29 March 2013

My 2013 Colossalcon Cosplay!

Screenshot from Gankutsuo: the Count of Monte Cristo
Here's the scoop, all! I'm excited to share with you my insane cosplay idea, But first things first--a prelude about my health. 

Last time I mentioned it was January, I think, right before Ohayocon. I had to withdraw my panels and attended the con  while feeling blah the whole time.  

As much as I'd like to say I've improved since then, I haven't, and earlier this month we had to add a new medication to my cocktail so I could keep on keeping on. Today, after another appointment, my dosage was increased. The good news is I respond to this medication well, so I think I'm on the upswing.

Me as Lust from FMA 
at Colossalcon 2012.
Photo by 22123
In the meantime, my physical health went to shit. It's part of the reason I didn't cosplay at Ohayocon in January. All the weight I lost for last summer piled back on, so I couldn't fit into my costume. Which is a bummer, because my first cosplay was Lust from Fullmetal Alchemist (I premiered it at Colossalcon 2012) and it went very well. I hoped to reprise it for Ohayocon, but it didn't work out because of all the health stuff.

I've done some very positive things for myself (I stopped drinking soda. I went from one to two 20-oz bottles a day to nothing, and for 21 days now, woo!) and have increased my physical activity. But I know that someone would have to wave a magic wand for me to match my exact weight from last summer. I just don't have enough time for it, without having to do some extreme stuff which wouldn't be good for my health anyway.

Thing is, I really loved cosplaying (even though it requires a great deal of effort). I figured I would wear my kimono to Colossalcon 2013 and be done with it. 

And then I recently finished watching Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo and realized I wanted to cosplay from that series. 

I love The Count of Monte Cristo. It's a great story (I loved the 2002 film as well).  So I was curious about the anime adaptation, which sends the story through a sci-fi/fantasy blender. 

Gankutsuou: 
The Count of Monte Cristo.
Image source: Wikipedia 
It's the year 5053, with settings in Paris and the fictional planet Luna. The animation blends the modern and futuristic with Victorian and Rococo influences. And the animation looks a little psychedelic, as almost every aspect of the characters and backgrounds are colored via tones and textures (like what you see in Photoshop or Manga Studio). The tones and textures are stationary even when characters move on screen. It takes a little bit to get used to, but it makes for a really rich viewing experience. 

And I loved how they interpreted the story. There were a lot of things that were quite well done and I felt very emotionally involved in the show. I liked the series enough that I've added it to my permanent collection...and I'm going to honor the show in my Colossalcon 2013 cosplay!

And I'm going as The Count of Monte Cristo himself. 

With a twist!

I'm going to gender-bend him. I shall be known as Lady Gankutsuou: La Comtesse de Monte Cristo!  

Why gender-bend, do you ask? I have nothing against dressing as a man--I made a pretty good Jack Sparrow for Halloween a couple years ago--but I wanted to stay feminine-looking for the con. I didn't want to have to mess with a beard, and it's pretty difficult to make me look masculine anyway. I'm a flipping Valkyrie. 

To be honest, this cosplay idea is going to be a little bit more work than Lust (in terms of hair and make-up), but I own things that would work well for the costume. I've got an antique Victorian top hat and white gloves, black riding boots...I could work with more things I have, but I did decide to purchase some items to make it look like a female version of the Count. 

Gender-bending a character gives you a little bit more flexibility with interpretation, anyway. Since I'm envisioning the Count as a woman, the costume has to change a little to accommodate my form and tastes. But the character still has to be recognizable as the gender counterpart to the original. 
Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo has a gorgeous aesthetic. Source: Zerochan

Here's what I'm going to do so far:
  • Dark, curly blue hair. My Arda wig arrived today. I ordered the Claudia Wig in Midnight Blue. The curls are very tight but I plan to comb them out so they're more like waves than ringlets. 
  • Black Victorian jacket. I'll be wearing this sweet gem for the Con. 
  • Black bustle skirt. Since the Count still looks relatively Victorian, I decided to keep with that style, so I'll be wearing this skirt. The skirt is so huge that I can get away with wearing comfortable shoes, which was a major problem for me last year
  • Cravat. I'll be making it out of this material
  • Cape. The Count has the larger square collar for his cape, so I found a Dracula cape that could work.
  • Blue skin. I'm told Ben Nye Blue Spirit is the color to go with, but I also heard that if people take your picture with a flash camera, the color washes out with the flash. I may go one shade darker, we'll see.
  • White Gloves. I have several pairs. It's all good here.
Stuff I'm iffy about:
  • Prosthetic Ears. I've worn prosthetic elf ears before, but the Count's ears are a bit different. Not sure if I'm going to do it or not. I'll have to color them, of course. If I decide to use them, I'm thinking maybe these. They look ugly in the picture, but they're quite long, so they may work.
  • Fangs. I've worn vampire fangs before (as a vampire in Dracula), and always this brand. I could talk in them relatively well, but I kept opening my mouth a lot to let them "hang out." Which may or may not have caused drooling. I don't really remember. As good as the fangs looked, I noticed that Scarecrow manufactures a more subtle version, so if I decide on fangs, those will be my choice.
  • Top Hat. I have an antique Victorian top hat that looks awesome. It's quite tall on my head. But I don't know if it will look good with my wig, or if the top hat will look weird with the jacket and bustle skirt. Since I'm a female Count, would a hat work anyway?
  • Additional sewing. There are several things that are quite iconic about the Count--the sleeves of his coat, and the inside of his cape. Both would require additional sewing or alterations of preexisting pieces. I'm sure I'll be tweaking the cape I got. What I'm not so sure about is the sleeves. The jacket I've got is very pretty and of a higher quality, and I'm worried that altering the sleeves may ruin them, especially if I want to use the jacket for other things. I think I can perhaps sew the wide sleeve trim along the seam of the sleeve where the lace sticks out, so I'll at least have the gold and maroon part of the sleeve intact. But those flames going up the arm--not sure what I'm going to do. If I do it at all. 
Stuff I'm going to pass on:

The Count's freaky eyes.
Image Source: Dubsub Anime Reviews
  • The Cane. It's a badass cane but women didn't really use them, so that's a no. (Less stuff for me to make, hooray!)
  • Contact Lenses. The Count has one red eye and one greenish-gold eye. As great as that would look, I wear corrective lenses. I'd have to get a prescription from my doctor and a lot of special effect eye colors aren't meant to be used as corrective lenses. I did think about honoring the differing eye colors by having one dark brown eye and one purple eye. Obviously these aren't any of the colors the Count uses, but since I'm gender-bending I may have enough flexibility to get away with it. Or the effect will  be too subtle for anyone to notice. Hmm...
There's a lot of potential with this character. The way I imagine it in my mind tells me it will look pretty freaking awesome, but I've had good ideas go wrong when it came time to put things together. I've had plenty of examples of good Gankutsuou cosplay to give me a rough idea of what's expected in terms of standards and what makes the character recognizable (like this and this). 

June feels a mile away still, but it'll be here before we know it! Wish me luck!

4 comments:

  1. AHHH! Gankutsuou is a GREAT Idea! I really liked that series, wasn't crazy about the ending though. Loved the design though.

    In honor of your "Cross-Play" Idea, I've decided to attend colassal-con as Faye Valentine...no, no I am not, that is a lie.

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    Replies
    1. Yay! I'm glad you like my idea!

      I really liked Gankutsuou quite a bit. I thought the ending (as far as the Count goes) was well-done. But the FINAL episode felt a bit unnecessary and I didn't care for it so much. I didn't really feel for some of the minor characters, but I did like when Albert found the Count's note at the back of the painting. That was a great last moment.

      Are you going to cosplay at all? I hope so!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  2. Replies
    1. It's a pretty neat take on it! Told from Albert de Moncref's point of view instead of the Count's. They make it more of a mystery that way, where you get the Count's story in bits and pieces instead of chronological order.

      The anime is also more accurate to the novel than the 2002 movie with Jim Caviezel and Guy Pearce, which surprised me. I kept expecting plot points from that movie to show up in the anime and they don't. So be forewarned!

      I do own the entire series (24 episodes) so maybe one day we can watch it together!

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