Cosplay #1~ Reita

Reita_Cosplay_I_by_Kei_DynamiteReita, illustrious bass-player of the GazettE, as cosplayed by Kei_Dynamite. Not only has kei_dynamite totally captured Reita, the quality and lighting of the photograph is completely typical of the Gazette. Photograph of the real Reita below:


Although I can’t help you find the leather jacket, here is a video that will help you get the (longer version) hair and basic makeup. The divine help me, it looks so simple.

Credits: visit Kei_Dynamite’s deviantart page

Video by Eme-Raude, visit her youtube page for more excellent Visual Kei makeup and hair tutorials


Get Your Goth On

image by aoi_loves_you

image by aoi_loves_you

To follow up my latest post on Visual style and how it interfaces with cosplay, I’m going to take it upon myself to do a short series of featurettes displaying some of the best Visual Kei cosplay I’ve seen on the web lately. If looks could kill, these cosplayers would be unwittingly massacring the cosplay community.

As I mentioned briefly in Of Corset Is, in my personal opinion I believe that the true purpose of cosplay is not to achieve the most correct costume of the character, but to capture as closely as possible the essence and personality of the character. It is important to remember that despite what the image on hand shows you, you are your own person, and unless you adapt the cosplay to be true both to yourself as well as to the character you are portraying, the cosplay will never really hit the mark. I have seen some really wonderful cosplays, but the cosplayer donning them had spent so much effort on getting the exact pattern of brocade for their Ten-Ten tassles, that they forgot to affect her airs and that particular feeling we associate with her. I’m (a tiny bit) less fussy about anime and video-game type cosplays than Visual Kei or Jrock ones, because with VK and Jrock we are attempting to affect the styles of a real person, and besides that– I’m just wicked touchy about the subject. ;)

The reason I have chosen to feature these particular cosplays, is because the cosplayers have done an exceptional job not only at piecing together the outfits, makeup, and hair-styles, but they have also worked to portray as closely as possible this elusive essence of the object of cosplayification.

Stay tuned to Secret Garden… roseblood

“Of Corset Is!”


Crimson leaves are starting to fall, and rockers far and wide are digging up corsets, frock-coats, and implements of bondage to identify with the gloomy change in weather.

The other day I was talking about how Halloween is coming up, and how I will be spending it at a con. I hope the rest of you have interesting plans for the gloomy un-holiday. I at least hope that you have a party to attend, where much Malice Mizer will be blaring. Martha Stewart suggests complicated green curries cooked in gutted pumpkins, and acrylic-nail application parties for Les Halloween ’09. But we’re a long way from Connecticut, Visualists…


Visual style has wormed its way into the apple of rocker fashion. Most Visualists are rooted strongly in their individuality and creativity, hacking their own look into the world of Visual style. However, because of the nature of Visual style and the rising popularity of Visual Kei as a mainstream genre, it has also transcended personal style and gone into the, shall we say, band-boy-band-girl and/or cosplay modes of expression. A lot of people who appreciate Visual Kei style and music feel that cosplay and band-fan-dom is a way of forging a closer bond to their favorite artists and bands.

Although I personally believe in Visualism and Jrock as a life-source, not to mention life-style, I also believe in cosplay  as legitimate means of expression and appreciation of bands and idols. Even if you decide to do a simple cosplay, and can’t find all the Moitie accessories to glam up your Mana-sama, cosplay well, (and this goes for everyone across the board—) and cosplay with integrity. There’s nothing less appreciative of a band or specific band member than half-assing your depiction of them. If you’re short on time, cash, garb, gear, or all of the above, consider simplifying your effigy by focusing on several very characteristic traits (hairstyle and makeup, for example…whatever the personality is really defined by.) and toning down the other elements. For example, Kanon Wakeshima? Broke? Full-time job (yup, they do go together)? Con in a week? Simple solution! Focus on the hair and makeup and any accessories you can manage, and then try and emulate the experience and sentiment of her outfit without actually recreating it in full! This is much more appropriate than buying a $14 cheesy prom dress from Salvation Army and hauling a cello around.

kanon-wakeshima…and remember…next year, start making the costume right after the convention, not right before. (To be fair, I tried this and failed miserably. Wish me luck that I don’t return a hypocrite….Not that you’d know  either way :D).

Whether you’re seeking to improve your own Visual style, or considering cosplaying your favorite band-member, here is something that may help along the way– and remember, do your best, and have fun! ganbatte ne!:

If you’re totally green to Visual style, but want to go the whole nine yards, a DVD was released in September called Visual Makeup Lesson. The DVD has a variety of lessons to show Visualists how to do typical Visual Kei style makeup. Japanese language with English subtitles. Learn it from the best– and by that I mean, of course, learn it from the Japanese…

Want to spend 2010 with Gackt?

Gackt / Gackt

Well now is your chance! Every year GACKT releases a wall-calendar for your viewing and organizational pleasure. The GACKT 2010 calendar will be available for purchase on November 7th 2009 (11/7/09), for 2,381 Yen (US$ 25.57). These calendars are considered Collectible goods, and should be snatched up the minute you get a chance. ^o^

Now, I don’t know about anyone else, but I have a feeling that the whole point of a HOD3812

wall-calendar is so that every time you have to check all the birthdays and dentist appointments and other exciting things you have to do in your life, you are uplifted, or soothed, or excited by a thematic image buoyed above that bleak grid of dates, the passing months of lack of productivity or excess flying by in a merciless countdown of weeks. That’s why this calendar (see image to R) just would never work for me. If I had it my way, calendars wouldn’t even come with the date-grid section on them.

That is how one discovers the Japanese wall-calendar. Or at least the Gackt calendar. Never having owned a different themed calendar of a similar variety, I can only vouch for the state of being of the Gackt calendar. Without further ado, then…

First of all, the major perk is that there is no date grid. Ahah, just kidding. The major upside is that it’s less a calendar and more a poster set with some subtle numbering on the bottom. The total image size is 27 1/2″ (71 cm) tall, with a 1/2″ metal binding at the top, and 20″ (50 cm) wide (you’ll have to cut the images off to change the months, unfortunately. Use an Exacto knife or cutting tool and cut carefully along the metal strip to preserve the poster.) The paper isn’t glossy, but each sheet is pretty heavy-duty card-stock-type paper.

The calendar is 7 full pages; a ‘title’ page, and then 6 images, each with a 2-month bar of dates at the bottom:

Img from 2008 calendar

Img from 2008 calendar

As you can see, the photographs are beautiful, artistic, and excellent quality. The 2009 calendar photographs were taken by Nomura Seiichi, who also did an incredible spread in Square Enix’s N/S EYES ON magazine, spring 2009 issue, as well as the FU RIN KA ZAN Gackt photobook Ryu no Kenshin (English title: Dragon Incarnate).

With images like that, you barely see the dates– and look at it this way, if anyone notices you still have the January page hanging on your wall…they got too close to it to begin with.