Words by John Peter Himor
Photos by Ralph Parba and Meghan Sevilla
When I was a kid, I always wanted to look like Inuyasha. I would watch the anime from our small TV and think to myself how much I wanted to have long white locks and a Tessaiga (Inuyasha’s sword) of my own. Sadly, that all remained a fantasy to me because seven-year-old me didn’t yet know the existence of the magical art that is this—cosplay.
Last August 25-26, 2018, The SMX Convention Center was filled with cosplayers for The Best of Anime 2018 convention. Now on its ninth year, the event is a haven for cosplayers to celebrate their craft and display their passion through amazing costumes. And for non-cosplayers like me, Best of Anime is an opportunity to learn more about the anime culture…and possibly get some tips and tricks on how to be cosplayers ourselves.
Here are seven tips to get started on cosplaying, as told by some amazing cosplayers we met at the event.
7. Don’t limit yourself.
Guest cosplayer, Hyko from Taiwan
In cosplay, there are no limitations as to which character you want to portray. Many cosplayers will venture into both male and female characters, including BoA’s guest cosplayers Hyko from Malaysia and Mon from Taiwan. Hyko, for example, is famously known for playing charming male princes like Ren Jinguji of Uta no Prince-Sama, but she can also transform into lovely princesses. Of course, when starting out in cosplay, first try playing characters that you’re comfortable doing, before venturing into other roles as you feel more and more creative!
6. Find inspiration from everywhere.
Some of the collectibles for sale at The Best of Anime 2018
Do you have an all-time favorite character from an all-time favorite anime? Or is there a newly released manga that you’re really into? Inspirations for the character you want to play can come from anywhere like anime, manga, video games, and even actual personalities if you feel like it. You can even find ideas by looking at accessories such as creepy contact lenses and building the character from that alone. How creative is that?
5. Details are everything.
Guest cosplayer Mon from Taiwan explains cosplay makeup.
There are many cosplayers out there, but what separates the good from the great are the tiny details. More than the actual costume, another fundamental aspect of cosplay is the makeup. The details in your makeup are important to rightfully embody the features and the energy of the character you are portraying. For the eye makeup, for example, use red and pink tones if the character is more feminine, and use darker shades if he/she is more masculine. A straighter brow is better for a kind and goodhearted character, while an angled brow is a must for evil personas.
4. Make your tailors and seamstresses your friends.
Hyko’s costume took six months to create!
Some cosplay projects can be too complicated to simply do them at home and alone. With your supervision, tailors and seamstresses are always there to help you put your thoughts into reality. You have to remain patient, however, because some tailoring projects can last for several months, especially for the more ambitious costumes. Remember to be part of the process and make sure to pay your seamstresses well! Create a good and lasting impression with your tailors so you can call them for future collaborations.