[Cosplayer: monster] The Fusion of NEO Akihabara Girls and Gyaru
Competing in the 2021 Cosplayer of the Year Grand Prix (Women/Women’s costume division)
First and foremost, let me just say… Congratulations on winning the 2021 Cosplayer of the Year Grand Prix (Women/Women’s costume division)!!!
“Thank you so much! I was also able to compete and stand on the final stage in 2020, but I wasn’t able to take first place, so I am ecstatic!”
Ah, so it was your comeback. It must have really felt extraordinary, right?
“Actually, quite frankly…last year it might have been inevitable for me to lose. There were many times when I didn’t fully understand the world of cosplay and I felt that there were many more than I who had a lot more love towards it. However, I really wanted to win top prize this time. I wanted to tell my aunt “I won!”.
Reflecting on Her Victory… Thanking Her Supporters
Really…? Your aunt…?
“Yes, she has been supporting me in cosplay since 2020.However, on May 8th of last year, just before the contest… she passed away. And that’s why I couldn’t lose this time at the 2021 contest. I just had to show my aunt that I had won. Of course, I am very thankful to all of my supporters, but I especially wanted to tell my aunt, “I did it!”.”
And you did do it; you won the Grand Prix!! I’m sure that your aunt in heaven would be overjoyed.
“But there are still aspects of my cosplay that still have a long way to go and I felt that standing on the stage next to everyone. There were so many amazing people and I can tell that the future of cosplay is bright!”
I Want People to Understand The Things I Love…I Want to Express That
So to you, monster, a person standing at the top of the cosplay world…Of course, you want your rivals and your friends alike in cosplay to band together to create an even more exciting community.
“…Yes. Yes, that’s true but…”
Oh? It seems like the cat has got monster’s tongue. What is it that she is having trouble saying…
“It’s just that… I don’t have any friends!!!”
Is this a sudden coming out here!!!
“I cosplay as Android 18, but the people close to me have this same hair even though they don’t cosplay…”
In other words gyaru*, right!
“Yes, gyaru! I have nothing but friends who frequent clubs, have brand handbags, and whose only knowledge of anime stops at ONE PIECE; I don’t have any friends who do cosplay. Ah! I did coerce my friend into cosplay, so to be accurate I have one friend in cosplay…”
*gyaru: a name for girls in a fashion subculture in Japan; they often have dyed hair
Oooh… Gyaru are the opposite of otaku. Let’s say, if the otaku is the “yin”, then the gyaru is the “yang”
“But, you know, no matter how many times I have to say it I want to convince them that cosplay can be super fun for gyaru as well! I have zero clue why people enjoy dressing up for halloween or wearing costumes in Shibuya, but when it comes to cosplay it’s looked at as weird simply because it’s anime.That’s why I hope to inspire people who see me and what I do, and dispel the bias against cosplay.”
Gyaru who know otaku, otaku who know gyaru… the ability to fuse these two conflicting groups is monster’s strength. Also, monster’s plain clothes seem to be very hip-hop and it seems that influence come from her gyaru friends.
Check Out Items Designed by monster!!
“I buy cheap hoodies and draw on my own illustrations using acrylic paint. I also do original designs and characters on t-shirts and hats. I’ve loved drawing ever since I was a kid.”
The design’s that she does are really cool! They’re like graffiti from overseas.
- monster’s original items are on sale here!
“If I think something is nice like hip-hop, otaku, or anything I like, I incorporate it into my designs. And it’s because of this that I take a lot of inspiration from the fashion of the girl’s in Akihabara as well. I’m doing my best as a NEO Akihabara girl!!!”
In the Name of No. 18…
Actually, it seems like you’re really into this No. 18 cosplay, why is that?
“Around three years ago, when I was doing nicolive listeners would sometimes tell me that I resembled No. 18, so I tried cosplaying her and my TikTok went crazy. My number of followers increased from 180 to 30,000 almost immediately. I especially got a huge response from people overseas, so in light of that I wanted to learn more and improve my cosplay even more.”
That’s amazing!! That’s must be why you bleached your hair to the limit…
“It really hurt! It was painful and since I am not a person with a big volume of hair it was rough…But if you wear a wig the hairline appears very unnatural, so I prefer my real hair. I intend to keep this style throughout 2021 so I can become No. 18 whenever!!”
Such dedication, it gives me goosebumps.
Are Gyaru Attracted to Otaku Guys?
Finally… I am not sure if I should, but I would really like to ask a NEO Akihabara girl. Hardcore Akihabara guys… In other words otaku… well, can they be seen as a viable option to the opposite sex!?
“Eh? (laughs) Of..Of course!! If you have things you like in common, then there is a chance for you to develop a loving relationship.”
Oooh… There you go, all you otaku guys!! Keeping these words in mind, let’s strive to put any ill feelings toward gyaru behind us, walk together and make a new world with monster!! Otaku strolling through the Shibuya and Harajuku area and Gyaru shopping for figurines in Akihabara… I feel like through this interview a future like that is definitelyin sight.
Having started an advertising production company in 2010 whose main business partner is a mail order company, he specialises in direct response advertising.