Recently, over New Year’s week, we were lucky enough to have Erin (Erin-Aru), the American division of the group, come and visit for a few days! As you can imagine, we got up to all sorts of cosplay-related shenanigans and are now going to share the results of such shenanigans for your enjoyment.

While we’ll be showing a few of the photos that we got over the weekend here in this post, please be sure to check out Erin’s deviantART as well as Anya’s deviantART and Flickr for the full round-up!

One of my favourite shots from the in-home studio

Day 1

On the first day of Erin’s visit, we got right down to business to defeat, the huuuuuns by having an indoor photoshoot in my room’s “in-home studio” of Erin’s China (Hetalia: Axis Powers) cosplay. Her first time wearing China, she used her real hair, but it has since become shorter (and she’s also seeking more cosplay accuracy) so we hooked her up with my Rukia wig (AKA black wig of everything) and Touko extensions. I also did her makeup, since she didn’t wear makeup the first time. She then grabbed a panda from my extensive collection and off we went! It was about 10PM when we started and sometime around 11PM when we finished. Late night shoots for the win!

This preliminary shoot proved to be a good way to see what worked and what didn’t work hair and makeup wise and it also gave Erin some posing practice, since she’d never had a formal photoshoot before. With the knowledge from this late-night endeavor under our belt, we were ready for the next endeavor that came the next day…

One of our first shots of the day, taken in the Chinatown alleyway

Day 2

For the second day, we met up with ShimadaYoko (http://misostudios.deviantart.com), a friend of the group’s, for a ChinaxJapan shoot in Chinatown. After making the necessary improvements to Erin’s hair and makeup, I threw on my Ramona Flowers cosplay and we caught a bus downtown; we were sure to choose a pair of seats in the front so that we could act as a rather colourful greeting to everyone who boarded – oh bystanders, how we love to freak you out.

We spent most of the day romping around in the cold December air (after previous experiences with cosplaying in the cold, you’d think we’d learn our lesson, but no). Our Chinatown onlookers didn’t actually seem too freaked out by us; I was probably the only one who looked too out of the ordinary. Earlier in the day, a sweet British woman walked by us and complimented us, then told us that when she was young, she would wear miniskirts in the cold; her mom told her

One of the shots that we snuck in while in the back room of the store

that “it’s your pride that will keep you warm.” What wise words from a fellow a fellow cold weather trooper. Although, even though, as cosplayers, we have so much pride, in this situation, I think nature still had us beat.

We were eventually able to duck out of the cold for a few instances; the three of us scurried into this Chinatown store that’s famously packed with merchandise and goes on forever. We went and hid in the back room which is filled with baskets and such and got some shots in there. I had no idea whether

One of the shots that we got of me; definitely a favourite

we were allowed to or not; I’m a

strict rule-abider by nature, so I was really uneasy, but my photo subjects talked me into taking their photo back there for a little while. Then I voted that we scram out of there; we were never caught taking photos at any point. Phew!

Later, due to nagging the request of Erin, we went into a tea shop to get Matcha (green tea). That part put me off quite a bit because I was told, rather snootily that there was no photography in the store. Goodness, if I ever open a business, I will always allow

<3

photography, and if people ripping things off becomes a problem, I’ll just make exceptions for people like us, who just want photos of ourselves. Moving on! Our next stop was this rather… Grimy part of town (suggested by Shimada) for some Ramona

A photo we got on the streets of Chinatown

shots – it had good light, though and was a suitable setting! Shi knows what she’s doing! Despite not getting a lot of shutter time, I still got some good shots of my cosplay.

The last place we trekked to was the mall. This was, again, a place where photography isn’t permitted – well, in the stores at least. Shimada knew about this really good hallway upstairs,

and, it not being a store, no one gave us a hard time. In fact, a little girl walked by with her parents and was

Erin's solo shot that we got while in the mall

delighted by us – she went up and started rubbing my Subspace Suitcase. All of our hearts were so warmed by that~

And so, after the mall, our super cold pre-New Year’s Eve photoshoot drew to a close. Overall, we got some really good shots! It was also nice to see Shimada and Erin grow so close only after knowing each other for such a short period of time. They worked very well together and were a pleasure to work with!

Day 3

New Year’s Eve! After some quick afternoon shopping, Erin and

Happy New Year from the RCS! (Hintaboutafuturecosplaywhatareyoutalkingabout?)

I met up with Chelsea and then did some catching up over Starbucks. Later, Chelsea came back to the house for some New Year’s nerd-erific partying! (Though, I spent a pretty good portion of the night doing math homework while listening to the girls play Tales of Symphonia downstairs, but that’s another story.)

Once we were all good to hang out together, we went and recorded a new episode of the podcast. Handling three people in the studio was a little tricky – plenty of audio derps to go around, but we were eventually able to get down to it. So, even though it’ll be pretty late once it goes through post-production and gets released, you can still look forward to a “New Year’s” episode of the RCS podcast, featuring our first ever special guest!

We all truly hope that you all had a wonderful New Year’s and wish you the very best for 2012!

(Once the countdown ended, instead of noise makers, the three of us went outside, iPod in hand and sung the Pokémon Theme Song at the tops of our lungs while fireworks went off just down the street. Sorry to anyone who we woke up!)

Day 5

Erika with Yozakura Quartet vol. 1 - the manga that's featured in her first scene of episode 1 of DRRR!!

Skipping to day 5, this was the day before Erin had to leave (and the day before I had to get back to school, yuck)! So, since we hadn’t gotten the chance to have one outdoors, we had yet another indoor photoshoot for Erin, only this time, she sported the Erika Karisawa (Durarara!!) cosplay that she brought with her. Again, she borrowed my wig, I styled it, did her makeup and we had a sweet little shoot!

Day 6

…Was Erin’s last day visiting, not much more to say.

So there’s a little rundown of what’s been going on with the group! Hope you enjoyed reading! We’re looking to provide some additional behind-the-scenes footage for future projects (like photoshoots), but if there’s anything else that you’d like to see on the blog, please let us know!

We’re always looking for feedback, whether it be on our general posts or the podcast, so please don’t be shy! Like our blog? Then please don’t forget to follow us by clicking the “+Follow” button below! Thanks all~!

Until next time,

~Anya

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