Our resident cosplayer Purinnie, or also known as Pudds, is a member of The Mystic Rain, the cosplay division of The Magic Rain. She shared with us about her views on the cosplay community, her inspirations and her cosplay journey thus far. Let’s find out what this talented cosplayer has to say!
Disclaimer: Answers may be edited for clarity of reading and comprehension.
How did you get into the ACG sphere?
There isn’t much of a special story as to how I got into the ACG sphere. I was watching television one day, and on the Animax channel, the commercial for the upcoming Animax Carnival 2013 was broadcasted. I was immediately interested to go, and so I did with my grandma! When I was there, I was ecstatic.
Like a slightly-insane fangirl, I approached a cosplayer who was resting (feels bad). I asked her how cosplay works and she told me costumes were bought off Taobao. When I got home, I found the costume links and I got my costume a few days after that. It was in 2013 when I debuted my first ever (incredibly cringe-worthy) cosplay, at Animangaki 2013. (laughs nervously)
How would you connect the moment you got into ACG to the fact that you are cosplaying now?
Inspiration, envy, determination and the Kyuubey (the character from Madoka Magica) plush toy I bought from Animax 2013. It haunted me every day, as a reminder that it was a potential cosplay prop. I finally gave in to Kyuubey and s̶o̶l̶d̶ ̶m̶y̶ ̶s̶o̶u̶l̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶c̶o̶s̶p̶l̶a̶y̶ decided to cosplay as Madoka for my debut!
What are your views about the cosplay community locally?
It sort of feels like a big cozy family to me. Everybody seems to be very quirky in their own ways. I love quirky. Also, I feel like most of the people within the community are very accepting people. The common interest of anime, cosplay and games, as well as the ability of self-expression was a common passion everybody shared within, and they were something I held on dearly to. My fellow cosplayers are an inspiration and a source of hope for me, to know that there are quirky people like me out there, and also people who accepted me for being, me!
What about your views on the community globally?
As for someone who has never stepped out of the local scene to visit global conventions YET, I feel like the global community reflects the local community exactly. The cosplayers are definitely as high-spirited as those in Malaysia, putting up a great show of workmanship and character portrayal.
Furthermore, I also have a strong sense of respect for non-Asian cosplayers who are able to pull off Asian-based characters with high levels of accuracy. They have to put in so much more effort in makeup, and in character portrayal, to be able to demonstrate a strong cosplay of Asian-based characters. It is very cool, and I am very inspired by that.
Is sexiness required in cosplaying, both metaphorically and physically? How do you adapt to a sexier character if you aren’t fond of showing skin?
Well, I wouldn’t do it if I knew I wasn’t going to feel comfortable doing it. It is very important for someone to realize that they have to respect their own beliefs and feelings whenever they do something, and this also goes for anyone forcing themselves to portray someone they do not want to be. As for adaptation, I believe I could cosplay the same character, in a different costume variation that is less physically revealing.
A lot of cosplayers have a backstory of dealing with depression or negativity. And they plunge into a community that is more than ready to talk about skin colour, body sizes and accuracy in the portrayal of a character. How does that link up for you?
As much as there are people who bully others, for the above-mentioned issues, there are also people out there who give their full love and support towards these victims of bullying. I feel that this problem does not just occur within the cosplay community, but in the entire world too, but it is disguised in the form of “beauty standards”.
These people must realize that there isn’t an escape to the problem, but rather, only a solution they can work towards: which in my opinion is to look at the bigger picture. Focusing on the loving, positive, accepting and caring people in their lives is the first step for them to stand up to their bullies, as well as stand up for who they are.
What kind of change has cosplay brought to you or someone you know?
Other than the technical skills such as sewing, crafting and makeup, I have also learned many life lessons from the people I have met. Some of these life lessons include: being a kind person, how to be a leader who is loved by many as well as how to adapt to any unplanned emergencies such as forgetting to bring a part of a costume to an event. (Ugh…)
One cosplayer you would date right now?
Hikarin. Now. Please.
What is your dream cosplay?
JINX from League of Legends! The full cosplay set of the original skin! (drools)
Finance is a touchy subject when it comes to cosplay. How do you regulate your expenditure and how do you determine which cosplay gets a better budget and which one doesn’t?
I keep my expenditure as low as possible. To me, if the costume is within my crafting ability, I would almost immediately jump in to start crafting it. I usually source my materials from local stationery shops, hardware shops and even thrift/clothing donation stores to get the best deals!
As for determining which cosplay gets a better budget, I base this off of the complexity of the costume. If the costume has extremely intricate details, more budget is needed to buy the material for the small details, which are usually costlier for their rarity in the market.
How important is quality and accuracy in cosplay to you?
Quality is very, very, very important. First and foremost, I am totally fine with cosplayers who buy their costumes online, but I CANNOT stand seeing cosplayers who do not make ANY effort to alter the costumes that arrive a size bigger or smaller for them. Also, cosplayers who do not iron their costumes. The creases of their fabrics reflect on my face, in the creases of my eyebrows and my ever-increasing frown. It is so extreme that if you took a picture of me at that moment and flip it upside down, I would look like I just got my first A* for Mathematics in the last two years.
As for accuracy, I can understand if people cosplay and get minor details wrong because I always judge cosplays by the cosplayer’s character portrayal and energy whilst cosplaying. Despite this, there are also times when I questioned the entire basis of cosplay. Whenever I see people mixing and matching part of their “cosplay” with the wig or iconic accessory of another character to create a fanart/mashup/so-called original character with elements of everything that are obviously not “original”, a part of me dies inside. I cannot handle the fact that some people who proudly call themselves cosplayers, can pull off a self-proclaimed “cosplay” that consists of severed parts of costumes lazily put together to form their own freaky cosplay Frankensteins. We all know what happens in Frankenstein. Destruction.
Let’s talk about creativity vs accuracy. Would a character be considered inaccurate if you apply a twist of creativity to it? How much of creativity is allowed to be put in into a cosplay before it becomes totally inaccurate?
I guess I already addressed this question in the one above. (laughs) To me, as long as the character the cosplayer is portraying still seems like the original in terms of looks and personality, it is fine. It is acceptable as long as … (inhales) “YOU DO NOT MIX AND MATCH PARTS OF COSPLAYS FROM DIFFERENT CHARACTERS LIKE YOU MIX AND MATCH YOUR FULL ENGLISH BREAKFAST WITH ICED COKE INSTEAD OF TEA” (types furiously)
Any inspirations in the cosplay world that you look up to?
I find Rikka (@rikkablurhound) extremely talented with crafting and I feel that she has all the qualities of a great cosplayer (passion, looks, etc). She even cosplays older, non-mainstream characters which many other cosplayers wouldn’t do. How cool is that!?
Cosplay duos such as the GG twins (@ggtwins) who are also my friends (and senpais) have also taught me many tips and tricks on cosplaying. Their work and synchronisation in competitions and performances are top-quality. They are also nice, lively and bubbly people to hang out with!
However, most of my inspirations come from fashion bloggers and figures. Some of these people include Haku Kaze (@hakukaze) and Yu Yu (@yuyu.monster). Their makeup and fashion styles are very unique and I feel inclined to pick up their styles to incorporate them into mine!