Taobao Cosplay Haul & Review – Minami Kotori and Ayase Eli from Love Live!

12 Feb

EDIT: Added info about how to wear the wig, just after the wig information.

Hi everyone! This was my very first Taobao purchase and first time using Taobaospree, which I’d heard many good things about already and didn’t feel nervous about using them at all. Still, I thought I would combine a review of their service along with my haul/review of the items I bought just to have them in one place for anyone who may be interested. :3 To see the details of what I bought, just scroll down and click through to the full post. ^^

THE BREAKDOWN!~~
Jan 20 – sent email to Taobaospree with a list of the items I wanted, chosen shipping and payment methods, etc. and got reply from Susan quickly; Ray followed up shortly thereafter
Jan 21 – moved money from bank to Paypal (took three business days)
Jan 23 – sent first payment to Taobaospree

The first payment consists of the cost of the items, domestic shipping, and Taobaospree’s service fee. In this case, it came to $163.91 USD. I paid the evening of January 23, right after I got the email that my bank had transferred the funds. Unfortunately, it was the weekend in China, so I got an auto-respond email back saying that they would return Monday (late Sunday my time).

Jan 25 – (it was the 26th in China) Ray responded saying my items had been ordered
Feb 2 – while I was asleep, I received an email from Ray saying all the items had arrived
Feb 3 – when I woke up and checked my email, I replied
Feb 4 – Ray replied with photos of the items and other information. I paid the second payment, which came to $58.23 (cost of EMS). Later that evening, Ray informed me that my package had been mailed!
Feb 11 – package arrived (It literally took one week!) I was amazed that it came so quickly, because Ray said it usually takes about 10-20 workdays.

Total cost: $222.14 USD

I think 2 was a special number or something xP $222 and 22 days from order placement to arrival? Anyway, I was extremely pleased with Taobaospree and their quick responses and willingness to help. I definitely recommend them if you are looking to buy from Taobao and want to use a service you don’t have to be afraid or suspicious of.

Order form: http://www.taobaospree.com/order_form.htm I don’t have Excel, so I just emailed them the info.
References used: http://uusagii.blogspot.com/2013/04/how-to-order-on-taobao-super-easy-way.html

*I’m using watermarks because, except where noted, these are photos that I took specifically for this review. Warning: IMAGE-HEAVY POST.

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According to the email, this weighed 2.33 kg (5.14 lbs). I feel like most of that weight comes from the wig… XD The box was taped all over the place, but that’s good! It was definitely secure.

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And this is what it looked like inside. I think it was packed pretty well–consolidated thoroughly! Everything was in bags, labeled with my name and names of each item I ordered (I think).

I ordered three items total: a Kotori cosplay wig set, an Ayase Eli cosplay, and a Minami Kotori cosplay (both are their “Bokura wa Ima no Naka de” costumes).

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First item: Kotori cosplay wig set
Link: http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a230r.1.14.38.yD1COd&id=39262574071&ns=1
Price: 83 yuan for option 假发+支架/钢梳/发网 (wig, hairnet, wig stand, brush)
Includes:
*wig
(main wig + extra piece + green bow)
*wig brush
*hair net
*wig stand

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This is what’s inside the wig bag. I actually opened this last because I didn’t want to mess it up, but I’ll go ahead and show it first.

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I’m really impressed with the texture of this wig–it feels soft instead of hard and plastic-y, and there isn’t much shine to it at all. Some strands did fall out of it, but I kind of expected that since it was the first time I’d taken it out of the package.

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Ironically, it’s virtually the same length as my natural hair.

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There are a lot of wefts, so it’s really thick, and I believe it is adjustable as well.

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The extra piece clips onto the main wig.

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It came with Kotori’s usual green hairbow, which is, curiously enough, attached to a bobby pin. I expected it to be another clip.

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Voila! The wig on the wig stand. I put the net over it to keep it from getting tousled.

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You can see the wig stand underneath the cosplays.

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Now let’s look at it! One side is in Chinese and the other is in Korean.

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The bag contains three parts, which you have to put together yourself. Even if you can’t read Chinese or Korean, it’s really easy to assemble the wig stand going by the pictures and common sense. First, you put one half into the other (it only fits one way), and then fit the tops together. Then, you pop the ring on top and you’re done.

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^o^ Easy! It’s obviously popped out of a mold (top left picture) and it’s not the highest-quality wig stand you’re going to find XD There is more evidence of this on one of the “legs” in the form of a slight discoloration, but it’s not too bad.

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The brush is also low-end quality with flecks of discolored parts underneath the glaze, but I wasn’t expecting too much from it so it’s okay, I guess. The brush head is rather heavy considering the small size of the entire brush.

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Hair net! It looks basically just like it does in the picture. Lol. It’s pretty comfortable and fits well, aside from the fact that the band was really squeezing my head by the end of the day x.x

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The instructions are just pictures, so it seems easy to understand.

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(photo taken by me at MTAC 2015)

What I did for my hair was separate it into four sections and braid each section. Then I twisted the two front braids away from my face and around the back of my head, securing them with bobby pins. Then I put the hair net over top. It pretty much kept everything in place the entire day. ^^

I referenced this page for help, so have a look for additional tips: http://sarcasm-hime.net/wearingwigs.html

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(photo taken by me at MTAC 2015)

In the interest of time, and not wanting to mess up the wig too much, I left the original tie on, made a loop, and used one of my own hair bands to tie it so that the “tail” flipped over the other side of my [wig] bangs. (This picture was taken at the end of the day, after I took it off, so it’s rather mussed-looking.) I clipped Kotori’s “Bokura wa Ima no Naka de” hairbow partially in front of and partially underneath the loop of hair in order to help support it.

For the rest of the wig, I clipped the additional hairpiece on (it also helped support the “loop”) and bobby-pinned the wig cap to the hair net and my hair, as well as using more bobby pins to try to hold the flipped-over part of ponytail in place.

Overall, I did notice that it tangled some in the back, but that was expected since my natural hair does that; also,  some more strands fell out throughout the day. It looks a little thin in the back now, where the wefts are sewn in, whereas it didn’t before o.o  Also, the fringe that is cut to frame Kotori’s face was, for the wig, actually cut a little behind longer pieces of hair, so they ended up getting hidden. I will have to see about trimming those sections or something… I did experience the wig sliding back somewhat, but that may have just been because we didn’t adjust the straps at all and it didn’t fit over my hair lol…

When I got back home, I undid the tie (the white one you see in the picture) and smoothed out that section, so now everything is covered better. Next time, I want to try to make Kotori’s ponytail without using it.

Now for the cosplays~

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Starting with Eli’s! It looks like it’s been shoved into the bag randomly…

ayase eli [Source] [Official site]

Link: http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a1z10.5-c.w4002-4265944711.43.WAwRc0&id=19940735553
Price: 365 yuan for female medium
Includes:
*tie
*garter
*socks
*shirt
*gloves
*hair bow
*large, black bow
*skirt/suspender set
*pumpkin shorts

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The tie attaches around your neck with velcro, and the broach is a cheap clip-on. It tends to tip forward because of its own weight. The fabric of the tie itself is nice, though. No complaints~

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This is the garter that goes around one of Eli’s legs. It was made basically like a scrunchie!

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Front of Eli’s shirt. As you can see, it is quite wrinkled, but I expected that since it was already wrinkled when Taobaospree sent me the photos. The wrinkles disappear a bit when you put the top on though, because of the way it fits. The ruffles are really nice and nothing is itchy~ It seems to be made out of cotton.

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The back~ Wrinkly but a good job on the production.

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Eli’s pumpkin shorts! They are very stretchy.

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Another loose string on top of a big bow!! At first I actually had no idea where these bows went on the outfits (I got one for Kotori too) because you can’t see them in the official designs. But if you watch the MV for “Bokura wa Ima no Naka de” you can see the bows when Eli and Kotori spin around, because they’re on the back! *o*

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It attaches to the outfit with a safety pin…

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I was looking forward to these but unfortunately they are one of the negatives of this cosplay set. If you look closely at the stock images (seen in Kotori’s below), they are the same way. 🙁 The material is nice and they are comfortable on the inside… But they were cut poorly and do not fit my hands (or my mom’s or my friend’s, for that matter). We will have to either make our own or go without.

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Eli’s socks are made from a fairly comfortable material that is probably polyester/spandex? They are basically a tube stitched together at the bottom to form the toe end. They will come up higher or lower depending on the length of your foot and the size of your calves.

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Eli’s hairbow. I feel like it could have been styled a little bit better (all the smaller bows are a bit warped like this)–maybe it was just the shipping. Otherwise, it’s sturdy fabric and there’s nothing to really complain about~

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The bow is both sewn and glued onto the alligator clip.

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The bows on Eli’s skirt/suspenders are attached via safety pin.

Kotori~~

minami kotori [Source] [Official site]

Link: http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a1z10.5.w4002-4265944711.55.wmwQAl&id=17991414220
Price: 365 yuan for female medium
Includes:
*neck ribbon
*shirt
*garter
*socks
*gloves
*hair bow
*large, black bow
*skirt/suspender set

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Kotori’s bow is attached the same way that Eli’s is attached. The flower is the kind that you pop onto a plastic stem. (That black thread on the flower was a loose thread.)

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Good quality ribbon.

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There is a small stain or something on this one, though. (Again, you attach it with a safety pin.)

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Kotori’s belt! I was afraid it wouldn’t fit me at first, but it actually has a lot of give and it’s super soft faux-leather. The chain, which is attached with safety pins,  tends to want to kink up if it’s lying flat but it’s not as bad if it’s hanging (such as when you’re wearing it). The jewel things are obviously fake, of course, but they don’t look bad. I’m not sure why there are white marks in between each one, though. Maybe the jewels were supposed to go there but they got sewn off to the side?

Anyway, no real complaints. ^^

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Kotori’s shirt is also pretty wrinkled (lol). The design is different–the sleeves are just barely there, whereas Eli’s shirt’s design has large ruffles flaring out from the shoulders. Again, this is a good-quality shirt, probably made from cotton.

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The collar is sturdy and has black ribbon for trim.

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Next is Kotori’s garter, which is another item of good quality, I think. It’s comfortable and doesn’t bother me at all, except when it tries to slide down. xP

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The inside.

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I put it higher up on my leg than you’re supposed to so that I could show how the elastic band works.

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Sadly, Kotori’s gloves are the same as Eli’s–poorly cut. There was a loose piece of fabric stuck inside one.

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Exhibiting the fail of these gloves… T ^ T (You can barely see my thumb! Lol)

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Kotori’s bow and socks are the same as Eli’s, except Kotori’s socks are longer.

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Kotori’s buttons are sewn onto the suspenders.

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Testing out cosplay time! My mom as Eli.

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Me as Kotori holding onto the bow and the back of my wig since it’s heavy XD (I didn’t put it on properly either; I just stuck it on my head, leaving my natural hair down in its half-ponytail thing. I hid my face because…..unfortunately bangs don’t look good on me ^^; I’ll have to do something lol. Maybe once I actually style the wig it will look better. (Oh, and we have our own boots; though they don’t really match the ones in the design, I think they’ll be fine.)

All in all, I’m pleased with this order and with Taobaospree! Thank you to Lulu, who kindly helped me ;v; She cosplayed Kotori last year at MCM → [clicky owo] ←her recap post with her adorableness!….. ; w ; /

Umm I never quite know how to end posts, but yes, thank you for reading and I hope this was able to help or answer questions somehow. ^^ <3

Have a lovely day~

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