What got you into cosplay?
I've always loved dress-up and Halloween, and obviously I love anime. Plus, I like to perform. Put it all together, and is it any wonder I'm into cosplay?
What was your first costume and why?
Back during Halloween 1999, before I even knew what cosplay was, I asked my grandma to help me with a Sailorstar Jupiter costume. It was horribly inaccurate (which is why you will never see those pictures XD) but it was so much fun being Jupiter! Then later on, as I learned about cosplay and decided to go to Anime Expo 2001, I made my first two costumes, Sailor V and Celes. Sailor V was really bad, so I don't show pictures of it often.
What is your favorite costume and why?
This is a tough one. The costume I have loved wearing the most is obviously my normal Uranus fuku. I love Uranus, I love cosplaying her, and I spent a lot of time figuring out the best way to make each component. Although it's brand new, I have a feeling Der Tod will take the place Uranus used to have! In terms of workmanship, it's a tie between Myu Uranus and the Tsubasa fire kimono. I made my very first Sera Myu outfit in 2003 (Jupiter), and ever since then I researched the source material to death in order to make Uranus. Sakura and Syaoran's fire kimono are by far the most detailed costumes I've made, and it's definitely my best painting job to date. I'm also very proud of my Lady Oscar ballgown, especially now that I've fixed all of the fitting problems!
Do you have a dream costume you'd like to make?
My dream costumes keep changing. I'm very fickle in that regard. Myu Uranus could be considered a dream costume, I guess. Right now most of my "dreams" involve group cosplay, something that's not easy when most of my con-going friends don't cosplay much. I really, really want to put together a group of all five pirates from the Shin Kaguya Shima Densetsu Sera Myu. Pirate gear or island dress, it doesn't matter which! I'd also really love to make Elisabeth's "Hungary" dress from Takarazuka's Elisabeth.
What has been your most memorable cosplay experience?
My Romeo x Juliet group from AX07 had the chance to meet the producer, who was at that convention promoting the show. He signed the Montague and Capulet flags I made and seemed very impressed with our costumes. We also showed up on the official RxJ blog in cosplay! AX07 was a terrible con for me, but at least I can look back at that one great memory and realize it wasn't a total bust. I also had a blast cosplaying with other Takarazuka fans at Anime LA 2010.
Do you participate in masquerades?
Yes. I love masquerades! They make the con so exciting! I am quite competitive, although in a positive way, so the thrill of performance exhilarates me. I also participate in a different way at Anime Vegas -- I was co-coordinator of the Masquerade from 2004-2008 and nowadays I run/host the Masquerade Ball! I've also judged some small events in Las Vegas and Southern Utah, which is a lot of work but always rewarding and exciting!
What was your best masquerade experience?
I enjoyed AX06 a whole bunch. Fanime's masquerade continues to be fun year after year. I always love judging! While running cosplay events at Anime Vegas (whether it be the Masquerade or Masquerade Ball) is tough, I always find it one of my most rewarding cosplay experiences of the year. I really enjoy watching cosplayers I've gotten to know through the show mature and improve with every passing year!
Have you won any awards for your costumes?
A few. I'm not going to lie and say I don't like winning awards, but what I like most about competing is being able to talk to other costumers. Sure, there are lots of people who make their own costumes at cons - but you're more likely to find the people that truly love crafting their own costumes backstage at the Masquerade. Talking to other costumers about what we all love to do is what gets me going back to Masquerades time and time again!
Tell us a little about yourself
I have a Studio Art degree, technically in Painting and Drawing but my real love is photography and digital imaging. I am employed as a graphic designer and embroidery machine operator for a retail website. My other big hobby, outside of anime and cosplay, is BJDs (otherwise known as Super Dollfies). I own too many of the little buggers and I just love making them clothing and cosplay outfits!
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
The URL directly to my cosplay site is http://cosplay.watashidakeni.net .
My favorite anime
Escaflowne, Rose of Versailles, Sailor Moon (all incarnations!), Pretear, Chrno Crusade, Gakuen Alice, Air, Ouran Host Club. . .I could go on forever.
Oh, and my two favorite manga are Clover and Pretear.
My favorite game(s)
FFVI, hands down. My other favorite FFs are IV and VIII. Other than that, I really like puzzle games, Mario Kart, and Katamari Damacy. Oh, and Odin Sphere is a new favorite!
My favorite book(s)
I think L. M. Montgomery is my favorite author, simply because I never get tired of rereading her books. I'm a much bigger fan of Emily than Anne, though. I love the Harry Potter series too.
My favorite character(s)
Anime/manga: a tie between Haruka/Sailor Uranus and Oscar from Rose of Versailles.
Video games: Locke from FFVI
My favorite movies(s)
My favorite actors/actresses
If you can't tell by my costume list, I adore Sera Myu and Takarazuka, so while I can't really tell you which American actors I like I can give you a gigantic list of my favorite Myu and Zuka stars!
Sera Myu: Nakayama Akiko, Ohyama Anza, Kuroki Marina, Ono Hikari, Takagi Nao, Yoshiya Yukimura.
Takarazuka (current and OG): Ayaki Nao, Sena Jun, Kiriya Hiromu, Seijou Kaito, Shizuki Asato, Mizu Natsuki, and I'm going to stop otherwise I'll be here forever!