hate Okamicon" post!! I will likely return if Okamicon is arranged again. I probably forgot to write something but oh well.

March 7, 2018

Okamicon 2018 cosplay plans!

Hello people!

My first con for the year is closing in and it will be something refreshing! I will go to the new Okamicon in Sundsvall, Sweden, which will be held for the first time on 9-11 March. 

I'm pretty excited as I've never been to a convention in Sundsvall before! Also, it has a LGBT focus and I'm pretty happy about that too, hence why I want to support this con. Speaking of supporting – I'll go there as a con worker and, more specifically, I'll work at the entrance! Come and say hi to me~

When it comes to cosplay plans I decided on only taking one costume with me and that's simply because I feel like I will not have time for two. While I am technicaĺly allowed to cosplay during working hours I have to wear my work shirt, which won't look good on top of a costume that isn't very casual to begin with. xD So yeah, one costume it is and this time it's gonna be a new one!

Shiny Mightyena (gijinka) from Pokémon.

More pocket monsters! I'm in a Pokémon mood right now, thanks to Pokémon Go, hehe. I want to do a lot more gijinkas in the future and I realized that I had stuff in my closet that I could use for a cool shiny Mightyena outfit, so why the hell not? I'll just have to make the ears to make it extra recognizable. Hello con crush my old friend...

My con company will consist of Therese and Sabine, just like at Skecon last year. We'll be staying at a hotel and that's gonna feel like such luxury since I haven't had a con hotel for years! ;^;

I don't know yet when I'll be in costume but most likely it's gonna be on Saturday. Truth is that I still don't know my working times and that feels pretty ehh, considering that the con is only two days away...

Here's to hoping that Okamicon will be worth the long car trip down. See you there!

March 3, 2018

[Sponsored] Lens review: GEO Animation CP-A2

Yo ho folks!

Today I want to show you guys a really intense blue circle lens that is perfect for cosplay – yes, it's the GEO Animation CP-A2! I should have done this review ages ago (sorry!) but better late than never, right? This pair is what you want if you need bright blue eyes for your next cosplay – it's incredibly vibrant and has awesome color coverage to go with it! The CP-A2 is a blue lens with white and black streaks running towards the center and it also features a black limbal ring to define your eyes. Any fans of Japanese popular culture, costumers, fantasy enthusiasts and those that want that little extra will love it!
This pair was sponsored by none less than the lovely circle lens shop, LensVillage. They are Malaysia-based, sell genuine lenses and, even better, if you buy any two pairs you're qualified for free worldwide shipping! I know for sure that I always try to get free shipping when I order online, haha. ^//^ So yeah, be sure to check them out – I whole-heartedly recommend them!

Enjoy 15% OFF storewide with my available-to-all discount code "SAMURAI15" at LensVillage!

This review contains 100% my genuine thoughts about the product. These lenses were sponsored for review purposes but it does not affect my honesty in any way. All opinions in this post are my own.

Base curve: 8.6 mm
Diameter: 14.2 mm
Water content: 40±2
Life span: 1 year (I recommend 6 months)

These lenses are part of GEO's Crazy Lens series, aka Animation lenses. The series features really opaque and vibrant designs that cater especially to costumers and cosplay fans! GEO lenses also come with green anti-fake stickers so that you can check each lens up online, to prove that your received pair is genuine and safe to wear. LensVillage sells authentic lenses, so you need not worry about fake lenses if you buy from them, although it's a good practice to check anyway. ^^ Any lenses can still be found defective though (although the risk is minimal) so yeah, if you ever end up with a pair that hurts your eyes or feels consistently uncomfortable –no matter where you bought it from– then don't wear it and contact customer service. Don't risk your gift of sight, this is important.

Once I had taken the lenses out of their tiny glass bottles I put them to soak overnight, before wearing them for the first time. I recommend you all do this simply because the solution that the lenses are stored in (in the bottles) is not the same as ordinary lens solution – it might irritate your eyes etc. I don't like taking any risks because I have dry and sensitive eyes... and neither should you.

One lens in.
What can I say? The color is whopping! It's insanely bright and out there for the world to see. The size difference is minimal but you can still notice a tiny difference in how big my eyes look with and without the lens. :) The black rim makes the lenses 'pop' even more and helps to frame the look. I also like the white streaks of light that makes the lenses appear more vivid and less flat, if that makes sense. The color is really bold but, if you look closer, you'll notice that there's also some thin black lines among the white that helps give the lenses even a bit more appearance.

These lenses have perfect color coverage – they completely block out my real eye color, which is a light blue-gray. Because of the color intensity these peepers are insanely obvious even from a greater distance (tbh I was walking outside with these on and passed a grandma, I was horrified of scaring her so I looked at the ground all along when we walked by each other, lmao) and will be great for cosplaying any anime or cartoon character with unnaturally bright blue eyes! I'm pretty sure that these lenses will look undeniably blue no matter where you are. xD

Also, these do seem to spin in my eyes but because of the design being the same all around the lens it's not really noticeable. So yeah, you won't look retarded during the con day with one eye pointing up and one down lololol.

Lens photos ahead!
All photos are taken by me during a March afternoon with a cloudy, dull sky. There's no color filters or such on the close-up photos and that's so that the colors would be as true to real life as possible.

Bathroom light.
Facing window, cloudy.
Facing window, not sun side.
Flash photo.
Natural room light in my apartment.
Yellow light in my apartment (kitchen).
Outdoor, facing the direction of the sun. Sun is behind clouds.
Outdoors, back against the sun (facing wall).
The comfort is pretty average – I can wear these for about 3 hours , more or less, before they start to feel dry on my sensitive/dry eyes. I imagine wearing time being anything between 3-5 hours or more, depending on your eyes. I didn't have any problems inserting these lenses (they actually feel moist upon insertion) and I barely feel them in my eyes because they are really thin. These lenses do obstruct my vision slightly, which I noticed especially when I went to walk outdoors, but it's nothing that you won't get used to. So yeah, comfort is pretty okay and I'd definitely wear the shit out of these lenses as they're really cool-looking and will be the ultimate choice for many anime characters!

To give you an idea of how incredibly bright theses lenses look, even from a distance, I did an anime-ish street fighter inspired look to show it!

Remember, discount code "SAMURAI15" gives you 15% OFF at LensVillage – power up your costuming to the next level!

Short summary:

Color: 10/10 
Insanely bright and vividly blue cosplay lens. Love it!
Design: 9/10 
Solid color with a black rim and white and black streaks. Gives the popular 'anime eye' look.
Opacity: 10/10
Perfect color coverage! I urge you to get these for cosplay, do it.
Enlargement: 5/10 
Small-ish size increase. Won't make or break anything.
Comfort: 5/10 
Average. Comfortable to wear because of their thinness but starts to feel dry after about 3 hours. Might block a bit of your vision in poorer lights but it's nothing uncomfortable.
Naturalness: 0/10 
Not on my watch.

Thanks for reading. If you have any questions then please leave a comment, I love feedback! -.^
Thank you LensVillage for making this review possible! ♡
~ Shiro Samurai out.

February 17, 2018

[Sponsored] CosplaySky mini review – Jack Sparrow belt buckles!


Here comes a quick review of CosplaySky and, more exactly, their German online shop. ^^ If you haven't heard about CosplaySky before they're one of the most well-known online costume stores right now and have been around for years! They're based in China although they have stores catering to different countries (United Kingdom, France etc) and Germany is one of them. I'm not personally from Germany but I've ordered from German sites before, as I can get the gist of what it says (thanks to Swedish being a Germanic language) and ordering from Germany generally tends to be cheaper anyway, haha. 

So yeah, with that out of the way let's get to the review!

This review is of CosplaySky's German store and will be completely in English, I apologize for any inconvenience this might cause. The items that I'm showing in this review (belt buckles) were sponsored, although that does NOT affect my honesty in any way. My reviews are always 100% my genuine opinion.


Packaging and shipping time 

I'm sorry but I can't say so much about the actual production time as I don't know any exact date for when they shipped the cosplay accessories. ^^" I assume these items were pre-made and thus not made-to-order as costumes would be, anyway.

Shipping took almost 2 months, which is a really long time even for China. I highly suspect though that the Christmas rush affected the shipping time negatively (it was shipped around late November or early December and arrived on late January), so I can't blame it on the company, really. Good thing is that I was not in a rush to get these and so the delay didn't affect me in any way.

The buckles arrived in a bubblewrap envelope directly into my mail box, which is always a plus as it saves me from the hassle of going to pick it up from the nearest postal center which isn't exactly next door. The buckles were not individually packaged or anything, they were all inside and moving around freely but yeah, upon delivery they were all in pristine condition. I spotted no damage anywhere.

The envelope.

Product quality 

So what I got was three belt buckles that are meant for cosplaying Jack Sparrow from the wildly popular Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. Now I need to make it clear that I am not aware of how screen accurate these are, or even what PotC movie these buckles are the most similar to, meaning that I have not graded accuracy into the product quality. The reason is simply because I don't intend to use these for Jack Sparrow (although I love the character!) but for some other projects. :) Jack Sparrow impersonators might or might not find these buckles to be accurate enough but for me they're all I ever wanted – intricate, old-fashion-looking belt buckles! I have plans to use these for some steampunk and pirate-inspired alternative fashion styles. The only limits are your own imagination!

All three belt buckles. Front.
All three belt buckles. Back.
Unless it's not obvious on the photos these are made completely out of metal. They have some weight to them and feel sturdy and like belt buckles should – they actually don't feel cheap or costume-y in any way! Color me impressed.
The color is a bit hard to describe but what comes to mind is some kind of dark/aged brass? It's very dark, the "black" color is dominating but there is definitely this golden sheen going on. I really like the effect it gives, makes the buckles look antique somehow.

Each individual belt buckle is different from the other and they're all very detailed. The backsides are plain and devoid of any fancy patterns.
The prong can be moved freely and easily around the bar and it doesn't get stuck anywhere. The prong is also curved a bit, which makes it rest nicely on the frame of each buckle.

I have not gotten around to making a leather belt and actually trying out these buckles to see how they perform while in use, but I'm pretty confident that they'll do their job.

✣ ✤ ✥    Purchase links below    ✣ ✤ ✥

Link to store's main page: CosplaySky Online Costume Store



I think that the price (15€ at the time of writing this) is very fair, considering how rigid and well-made these buckles are. I was positively surprised when I noticed that they indeed were metal and not some god-forsaken cheap plastic, lmao. I don't expect them to break anytime soon. Also, if you consider how much each of these would cost if you custom-made them yourself or had someone else do it for you then yeah, this is a pretty good deal. I can't wait to make belts for these and put them to good use!

That about wraps it up! I'm super pleased with these cosplay accessories and would recommend getting them for anyone who wants to show their pirate side or who just wants some really cool-looking belt buckles for their next fashion project. Some more casual Jack Sparrow cosplayers might also want to check them out. :D Also, these belt buckles look exactly like on the stock photos!

CosplaySky is really easy to deal with and speaks decent English (I can't say anything about their German, sorry) and I would personally deal with them again. Of course they also sell full cosplay costumes so feel free to take a look and see if you find anything that tickles your fancy!

A big thank you goes out to CosplaySky and to you for reading this post!
Shiro Samurai says sayonara.