San, a.k.a. Princess Mononoke, is the lead character of the Studio Ghibli film Princess Mononoke. The story has a special place in cosplayer Meagan Marie’s heart because it was one of her first experiences with anime storytelling. She decided to tackle San’s iconic costume and spent about a month working on the ensemble. She began with the mask:
The mask began as a bamboo bowl from Target, which I chose because of its light weight and durability. I shaved down the bowl with a razor, plotted out the eyes and mouth, burned the sockets in with a soldering iron, and began mold the clay accent pieces. When everything was shaped, I popped it in the oven to bake. After cooling, I filed off any paint that still adhered to the mask so the natural grain would show through.
She eventually moved onto making San’s daggers:
The crystal dagger was fairly easy. I ordered a glass napped point on Etsy, and painted the back with blue nail polish. It’s a simple trick that works very well and doesn’t compromise the transparency of the glass. I used a friendship bracelet and some leather cording to finish off the piece.
San’s actual dagger – her primary weapon – is made out of Wonderflex. I left the edges intentionally serrated so it would appear to be made out of bone. Again, I used a slight off-white color. A spare piece of curtain rod became the handle, completed by wrapping leather cording around the grip. I also made the earrings out of Wonderflex, painted a pearlescent shell color.
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