Hello all! ^O^/ Satchi here!
This week I was able to interview a brilliant and popular cosplayer from Utah, America, KikiKabuki!
photo by timetoshinehorse on deviantart
KikiKabuki has cosplayed from several popular anime series and games such as Magi, K, AMNESIA, Uta no Prince-sama, the Tales of series, Vocaloid, and much more!
Although I know she’s busy with preparing for a cosplay meet-and-greet at a convention, doing cosplay chats, selling prints and posters, as well as constantly keeping up with questions from her loyal friends and fans, (as well as dealing with real life in general of course), she was able to answer some questions for me!
When did you start cosplaying?
I started cosplaying in Fall of 2009, but began making my own costumes from scratch in late 2010.
Why did you start cosplaying?
I thought it was so inspiring to see people bring to life their favourite characters, portray their love for them, as well as bring joy to others in doing so. The way a person’s eyes light up when they see their favourite character standing in front of them is so wonderful to me. It’s something I witnessed others do, and decided I wanted to do for others as well.
What was your first cosplay? Was it handmade or bought?
My first cosplay was Lelouch from Code Geass. I bought a jacket from a thrift store and altered it to look like his school uniform.
Do you make or buy your cosplay?
When I first began cosplaying, I bought two or three, but since 2010 I’ve been making all of my costumes from scratch.
If you make them, how long does it take for you to make your cosplay?
Usually my costumes only take 2 or 3 days maximum for me to construct. Depending on my motivation and health at the time, a costume can take me anywhere from overnight, to a month.
photo by Cosmmix
Why do you cosplay certain characters?
I always choose my characters based on the emotions they brought out of me while playing/watching the series. If I can relate to a character in any way, you can bet I’ll be cosplaying them.
Have you ever been in a cosplay competition? If so, have you won any awards?
I have indeed! My first award was for a hallway contest I didn’t even know about, in which I won a Judge’s Choice for my Alois Trancy. Since then I’ve competed in convention contests and other stage comps and won an Honourable Mention, 2nd Place, three 1st places, a Best in Show, as well as my most recent win from Anime Los Angeles, in which I performed alone for the first time and won Best Individual Presentation and Best Journeyman Craftsmanship. Each and every award I’ve won has been a huge accomplishment for me, because I love performing simply to perform, not for the sake of winning anything. It’s always such a pleasant, heart-warming surprise to win anything for my work.
Which cosplay is your favorite? Why?
It’s hard to decide on just one, but if I had to choose, it would probably be Seto from Fragile Dreams. That game was a life-changing experience for me, and Seto was a character I told myself I would fight every day to become more like. So wearing that costume always makes me feel accomplished and happy, especially since it was easily the most difficult costume I had ever constructed.
photo by Cosmmix
What are future cosplays you are planning to do?
A few for the near future will be Sharrkan from Magi, brother!NieR from NieR, and Yurick from The Last Story. Zero from Megaman Zero has always been a dream cosplay of mine as well, but I’m waiting until I have the right skill level for that one!
What are your thoughts/opinions of what cosplay is?
Really, cosplay isn’t much different from what the actors in Disneyland do – they grew up, knowing and loving these characters, learning more and more about them and learning so many lessons from them, and now that they’re older and have the means, they’re dressing up as them in order to share that same happiness they experienced with the characters, with others who see them. It’s an inspiring thing, in my eyes, the way cosplayers can take something completely 2D, and bring it to life. There’s so many skills that go into costume crafting so it’s really not an easy thing, and many people overlook that.
Do many of your friends cosplay? Or just a few?
Quite a few of my friends cosplay, but most definitely not all of them.
Munakata: Cosmmix, Awashima: Honey, Fushimi: KikiKabuki
Photo by Taymeho (cosplays constructed by KikiKabuki)
Do you follow other cosplayers? If so, are they from America or abroad? Why do you follow them?
I most definitely do! I absolutely adore people like ElectricLady, RyuichiRandoll, zimiel, and more! There’s so many amazing talented people out from so many different regions and I only wish I could follow and be inspired by /all/ of their work! I love watching their projects come together and see them share their love for a series or a character with others!
Do you think there is a difference between cosplay in Japan and the United States?
There most definitely is! But when it comes down to it, you just have to remember that when you’re cosplaying, you’re doing it for yourself, your friends, and your love for that character. You can’t let society tell you not to do something when it brings you so much joy. Just do what you love, with who you love, and don’t let anything phase you from your own path to happiness.
Would you like to be able to go to Japan or just go abroad and cosplay one day?
I think the opportunity would be amazing! Though I highly doubt such an amazing opportunity would occur to someone like me, but if it did I would jump on it in a heartbeat!
Outside of cosplays and animes, what do you like to do on your spare time? What are your other interests?
When I’m not cosplaying, I really enjoy dance. I taught ballroom formation for a couple years so it became a passion of mine, along with writing music with my brothers.
What is your life outside of cosplay?
Work, work, work! Gotta make the money to support the hobby ontop of paying bills, so when I’m not working on a costume, I’m at my full-time job.
Any additional things you would like to say?
Thank you so much for the interview opportunity! It means a lot that you’d think of me for something like this.
photo by Cosmmix
Thank you so much to KikiKabuki for doing this interview for us! She is definitely one of my favorite cosplayers. On that note, I have had the privilege of actually getting to meet her in person and she really is the sweetest, kindest person I’ve ever met. I really admire her not only for her amazing talent but for her amazing personality as well.
To find more of KikiKabuki: