Cosplay Interview 01 – Potential Angel

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Amecon 08 - Potential Angel

As part of an ongoing feature here on eMagi we shall produce a series of interviews from cosplayers all around the world every Wednesday for as long as possible! If you have cosplayed before and wish to be interviewed by us then please contact us and we shall be in touch!

For the very first interview on eMagi we would like to give a very warm welcome to one of our friends and forum member Potential Angel!

Hello! Thank you once more to be interviewed for eMagi.co.uk. Please state your name and current occupation.
Melissa but I mostly go by Mel or Mochi and most will know me as Potential_angel. I’m currently on a gap year.

Do you have any hobbies or interests?
I play the Guitar as well as a Thai instrument called a Khim. Anime and Manga of course (that’s a given). I also Ice Skate when I get the time and collect anime related paraphernalia.

When did you first show interest in anime and more specifically cosplaying?
Well unconsciously probably when I was 4 years old. At that age I was still living in Thailand and watched things like Sailor Moon and Doraemon. When I moved back to the UK I was upset that I couldn’t find similar things. That was until Pokemon (okay not the best of animes but it’s still a classic) came out and I started watching “Japanese Cartoons” as I called them which included Digimon, Flint the Time Detective and Sailor Moon. My sister later told me these were Animes and introduced me to Escaflowne, Tenchi Muyo, Cowboy Bebop and Dragonball Z. Since then I’ve been a huge fan.

Okay well to be honest… my first taste of cosplaying was when I was 4 and my aunt thought it’d be funny to dress me up in a Sailor Moon outfit and put my hair up in that odango style. I didn’t properly consciously cosplay till October 2006.

Why cosplay at all? To some, people find it weird yet it is gaining more popularity in the UK due to various events and coverage. What do you enjoy the most about it?
The only thing I can say is… Why not? At events like Amecon and London Expo you always get loads of cosplayers and its great to be apart of that community. I guess one attraction of these events is getting to see what people have put together and it’s nice to see your favourite character take a 3D form. For those who cosplay, it’s a rush to be recognised and have people request to be photographed with you.

Which characters have you cosplayed thus far and your favourite amongst them?
The first cosplay was Hakkai from the Anime/Manga Saiyuki. This was by far my favourite as it was a lot more comfortable than the other cosplay I did. The second cosplay was Shizuru from Mai HiME. Then I had a large break where I was busy with exams before I did three different cosplays at Amecon 08. They were Yumi from Maria-sama ga Miteru (Marimite), Setsuna from Negima (in her cat maid cosplay) and Chie from Mai Otome in the Pearl Robe.

My favourite is Setsuna as she is one of my favourite anime characters and it is an awesome feeling to cosplay a character that you love.

Potential Angel in Cosplay with the Yuri PADDLE!

You’ve cosplayed quite a few times I see! That Setsuna cosplay with you in the Maid outfit I remember got a bit of attention and fully justified too. Why is it your favourite cosplay to date?
I did an outfit that wasn’t normally done so those who did recognise me were the die hard fans which gave me a huge rush.

How long on average was spent on your cosplay to create it?
The longest was 19 hours to make a kimono for Shizuru because it was something I’d never done but the shortest was Hakkai as I only took 5 hours to make his top. I didn’t make the Kimono for the Setsuna cosplay as it took me so long to do the Shizuru kimono.

If there was one aspect of cosplay you would like to improve on, what would it be?
It’s not really an aspect of cosplay per se but I one thing that I find that puts me off is the negative attention you can sometimes get. When I say negative attention I refer to the strange fans you get who can sometime take it too far or the rather pervy fans you get who make you feel awkward. I got groped a few times at Amecon and it was not something I’d like to experience again.

I’m sorry to hear that. Certainly, such actions do give cosplay and anime events a bad name and some people do blur the lines between cosplay and acting too much in character. Such actions could never be condoned. Ever enlisted to be in a cosplay masquerade?
Almost. Basically I went to an Amecon last year doing a Negima cosplay and there was a Negima group who had signed to do the masquerade and they wanted me to join them but unfortunately there was a maxiumum number of people that were allowed to be in each group so I didn’t join them.

The eternal cosplay question – Make or Buy?
I suppose if you have the ability and time to make a cosplay then it’s always nice to make something as you feel pride when you are complimented. However buying is also good if you want something that you couldn’t possibly make yourself.

Any characters you would like to cosplay in the future?
I have a huge list but the following are cosplays currently planned for this year:

-Lu Xun from Dynasty Warriors 5
-Setsuna from Negima (3 different cosplays: cosplay pactio, armour pactio and suka pactio)
-C.C. from Code Geass
-Sumire from Venus Versus Virus
-Maka from Soul Eater

Most impressive cosplay you have seen?
Probably Seth from Trinity Blood and also someone who did a furry cosplay of Red XII from Final Fantasy VII

Best anime related event you have been to thus far?
Amecon by far!

What are your opinions on Crossplayers?
Girls crossplaying men is very normal I think. My first cosplay was a man so I have no problem with that.

I am normally okay with Men cosplaying women as well as its quite funny most of the time and sometimes even shockingly good. I remember saying to one guy at the London Expo that I was upset with him but only cause he had nicer legs than me!

A final message to those thinking about cosplaying for the first time?
Go for it! Seriously pick something and just go for it! It doesn’t matter if your not the best seamstress in the world. There is no shame in buying and also if you do try and make your own cosplay then don’t be disheartened if it doesn’t look how you wanted it to to. I have a friend who started cosplaying the same time as me and she had no experience whatsoever but shes on her 4th cosplay now and it was amazing!

Thank you for your time Melissa and we hope to see you again in future events!

Disclaimer: All images are provided to eMagi with permission and credit to the original photographer.