Dying A Wig for Ritsu Tainaka V1

When I decided to do a cosplay of season 2 Listen!! Ritsu from K-On! I knew I wanted to do most of the costume myself. I was most worried about finding a good wig. I knew this after I had gone to several wig shops in the area and found very little in the way of minimal work ei something I could just style or maybe cut shorter.

Surprising since she doesn’t have super weird anime colored hair or anything.

The problem was also more in finding a wig the could be styled to match her hair. Since it’s not real hair (obviously) that I would be styling it was important for it to be able to be pulled back as if it were attached to a root. It was good to keep this in mind when searching though it limited the selection, as I mentioned. I did find something that would do nicely but it was the not exactly the color I needed. Which meant i was going to need to do some wig dying.

I know absolutely nothing about wig dying. And what do we do now a days when we don’t know something? TO THE INTERNET!!!1!

One quick search for ‘wig dying for dummies’ gave me the very helpful blog entitled To the Wig Shop!. I quickly learned that dying your own wig any color you want was not a problem at all! I have since found that this method of dying has been posted on many different avenues and tutorial type areas. Cosplay.com has been a good source for many a new cosplayer. At least it’s easily accessible.

Here are some pictures of the wig I bought before I adjusted the color with the tutorial I found. The light in my apartment has made it a bit hard to tell exactly what color the wig was before. It was a light blonde with some highlights through out, i guess to give it a natural look. The picture on the right is the closest true color picture. You can also see it’s long and if on it would fall an inch or two beyond the shoulders. I chose a longer wig so that I had more control over the length when styling.

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In the tutorial I linked to, Funnypeculiar makes some very easy instructions. One of which is that you need something you don’t care to stain because it will get stained. To dye my wig I made a new friend!

I am calling him George. He likes fancy parties and looking like a pimp. Clearly he will not mind helping me out with my Ritsu wig.Here is the list of things i used in my dye adventure:

• wig
• rubbing alcohol
•FW ink – Purple Lake & Brillant Yellow – mixed to make a blonde-ish brown
•Spray Bottle
•plastic tall kitchen bags
•Something to stand your wig on – i made George

I don’t exactly have an porch or anything to utilize so I set up shop in the hallway, made sure to have plenty of trash bags down to cover any of the dye spray. Once I was ready I just went to town spraying the wig all over. It probably would have been a good idea to spray a little more methodically or to at least have taken care of the under hair first or something. Since the color I was dying to wasn’t completely different (it was essentially a darker brownish blond from an ash/light blond) I wasn’t to worried about missing little spots.

Once I was satisfied with my color coverage I let it dry checking on a few hours later just to make sure it was good and dry. I found the wig to be very stiff and well… crunchy. Good in say, chips, not so much in hair. I gave it a good rinsing out out, once again letting it dry. I didn’t take any pictures before I started to style it so I only have a few mid styling pics to show the end resulting color.  I was originally happy with it but have since decided that it’s a little light for Ritsu’s hair…. although if I want to just leave it I could. Hair color is a little subjective since it’s not always the same in every pictures and to me Ritsu has a light brown hair compared to Yui’s medium brown hair.

K-On!! The Manga Review

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Here it is. My first manga review. As the title probably gave away it’s for the recent release of K-on volume 1. I have no idea if we got an early release of it but I snatched that shit up before it had a chance to be a day old. Booya. If you have no idea who or what K-On is I highly suggest you use your powers of google. Ah hell, I’ll be convenient and even link you to the wiki article on the series.

There is certainly an anime out there for pretty much anyone, and the same can be said about manga. It’s also been quite some time since I’ve really been excited to buy or read anything either. Most times I keep pretty busy with work or freelance. However, I took the time aside to read this lovely new manga about a girl band. That’s right. Girl. Band. And it is straight up moe. It’s cool if you don’t really like that sort of thing but these girls are just so freakin’ adorable that you can’t help but like them.

Seriously....look at them.

Seriously....look at them.

The Series As A Whole

Although you could argue that this is just like any other high school show with cute girls in it I don’t suppose that it would really be worth arguing with you about it. The appeal of K-On, in my opinion, is not that it is so new and different. Beck, for example, came far before K-On ever did, and I am of the mind set that there is very little that can be new or different anymore. All the genres for the most part have been invented. All the character types are pretty much out there. What matters now, or should matter now, is the use of all those elements in story creation and how those elements and characters interact with each other.

There are plenty of stories that have all the elements of K-On and have fallen completely flat for one reason or another. One of the fantastic things I appreciate about this series is not that it simply has cute girls being ridiculous in it (although it’s a plus, I am a fan of ridiculous) but that it centers around this tossed together crew of girls who are trying to do something difficult and can only really succeed as a group. Yui, who I dare call the main character though no others are less important by any means, is practically useless without the others. To toss in an old school reference she’s pretty much Usagi from Sailor Moon…you know without the whole moon make-up powers and ‘meatball’ hair.

That’s not to say the other girls are so ‘together’ all the time either. Mio has her own phobias and fears and Ritsu, super awesome club president, forgets all the important things to do. Really the only one who seems to have her ducks all in a row is Mugi (Tsumugi Kotobuk). Not everyone can be crazy all the time.

K-On does a good job of  balancing the need all the girls have to keep their club together with the adorable shenanigans they get into repeatedly. Overall I have to say that the series gets the job done. Not to mention it’s hard to miss all the kawaii in it.

The Manga On Its Own

As I mentioned at the top of this article I snatched the first volume of the manga the minute I was off work. I know that manga can be pricey and this volume is $10.99 at retail. Some might groan at the $11 plus tax and that they could just read it online from a scan group but I say FEH to the naysayers. This book is well worth the money. Not only is it a larger format than most American manga, it’s actually pretty true, if not the same, size as the Japanese original. It also has 24 full color pages inside where most manga you are lucky if you get three  at the beginning of the book. Yen Press has done a fabulous job compiling this book together. I’ve been pretty pleased with them as a manga publisher all around, but back to K-On.

We follow the characters through an entire year which means the pacing of the book goes pretty fast. The paneling is very simple and easy to follow. While some might complain about that I feel it suits the tone of the comic. However, at times I felt like the time passing went a little to quickly for my liking. I had to remind myself that larger chunks of time were going by when I started to doubt just how close the girls should be with each other. And that’s the only real complaint I have with the manga.

The writing is cute and spot on for each character. I never question if that’s something one of them would really do since whatever it is they are doing seems completely natural to them. All in all it is a fun read with some really fun characters. As a person who has been in plenty of music classes and had friends who were in bands from time to time K-On hits the humor/nostalgia bone just right for me. I can’t wait for the next volume to hit stores.

It Was Only A Matter of Time

Lastly I’ll mention that we all identify in some way with the characters we read. And if I’m going to be honest I’m probably most like Ritsu. Not just the simple fact that I have her hair right now. More the fact that our personalities are pretty darn close… it’s kinda terrifying. No doubt she’s going on the cosplay list.