[Cosplayer: Kirino] Believe In Your Potential and Grab It
Is Speaking Your Mind a Double-edged Sword?
Pretty roses have thorns and cute cosplayers can have poison… It’s bad! It’s horrible, I know…but it’s so cute! And the appeal of today’s guest, Kirino, comes from that fact; she doesn’t act cute at all.
“I’m told that I have a sharp tongue. But that’s not true! I’m just very straightforward. I just end up saying exactly what I’m thinking!”
Hmmm… well I guess that if the words that you say are very cutting then they can be considered poison, right?
“Well, I mean… If you play video games over voice chat, you might actually end up saying some awful things in the thick of it. Things like “Move!” or “You’re in the way!”.
Kirino, how about cosplaying the feeling of a “cute girl”?
I Started Cosplaying Because of My Coworkers
“I actually never really knew much about the anime before I started cosplaying, but my superiors at work were hardcore otaku who would often cosplay. So in the beginning they taught me a lot of things and I tried a lot of new things with them.”
It seems like her first dip into the cosplay world was more passive than active. However, she says that she’s in for a penny, in for a pound.
“After the first time I did cosplay I thought that I wanted to do even better… So I researched it. I saw so many cosplayers that were in wigs and costumes.”
I Tell Myself I’m Even Cuter!
At her first cosplay event she found herself being photographed for the first time by a complete stranger.
“I was asked by a random older gentleman if he could take my picture and he complimented my cosplay. It felt really good! From then on I started to really fall in love with cosplay. It didn’t matter how pretty the cosplayers that I saw were, my attitude was that I wouldn’t be beat! If I firmly believe that I am the cutest, it gives me strength to continue forward.”
And that spirit is what led Kirino to win the 2020 Cosplay of the Year Sweet Side Women’s Cosplay Division Grand Prix.
“Yes, I was grateful to have so many people who supported me and saw the value in my work. After I entered the competition I was extremely nervous, so much so that my stomach would hurt. On one hand I was being cheered on by some, but on the other hand I was being discouraged by others. Although, being able to persevere was the result of me believing in myself and my own potential.”
The Road to Your Ambition Begins with Voicing It
So, how does it look from the top? Where is Kirino planning next?
“I want to really shoot for the stars and go as far as I can. I want to be on the cover of a manga magazine, or become the official cosplayer of a video game; I just want to do it all! I want to be allowed to reach those heights! I mean there are a lot of things that I have ambitions to do and I guess if you sum it up… I want to be like Enako! She’s a cosplayer with a lot of talent… She’s just amazing! Usually cosplay is derivative so there are often problems with copyright, you know? But Enako is like a medium; she embodies the work and allows the characters to come to life. I really want to achieve that myself.”
It’s such a grand ambition and no doubt there may be some frightening things that one might blurt out in the process. However, the ability of Kitrino to speak her mind is the source of her strength. It is just as she said at the beginning; she tells it straight.
“I hope that my supporters will be proud in the future. Once the world knows me I wonder if my current supporters will be proud to have known me from the very start.”
Kirino has a lot of gratitude toward her fans for supporting her as she grows as a cosplayer. But really, when she says“support” what does that mean?
“It’s all of the votes that are cast for me in contests and the cheers of “Do your best!” and …. What else…. The stuff I get?”
“People look at my Amazon wishlist and send me things…”
Is that like…. a tribute or something?
“No! No! Not at all! I just post things like “I don’t have any cup ramen!” or “I’m out of tuna~” and sometimes others send me the stuff. I’m really thankful.”
I guess that’s one way for cosplayers to interact with their fanbase. Just the fact that Kirino is able to receive actual gifts is proof that her straightforward appeal has legs.
“I have also received clothing and small accessories. I show my gratitude by wearing and incorporating these items into my cosplay for photographs.”
I’m sure that as a fan, seeing Kirino wearing and using the pieces that you have gifted to her as part of her photographs would make you overwhelmingly happy. Kirino is aiming for the top, and we are here to support her in her ambition.
Having started an advertising production company in 2010 whose main business partner is a mail order company, he specialises in direct response advertising.