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2020.05.22

Cosplayer Ruri: The Strength in Doing What You Love

In her Hatsune Miku cosplay, which she wore for our interview

 

The Time to Start Is When You Think about Trying

 

Cosplayer’s real ages don’t matter; they’re the same age as whatever character they’re cosplaying as. Ruri came to us dressed as Hatsune Miku…so she must be 16 years old…right? Then how did she get 10 years of experience?! Just kidding. Is that a dumb joke?

 

To start off our interview, we asked her why she started cosplaying. 

 

“I always liked anime, manga, and voice actors. When I went to live shows or events I saw people cosplaying as the characters, but I’d never thought I’d be one of them! (laughs.) But one of my really good friends at the time was doing cosplay. When your friend is doing something, it makes you want to do it too, makes you wonder if you can. So I tried it…”

 

If you have someone you can talk to about what characters you want to dress up as, your interest will probably snowball from there. 

 

“But my first cosplay wasn’t actually a character. I started with basic costumes like maid outfits and other uniforms. Then as I got used to wearing them, I started to try character costumes. The first character cosplay I ever did was Marcel from the dating sim series Angelique.

 

For most cosplayers, completely becoming the character is the true pleasure, but Ruri’s objective is a little different. 

 

“I’ve never really thought ‘I want to be this character!’ For me it’s more about putting on their outfits and feeling like I’m surrounded by the character’s spirit. Of course there are cosplayers who want to transform themselves, but for me cosplay is about becoming closer with the characters themselves.”

 

 

Whether You Make or Buy Your Costumes, It’s All out of Love

Talking of how she makes her hair accessories and headphones

 

Ruri has worn over 20 different costumes during her career. At first she simply bought her costumes as sets, but now she makes a lot of them herself. 

 

“When I started cosplay, there weren’t many people who were particular about their wigs or their accessories. Lots of people just used their natural hair. In those days if you were happy with what you wore, that was all that mattered. But nowadays there’s a trend toward honing in on the finer details. On Twitter and other social media sites a lot of people are focusing on trying to be popular rather than having fun, which might be one reason why cosplay has developed so much recently. It used to be that if you and someone else were cosplaying as the same character, you could become friends, but nowadays everyone competes to see whose costume is better.”

 

It’s not unusual to hear about people who buy likes and retweets on Twitter. The cosplay world sounds kind of intense…

 

“On the other hand, the quality of cosplay has improved. Even some of the costumes you can buy are made with nicer materials. If you look at it from that perspective, it’s a very good thing.”

 

 

Have the Confidence to Do What You Love

Worrying about the state of the cosplay world

 

The “roshutsu-kei” cosplayers, who wear revealing costumes, are usually the cosplayers who dress up because they want to be famous on social media, not because they want to transform themselves or become closer to their favorite characters. As a cosplayer herself, Ruri sometimes worries a little about the societal complications of roshutsu-kei cosplayers. 

 

“I understand the idea that the more skin they show, the more attention they’ll get from men, but I kind of think that shouldn’t be the point of cosplay. Plus, I think there’s also a tendency for the media to pick up on that kind of cosplay more than others, making people think that cosplaying means you have to wear revealing clothing. But I want people to know that that’s not true! Also, I want to tell them that not everyone is a beauty cosplayer (laughs). I do cosplay because I like it, so it’s most important that I’m satisfied with the costume. I heard that there are people who criticize the particulars of others’ costumes, but I think it’s more fun if people just pursue what they like without judging anyone. If anyone new wants to try cosplay, whether they buy it or make it, I want to encourage them to try it! It might open up a whole new world for them to explore.”

 

 

 

 

Writer

Shiro Sato

Translator

Dale Roll


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