Monday, November 28, 2011

Experience of a lifetime - The GazettE Live

It's about time I start talking about some of the experiences I had during my trip to Japan last month!

The last time I went to a J-Rock concert was quite a while back...and it was here in Toronto. Dir en Grey had a North American tour and I jumped at the chance to see them live. Fast forward a couple years...

The GazettE
Bossu had brought up the idea that we could go to a Live in Japan, and I totally jumped into it saying I was in! I was really excited to see any J-Rock group live in concert! Just so happens that our trip coincided with some of the tour dates for The GazettE. To cut some details short, Bossu & Keiko's friend in Japan, Becca, (who I had never met..but kind of knew who she was), got us 4 tickets for one of their Lives. The nice thing about the ticket system in Japan is that it's randomly assigned, so you pay a base price, but your seats can be anywhere.

Imagine our surprise when Becca told us, WE HAD FRONT ROW TICKETS!! I think I had a heart attack...and then the pressure was on. I was forewarned ahead of time that rock concerts in Japan were a bit different than the ones here at home. No moshing, which is good! But there are these special furi moves you should know that go with the music. At first it wasn't a big deal since the likelihood that we were going to be behind someone to follow the movements was very high. However, when you're front don't have anyone to follow!

Begin the hardcore GazettE boot camp! Becca took the time to make video tutorials for us to learn the moves to the music. Three weeks before the concert, we lived, breathed and committed ourselves to GazettE. We couldn't be 'dead fish' in the front row! Had to make Becca proud! Keiko came over a couple times to practice with me. Gosh, I am horrible when it comes to head banging, my neck muscles are so weak, it's not funny. \(>__<;)/

 The video above is a great example of audience participation, a lot of it is head banging though. I just remember going into work after practicing one weekend, and I felt like I was paralyzed from the shoulders and up.

The morning of the concert, we still did a run through of the potential set list. I think I had two fears. One was flinging my neck off...and the other was getting tired quickly. I wasn't remotely bothered about the moves or freaking out about it...because if we didn't know them by then...well, it's kind of a lost cause. You can't do anything about it. I long as you try, and just look to your neighbors, you can figure out the motions...right? Right?!

A picture of us. Me, Bossu, Becca-san, & Keiko

What I found really interesting is that the girls were various fashions. Some are in very trendy clothes that you would probably see in Nonno magazines or somewhere in 109 Ladies, some are in Gyaru styles, Punk, GazettE cosplay, etc. There were 4 girls behind us dressed up as maids, they were really cute! However, they did so much head banging, I though their extensions/wig were going to fall off!! O__O! Before the Encore started, they stripped out of their maid outfits and underneath was a whole new set of clothes. I thought it was really funny... :)
Venomous cell tour '11. Stage. Photo Credit: Bossu
We don't have any decent pictures of the concert. Taking pictures during a Live is a big no no in Japan. Bossu just managed to sneak pictures of the stage and the venue before the guy holding the sign for 'no pictures' walked by. 
The concert venue. Photo credit: Bossu
Ruki commented how he quite liked this venue for it's unusual layout and how it was all black. 
We were so close to the stage...if I just bent over the seats that were blocked off in front of us I could have touched the stage. Maybe, if I had wanted to get mobbed by a bunch of fangirls and the security staff...I could have climbed over the seat and knocked out Aoi and kidnapped him. HOWEVER, my conscience said, "Don't do it, for you'll disgrace yourself and your peeps." LOL

It was probably one of the best concerts I've ever been to. The energy was electric and it was really fun. I thought I was going to pass out after the 6th or 7th song because I was still sick, but I fought through it. Towards the end I definitely ran out of steam for headbanging, so I did the simplified moves and watched the band (Thankfully, the girls next to us stood around a lot too, so it wasn't just me standing while everyone else was head banging). It's really neat seeing the band head bang in sync with the audience!! And the hair that flies around..! Keiko got me in the eye a couple times... :P

My ticket. Front row baby!!

Booklet and mini promo-posters handed out to us, and some merchandise.
The experience is so hard to describe. There are hardly words because it was just so amazing. Definitely a great experience to have gone through, and I have to say, if you ever get a chance to see a J-Rock concert in Japan, do it! 
♥ ♥ ♥ An Awesome THANK YOU to Becca!! 
For without her, we would not have experienced this!! ♥ ♥ ♥

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Luts La Sirenita Pine - Box Opening

 Shamelessly copied and pasted from my DoA thread... LOL (>__<);;

My friend, Keiko, received her doll last week and I have the pleasure of doing the face up for her doll. Keiko has given me permission to share her 'box opening' with you. This is the special release version of Pine from Luts during Sept/Oct. I actually put the order through for her while we were vacationing in Japan.

The shipping was very quick, her doll arrived within 3 weeks from the order date.

Sirenita Pine comes with her Elf and Human head, with high heeled feet as extras. My friend changed the feet to the heeled ones before she gave her to me, so she doesn't stand...well. I'll most likely change her doll back to the normal feet later.

Her arms are double jointed, however, her knees are not. Resin color is Real Skin Normal.
Apologies for the bad lighting in the photos...I was loosing daylight when I took the pictures >__<;

Luts Box! It's quite pretty.

Stringing Booklet. It also came with some promotional business cards which I didn't take a picture of.

Since she can't stand well because of her heeled feet, I took a picture of her sitting. I'm not impressed with the eye color choice Luts gave her...but they were random, so my friend and I can't complain too much.

Her hands are very pretty and delicate looking.

Her eyes are glass. But I can't put a finger what colour this is. Reminds me of swamp water... LOL!

A picture of her heeled feet!

Her human head. I'm not sure which head I prefer myself...I think the human one. Personally, I'm not so interested in fantasy sculpts...

She is quite light compared to my Volks MSDs. She is also quite slight when I compare them to my MSDs, smaller in height and girth. I have a feeling Keiko is going to spoil her rotten. I'll update again when I finish both the face ups!

Thanks for looking! :D

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Lolita Fashions - Pt. 2 (featuring Bodyline)

In my previous post about Lolita fashion, I talked about how lolita brands are quite important within the community. I mentioned how being lolita can get quite elitist because wearing certain brands and prints have the added connotation with it; that it's expensive or 'cheap'. It's the same with every type of hobby, fashion item or collectors item out there...there's always something that's worth more and seen more as a high end product. However, do not fret, Bodyline has it's positive aspects too!
In terms of lolita, Bodyline is the 'cheap' and low end company to go to for affordable lolita. They offer a various amount of clothing on their online website, from punk to cosplay. I like Bodyline because they offer up to many sizes in their clothes, while compared to major brand companies, most are only One Size. The prices are quite affordable and if you're just starting out in the lolita fashion, it provides a good foundation for you to build on to build a lolita wardrobe. Not everyone can afford the very expensive brand dresses from Baby the Stars Shine Bright or Angelic Pretty, which can range anywhere from $250 - $400 for one dress.

Bodyline JSK Carousel Dress
A small problem with Bodyline is that their prints can be a bit over powering and have a bit of a cheap quality to it. It's makes lolita more like cosplay than a fashion sub-culture. Some of the prints released by Bodyline are exclusive to the company, so some hardcore lolitas can recognize the print and size you up just based on what you're wearing! That shouldn't bother you in my opinion, since it didn't bother me before. It only did recently when I found the same dress I was wearing from Bodyline (on the left) at one of the biggest discount chain stores in Japan. That...was bad. But despite me being a bit miffed at finding it in a discount store, I still adore that dress. I really love the print and colors. Sometimes you just gravitate towards something, and that's what happened with this dress. 

Bodyline offers some great staple items to build your lolita wardrobe from in my opinion. Their shirts are a good base to work from and the quality is not bad at all. Most of their shirts are made of polyester so you might get warm in them in hot weather since the material doesn't "breathe" but as long as you plan your outfit correctly you should be fine. The sizing listed on the size is quite accurate, but I find I can range anywhere from M size to T2L (Tall double large). The one good thing about Bodyline is that they offer sizes up to 4L (US size 14/16), and many items have lace up backs or shirring to help with the sizing. A couple of my dresses are 2L because that was all they have left, they are loose, but the ribbons that lace up in the back usually help with making it fit better. Some items only come in M size, but that just means it's one-size only.
Their shoes come in various sizes ranging from 22.5 - 27cm. I'm a size 6.5/7 shoe, which fits into 23-24 in Bodyline lolita shoes.
Bodyline items in their packaging.
Sorry for the wrinkles, but this is a better picture of the print of this dress I just got recently.
Close up of this shirt.
The details of this shirt.
  The white shirt cost more than anything else, but the details are great and it beats me trying to sew it together right now anyways. A brand label shirt can cost up to $250, so finding some classic staple shirts to layer under dresses is a good way to build up a lolita wardrobe.
I find that wearing Bodyline shouldn't mean that you can't afford brand Lolita dresses. Everyone has to start somewhere, and as long as you are embracing the ideal of lolita; such as being modest, polite and ladylike, those are great qualities to have. That doesn't come from wearing non-brand or brand items. I think the most important thing is to have fun and enjoy the hobby. If it makes you feel better at the end of the day with your friends, it should be worth it. I know I had a great time in lolita while we were in Tokyo, and I look forward to our next lolita day the next time we're there!

It's a common joke between my friends and I that Bodyline is my home away from home since I have quite a few dresses from the company. But, what can I say? I was a student in university and it was just fun dressing up in cute dresses. Now that I can afford brand dresses, I can further explore this hobby. ♥

Since I've got my sister into this hobby now, she told me that this month, shipping from Bodyline is $1 to anywhere. It's a promotion to celebrate their company/store anniversary. Let's just say that I got some more random items \(^__^")/

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Lolita Fashions - Pt. 1

Recently on my trip to Japan...I've really taken a liking to Lolita fashion. I've done Waloli and some casual lolita here at home at Anime North, but after this trip sparked something within me.

We had Lolita day where we all dressed up and had some fun walking around in Akihabara going into the various shops and puri-kura machines. It was really fun, but I noticed throughout the trip, I don't see to many lolitas out and about anymore. Granted, some of the areas we were going didn't have a high percentage of a chance to see them anyways LOL
Part of the reason we were dressing up was because we were going to the @Home Maid Cafe. I'll blog about that soon! It was very cute and interesting to go to a real maid cafe.. :)

Keiko and I waiting to be seated. @Home Maid Cafe, Japan.

Now, I'm an amateur when it comes to lolita fashion, but if I'm going to do it, gotta do it right! So we brought the stockings, extra dress shirts and our petticoat. Keiko and I did buy the dresses we're wearing above in Japan, but I did bring an extra one just in case I didn't find one for myself.

It's very interesting when I read and check out sites and forums about the fashion itself, how it's quite elitist. Different brands and prints all contribute to whether you're a 'legitimate' lolita or just a cheap 'cosplaying' one.

I've always loved Metamorphoses dresses and designs. They just have the most unique prints that capture my mind. Some are a bit strange, but I appreciate that the brand tries to think outside the box. I did get a Metamorphose dress towards the end of this trip. Probably one of their most beautiful prints in my opinion, the Swan Lake OP (one piece) dress.

Sleeves and bows are removable. Mine didn't come with the collar piece. I also bought the matching headband.
Detail of the print
I've got a soft spot for fantasy's horrible! I could probably spend a whole blog post talking about Metamorphose, but I won't! The only reason I went out on a limb to get this dress was because at the maid cafe, our maid commented us all on our dresses and asked where we got them from. To make it short, I was quite embarrassed when it was my turn and it was revealed my dress was a Bodyline dress. LOL God, I love Bodyline, but it's seen as the lowest of the low when it comes to Lolita shops. Even the maid laughed at me and did a really cute "Shhhh I won't tell" to us.

Aughhhhhhh, the embarrassment. *gets shot*

To make matters worse, when we were in Donki, they had a Bodyline section, and they had the exact same dress I was wearing. I was standing there, holding the same dress next to mine having a minor heart attack. That drove the nail into the coffin. It's bad when a maid laughs and jokes with you about your dress, but when you see it at one of the biggest thrift stores in Japan. That really hurts. :(

So, my unfinished business in Harajuku was to find a lolita dress (and to find some stuffed animals at Kiddyland). I was dead set on finding and buying one that day, even if it melted my credit card.
So, I have one brand dress in my closet and it's beautiful. Now I just need an occasion to wear it. That's the shame about living here in Toronto...the fashion is so...conservative. Need to have a lolita day with my friends so that we have group impact. If I do it myself...I'll just get weird stares. Which I'm used to anyways, because of cosplay. -__-'

Next Lolita Fashions post will be about Bodyline.


Once again, my computer has decided to go into spasm and coma mode. My dad is currently trying to fix it up normally, but seriously, I don't know what's wrong with it. My dad was saying I probably download too much crap, but I've barely downloaded 2 songs on the computer since the last time it blew up in the beginning of October!! UGH.
Doesn't even matter if I loose everything on it since I don't have anything on it! What a pain....grr!!

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*stolen from Galileo, cause the emoticon is AWESOME lol*

I'm currently using my dad's laptop, and it's quite annoying and painful to use. The screen is very small...I'm getting more blind @__@

Hopefully it gets back to normal soon, then I can blog about Japan :)

Next companion post is about Lolita's my new small obsession right now! Another expensive hobby...-__-;