What got you into cosplay?
When I was young I loved Pokémon, I admit it. I didn't grow out of it when the other kids did (actually, I only got more interested) and so Pokémon started my big interest for Japan, manga and anime. Also when I was young I played much on our Super Nintendo, so I've been a gamer for a long time too. Many years later at a spa vacation I wanted to read something and went to the kiosk and saw that they sold number 4 and 5 of the InuYasha manga, in Finnish. So I bought number 5... and got instantly hooked to the world of manga.
Then one day I saw pictures of people dressed up as manga/anime characters on the internet and thought that it was totally awesome and that some day, dammit, I'm going to do that too!
What was your first costume and why?
The first I decided to make was Ichigo Kurosaki from Bleach, but the first one I actually finished and wore to a con was Byakuya from InuYasha. I guess I could say Byakuya was my first because it's the first one I wore to a con.
I picked Byakuya because he is kinda cool, pretty and hey, gotta show those minor characters some cosplay love too! Another reason to cosplay him is that he wears traditional Japanese clothing and I'm totally sold to those... 'nuff said.
And yeah, I chose to do someone from InuYasha because I wanted to honor the first manga I got to collect and love. (Pokémon excluded! xD)
What is your favorite costume and why?
Probably Jūshirō Ukitake because it's comfortable to wear, it's fun to hand out sweets and I love dem swords! It has also become my signature cosplay. But I really enjoy cosplaying all Hakuōki characters too! <3
Do you have a dream costume you'd like to make?
I'm.. not sure do I have a 'dream costume' in the sense that making it is out of my skill range and the costume is spammed full with lots of intricate details and glowing wings and other crazy stuff... but I'd really like to do Sesshōmaru from InuYasha and the second season (read: western) versions of Sōji Okita and Toshizō Hijikata from Hakuōki: Shinsengumi Kitan.
What has been your most memorable cosplay experience?
When I cosplayed Jūshirō Ukitake at Uppcon XI. I was in the merchandise telt and just walked past one of the shops when one of the Japanese holders of the shop excitedly screamed out at me "Ukitake-taichoooouuu~~!!" and upon hearing the call, I stopped and went closer. She was really genuinely SUPER HAPPY to see me and started saying something in Japanese to me, I remember she beamed lots of "sugoooiiiiiiii!" and other words at me that I didn't catch. But I know they were compliments. After a while I held out my swords at her and she looked so surprised, grabbed them and wanted her shop friends to come look at her. Omg it was so cute! So we all stood there, all happy and excited. I even have a photo of her holding my swords, haha!
But after that, before I left, I gave her a lollipop and again she was so happy and made a "wait a moment"-sign and came back and gave me a Japanese lollipop in exchange. It was so sweet of her!
And after that every time I would walk by her shop she would smile/wave at me. And when I lost my camera directly after the first meeting she worried for me and helped me look for it.
Have you won any awards for your costumes?
Yes. I placed 2nd in the cosplay competition at Kemin Mangapäivä (30th October 2010, Finland) with my Ichigo Kurosaki cosplay from Bleach. First time I ever entered a cosplay contest.
I also placed shared 2nd place in the cosplay competition at Kitacon in Luleĺ (Sweden, 10-12 December 2010) as Ichigo Kurosaki again, the one I shared the 2nd place with was cosplaying as Curse Mode Hidan from Naruto.
At Kitacon 4 in Kemi (11th February 2012, Finland) I won 2nd place at the cosplay competition as Jūshirō Ukitake together with Lailaith as Retsu Unohana, both Turn Back the Pendulum versions with shikai releases and from Bleach.
Tell us a little about yourself
I'm 19 years old transgender male. I'm currently studying at upper secondary school and I live in an apartment in northern Sweden. My other hobbies are to draw and paint, write stories/poems, collect and wear kimono and play video games.
My favorite anime
Hakuōki: Shinsengumi Kitan, Bleach, Vagabond, Rurouni Kenshin, InuYasha
My favorite game(s)
Ōkami, Tales of Symphonia, Super Mario World, Mario Party 4, Pokémon
My favorite book(s)
Musashi by Eiji Yoshikawa, Shōgun by James Clavell, Wolf Brother series by Michelle Paver
My favorite character(s)
Hakuōki: Sōji Okita, Hajime Saitō, Hijikata Toshizō || InuYasha: Sesshōmaru || Bleach: Jūshirō Ukitake, Byakuya Kuchiki || Tales of Symphonia: Kratos Aurion, Yuan || Pokémon: Absol, Arceus, Suicune, Articuno, Ninetales, Latias, Latios || Digimon: Kyubimon, Pegasusmon, Garurumon
My favorite movies(s)
Shichinin no Samurai, The Last Samurai, Lord of the Rings, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Lion King II: Simba's Pride