Disclaimer: Interview may be edited for clarity of reading and comprehension.
Amidst the hustle and bustle of MGACE (which is short for “Manga Games Anime Cosplay Expo” by the way!), I was waiting anxiously for my turn to conduct the interview with cosplayers Hisui and MG. It was late, but it was understandable. It’s not easy to keep everything running on time during an event after all.
Finally, among the sea of people, I could see the event coordinator trying to get Hisui and MG to cross the event floor without stopping every second for a picture or a signature. They were very popular and they wished they could stop for everyone but they couldn’t. All they could do was to promise to come back later. Once we finally settled down near the event space, I asked them to introduce themselves to our readers.
“Hi everyone, I’m Hisui and I am a cosplayer from Hong Kong. I normally cosplay female roles but recently I made a new cosplay for “Goblin Slayer”. I hope all of you will be interested in it,” said Hisui. She looked stunning in her outfit. It’s such a delicate and complex piece that looked like it took months of effort to create. As Hisui mimed the passing of the microphone to MG, MG started her introduction,
“Hi, my name is MG and I am also a cosplayer from Hong Kong. I normally cosplay as male characters but I sometimes cosplay as female characters. Recently, I like the “Division Rap Battle” series. I think I will try one of their characters in the future”.
From my first impression, they were clearly cosplayers in a class of their own. Even with contrasting cosplay styles between Hisui and MG, they sat before me in perfect balance.
Hisui’s cosplay focuses mainly more on the traditionally adorable and pretty characters, and she does it perfectly and in amazing detail too. MG beats the norm and cosplays male characters that showcase ferocity in the form of male beauty. She makes me feel inadequate just by being there all. (“It’s time to hit the gym”, I thought to myself quietly.)
Not wanting to delay any further, I swallowed my nerves and jumped into the first question.
What do you think of the cosplay community here in Malaysia?
“It’s my first time in Malaysia and in a Malaysia event,” said Hisui and MG. WIth a look of pure sincerity, Hisui continues on, “Every cosplayer I met in the event was very friendly and they are very diverse too, such as girls in amazingly cute costumes and male cosplayers who are in a suits of stainless steel armor.”
“Last year, I had a chance to speak with a Malaysian cosplayer in Singapore. He told me that Malaysian cosplayers are very friendly and passionate and I can see that today,” said MG with a smile. “I feel that Hong Kong cosplayers and Malaysian cosplayers have very similar tastes in series and anime. Also, many of the cosplayers here are varied in terms of different anime and characters. They are so interesting!” Hisui says.
MG cuts in, “Even the quality of the newcomers in today’s competition was quite high!” Hisui agrees excitedly, “Even though some were nervous and they lacked some preparation, the quality was really good, especially the props and the dancing. Their effort can really be seen in making the props, costumes and the narration they shared on stage. I remember my first time, there were lots of mistakes and funny issues. The contestants were also very friendly towards each other and they happily accepted our feedback. We truly need more contestants like these,” says MG.
What do you like the most about being a cosplayer?
“It makes me happy”, Hisui beamed. “If I like the character and I get to source for the materials, then handmake the costume and accessories which matches the source comic,” she elaborates. She goes onto explain how happy she is when the final picture turns out great. The end goal is, of course, without a doubt, the amazing picture that many will swoon over, but it’s the whole process that makes Hisui truly glad to be a cosplayer.
MG was nodding agreeably to Hisui and also added that how those pictures can create awareness and influencing her fans delights her immensely. “When there are replies on the picture like, ‘because I saw your pictures, I also decided to watch the series.’ These are the moments that make it all worth it”. MG does communicate and responds often to her fan’s comments and this got me asking, “Does your fans influence your decision to cosplay a character or does it depend on the popularity of the series?”
— Hisui? (@hisuicosplay) March 5, 2017
Hisui and MG both agree that they must both like the character or the series first in order to cosplay them. Even if a fan introduces a series to them, both Hisui and MG will first watch the series in order to have a deeper understanding of the series.
“For me, it’s about your passion. In cosplay, you must like the character then only will you spend the time and effort to understand their background and characteristics. It is not only about being pretty and having a pretty dress. It is so much more so you must still research the series and the character,” MG explains.
Hisui agrees. “Most importantly, I have to like the character. Even if a fan told me that I would really fit the character, I will go watch the series first and if I really like the character, only then I will cosplay them.” I totally agree with them as cosplay is basically method acting, in my opinion. A deep understanding is required in order for the cosplayer to act out the characters in real life, and to do that correctly, passion and love for the character comes hand in hand.
What new cosplays can we expect coming soon?
“In Goblin Slayer, there is a priest which has a pure and dignified image. She comes from the monastery and therefore, is afraid of killing anyone which gives the readers an impression of her being weak. But as the storyline continues, the female priest gets stronger and that inspires me to role-play her in the future,” she excitedly responds.
I’ve been following Goblin Slayer myself and I truly believed that the fact she follows the male protagonist into danger despite her timid nature is a sign of bravery and strength. In fact, the cosplay was recently just released and must we say, it’s amazing!
“Will MG partner with Hisui and cosplay a character from Goblin Slayer as well?” MG shakes her head and says “Well now I am planning to cosplay as Zero from Drakengard. This is my second time cosplaying as a female and it will be challenging since I normally cosplay as male characters but Zero is so pretty so I would love to cosplay her”. I will be surely be looking forward to that cosplay.
Cosplay is often born out of passion and love. It is not just a hobby but rather a craft that is honed over thousands of hours, putting in effort in order to emulate the character as closely as possible. If you sat across MG and Hisui as I have, there is no doubt in my mind that their passion for the craft is real.