Tuesday, October 6, 2015

HAPPINESS is spelled T.U.X.T.E.A.M

cosplay mania 2015
Shoutout to Jam, one of the Cosplay Mania organizers that took the picture! She's very nice!

I know I still have a TON of blogposts due publishing but this had to come up on my priority list. I've been a fan of Jin and the Tux Team for over six years now and at last weekend's Cosplay Mania 2015, I've finally got the chance to meet them in person.

This moment reminds me of how I felt when the seventeen-year-old me finally got the guts to comment on one of Jin's facebook posts (not such a big deal to everybody else, but at that moment, I remember my heart beting so fast and doing and re-doing my message haha). I even made a blogpost about it feeling just as ecstatic as I write this one (abeit a bit better in the writing department haha).

I'm just going to go all fangirl on this blogpost now, if you'd excuse me. 

cosplay mania 2015

I found Jin as I was reading through one of Otakuzine's 2009 volumes, the same magazine I have up on my shelf back in Bohol. I remember her cosplaying as Alice from Alice in Wonderland and Ai Enma from Hell Girl in that feature. I instantly fell in love with her work. It was an instant appeal to me that her gender was such a mystery. Even now, newer fans still have the fun of guessing it despite her increasing popularity and it's all part of being a behindinfinity fan! It took me two years to finally figure out the answer and once I did, I fell in love with what she did even more. 

cosplay mania 2015
I made new friends! She was in front of me in the line :)

I followed her deviant art blog for years after that. The genuine joy she gets when cosplaying and creating costumes, the whole process being broken down blow-by-blow in each blogpost, you could feel that enthusiasm in her writing and it made me grin so much every time. The fact that she puts up really funny pictures and comments from her group of friends made it even better. 

I remember skipping all the other notifications on deviantart to be able to read her newly updated blog. It was hilarious, as I look back now, at how invested I was with another person's passion but then I realize, as I'm writing this and revisiting those old links that I love so much, that it made me put a lot of things into perspective and just helped me have a generally happy outlook growing up, much like how they were in those blogposts.

cosplay mania 2015

That interest in Jin and the Tux Team's work, I realized, exposed me to a lot of other passions that I've grown to love today. This skin care post Jin wrote a while back really made me think about taking better care of myself, it started with just skin care but then blew up to exercise and just general wellness. I was also quite partial to yaoi back then, but after seeing their photoshoots to make Charmie happy and that fated link to Junjou Romantica, well, let's just say I'm a very happy fujoshi. Being a part of that community really earned me a lot of meaningful memories and friendships (and so much more) despite the stereotype being painted for us. The yaoi is strong within us. And get this: even just as much as helping me help my sister with her painting project was from a deviantart update by Miguel about watercolor paper. A thing I didn't know that existed before then. That update was a life saver, lemme tell ya.

Thinking about all these instances made me realize that the Tux Team has been such a positive influence in my life that I don't even think I'd be me if it weren't for that following. A dramatic statement? Yes probably, as a lot of other logical factors come into play; but nevertheless, my memories about reading, listening, and a lot of good-natured lurking around their pages were nothing but positive and happy and I wouldn't trade those feelings for anything in the world :)

cosplay mania 2015

I knew they were going to be at Cosplay Mania 2015 and, now that I'm employed with my own cash and time and whatnot, I took the opportunity and booked a hotel and tickets two (or three?) months before the actual event. It was my first time in Manila and my first Cosplay Mania!

I was expecting to see them at their booth as announced (2-5pm) that day and I planned to see them then, but as I was on a food run, I passed by their booth and THERE THEY WERE. Jin and Miguel. In all their beatiful HD glory. I hyperventilated, talked a lot to myself, and breathed really loudly, forgoing that hotdog I planned on getting and ran across the hall to get my camera and cash just so I could meet them. And I did :)

I honestly don't remember what I rambled on back there. I felt my face heat up, my pulse racing, I could hear my own heartbeat, taste the air, everything. It was glorious. (and kinda embarrassing now that I think about it. sorry for being weird, guys ;_;)

cosplay mania 2015

Our flight back to Cebu the morning after Cosplay Mania's second day was at, like, 5am, so I couldn't stay at the convention any longer. I decided to stop by their booth one more time before leaving after the Awarding ceremony and lucky me, they were there! Despite being able to see (and talk teehee) with both Miguel and Jin on the first day, my mind blanked out when I found Cat, Chase, and Charmie and at their booth there as well. My mind raced when Chase took my order for more prints, and that Charmie noticed me staring at her and I got to talk to her about yaoi, Cat smiling at me after signing her print, Jin saying "Hi, Ashley!", remembering my name, and UGHHH omg *gross sobbing*. I blanked out and wasn't able to take a picture with any of them despite that five minute lull as they signed my prints, so I'll just settle with these amateur paparazzi photos. It's the memories that count.

And this was a long stalker-ish blogpost haha. Honestly, I can go on and on about this particular obsession in my life but in summary, this group of people just make me really really really happy :D

Thanks, Tux Team. It was awesome being able to finally meet you :) And thank you Cosplay Mania 2015 for this opportunity!!
(I have never used this many smileys on a blogpost. The feels are too stronggg. >u<)

And if anyone's interested, here's the link to a snippet from my Cosplay Mania 2015 vlog. This snippet is when I first saw Jin and Miguel while I was out to get lunch. It's very shaky and very amateur as this was for my sister's eyes only so... watch. If you dare.


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