Hiding the Inner Doujin So Long It Boils Over: Cosplayer Moimoi

On the day I conducted this interview, it was the middle of summer, and it was hot. 36 degrees Celsius (almost 97 degrees Fahrenheit), in fact. It was so hot that I thought my brain was turning to goo. I began to worry if I would even be able to hold an intelligible conversation. 


Cool air. I need cool air!


Just as I felt as if I was about to melt into a puddle of sweat, a cheery, clear voice rang out, “Hello!” 


It roused me from my heat-induced haze with its pure enthusiasm. Cosplayer Moimoi was here, and she was the breath of cool air I’d been looking for!


A Haruhi Suzumiya cosplay in August…?



Keeping Her First Cosplay A Secret

For Haruhi Suzumiya fans, August has a special meaning: the Endless 8. Moimoi…please don’t tell me you’re planning to say the same thing eight times in a row?!


“No, no, definitely not (laughs). Since I’m here to talk about my cosplay, I decided I’d wear one that means a lot to me. This is actually the first costume I ever bought.”


Oh! It’s an honor to see a costume that started your cosplay career. It should be celebrated!


“Ever since I was in elementary school, I always loved magical girl anime. I used to pretend to be one myself. Of course, I wanted to wear the dresses too. Doesn’t every magical girl fan want to transform just once? So my mother sewed me a costume. I watched Haruhi when I was in my last year of elementary school and I became obsessed. I would dance to the theme song. I did ballet from the time before I graduated from elementary school to my high school years, so I loved dancing.”


Wow, she was a real ballerina! She must have been really good at remembering the dance moves from the anime.


“The first time I saw this costume was when I was in junior high school. A store in my neighborhood that sold anime goods started selling some cosplay as well, and when I saw it I thought it was the perfect time to try, so I took my New Year’s gift money to the store and bought it. That was the moment when I started cosplay, and a dream I’d had for years finally came true.”


But she was still a junior high school student at the time. How did her parents feel about their beloved daughter starting cosplay?


“So, I actually hid it in the back of my closet. I would secretly wear it when my parents weren’t home. It was something I enjoyed only in my room.”


Fondly remembering her childhood dream of doing cosplay.


Her passion for cosplay continued as she entered high school, but since she was elected student council president, she only let out her otaku personality in small doses. 


“I fondly remember saying in my opening speech at a sports day festival, ‘If you don’t fight, you can’t win!’ from Attack on Titan. My teacher prasied me for giving a good speech.”


That does sound like the perfect line to say to get everyone fired up at a sports festival, doesn’t it?


Inspired by the Great Big Sky to Finally Chase Her Dreams

After that, Moimoi graduated high school and started at university. Was she finally able to really enjoy her cosplay?


“No…even after starting college, I was worried about too many things and stayed away from cosplay. At that time I had the opportunity to go to Australia. I was blown away by how big the sky looked there. Compared to that sky, my worries seemed small. I decided that once I got back to Japan, I would stop hiding the things I loved and I would give them my all. I immediately started by wearing cosplay to the doujinshi selling fair at Tokyo Big Site.”


That was the moment that Moimoi’s cosplay life finally blossomed, and after that, she started an extensive log of what she wore, when she wore it, how she wore it, and where. 


“I couldn’t stop cosplaying after my first time. There was even a year when I was doing a shoot a week. Today is my 143rd time.”


That’s enough to have done a cosplay shoot on every holiday.


“I’ve done photoshoots by myself, of course, but I’ve also done them with friends. We’d borrow a rental space like a cafe or an old traditional house and make dinner and stuff. I also got a group of 100 people together to dress up as idol characters and go to a sports festival! That was really fun.”


Moimoi records every cosplay she has ever done, as well as the date and day. It must be really moving to flip through all the photos!


Haruhi photoshoots should always be done in sunshine!




Scheduling is Important! Advice from a Procrastinator

But with so many photoshoots, how is she keeping up with preparing new costumes? From what I could tell, her costumes were mostly handmade. 


“Yup, I’m a procrastinator! I shouldn’t really be proud of that, should I? (laughs) I’m a cosplayer who always finishes her costumes at the very absolute last minute. I made a costume in three days once. I pretty much didn’t sleep the whole time…”


It would seem that maintaining a good schedule is very important. 


“It’s fun to buy ready-made costumes, but I love how, when you’re making your own, there are lots of special things about it. Hopping around different fabric shops, designing the original costume to align more with what you think would suit the character… It’s the only costume like it in the world, so it has double the emotional importance. But for those who want to try making their own costume, there’s one thing I really want them to remember…”


Oh? Moimoi was about to bestow upon me some cosplay wisdom. Alright, let’s hear a Haruhi-like rule!


“Always wear a gas mask!!”




“When you’re making small accessories, you’ll probably be using really strong adhesives like G Bond. It can be a pretty dangerous solution, so you have to have proper ventilation where you’re working and wear a gas mask, or else you’ll get a bad cough like I did once.”


Ah…right. Well, after a glance at the ingredients–it contains a neoprene rubber solution–, she’s definitely right. That’s something you need to be careful about. 


A gas mask and G bond…hats off to the cosplayers who use materials like these!


Her weapons are also hand-made, of course. She makes good use of 100 yen shop goods and household items. 



Feeling Connections with Others through Cosplay

Knowing all the hard work she puts into her cosplay, we asked Moimoi what exactly cosplay means to her. 


“I guess it’s something that calms my spirit. And it’s something that helps me connect with other people. With cosplay photos…well, I’m sure illustrations are the same way, but you don’t need words to express your love for something. It makes me happy when the photos I upload to Twitter cheer people up, and when people send me messages of support, it gives me motivation to keep going. Once, a mother even asked me to take a photo with her daughter. I love to think that by doing cosplay, I’m creating lots of small connections in my life.”


That’s true. In fact, we were able to do this interview with her because she does cosplay! Thanks to her inspirational words, we renewed our vow to continue doing interviews and making connections with many doujin. 


Please continue to follow your bright, cheerful, and fun cosplay path!






Moimoi: @mmooii95



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