Like every cosplayer, I have always received the most asked question: Why do I cosplay? Why do I decided to spend months and money prepping together a costume? Why do I go through the process of putting on the cosplay? Everyone has their own reasons on why they choose to do what they do, but to me, the meaning of cosplay changes and means something very special to me.
For five and a half years, I have been cosplaying various characters for various reasons, one of the main reasons being that I idolize these characters. During my high school years, my friend who loved going to conventions introduced me to what are cons and what is cosplay all about. Being in love with the anime Bleach at the time, my favorite character was Yoruichi Shihoin, a strong and intelligent character who was //SPOILERS// a former captain and leader of Soul Society. She is known for using a very strong technique called Shunko, making her ten times stronger, which at the time I thought was amazing. Her design, a girl with purple hair and a black and orange stealth outfit, was also an eye catcher to me that I had the urge to become her. I love the fact that she is a leader and someone who is as cool as Yoruichi is makes me want to channel her.
All the characters I cosplayed as are characters I idolize about and have a unique design. Examples being Ryuko Matoi from Kill la Kill, one of my all time favorite anime characters. Ryuko has this fierce character and strength who is determined to find the killer of her father. Alongside with that is her physical character design with her blue hair with red highlight streak and a giant red scissor that contrasts with her navy blue sailor uniform, Senketsu. I fell in love with the anime right when I saw Ryuko Matoi arriving to Honnoji Academy with the guts to pull out a giant red scissor blade and demanding the school president answers to her father’s death. Although Ryuko and I have different stories, I admire someone who is as strong headed and rebellious, yet still cares for his or her friends. Her character and story development is so strong that it taught me to never lose my way, which to me means to not lose myself.
Another favorite and recent character I cosplayed as is Mikumo Guynemer from Macross Delta. Mikumo is a beautiful, but mysterious singer of the idol group, Walkure. She holds a powerful voice that sings across the galaxy and her voice becomes so notable, everyone in the universe loves her. She is also confident and strong person in that she does not complain about anything nor does she become insecure. Seeing her right when she started singing “Ikenai Borderline” she blew me away that I want to be Mikumo. Singing is another talent of mine and something I always wanted to be better at, along with confidence. Her voice is so unique and intense, Mikumo stands out from everyone else in the group along with her attractive looks. I also wanted .
I also like cosplaying or making costumes because I find this hobby fun and interesting. I learned many craft skills through prop and costume making that can sometimes be seen as a challenge to do. It’s also really cool to see something 2D that you like come to life. Cosplay bring two things I am passionate about together: art and pop culture. It is also really cool collaborating with other cosplayers and crafters to make a really cool outfits and props. I can learn craft making and develop art skills through cosplay making and am able to tell people “Hey, I made this whole thing!”, making myself and others proud.
Being these characters brings a sense of identity as who I want to become or who I see as my role model. There’s just something that makes me feel good whenever I dress up as these fictional characters. I can express myself through being characters I cherish and I am inspired by. Dressing up in cosplay, I am also able to become someone who I want to be, bringing 2D into reality. Even though others may not see it as a Best Cosplay Award, I can create something I am proud of and happy to call my own. Not only does it make me happy but the main reason why I cosplay is that I love to make people smile and being a character everyone loves and able to see smiles and making friends at events are the best rewards I receive when cosplaying.
That’s one. Photo credit: Corpus photography.