COSPLAYERS are usually a major highlight of any pop culture convention. Trinity College Foundation Studies students Austin Alvinnico Yudiono and Zhaoming Ding recently attended the Animaga convention to talk to cosplayers about their hobby and craft.
From comic book characters to film icons to anime characters, dressing up as your favourite character, commonly known as cosplaying, is a phenomenon in and of itself.
Go to any pop culture convention and you’ll find an army of dressed-up fans parading around in convention halls as their favourite characters. The recent Animaga pop culture event was certainly no different as the Royal Exhibition Building, where the event was held, saw a wealth of people walking around as Japanese anime and gaming characters.
It’s a hobby that has no barriers and, unless you actually want to make your own costume, can be easy to enjoy and appreciate.
We spoke to a few cosplayers, local and international, about the craft of their cosplay, the influence Japanese culture, anime and games have had on them, and highlight their costumes.
Cosplayer Lumi attended Animaga as Yuna, one of the heroines in Japanese video game Final Fantasy X.
“I made the body of the staff out of a table leg,” said Lumi, who admitted her entire costume took three weeks to create.
For Lumi, her decision to dress as Yuna comes naturally from her adoration of the game.
Another cosplayer, Reese, dressed up in a monk costume complete with a sitar.
Decked out in handmade robes and a donated scarf, the cosplay hobbyist and Neon Genesis Evangelion fan says he appreciates anime more than animation in western culture “because of all the action and drama”.
Lili Harrison went to Animaga as Midna, Link’s companion in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.
“I made Midna’s helmet by gluing and shaping boards of EVA foam and my tight body outfit was painted to form Midna’s body pattern,” she explained.
For the petite cosplayer, Japanese anime has had a bigger influence on her being than those of western cartoons. She says the deeper values and drama make them starkly different.
Chinese-American student Aidi Liu dressed as the upbeat, pretty, kickass, shotgun-knuckle-wielding Yang from the anime series RWBY.
A former undergraduate student of the University of Melbourne, Aidi impressively made the costume herself.
Are you a cosplayer? What about cosplaying do you enjoy most? Do you prefer making your own cosplays, commissioning someone to make one for you, or buying pre-made costumes? Let us know in the comments!
This story was produced by Media and Communication students at Trinity College Foundation Studies as part of Meld’s community newsroom collaboration. Education institutions, student clubs/societies and community groups interested in being involved can get in touch with us via firstname.lastname@example.org.