As an anime fan and cosplayer, my year revolves around one major event: Ohayocon. I have attended this convention six times now, and each year I come back home afterwards with my geekiness in full force (and my suitcase loaded with merchandise). This year was no exception. Back in January 2012, right on the heels of the last con, I decided on a new cosplay–Asellus from the video game SaGa Frontier–and got started.
I had an entire year to prepare for the con, but I still found myself working on my costume every spare minute I had until the night before I left for Columbus. As I patterned and sewed my outfit, I found myself delving into other forms of arts and crafts to finish the job: polymer clay-working and jewelry-making techniques for my accessories, and embroidery for the decorative blue stitching on my sleeves. I even considered learning how to knit in order to make my black and white stockings! (I ran out of time, but hey, there’s always next year!) I borrowed piles of library books as I worked to try and figure out the best way to make each piece, and I am still looking through each one for hints on future projects.
Through my experiences and talking with other fans, I learned that for many of us, loving something doesn’t stop at just watching the series, reading the books or playing the video games. We create fanfiction or fanart to complement our favorite stories and characters, and cosplayers like me have picked up more than just a needle and thread to complete our costumes. Thanks to the Internet, I have stumbled across other ways to show your love for a series, where people have used their skills in music, cooking, even mixing drinks, to make tie-ins for them. My favorite of these is Final Fantasy Recipes, a blog dedicated to dishes inspired by the Final Fantasy video games. Even if you’re unfamiliar with the series, I highly recommend giving some of the recipes a try! Each one I’ve tried has been fun to make and turned out great. As for me, I’ve most enjoyed looking through the Final Fantasy 9 recipes and imagining what it would be like to stop by the pub in Lindblum for lunch, or to dine with the nobles in Treno.
So, no matter what you like or how you’d like to show it, the sky’s the limit! Try googling your favorite series and see what other people have been inspired to do with it, and maybe you’ll want to create something all your own.