This week we decided to harass Yousei Cosplay as our Cosplayer of the Week. Yousei has a huge range of costumes and has had the opportunity to cosplay in Japan as well as being part of a group featuring Jessica Nigri and Stella Chuu. So it seemed only logical that we approached this poor Canadian for Cosplayer of the week.
What is your favourite food/meal?
Breakfast is my favourite meal – bacon, eggs in any form, hashbrowns (shredded), french toast or pancakes, copious amounts of coffee, and maybe a mamosa… But my favourite food is Japanese, hands down.
What inspires you to cosplay?
One part is that I’ve always loved dressing up, ever since I was a child. So in a way, whenever I cosplay, I feel like I am keeping in touch with the heart of my childhood. The other part is I’m an aspiring actor. As such, I look at my cosplays as a way to see and feel that character in our world. So often I have wished to cross the void that separates fiction from reality and I have found it. My way of doing it is cosplay.
What has been your best experience in cosplay?
It was at Edmonton Expo last year (2014). I was the cosplay greeter for the Redd Skull Comics booth (a local comic book store), and I was cosplaying as Neo Queen Serenity. It was the first time I had ever had so many children come up to me with wonder in their eyes, asking me if I a fairy princess. The adoration and wonder in their eyes made me feel like I had made a dream of theirs come true. It was magical and it touches me to this day to think of how powerful it is touching a little life like that with something I love to do.
You have cosplayed in several different countries, have you noticed any differences in attitudes between cosplayers in different countries?
Oh yes. Most definitely, yes. The first time I cosplayed I was actually in Augusta, Georgia, visiting a friend. That was also the first time I wore cosplay to a public place that didn’t have anything to do with a convention. Just two girl friends hitting up the mall in our Shizuo and Izaya cosplays (from Durarara!!). When I was in Japan for a year on exchange I saw first hand the level of devotion that went into every detail from wigs, to makeup, to the cosplay itself. It was really intimidating and I’m sure I would not have been as confident in cosplaying in Japan had I not had friends who had more experience and knew how to guide me so I could feel confident and proud in my cosplay. Even here in Canada, there can be a difference between cities – how the people in the cosplay community in one city organize group photoshoots, and others in another city hardly ever (if at all) organize shoots. I want to keep traveling and cosplaying where ever I travel because I find each place I have been to so far has helped me realize how I approach cosplay and what I want it to be for me.
Pictures of your armoured sailor scout group went somewhat viral recently, what was that like, seeing your sailor scouts everywhere?
Ahaha, well, to be frank, I wasn’t surprised that happened. These ladies did this last year – first at Anime Revolution where they debuted their Battle Ready Disney Princesses; then again at Edmonton Expo, which was the first time we saw their Armoured Sailor Senshi (just the Inner Senshi). I was so proud and happy for my friends for what they accomplished, and I saw how people reacted to their cosplays, how it went viral. I think they completed their armours – designing and crafting them – in under three weeks for the Sailor Senshi. If they had not been the ones to do it first, I would not have been able to have done my Sailor Neptune in under a week, with the help of all of them, but particularly Gladzy Kei. I was a last minute addition, taking up the mantle that someone else could no longer do. I said yes without thinking because I wanted to “rub elbows” with the people who have inspired me. Seeing all of them, all of us, touch so many people though our cosplay… it’s humbling.
You’ve cosplayed from a large variety of genres, which is your favourite genre and why?
I don’t think I have a favourite genre. What makes me want to cosplay a certain character isn’t what medium they’re in – which is probably why I’ve done characters from anime to video games to comic books to TV to books. If I had to pick a genre I would say books are my favourite. When I say books I mean taking the description you read in the book of a character and making the cosplay to best match what you think it looks like. So even though there’s so many film and television adaptations of books, I’m the type that would use the source material to determine what the characters cosplay is over the adaptation.
What has been the most interesting/difficult technique you have used so far?
WORBLA!!! No, really, I thought I’d never use the stuff, that I would probably never do an armoured cosplay because everyone else was doing them. But then I did my Armoured Sailor Neptune and I discovered how fun it was to work with and how easy! Now I have plans to make ALL the armoured cosplays, bwahahahaha!
What advice would you give to other cosplayers?
If you’re just starting out: do it for yourself. Do it for the love of making things, of becoming someone else, of challenging yourself. Whatever your reason, make sure it’s for you, not for internet fame. If you’re a veteran: Encourage those around you, support them. So often the world criticizes us for the things we love but if you’re there for your fellow cosplay bro then you’ve helped them, but you’ve also helped yourself.
If there is one shop you could recommend for cosplay supplies, what would it be?
I use ebay and etsy a lot. You’d be surprised what you can find on both sites. It takes a lot of scouring but hey, if you’re like me and you want to kill time at work, you start searching for random bits of cosplay you know you’ll need…and then find them.
The resident comic nerd and mistress of Spandex (or so the others say). I have been cosplaying since 2010 while trying to squeeze in numerous adventures where I can.
I have a published works such as a fantasy novel and a superhero comic.