A Supernova of Male-to-Female Cosplay: Cosplayer Asu


So Cute You Can’t Help but Fawn!!

In every generation, a star is born. 


In this generation, that star might be cosplayer Asu, who just recently won the 2021 Cosplayer of the Year Award in the Shiny category (for male cosplayers in female character cosplay). I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that she is a supernova in the cosplay world. She’s just so darn cute, you can’t help but fawn over her!!



“No no, I’m a man!! And I do male cosplay as well as female cosplay. I’ll say it a thousand times, it’s not that I’m into cross-dressing. I cosplay as male characters too!!”


So he says, but he really is pretty. He makes me want to flirt with him. I have to keep reminding myself he’s not a girl!



An Unbelievable Cosplay History

But to think that such talent was hiding among us…the cosplay world is small, but sometimes it’s huge, too. 


“Nah, I started doing cosplay last December, so it’s not like I’ve been trying to keep a low profile or anything.”


….What? Are you telling me you’ve only been doing cosplay for one year?


“Yeah. My first cosplay was at last year’s winter Comiket. I kept seeing tons of cosplayer photos on Twitter and I started to wonder…what’s it like to become a you that isn’t you? I thought it looked fun, so I decided to try it.”


Asu came to see us wearing his FEater cosplay from Arknights.


I honestly can’t believe he’s had such a short cosplay history. And what’s more, he told me he’s never gone so deep as an otaku for anything else before cosplay. 


“I watched a little bit of anime and read some manga, but I never really found anything that I could say I would die for. Actually, I feel like  I started liking things a lot more once I started doing cosplay.”




Of course! Falling in love with cosplay, and then falling in love with a franchise…welcome to the otaku life! So what was his debut cosplay at his first Comiket?


“Nezuko from Demon Slayer!”


….So it WAS a female character!!


“Yeah but…she’s so popular…I thought I would be a hit…”


That I can understand. But to have the courage–and the sense–to do a female character as his first cosplay…that was probably the first sign that he would be a major player in the cosplay world. 







50 Costumes in Just One Year of Cosplay?!

After the first time, Asu quickly became obsessed with cosplay. 


“I kept finding things I wanted to do, things I was interested in, female costumes I liked…and I just kept getting more and more costumes. I have about 50 right now, but I’ve only actually worn about 10 of them for photoshoots. It’s kind of hard to find a photographer who will shoot men, but I want to try them all as soon as I can.”


Telling us about becoming obsessed with cosplay. 


What!!?? 50 costumes in less than a year…Whatever you may think, that’s a pretty crazy pace.


“Maybe (laughs). My savings are in trouble!”


Sounds like it…



Entering to Win Cosplayer of the Year 2021

As a cosplayer, having people see you in cosplay is what makes you happy, and what motivates you. Of course, Asu is no different, and so he decided to enter the Cosplayer of the Year contest for 2021. 





“My cosplay history is pretty short, but I‘d been working so hard and I wanted to test what I could do, and see how far I could go.”


And to end up winning in the end!! Even he must not have expected that. 


“A lot of people were supporting me, so when I looked at how I was doing midway through, I thought maybe I could get pretty far. But at the end the tables can turn, so I knew to stay ready for anything. So when they announced my name at the finals I was both relieved and happy.”


The final was broadcast live on Nico Nico Videos, and Asu was cosplaying as Raphtalia from The Rising of the Shield Hero. To see him walking up, stately and solem, drawing his sword, must have made many fall in love. 





So after winning Cosplayer of the Year 2021, has his cosplay life changed at all?


“I was invited to do several interviews like this. I’m sure there are a lot of people who view men who cosplay as female characters with a certain bias, but through my cosplay and winning the contest, I’ve started to want to help change the prejudice that men should do male characters and women should do female characters. Trying to completely turn yourself into a character that’s different from your original gender is really hard, but it’s also really interesting. I hope a lot more people give it a try, and I would really like to support the people who do.”



Learning Not Only the Joy of Cosplaying but the Joy of Photography, Too

Asu has found other ways to enjoy cosplay, besides just doing it himself.


“Lately I’ve been interested in the photography side of cosplay. I borrowed a camera from a friend who is a photographer and I’ve been using it to learn how to take pictures. It was always fun being the one in the photoshoot, so I wondered what it was like to be on the other side of the camera. So I tried it, and I realized that taking the photos is fun too!”


Genuinely pursuing an interest and finding joy within it may be one of Asu’s biggest strengths. 















Shiro Sato


Rhiannon Charles

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