First off, let’s talk about the brief history of cosplay.
Cosplay, a contraction of the words costume play, is a hobby in which participants called cosplayers wear costumes and fashion accessories to represent a specific character. The term cosplay was coined by Nobuyuki Takahashi in Japan in 1984. A broader use of the term "cosplay" applies to any costumed role-playing in venues apart from the stage. Favorite sources include anime, cartoons, comic books, live-action films, television series and video games.
Cosplayer Charess Kurogane is Cebu’s finest cosplayers. She’s been featured in Sirus Gaming as a Saber Bride in real life; a character from the critically acclaimed Fate Series, specifically from the games Fate/Extra CCC in the PSP and Fate/Grand Order for iOS and Android.
Charess Kurogane as Saber Bride
I know you’re curious who this fine woman is on and off cosplay. Worry no more since we got a chance to get an interview with Kurogane-san. Here’s how it went:
What first got you interested in cosplay?
- During my high school days, my friends and I used to dress up like our favorite J-rock bands. But even before that, my brothers and I were already into anime and cartoons but we never thought of dressing up like the characters. When my friends and I was into J-rockers and Japanese fashion, we discovered what cosplay was through magazines and internet. Gradually, I started attending conventions as a spectator and spazzing every time I see a familiar character being cosplayed by someone. Eventually, the fire in me started to light up and I’ve decided to try it by myself. Then, My Saya Kisaragi Cosplay was born.
What is the hardest part of cosplaying for you?
- The hardest part for me is balancing my time.
What are the 3 most essential things to have with you when cosplaying at a convention?
- The 3 most essential things to have at conventions are: make-up for retouching; safety pins for costume mishaps; and camera or phone to capture the moment in frame!
What was the worst cosplaying advice you’ve received?
- None so far.
Aside from cosplaying, what else do you do?
- I do a lot of things! I am a professional teacher and I teach pre-school students. I have part-time tutorial jobs. I do photography and I occasionally accept photography gigs such as prenuptial or debut photoshoots or documenting an event. And if time permits, I also do make-up artistry.
Charess Kurogane, make-up done by herself
There can be a lot of judgey attitudes between cosplayers who sew their costumes, cosplayers who buy their costumes, cosplayers who commission their costumes, and cosplayers who cobble a costume together with existing stuff. What’s your take on that rivalry?
- Honestly, I used to say that a cosplayer must make his/her own stuff--- costumes, props. I used to feel bad when I see someone letting other people do everything for them especially he /she is not giving them even a little credit for their work. But when the time went by and I entered the world of ‘adulting’, I realized that not everybody has the time to do everything. There are really times that you have to buy a ready-made costume or pay someone to do a prop ‘cause making things from scratch is out of your schedule.
So, my take on that rivalry is… whatever floats your boat, boys and girls. Not everything that works on me works on you and vice versa. But if you can make your costumes/prop by yourself, like you have an ample time, then do it. It is very very very fun to learn and you will appreciate your cosplays even more! At the end of the day, what matters most is what really makes you happy.
What are some of the best things you’ve learned about yourself since you started cosplaying?
- The best thing that I have learned is that I am not just someone whom I thought I am. I am more than that. I am capable to do things which I thought I can’t do. I can think out of the box. I have awakened the creativity in me. I have felt the passion that lies beneath my soul. And, the little things I am doing may affect not just my life but also other people’s lives.
Game: NieR: Automata
How long have you been cosplaying?
- I’ve been cosplaying for 5 years. Good gracious, I feel like I’m getting old so fast.
Why do you cosplay?
- Because this is something I love doing.
Umi Sonoda from LoveLive
Is cosplay a hobby you consider yourself doing in 10 yrs?
- As of now, I would say yes.
Do you have a current cosplay fave?
- My favorites are Ely’s and Hikarin’s works.
What is your most expensive Coplay project and how much was it?
- The most expensive cosplay project I have/ had was a cosplay project for a computer brand. It roughly cost me twentytwo grand or more.
What was your least expensive cosplay project and how much was it?
- My least expensive cosplay was Mika Jougasaki (uniform version). My wig was from my old cosplay, I only borrowed the top, the shoes were my school shoes, and knee socks were from my other cosplay. I only spent for the fabric for the skirt which was 95php, for my fake nails for 210 php, and for the accessories for less than a hundred.
What is your favorite cosplay project?
- My favorite was the Black Rock Shooter Beast. It was the first costume I have made from scratch, the first time I have styled a wig, and the props were made from rubber foams by me and my friend, Kidd.
Black Rock Shooter Beast
Who’s your favorite character to cosplay and why?
- My favorite characters I did was Saya from Blood C and Nero Claudius from Fate Series. They are special <3.
Left: Saya; Right: Nero Claudius(Bride Version)
What is a cosplay pet peeve of yours?
- The biggest cosplay pet peeve that I have is the kind of people that criticizes another people’s work but instead of pointing out the mistake that you’ve done with your cosplay, they attack you personally. But when you give them a dose of their own medicine, they play the victim.
If you could cosplay anywhere in the world where would it be and why?
- Japan, of course. We’ll, I started with anime and J-rock so I must go and cosplay in the place of their origin. HAAHAHAH
Kurogane-san in Japan
What is your favorite part of putting on your cosplay?
- Make-up! Definitely.
What is your least favorite part?
- Still Make-up! Because when you screw even just the tiniest detail of it, it feels like you’ve screwed everything. It’s a love-hate relationship.
Videos or Photography?
Photoshopped or unshopped image?
- Photoshopped but not overly! There are a lot of things to consider in cosplay photography and you can’t have them all in just clicking the shutter button.
How do you view yourself as a cosplayer?
- A sickly cosplayer! HAHAHA I always get sick before/during/after an event or photoshoots.
How important is cosplay to you?
- Very important but not as important as water.
How do you save money for your cosplay hobby?
- Jobs, jobs, and a lot of jobs!
Thank you Kurogane-san for your time and for being so kind and down-to-earth! You truly are inspiring.
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