Good day everyone, continuing our interview reports with the star cosplayers at AFASG2014. For today’s report, we have with us five of Chinese top cosplay talents. They are Hyko, Kazumi Noomi, Mon, Hana & Baozi.

Hyko is a Visual Rock (VR) cosplayer and most of the characters she cosplays are male. She extremely talented in pulling off male cosplays. Her expressions, her pose and appearance are all just like the real artist themselves. She would’ve become a visual rock artist if she wasn’t into cosplaying.

Kazumi has been cosplaying for a long time. She cosplay as both male and female characters and she’s a very pretty too.

Hana & Baozi are both male cosplayers that are so perfect they can cosplay even as females. Hana cosplay female characters very well  while Baozi also does a tremendously good job in his cosplays. Both of them really make a good pair.

Last but not least , the forever cute and lovely Mon never fails to make our hearts go doki-doki with her amazingly cute and moe cosplays.

We noticed that cosplayers do a really great job in make up. Is there a special method ?

AFA SG Hyko, Kazumi Noomi, Mon, Hana & Baozi (2)

Kazumi : I have been cosplaying for around 12 years or so. For me, I wasn’t good at makeup at first but after doing research on the characters and seeing the details, I would try to look more similar to the character. But sometimes  we also have to see whether the technique we are going to use will suit us or not and we have to improvise. For example , if the character has a sharp nose and the cosplayer doesn’t then he or she will have to learn how to highlight her nose and other areas as well.

Hyko : Well, I have been in cosplaying for around 16 years and my cosplays are more towards Visual Rock types, but sometimes, I cosplay from anime, comics and games too. For Visual Rock cosplays, there isn’t a specific form or way to make up as it depends on the artist most of the time. Apart from normal make up, there really isn’t much to it but of course it is essential to make you look like the person you are cosplaying. Other than make up, it is more important to perfect the costumes especially the colors and details used. It is also really important to make poses and actions according to the artist. I have been doing mostly males and I think the most important parts is the angles and dimension as it differs from females. If you are able to perfect the angles and dimension in your cosplays for VR then the whole feel and everything will be totally different. So they are really important in bringing out the feel and character in VR cosplays.

AFA SG Hyko, Kazumi Noomi, Mon, Hana & Baozi (1)

Mon : I stress more on eye make up and that depends on the character. For example, if the character is a girl then I would add false lashes with more volume and if the character is a guy then no false lashes but I will still apply a few coatings of mascara and stuff. Still, it depends on the character and false lashes actually makes a big difference. For eyebrows, if it’s a guy then I will usually conceal my own brows and draw on a fiercer one.

Baozi : Well actually Hana does most of the makeup as I am more specialised in prop making. At first when Hana and I. Hana was the one who did first started cosplaying, Hana was the one who do my makeup for me and all my makeup skills that I possess are taught by Hana. Also, I only cosplay male characters while Hana will try out female or more feminine characters.

Hana : * Tsk*

Baozi : Well, we used to like drawing very thin eyebrows but now we start changing our style to thicker and fuller eyebrows. Also, we use the characters as reference and change our eye makeup style according to the characters.

Hana : Well most of them are girls trying out male cosplays but I am already a guy so when I cosplay as a guy, my make up is very simple. But for today, since the character is more elaborate, so my makeup is also more elaborate. But when I am cosplaying teenage or schooling boy characters which are more casual , then my makeup will also be more casual. Meanwhile if I cosplay a female character … * Baozi laughs* , then my make up style will differ as I have to use several different techniques and styles because it is actually very tough for a man to cosplay a female character. Well I don’t really know how to express it but I have to wholly rely on makeup to make a difference from male to female. Even for falsies, I have to paste on a few layers of that for the effect.

Is this your first time in Singapore and what is your first impression on Singapore ? 

Kazumi : Yup! It is my first time. My first impression on Singapore was that it’s very hot here, because I came over from Japan and it is only around 12 C there . Therefore, I brought down autumn clothing with me.

Baozi : Well, because both me and Hana are attending University here in Singapore now so I think the rest should answer first.

HykoIt is my second time in Singapore as I have resided here before quite some time ago. I personally like Singapore as it is very clean and the management is great too. To me it’s a pretty fine country.

Mon : Well, the one thing that fascinates me the most is the tall buildings and the roads are filled with cars and buses. It’s like every time and each stop , I would look out and admire all the cars on the road. Other than that, the scenery here is also very beautiful. I was also really excited to see all the beautiful Christmas decorations. I was like “Wahhhh! We can go for outdoor photoshoot now!” *laughs*

For Hana and Baozi , since you’ve been residing here for study purposes, how are you fitting in so far ? 

Baozi : Still okay except it is very hot. Because we were from Jiang Shu and Zhejiang, so at this time, it is already very cold there but it is very hot here. When we first came here, we were rather worried of the heat and true enough it is so hot we keep sweating and our makeup kept melting too. The first time when we went for an outdoor shoot, the heat was terrible and we weren’t used to it at all. We had not even started taking photos and we were already wilted. But as time went by, we slowly get more and more used to it.

As a professional cosplayer, what are the challenges that you have faced ?

Mon : I think the real challenge is being the character itself. The expression , the actions and well all of it. For me, before a photo shoot, I will stand in front of the mirror to practice first and also , I will save some of the characters photos in my phone as a reference.

Baozi : Well, because we cosplay together most of the time and the characters we cosplay are mostly related with each other in special ways so the challenge is to make sure we are able to have the same close relationship and feeling as the characters. We prefer to cosplay the characters during their normal daily life and a bit more intimate. So usually we have to crack our heads to think of ways to photo shoot to have that kind of ‘feel’. Also, we would prepare some props to make it better too.

Hana : I think the challenge is to cosplay a character that you really like but not being suitable at all.

Baozi : Because , because Hana mostly likes a more feminine kind of character.

Love stage is it ?

Baozi : Ah Yes!

Hana : Yea and there are still more and I am constantly experimenting on then it is very difficult for me because I am a man. And recently, I didn’t do any female cosplays so I have not been exercising and my body and muscles are all growing bigger again.

But Hana did a very good job when he crossplays !

Hana :*laughs*

Recently, we seen you cosplay as characters from love stage.

HanaYeap. Love Stage is still okay because the character was actually a guy who dresses up as a girl so I can relate as the condition is the same as mine.

Kazumi : I personally think that the challenging part when I am cosplaying is researching and getting to know the backgrounds and everything about the character. Putting myself in their shoes is an example of how would he/she would style their hair, dress themselves and how they would pose.

Hyko : Well , I am more of a Visual Rock cosplayer so my experience with the others are different. For VR cosplays , it is something rather abstract. It is either a 100% thing or straight flat 0. Because if you can’t pull it off then you won’t look like them at all. There is no half-half so I think that is the difficulty. Apart from that , my experience in VR cosplays really help a lot when I am cosplaying from ACG genre. It is also a challenge when you see a certain character and you’re unsure whether you are able to pull it off or not. In the past, when I encounter such a situation, I would totally reject the idea of cosplaying the character, but now I would take it as a challenge and try to accomplish it. Even if it didn’t turn out right and there are chances I might fail, at least I want to know that I put in effort and did not give up. I also think that if it is a good piece of work then everyone will love it and that is what motivates me to go on.

AFA SG Hyko, Kazumi Noomi, Mon, Hana & Baozi (4)

What are the factors that you would consider when you’re choosing a character to cosplay ? Do you prefer anime characters more or games characters ?

Hyko : Apart from VR cosplays, I would not choose a character based on whether it is from an anime or games but more to whether I love the character or not. I think that is very important. Because if I really like the character than no matter what, I will consider about cosplaying it seriously. That is my first factor. For my second factor , I would consider whether it is suitable for me or not and whether I am able to do it. If it is not suitable for me and I am unable to accomplish it then I would probably consider to give up. I mean , because if I am not able to reach my own standards then what is the purpose of cosplaying it . It is really an unjust act.

Kazumi : Well of course at first I would consider on whether I like this character or not and whether I am interesting in cosplaying it. Secondly, because I have been cosplaying for a rather long time so my house is actually filled with all my props and there are very limited space left. Other than that , I would also consider whether the costume can be made by myself or not. I would prefer to cosplay the characters where I can make the costumes myself. So basically this three things that I will take into consideration for now.

HanaI just cosplay whatever character I like. *Laughs* Also sometimes, I will cosplay a certain character because I want to experience something new or sometimes, just because I like the character’s partner. For example, I really love Makoto from Free but because I am not suitable to cosplay him so I cosplayed his partner, Haru.

Baozi : So basically, we cosplay together so the characters of our choices are actually related. For Hana, he would usually cosplay the expressionless character of the pair while I would usually take on the character who constantly laughs and smile stupidly. So basically we cosplay whatever we want to.

Hana : Maybe because my character is more ‘wild’ I just do whatever I feel like doing. Then I will just do it and when it fails, then I will just throw it aside. *Everyone laughs* Yeah, basically it’s like that.

Mon : I also will first look at the character and I rarely cosplay anything from games, because I don’t play games as I am really busy with work and school. So for those characters which will take up a lot of time I will less likely cosplay it, but still I did do a few cosplays which involves a lot of fighting and killing action. For anime, I am easily tempted and really want to cosplay all. Sometimes I even cosplay characters which are not suitable for me such as Levi from Shingeki no Kyojin. His eyes are longer and small and it is not suitable for me as most of the characters I cosplay have big and round eyes.

AFA SG Hyko, Kazumi Noomi, Mon, Hana & Baozi (3)

Of all the characters you have cosplayed , which is your favorite ?

Mon : Hatsune Miku. I really like her original version as well as all of her songs. and twintails! Totally my type. Because of that, I have cosplayed quite a few versions of her. She is my goddess.

Hana & Baozi : For me and Hana, I think it would be Makoto and Haru from Free! After cosplaying so many characters, we find that these two are quite related to our personal characters in real life and the feel when we cosplay them is amazing.

Kazumi : One of my favorite cosplay is Yuzuhara Inori from Guilty Crown. I really love the anime as well as the music and all. Every time I cosplay her , it is like there’s a feeling within me that makes me feel like I want to become her.

Hyko : Since my cosplays are from VR genre, of course my first love is Gackt. As for ACG wise, I like my Reiji cosplay from Uta no Prince-sama.

That’s all we have from Hyko , Kazumi Noomi , Mon, Hana & Baozi, stay tune for more from !

Photo Credits: JT

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