Let's Talk Anime

Lists, Reviews, and Rants on Anime and Manga

Bakugo Katsuki Cosplay Tutorial (Part 1) — 06/15/2018

Bakugo Katsuki Cosplay Tutorial (Part 1)

Some of you may know about my cosplay making hobby, and for this most recent convention I decided I’d make both my own cosplay and my friend’s. I already posted part of my friend’s cosplay a while back, and this is just part one of the rest of the costume. I wasn’t able to finish making it before going to the con, since I had a limited amount of time to do it, but by the con at the end of July, I’ll have it done. Along with another one for myself, which I may do a video on as well, as per request from someone on instagram.

As you can see from the title, this cosplay is of Bakugo, from My Hero Academia. This cosplay is very complex for my level of experience, so it’s natural it would take me longer to make.

What I did complete so far was:

  • shirt
  • pants
  • boots
  • belt + straps
  • wig
  • wings
  • mask
  • sleeves
  • gauntlets

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There’s still this much to go:

  • neck accessory
  • gloves
  • pouches
  • kneepads

So, this post will cover the tutorials for the things I’ve finished, and part two will be everything else I have yet to make.

Now for each piece. Just keep in mind that this is a very time-consuming cosplay. If you’re looking to cosplay a hero costume from My Hero Academia, but are on a time limit, do not do this one. Todoroki is much simpler, though more expensive due to a material I used for the back plate, which I will explain in a tutorial I’ll write up next week most likely.

Shirt

  • black v-neck t-shirt
  • orange t-shirt
  • sewing machine
  • orange thread
  • scissors
  • pins
  • pen/marker
  • ruler

Start by cutting off the sleeves of the t-shirt, and make sure they look even. It’s easiest to cut just above the hem line to make the cut even.

Measure along the collar from the shoulder to the hip of the shirt at a diagonal. This is how long you’ll need to cut the orange strips of the other t-shirt. I made the strips 2″ thick, and when I sewed them on, I curled them a bit to make them look smoother, so this is a good thickness if you plan to do that as well.

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I started by sewing the side without the two circles, this is the one that starts on the left side of the shirt. I lined the strip up with the collar, and matched the other end to the hem line by the hip. You’ll cut the little bit hanging off at a diagonal, so don’t worry if it looks strange at first. Place pins along the strip at roughly 2 or 3″ intervals, just enough to keep it straight while you’re sewing.

I used a zig-zag stitch for this piece, and made sure the thread I used matched the orange of the shirt as best it could. Start by sewing onto the shoulder, then along the collar, and then the rest of the length of the shirt. When you reach the end, trim the end at a diagonal and sew that to the hem.

On the other side of the strip, I folded it a bit to take away from the cut edge’s jaggedness, though this isn’t necessary. The other side should go easier than the first, since it’s a straight shot down.

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Repeat this for the other strip, though this one should have two holes cut out from it. I made my holes about an inch in diameter, but I just found something that was about the size I needed and traced it. Cut these out before you sew it on to the shirt. And add a circumference of stitches to each one, to make it look like it belongs on the shirt.

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This piece was fairly simple once I figured it out, but my rusty sewing knowledge made it a day-long process of trial and error. Don’t get frustrated if you screw up, a seam-ripper will be your best friend to redo stitches.

Pants

  • We found athletic pants at a salvation army that were slightly baggy and worked well

Boots

  • Black lace-up boots that go to either mid-calf or knee, preferably to the knee, but we just found mid-calf ones
  • Orange acrylic paint
  • Mod Podge
  • Thin & thick paintbrushes
  • Masking tape
  • A steady hand

Place masking tape along the leather portion of the boot near the sole, so you don’t accidentally paint a part that doesn’t need paint.

Mix equal parts Mod Podge and paint in a cup, and use a thicker brush to coat the soles of each boot. You’ll likely need 3 or 4 coats to fully cover the black fully, so be patient with it.

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Take the tape off and section off a part on the toe and on the heel, the boots I had already had a raised part on these areas, so it was easy, but you may need to make this yourself if your boots don’t have this. This part also will need several coats, more like 4 for this one.

Next is to paint each of the eyelets on the boots. I used the smallest brush I could find, and unlaced each boot to have an easier time with coverage. Each one might need two coats if you don’t have a lot of paint on the brush each time.

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The boots are super simple as long as you’re patient with them. They took me about 2 hours to paint, between waiting for the paint to dry and doing another coat. That seems like a lot, but every other piece took longer than this. Cosplay is time consuming.

Belt + Straps

  • A fabric belt, though you could also find a leather one and modify it in a different way I did
  • Green felt
  • Sewing machine
  • Black thread
  • Ruler
  • Pins

Initially I tried dyeing the belt a darker green than what it was, but either the dye didn’t like the fabric or it was too dark an original color, so this didn’t work. I plan on taking the felt and sewing over the belt to make everything match, and I’ll show pictures of that in the second part when I finish it.

For the straps, I used 3 pieces of green felt. I cut each one in half the long way, and rolled them up, and pinned them in 3 places. I took a ruler and marked each inch along the length of each one, and then sewed in a line stitch along each mark. The black thread gave it a lined effect.

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To attach, I sewed two to each other, and then the third one straight up. The third one would be sewn to the belt. The other two wrap around the thigh. Measure to fit the thigh of who’s wearing it, and sew it, cutting off any excess. They should be easy to slip in and out of. If they look too loose, pin them to the pants at the back of each knee. It won’t effect mobility, but will make them look more accurate.

Wig

  • My friend found a character-specific wig on Amazon, though a long-ish light blond one would work as well
  • Got2be freezing hairspray (this is like less than $5 for a bottle and it works wonders for spikes)
  • Bobby pins
  • Comb (remember, if you plan to comb a wig, NEVER use this comb on your own hair, and a thinner comb will work better for this part)
  • Scissors (ones meant for hair are best)
  • Hair dryer
  • PATIENCE

I never wanted to spike a wig, but now I have. I’d say I wasn’t super stoked about how it turned out at first, since I made the spikes too sharp, when Bakugo’s hair is somewhat fluffy and full, but after a while, they fell in a way I like more.

Start by sectioning the spikes and pinning with bobby pins. This is quite time consuming but important so you don’t take too much at once. Combing through will ensure you get all pieces into the spikes.

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Spray a bit of the hairspray on each spike until it’s tacky, then hit it with a hair dryer on the low temp setting. To keep the spikes together, I just put some pressure on the tips while it was drying.

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I also trimmed each spike so it wasn’t as long, but depending on the length of your wig, you might not need this.

Wings

  • Orange craft foam
  • Black craft foam
  • Pen
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue
  • Hair clips (these didn’t work that well but as of now I don’t know how else to attach them)

This was equally the easiest and most challenging piece. Easy, because it was just drawing a design on foam and cutting it and gluing two pieces together, but it’s a nightmare to keep them on the wig. Some people have recommended I sew them onto the wig, but I haven’t attempted that yet, so I can’t say for sure if it works.

You’ll basically just need to reference a photo of the actual wings, and do a free hand version on the orange foam. You’ll have to do a similar but smaller drawing on the black piece, which should be visible if you press into the foam hard enough.

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This one is just a matter of doing, and measuring to make sure the black and orange fit together well. Glue the two pieces together, and find a way to attach them and you’re set. The hair clips I used would fall out frequently, so I want to work more on making these stay put. I love how they look, and they just add a nice touch. But in the end they aren’t 100% necessary.

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Mask

  • Snazaroo black face paint (online it’s about $8, I found it at a craft store for $6 at one point as well)
  • Small concealer brush (the elf brand is only $1 for a brush, and it works just fine)
  • In the future I’ll try either setting powder or setting spray since it melted and smudged throughout the day

This is a simple look at an image and paint it on, since I decided against a fabric mask. The biggest issue is preventing it from sweating off or smudging, and I’ve heard setting spray/powder can take care of this issue, but I haven’t purchased any yet.

Sleeves

  • Athletic compression sleeves (I think my friend found them online for less than $15)
  • Scraps from the orange t-shirt
  • Orange thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Pins

After making the shirt, there should be a good amount of fabric left from the orange shirt. Some of this can be used to add orange bands to the sleeves.

The sleeves I had left the elastic band fairly visible, so I just measured this and made the orange fabric the same width. If not, I’d think an inch or an inch and a half would work.

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I pinned this on, sewed down the point where the ends of the orange strip met, and then sewed down each side using a zig-zag stitch. It’s a bit awkward to run through the machine, but it isn’t too thick like I thought it’d be.

Gauntlets

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  • I did this in a separate tutorial, here.
  • These are definitely not the sturdiest, and likely need to be fixed after each use, but they work for a budget cosplayer who’ll only wear them a couple times

I hope this tutorial was helpful, and that some people are able to use it! If you use this tutorial at all to make pieces, please tag me in your pictures so I can see what you’ve done! Either use my Twitter, which is @letstalkanime1, or instagram, which is @aniblogplay. I have pictures on both locations of my friend wearing this cosplay if you’re interested! I have links at the bottom of my site as well.

I’m still working on fully returning to the blogging scene, but I at least posted twice this week! I’ll likely have a new post for Pride Month next week, and another one the week after that. I can’t promise two posts a week still, since I just have so many projects going on at once, but I’ll sure try.

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What’s So Good About My Hero Academia? — 04/06/2018

What’s So Good About My Hero Academia?

Chances are you’ve heard all about this show and that the next season is coming out tomorrow. And it’s also possible you’re sick of hearing about it, which is completely understandable. It’s become a huge deal in the time since season two was announced to air in April of last year.

But before that, I didn’t really hear all that much about it. And maybe that’s because I wasn’t active in the anime community as much as I am now, but I was utterly shocked when I realized how huge it had become.

How I Found This Show

My friend pitched it to me as “X-men: Evolution, but it’s an anime.” Which, isn’t too far off, but I think it’s a lot more than just that now.

She bugged me for months to watch it, and then I finally broke. Reluctantly. I really was sick of hearing about it from her, and I only watched it to shut her up. I didn’t think I’d fall in love with it as I have.

The very first day I watched it was December 21st, 2016. I watched the first two episodes in the car on the way to Niagara Falls for a family trip. I could hardly hear what was going on over the music my dad was playing (I was watching the dub), but even from the visuals, I was intrigued. Though, I forgot about it for a month after that. I picked it back up mid-January, around the time I also decided to watch Yuri!!! on Ice.

I finished the 13-episode season on February 3rd, under the impression that it was just over. I thought at that point that it was just over and I’d forget about it in a couple of months anyway. I wasn’t very aware of the manga or the rising popularity of it. The day I saw season two’s air date was a dream come true. I watched the first episode of season two in excitement, unaware that from here on, I’d be a part of a huge fanbase.

Is this a good thing, though? I think it is.

But it’s “Mainstream…”

It’s common to see negativity toward fans of “mainstream anime.” I try to vary my watching between this “mainstream” genre, and everything else. Not so much because what’s “mainstream” is bad, more so that many of those shows don’t appeal to me. Shows like Sailor Moon, Naruto, Dragon Ball Z, etc. I’ve stated in previous posts that I’m not fond of long series. It’s too much of a commitment for me. If My Hero Academia were to have come out 5+ years ago, it’s a pretty good chance I wouldn’t have bat an eye at it and just went on with everything else. But because I watched it from it’s beginning, it doesn’t come across to me as fitting with those other shows. The weight of large episode count hasn’t hit. As of today, there are only 38 episodes. By the end of this season, there will be 63 episodes, and a movie, I believe.

Just the Right Amount of Action

Ignoring the episode count, I’m also generally not a fan of shows with high action scenes. I have a hard time following them. Heck, even watching something like an Avengers movie is sometimes a struggle. Everything blurs together and I just end up zoning out.

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Why doesn’t this happen in My Hero Academia? There’s something about the way the fight scenes are handled that make them easy to follow for me. Maybe they’re slowed down more than in other shows? There’s also a hefty amount of dialogue outside of fighting, which definitely helps as well. And man, the sequences are just…pretty? Which is bizarre to say of a fighting scene. But, well, they just are.

Lovable Characters

The characters also have much to do with the show’s success, I believe. I like almost all of them. If I don’t have them in my favorites, I still probably like them. Besides maybe three or four. That’s not that bad with such a large cast. And most characters do get spotlight at some point, another impressive feat. It must be hard to include such depth to each and every character, but it’s been done here.

I always enjoy shows with large casts, as long as they’re done well. There’s no point in making so many characters if you don’t use them. But, if every character gets a chance to prove or disprove themselves (depending on if they’re on the good or bad side), then it’s good in my book.

An example of a show that has a large cast done poorly would be Durarara! Season 2 (or whatever it’s called). With an already big cast in season one, there was no need to more than double it for season two. It became confusing and I couldn’t keep anyone’s name straight. And some characters were created for a minor plot and were shown once and never again, or there was a plot they were a part of, but it never connected to the main plot. I regret giving this season a positive review back when I first finished it. Season one was great though!

all the kids

Why I bring this up is to point out that MHA doesn’t do that. The way it gets to show off all of the characters is through the individual testing of the students. It dedicates at least half an episode to a few students to fully give a profile of their traits and power. This was important, especially for what’s to come in season three. I’ve read a bit of the manga past season two, and all I have to say is that there’s a reason why there was so much time focused on everyone. And that’s what I really love about this cast and the way it’s dealt with.

An Unusual Protagonist

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Surprisingly, it didn’t really come to my full attention how strange it is that Midoriya Izuku is our main protagonist in this. He may have the typical underdog story, but it’s in his actual character that we get to see something different for once.

Instead of your usual outgoing, charismatic, and adaptable character, we get a nervous, over-analyzing, and socially awkward one. He’s much more “relatable” than what I’ve seen of popular shounen protagonists. (I’ve watched a teeny bit of Naruto, like half an episode of Black Clover, 90ish episodes of Fairy Tail, and about 65 episodes of Bleach)

We’re so used to the character that finds they want something, gets the power do it, and then does it. They’re completely fine with themselves, and can talk normally to others, and often times are a little bit too confident in their newfound skills.

Well, that didn’t really happen with Deku.

He gets power, yes, but he pays for it big time. He has to go through that vigorous, non-stop training for months, and then even when he gets the power, he’s a literal danger to himself when he uses it.

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He was labelled “useless” in elementary and middle school by pretty much everyone. And that hurts. He was told he was stupid for even considering being a hero, despite the drive he had to do it. Being told that time and time again had to wear on him. His entire life, he’d been told the one thing he wanted more than anything was impossible. Even if he was more willing to put himself in danger for others. The one mark of a true hero. Because he wasn’t as powerful physically he was written off as weak and helpless, never to achieve anything.

When he does make it to the school of his dreams, communication is a huge problem for him. He’s not the suave talker you generally see in a hero. He stutters and says stupid things when his brain isn’t working. He’s also not tall and elegant, or really anything special to look at at all. He has uncontrollable hair, freckles, a baby face, and a less than average height. He can’t even tie his tie correctly, and he obsessively takes notes, muttering to himself all the while.

He’s a character of faults, but that’s what makes him stand out among all of the other shounen protagonists.

With those faults, though, he has his strengths. The ever-present need to step in a situation to save a stranger or fellow student from danger. To the point he’ll destroy himself in order to do so. He constantly lifts those around him up, when he can. He’s just and all-around kindhearted kid who wants to do the best he can, and will work hard if that’s what he has to do.

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He’s too adorable

Can you tell I love him a lot? I think I included him in my Top 10 Male Anime Characters, way back in June, I believe? Since then, he’s fallen a little on my favorites list in terms of My Hero Academia characters, but I still think he’s one of the best protagonists I’ve ever seen. And, as always, it’s a total plus that’s he’s utterly adorable. The true definition of a “cinnamon roll.”

What Else?

Well, the fandom is pretty fun, if you’re cool with a lot of shipping. I really mean a LOT, as in I find new pairings on an almost weekly basis now. Some I would never even consider.

And as long as you stay away from toxic shippers, which I’ve seen plenty of in my time of being a part of the community.

There’s also a ton of talented writers and artists creating fanworks on a daily basis. I am a part of that as well, as I shared in my Fanfiction Recs (And Shameless Self-Plugs): Part One. I’ve written five fanfictions based on the series, and it’s some of the best fun I’ve had in creative writing for a long time.

I get a lot of spoilers from the manga, but I don’t really mind since it’s generally only a few panels that cycle my dashboard on tumblr for a while, and then they disappear. I know only a vague timeline of what’s to come, though I have read up to Chapter 93 as of writing this. In context, season two ended around Chapter 70.

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The new characters being introduced fairly early S3!

I’m incredibly excited to see what I’ve read animated, those of you who haven’t read any of the manga are in for quite a ride.


This turned into a character analysis on accident…what can I say, I love me some My Hero Academia characters.

Also, if I made any incorrect generalizations on shounen characters, please let me know! As I said earlier, I really don’t watch a lot, and the last thing I want to do is give incorrect information. It’s best to let me know so I change it.

 

Fanfiction Recs (And Shameless Self-Plugs): Part One — 03/28/2018

Fanfiction Recs (And Shameless Self-Plugs): Part One

For the past six months or so I’ve found myself delving into the world of fanfiction. I probably read too much at this point, and unfortunately in turn it makes me abandon many of the books I’ve purchased and have yet to read. But I’m enjoying myself, and it makes me happy to have something to read before bed every night.

For the most part, I read My Hero Academia ones, and, they generally are focused on a pairing I like, or multiple pairings I like. Same goes with Haikyu!!. The other few I’ve read are No. 6, Yuri!!! on Ice, and Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens. There have been other anime I’ve thought about reading fics for like Akagami no Shirayuki-hime (Snow White with the Red Hair), Noragami, and Yona of the Dawn, but I just haven’t quite yet.

(All fics are on AO3, and all are either rated Teen or General Audiences, as I don’t read anything above those ratings unless under special circumstances. I’m not fond of sexual content in general, so I don’t want to read any of it)

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Bakugou Katsuki: An Analysis (My Hero Academia) — 02/23/2018

Bakugou Katsuki: An Analysis (My Hero Academia)

That name sparks different emotions in different people, no pun intended. Some love him, and even more hate him. I began wondering why, exactly, this is. I didn’t ever exactly hate him. I couldn’t understand him, and he was a bit overwhelming, but I never felt actual hatred for this character. Not like another character I know (freaking Mineta I swear).

Personally, I began to absolutely love Bakugou in season 2. I’m not entirely sure why, but at some point while watching, I became obsessed with him. And now that I’m reading the manga, I’m finding even more reasons to like him. Which is why it makes me so sad when I see people hating on him. I know how he appears on the surface, but if you dig down, he’s not a bad kid.

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[OWLS Blog Tour: Competition] Is it Really the Best to Be “The Best”?: My Hero Academia — 02/09/2018

[OWLS Blog Tour: Competition] Is it Really the Best to Be “The Best”?: My Hero Academia

Welcome to another OWLS post! This will be my eighth OWLS post, isn’t that insane? I still remember my excitement when I became a member and scheduled my very first OWLS post, back in June. I’ve also been able to contribute every month so far. There hasn’t been a topic too hard to completely block me, and for that I’m grateful and proud of myself.

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If you aren’t aware of our group, we are a team of bloggers and vloggers, focused on bringing awareness to important topics in life represented in pop culture. We are accepting of everyone regardless of race, gender, sexuality, etc.

In honor of the 2018 Winter Olympics, this month topic will focus on the theme, “Competition” because the Olympics is where athletes from all countries join together to compete in sporting events. Through these events, we see how “competition” brings out the grit, the teamwork, and the competitive spirit within athletes. This month, we will be exploring anime and pop culture media that discusses the good and the bad when it comes to competition and what it can teach us about ourselves and the world around us.

Thank you Lyn for the wonderful topic as always!

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30 Day Anime Challenge! Day Twenty-four, Twenty-five, and Twenty-Six — 12/26/2017
30 Day Anime Challenge! Day Twenty-two and Twenty-three — 12/23/2017

30 Day Anime Challenge! Day Twenty-two and Twenty-three

Well, I lied, I meant to not do this doubling up post again, but yesterday was my birthday and I ended up writing my fanfic and doing stuff with my family instead of writing this. But, I’m again making up for it now! It’s very possible I’ll have to do 24, 25, and 26 in one post since I’ll be at relatives’ houses for the next two days and I doubt they want me blogging while I’m there.

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30 Day Anime Challenge! Day Eighteen — 12/18/2017
30 Day Anime Challenge! Day Three — 12/03/2017