Complete Objectivity is the Key: Cosplay Consultant M!kë
Tanjiro Kamado from Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba (Photo by Gaito / @gaito_photo)
From In the Spotlight to Behind the Scenes
When we browsed M!kë’s Twitter page while looking for doujin to interview, we noticed that his profile said that he’s a “Cosplay Consultant”. That sounded like an epic title, so we just had to interview him. What does a “Cosplay Consultant” do? Let’s find out!
Gabimaru from Hell’s Paradise (photo by Gaito / @gaito_photo)
“Originally I worked as a designer. I would create the design for shoes like pumps and stuff. Then I became an actor and started to help out with events. One time when I was helping a client at an event, someone ended up talking to me about cosplay.”
Oh…so it was an anime goods client?
Asuka Langley Soryu from Neon Genesis Evangelion
“I work with companies like that too. I research what’s popular, and then suggest product ideas to the client or propose an event that would be popular. Sometimes, if I learn about something in conversation with someone, I’ll come up with an idea to share with a client. I’ve been doing work like that for a while, so I’ve begun to call myself a Cosplay Consultant.”
Interesting! But since M!kë isn’t part of a company and is working on his own, it must require a lot of trust on the part of the clients to allow him to work behind the scenes.
Izuminokami Kanesada from Touken Ranbu
The Key is Quality, of course, but Also Speed and Objectivity
“That’s true. But while trust is part of the job, so is speed in responding. I think it helps that I worked as a designer before.”
Another thing that M!kë has found to be important in his work is holding back his own opinion.
“I try really hard not to express my own opinions while I’m working, like I don’t suggest we do things just because I like them. I try to look at it as an objective third party, taking information from surveying social media and stuff.”
Yamanbagiri Kunihiro from Touken Ranbu (photo by Yuki / @9sagittarius)
Oftentimes, although it’s work, since it’s in an industry we like, we can’t help applying our personal opinions to it. We ourselves often end up getting sidetracked talking about the things we like, no matter how many interviews we do.
Ichigo Hitofuri from Touken Ranbu (photo by Yuki / @9sagittarius)
The Best Thing is Inspiring Someone Completely New to the Genre
“I think the important thing is to decide what you want to aim for, where ‘cool’ and ‘amazing’ are for you. For me, cosplay is really cool when you can get someone who doesn’t watch anime, doesn’t know anything about cosplay, to say, ‘Wow’.”
That’s exactly true. Someone who knows nothing about cosplay and has no interest in it will have a completely objective opinion. But even if that’s the case, why does he cater so much to the uninterested eye?
Dabi from My Hero Academia (photo by Yuki / @9sagittarius)
Remembering to Balance Fiction and Reality
“I started doing cosplay when I was in junior high school. In Home Economics class most kids wanted to get through the subject by making backpacks and stuff, but I asked the teacher to show me how to make the Shinigami uniforms from BLEACH (laughs). After that, I came up with ways to make cosplay costumes easier to make, and better. The nail in my coffin was when I made it to the finals in the national portion of the 2019 World Cosplay Summit. People often asked me, ‘Why did you make a costume out of that material?’”
Those words completely changed the way M!kë thought about cosplay costumes.
Hifumi Izanami from Hypnosis Mike (photo by Seigetsu / @seigetsushi)
“I’ve started to think of costumes not in terms of how easy they are to make or how best to recreate the color, but rather their historical background. And then, if for example the color of the clothing in the anime is red, and in reality the color was probably a deep red, I look at whether or not that color would work instead.”
That’s true! Colors that appear normal to the human eye look more realistic, rather than something like bright red.
Dance of the Fire God from Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba (photo by Seigetsu / @seigetsushi)
Setting His Sights on The World
In addition to working as a cosplay consultant, an actor, and a cosplayer himself, what is M!kë planning for the future?
“I’ve always been interested in other countries, so I’m setting my sights on the world. In the past, I did a photoshoot in costume in Fiji, and the locals there were really excited. That’s why I want to work to introduce Japanese-style swordplay to other countries. I’m thinking of working behind the scenes and also performing myself.”
Kenshin Himura from Rurouni Kenshin (photo by Hitoshi Iwakiri / @h_iwakiri)
That’s a goal very much like him. As expected, otaku culture is not restricted by borders!
Having started an advertising production company in 2010 whose main business partner is a mail order company, he specialises in direct response advertising