Faces of Cosplay: Average Asian Cosplay

“Always strive for more but never stop learning. Ask questions. Reach out to the cosplay community. Other cosplayers are usually willing to help.”

Paul fire

As I read and research and write about cosplay, I’m continually encouraged by just how diverse and interesting the cosplay community really is. With that in mind, I’d like to widen the scope of this blog to showcase the work and stories of other cosplayers of all ages, gender identities and backgrounds.  This week we will kick off with an award-winning cosplayer I met at the Arkansas Anime Festival in the spring of 2015.

Cosplay daughter had brought her Hiro supersuit and I was cosplaying his aunt. Our first stop was a Disney meet-up and panel down the dim hall of the Springdale Holiday Inn. As I stood outside the room, I saw my “nephew” Tadashi approach and squealed in delight: “TADASHI!!!!!”  and he replied, in perfect character- “Hi Aunt Cass.” That’s how we met.

Hamada family

Name: Average Asian Cosplay

Day job: Graphic Designer and Sales at a sign shop

Age: 29

Home base: Wichita, Kansas USA

Why do you cosplay?

The joy of bringing a fictional character to life. Being able to take something that is two dimensional and bring it to the real world.

How long have you been cosplaying?

I have been cosplaying since 2010.

How do you choose your character(s)?

I choose a character depending on how they look and act. I usually want ones that I don’t need to change my own look too much. Also characters that people could easily recognize.

Do you have a signature, or favorite cosplay?

My main cosplays are Mako from Legend of Korra and Spark from Pokemon GO. Both of these cosplays are comfortable to wear for long periods of time. Spark is fun because I also made a large Zapdos that stays perched on my arm.

Paul Pokemon

 

Do you make, or buy your cosplays?

I buy and make my cosplays. The ones I compete with are made. The ones I just want to have fun at a con with are usually purchased.

What advice do you have to other cosplayers?

Have fun with cosplay. Don’t worry about what other people think about you or your cosplay. If you are competing and do not win, it isn’t that you didn’t do well, it is because someone just did it better. Always strive for more but never stop learning. Ask questions. Reach out to the cosplay community. Other cosplayers are usually willing to help.

What’s the best thing that someone has said to you about your cosplay?

I always enjoy it when kids want to take a picture with me and then want to brag to their sibling about it.

What’s the worst thing that someone has said to you about your cosplay?

It would have to be someone who asks why I cosplayed a certain character even though I don’t look like them or don’t have the correct body type.

Do you attend conventions?

I attend multiple conventions throughout the Midwest with the occasional con outside the region.

Which is your favorite?

My favorite convention would have to be Tokyo in Tulsa because it was my first convention and where I’ve met many of I’ve met many of my cosplay friends.

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Hamada Family Reunion: Supersuits, Inflatable Robots and Happy Bakers

Wow! Too long since I’ve written a post!

First the end of the university’s academic year, then the run-up to the convention meant that I couldn’t find the time  to play in the cosplaymom sandbox.

But now, here we are at the Arkansas Anime Festival (A2F)  for the costume competition, to run some panels and for general fun, merriment and binging on pocky.

I had a cosplay parenting panel, and cosplay daughter participated in a Pan-Disney panel  that included a diverse array of characters, from Belle to Peter Pan to Hiro and Tadashi.  It was a great opportunity for a Hamada “family reunion”

Cosplay daughter, had coplayed Hiro Hamada before as “casual Hiro”

Casual Hiro

IMG_1530

That’s the previous A2F. Now, however, after 6 months of construction, painting, hot glue burns and exacto knife cuts, cosplay daughter was ready to show off the Hiro supersuit….

Hiro supersuit

Kira Hiro supersuit

I’m very proud of this look- she made this entirely herself from scratch, with no help from me.  She used EVA foam mats from Lowe’s (the kind you use to put on the floor of a play area or work area), the heat gun that novio gave her for Christmas, and at least three different kinds of adhesive/glue.

 (This is where I still have value. In the shopping. As bankroll…)

I loved how proud she was of it, and enjoyed how many small people wanted their photo with her this weekend.  The young ‘uns knew EXACTLY who she was and truly appreciated it!)

But I also love this cosplay because it let me participate. As HIro’s Aunt Cass;

Aunt Cass

It was PERFECT because I could be effervescently enthusiastic, and she didn’t have to fake her exasperation!

Cass and Hiro 1

Cass and Hiro 2

and then as a bonus,  at cosplay daughter’s Disney panel, the rest of the family was there…

Hiro’s brother Tadashi…

Hamada family

and even Baymax!

Baymax cropped

Cosplay daughter won the Judge’s Choice award, I got to play with worbla in the cosplay-playroom and I met some great other cosplay parents/uncles/grandparents….as well as Obi-Wan Obama (more about that in another post.)

One summer convention down! Now on to Cosplacon in June!