Balsa - Seirei no Moribito (light novel) / Moribito - Guardian of the Spirit (anime)

I LOVED this anime when I first watched it.  The animation is absolutely gorgeous, which is no surprise coming from Production I.G.  I hope to read the light novel series in the future.  The character, Balsa, is a strong female lead.  A spearwoman who has vowed to save eight lives equivalent to the number of lives that were taken to ensure her survival when she was younger.  I was approximately the same age as the character when I did the cosplay and I did not have to wear a wig!  Yes, my hair is just long enough to just sit on it, slightly longer now than in the photos, and has never been short.  Not having to wear a wig and hide it all is a rare treat.  That much hair can make wearing and styling wigs a big of a challenge.  

The people who have recognized the character, while never in great number, are usually really excited to see her.  I remember a woman in Artist Alley at NYCC who was tied to her table all day and had told me she was hopeful I would come by, so she could say hello.  I’m glad I did and it made me feel so good that I made her day. ^_^  Balsa was her favorite character and she hadn’t seen a cosplayer do her before at any conventions she had been present at.  Moments like that make cosplay and any hassles you may have experienced earlier in the day melt away.

The shoes were just sandals my Mom gave me (Clarks brand are very comfortable).  The rest of the pieces I sewed together from scratch.  The tunic is lined and the pants made of a thick muslin and tied at the waist.  I usually wear chopped off pantyhose underneath to avoid chaffing from the roughness of the fabric (a useful tip!).  

The spear, as it currently exists, makes this cosplay one I can’t wear at most modern cons now.  Security was not as heavy-handed at conventions when this was made and noticeably changed for me right after the Boston bombing (Anime Boston that year fell just weeks after it occurred and was just a couple blocks down the street).  The spear handle is a rake handle, with the pommel and blade parts made of carved wood and sanded dowels, all attached with internal screws as dowel pins for easy transport in a car.  Burlap over craft foam was used for the spear cover.  Sadly, because it is weighty and made of solid wood, it would not pass inspection for most conventions now.  I would have to remake the spear in lighter materials if I were to decide to wear this cosplay again.