Looking for Air Man: Cosplayer and Propmaker, Professor Mikeneko 


Winner of All Genres?

Today we had the pleasure of interviewing 2021 Cosplayer of the Year in the All Genre category: Professor Mikeneko. 


“Sorry my name is so long! You can call me Mike (pronounced ‘me-k’) or Mikeneko!”


Sigurd from Fate/Grand Order


Thank you! By the way, congratulations on your All Genre win! What does “All Genre” mean exactly?


“You know, I don’t really know the exact definition myself, but…Last year, in 2020, the rule for the contest as a whole was that the cosplayer had to have their own face exposed. But in that case people couldn’t cosplay as characters with masks and helmets like Kamen Rider, so they made this special category so those cosplayers could enter.”


Ohh! But this new rule really made it completely open to anyone, didn’t it?


“Yes, and because of that, a lot of people entered. There was a cosplayer with tens of thousands of followers, someone who’d won a contest overseas, even someone who’d appeared on TV before. More kinds of people than I ever could have dreamed entered!”


Oh…I get the impression that you need a really strong spirit to face all that competition.


Adam / Yuriev from #Compass – Sento Setsuri Kaiseki System –


Weapons from #Compass – Sento Setsuri Kaiseki System –



“All-Genre”: The Mixed Martial Arts of Cosplay

“It was really like fighting in a mixed martials arts tournament of cosplay. I actually also entered last year, but I ended up really far down in the rankings. So, this time around, to start with, I just made it my goal to pass the first round.”


And to think you ended up winning!! The quality of your winning costume from Monster Hunter is outstanding. It was so good, I was glad I’m not a dragon. 


“That’s so nice of you to say. I actually started cosplay not because I wanted to wear costumes of my favorite characters, but because I wanted to make the props.”


Malleus Draconia from Twisted Wonderland


Still Waiting to Hear from a Cheerful Air Man

Mike told us about a certain encounter at the beginning of his cosplay–or rather, his prop making life. 


“A long time ago I went to a convention for resin model kits. At that time I didn’t have any interest whatsoever in cosplay…but then I saw someone dressed as Air Man from the Mega Man game series.”


When you think of Air Man, you might also think of the viral, fan-made song that came out a few years ago “Air Man wo Taosenai (I Can’t Beat Air Man)”. 


Silver Ash from Arknights


“A woman who was standing nearby me screamed, and I was like, ‘What happened, did someone get robbed?’ and I turned around, and there was Air Man, standing right there. The quality of the costume was astounding, so I gave them a thumbs up, and they gave me one back…and I swear their eyes sparkled. I was so excited.”


After that, Mike began his cosplay prop making life. Sadly, though, he never encountered that cosplayer ever again. 


“One day I want to tell them that they were the reason I started cosplay.”


If you cosplayed as Air Man at Wonder Festival six years ago and are thinking, “Was that me??” then you should definitely get in contact with Mikeneko!


Naofumi Iwatani from The Rising of the Shield Hero: The Manga Companion



Prop Making is Just Modeling on a 1:1 Scale

But when it comes to prop making, pretty much anyone can do it if they put their mind to it. How has Mikeneko managed to make his props so high quality?


“Before I started doing cosplay, I was into making plastic models. I did it all myself, including the painting. Ever since I started making costumes for myself, I’ve become more particular, even more than before. It’s like making a plastic model on a 1:1 scale. I really want to make them look cool, so I airbrush them and stuff.”


Flamebringer from Arknights


Arthur Pendragon weapons and armor from Fate/grand order


He’s so skillful that the more I look at the things he’s created, the more they take my breath away. 


“The armor I wore for my Cosplayer of the Year entry was forged from materials I gathered in the world of Monster Hunter World. I hunted the monster known as Rathalos over and over again to get the materials. I would hunt and create, hunt and create.”


In the world of Monster Hunter World, hunters are separate from blacksmiths, so it’s impressive that he was able to do both himself.


A hunter from Monster Hunter World (Rathalos armor)


“There are some prop makers who not only fuss about the quality but also the sound of the props. I’ve heard some people even add metal elements to their armor to make it sound realistic when they move.”


It seems like props aren’t just works of art that are only meant to be seen. Some want them to be heard too! That’s a level of skill and creativity that you can’t tell from a picture. 


We hope Mikeneko continues to make cool, realistic, beautiful props for us to admire!



  • Professor Mikeneko 





Shiro Sato

  • 読み込み中...

Related Posts