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Uni Assignment - cosplayer interview

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Uni Assignment - cosplayer interview
Post By Des. 29/05/11, 07:48 am

I need a little help from the good folks at CNZ. Basically I need several questions answered by any cosplayer here.
The answers will be printed in my publication project in a interview-esque format. If you could answer them for me, it would be huge help. The only other thing i ask for is that, if you decide to answer the following questions, i need your first name so i know who to formally address in the publication.

1.
Why is it that people decide to cosplay? Is it only to follow a Japanese trend, or is it something else?
2. Is it difficult?
3. I've seen in articles/documentaries that there's a bit of fantasy involved with cosplay, where people consciously reimagine themselves in a different state when they cosplay. Do New Zealand cosplayers take it to that level?
4. What are the differences between the cosplay community in New Zealand and those from Japan (if any)?
5. Say I want to cosplay. Is there anything I should have besides a costume?
6. I heard about there being an incident where cosplayers in Auckland (?) got egged by some passer-byers. Does that kind of thing affect your spirit towards cosplay at all?
7. Does it matter if people outside the cosplay community understand what you do, or does it not make any difference to cosplayers?
8. Got any cosplay stories/experiences that I might find interesting?

Thanks to anyone willing to answer the questions. I need this very soon, so if anyone can be respond with haste, it would be greatly appreciated. I'll credit you in the book if I use your answers.
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Des
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Re: Uni Assignment - cosplayer interview
Post By Icarus. 29/05/11, 08:52 am

1. Why is it that people decide to cosplay? Is it only to follow a Japanese trend, or is it something else?
In the beginning, cosplay was just something that looked fun where I can dress up as my favourite characters, I guess to express my appreciation for the series/character. Now it's more about sorting out groups with friends or doing photoshoots or aiming to make more difficult outfits. My aim to get photos 'right' and the costume crafted well is more focused, but 'just having fun with a hobby' will always be the main reason. (So theres really nothing related to trends.)

2. Is it difficult?
It depends on what type design you pick, what goals you set for yourself. Anyone can make an insanely detailed outfit, it's all about the amount patience you're willing to put forward, the amount of time & money you put into it and the deadline you set.

3. I've seen in articles/documentaries that there's a bit of fantasy involved with cosplay, where people consciously reimagine themselves in a different state when they cosplay. Do New Zealand cosplayers take it to that level?
Honestly, everytime I read an article about cosplayers dressing up to escape from reality to a fantasy world makes me laugh. It's just a hobby that keeps me happy and busy. I'm learn new skills and I'm having fun creating interesting things with friends, that's more than enough of a reason to do this hobby.

4. What are the differences between the cosplay community in New Zealand and those from Japan (if any)?
I'm not too sure, as I haven't be involved with the Japanese community haha

5. Say I want to cosplay. Is there anything I should have besides a costume?
Practice posing as the character for photos, and make sure your wig is styled properly!

6. I heard about there being an incident where cosplayers in Auckland (?) got egged by some passer-byers. Does that kind of thing affect your spirit towards cosplay at all?
Well I know cosplayers do get treated 'differently' in public, I find it frustrating they'd go as far as to physically abuse them but it wouldn't stop me from enjoying my hobby. All the good things in cosplay will forever weigh out the bad things.

7. Does it matter if people outside the cosplay community understand what you do, or does it not make any difference to cosplayers?
It's always good to spread the news of what cosplay is about to the public, always hoping we'd be seen as more than just people dressed up funny.

8. Got any cosplay stories/experiences that I might find interesting?
I had an ex-pastor come up to me while I was cosplaying as Pope Alessandro XVIII from Trinity Blood. He asked me to bless him, it was funny when I explained that I was a part of a costume competition. Luckily he wasn't offended, he was more happy about just seeing the outfit haha.

Just use the name Anita, hope it helps~
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Icarus
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Re: Uni Assignment - cosplayer interview
Post By Des. 29/05/11, 10:52 am

It's perfect. Thank you so much!

Also, I wasn't going to ask this at first, but the cosplay in your avatar is amazing. Would it be permissible for me to use it in the publication alongside the interview? Makes more sense to have an image of the interviewee in the publication, especially when it makes an example of great cosplay. If the photographer wants credit as well, i'd like to add that in also.

It needs to be in high res though, considering it's going to be printed in book format.

In any case, thanks again =)


Last edited by Des on 29/05/11, 06:12 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Uni Assignment - cosplayer interview
Post By Icarus. 29/05/11, 05:31 pm

all good~

and thank you~~ my dp is actually quite a small part of the photo itself and is pretty fuzzy, I could pm you a different photo of the same costume if you'd like? (and yea, will get the photographer's permission first~)
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Re: Uni Assignment - cosplayer interview
Post By Des. 29/05/11, 06:09 pm

sounds good. thanks a bunch =)
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Re: Uni Assignment - cosplayer interview
Post By sakuramiyabi. 29/05/11, 06:47 pm

1. Why is it that people decide to cosplay? Is it only to follow a Japanese trend, or is it something else?

Various people start for various reasons. Maybe they saw it before and thought I'd be cool to try it out. Or maybe a friend dragged them into in. Once the ball gets rolling it's really quite hard to stop. I was personally pulled into it by friends and I haven't stopped since. It's really more like a social sport. We get injured. We spend money. We lose time and sleep over this. All to make something from fantasy become reality.

2. Is it difficult?

Difficult? That's all on one's perspective of difficult. Different people are good at different things. Just today a couple of us were complaining about different parts of cosplay we hated and offered to trade services until one of realized she doesn't have to make that part of the cosplay anyways~

Also something someone might of found difficult before with a little research, some theoretical know-how and some practice & experience it can become not as difficult as you expected it to be.

3. I've seen in articles/documentaries that there's a bit of fantasy involved with cosplay, where people consciously reimagine themselves in a different state when they cosplay. Do New Zealand cosplayers take it to that level?

I personally don't. But that's mostly because I cosplay characters with a personality that is similar to an aspect of my own personality. I am honestly a bit of a narcissist so I am drawn to cosplay characters that are like myself in one form or another. Even more so if I can relate.

That's one of the difficult parts of being in a fandom of something imaginary. You've really got to find that right balance between reality and fantasy. I'm pragmatic by nature but sometimes fantasizing is okay~

But it's really up to the individual because diving into the character and fandom is really a lot of fun but it's getting out that is the hard part~

4. What are the differences between the cosplay community in New Zealand and those from Japan (if any)?

The major one would be that we are so much smaller and younger. We also have a very different cultural perspective. For example while Japan might have several gathering sites for cosplayers online, here in NZ we have this one and only site that is NZ-based. Also everyone knows everyone.

In Japan and most other larger cosplay communities there is a practice of making and handing out 'meishi' 名刺 or business cards. But with pictures of the cosplayer and his/her cosplay information i.e. cosplay site id, etc. because there are just so many people it's really hard to keep track of someone when you meet them for the first time in a humongous event.

Also there's also how we interact with each other as a community as whole. I won't go into the details with things I've heard from other much larger communities. Let's just say the larger and more complex the community the harder it is for everyone to get along like peaches and cream. But that's just human nature~

5. Say I want to cosplay. Is there anything I should have besides a costume?

Make-up. Even light make-up brings the whole thing together. It's kind of like a bit of a finishing touch. In Japan wearing a cosplay with no make-up is an out. Or rather it's a big No-No there. I personally don't see the need for a lot of it if you don't need a whole lot of it. Maybe just a bit of powder to make the skin more matte, or a bit of eyeliner and mascara to bring the eyes out.

A little really does go along way especially in photographs.

Also research. About the character. What are they like? What do they like? Do they have a specify way of portraying or expressing themselves. Consider the voices. How does the seiyuu portray this character. There are so many aspects of a character to go by and from there you can garner some poses if they don't have a signature pose.

Practice in front of the mirror. People have to start somewhere. We don't start out being able to pose perfectly. It takes a fair amount of practice in front of cameras, in reflections at bus stops, everywhere. Sure it makes us look really narcissistic but everyone is a narcissist to an extent. We have to be otherwise we wouldn't be able to know what makes us look good and what makes us look like an idiot.

6. I heard about there being an incident where cosplayers in Auckland (?) got egged by some passer-byers. Does that kind of thing affect your spirit towards cosplay at all?

It doesn't in the slightest. There is no way in hell that I would stop doing this for that kind of stupid reason. People are stupid. People are probably the scariest thing on Earth. And there will always be prejudice against things they don't understand or things that intimidate them.

Sure it makes me angry and annoyed but it's no reason whatsoever to stop doing something I love.

And no one should ever give up on something they love on account of some stranger's words and actions.

If there is one thing cosplay can give a person, it's confidence. I'm not joking here because it takes a lot of courage to go out in public wearing something out of the ordinary and once you get into a groove, you're pretty much unstoppable.

I mean someone might feel really awkward going out in bunny ears. They don't have anything on you when you've gone out in public in the full she-bang of bunny ears and bunny girl suit.

7. Does it matter if people outside the cosplay community understand what you do, or does it not make any difference to cosplayers?

Refer question 6. There are two types of people. People that want to understand and people who don't. There will always be both. Not always in equal ratios but lets hope most of the time its 'want to understand > don't want to understand.' It just makes life easier not having to deal with prejudice which is right in your face.

This is also why it's so so so important to behave well in public when you're in cosplay. If one person does something bad in public in cosplay, it makes everyone else look bad especially since it gives people who don't want to understand ammo why they think this thing is bad or unhealthy.

8. Got any cosplay stories/experiences that I might find interesting?

When we had a small Rozen Maiden group and were taking photos all over Queen Street a bunch of old ladies came along asking to take our photo as part of a scavenger hunt they were doing. And it kept on happening. Didn't take much for us to realize they were all part of the same society. But it's always so much fun when the greater public takes an interest in what we do and are as enthusiastic over it as much as we are.

And you can use the my username kagerouhi~
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Re: Uni Assignment - cosplayer interview
Post By PIe. 30/05/11, 05:07 am

1. Why is it that people decide to cosplay? Is it only to follow a Japanese trend, or is it something else?
Cosplay is seen as wierd and nerdy in Japan so I definitely wouldn't say it's a trend over there. I cosplay as I love costumes, a challenge and yes I'll admit it, I little bit of an attention whore. I wont cosplay something unless I love the character, series or costume design so cosplaying to me is a way to challenge myself to recreate these 2D characters I love in 3D and I get to wear cool and crazy clothes.

2. Is it difficult?

Depends on what you're making and your level of skill. To me a school uniform or dress like in my avatar will take no more than 2 days all up. A more complex costume (something I haven't done much of) such as my Synchronicity!Luka cosplay, take a lot more time and skill.
Everything depends on the person and the costume. I only have 2 costumes coming up I would call difficult but even then, I prefer to refer to them as time consuming and money draining =D.
3. I've seen in articles/documentaries that there's a bit of fantasy involved with cosplay, where people consciously reimagine themselves in a different state when they cosplay. Do New Zealand cosplayers take it to that level?
I don't even act in character unless prompted to when I cosplay, for me, it's all about the look of the costume.
4. What are the differences between the cosplay community in New Zealand and those from Japan (if any)?
I guess we're a lot more layed back. The only experience I have with Japanese cosplayers is talking to them on Curecos where usually, they'll send you a message to ask your permission to send you a friend request or to ask you a question before doing so. In NZ we're all just very open and friendly as we're a small community whereas in Japan it's all very formal and business like. Also most NZ cosplayers have no issues with going to get lunch outside an event in costume and Japanese cosplayers wont even get into costume until they are at an event and have to change out of it if they want to leave the designated 'cosplay area' if there is one.
5. Say I want to cosplay. Is there anything I should have besides a costume?
Confidence, a passion for what you are cosplaying, make-up, a wig, a few poses and some form of decent camera.
Wig are very important to the costume and should be made of kanekalon, heat resistant fiber or even human hair. Cheaping out with a shiny wig from an emporium or costume shop will make your entire costume look cheap.
Make-up is also important. Anime, manga and game characters do not have pimples, dark under eye circles or scars on their faces. They also don't have humanly possible facial anatomy. To me at least, it is important to try and achieve the flawless skin and enlarged eyes of the character I'm cosplaying if they're female of to contour my face to look anything like a male while crossplaying. Coloured contacts also have some importance. If you can't wear contacts, that's all good but if you can change your eye colour to match your characters, that's great and it really adds to a costume.
Also, if you are a female cosplaying a male character, it is important to bind you chest as men and boys do not have boobs and it will help greatly in your quest to pull off a male character.
6. I heard about there being an incident where cosplayers in Auckland (?) got egged by some passer-byers. Does that kind of thing affect your spirit towards cosplay at all?
People who do that sort of thing don't know how to have proper fun. Seriously? I think those people are stupid but haters gunna hate and it isn't going to deter me from cosplaying.
7. Does it matter if people outside the cosplay community understand what you do, or does it not make any difference to cosplayers?
It kind of doesn't matter to me. I wish that they would instead of seeing it as some form of escapism, cult or fetish but at the end of the day, we enjoy cosplaying just like a gardener enjoys gardening or a gamer enjoys gaming. I usually tell people I'm a costumer or I have a costume party to go to when asked questions as it takes a bit to explain cosplay but when I do explain it, I do my best to get the person to see that cosplay is a fun, social and normal yet nerdy and expensive hobby.
8. Got any cosplay stories/experiences that I might find interesting?

Causing people to be confused by my gender while dressed as Natsu from Fairy Tail due to open shirt chest binding. A guy I was talking to for 10 minutes was suprised to find I was female even though I have a relatively girly voice and people actually asked me my gender.

If you do use any of this, Chonny or PI are fine.
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Re: Uni Assignment - cosplayer interview
Post By Des. 30/05/11, 06:21 am

thanks a ton guys. this is all good stuff =)
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