How long have you been cosplaying for and how did you get started?
I have only been cosplaying for around 5 years. My first experience with anything cosplay related was at the first convention I attended. I had very little knowledge of cosplay at the time, and this was my first time seeing it. I actually ended up meeting a girl there who ended up dressing me in one of her cosplays. It was a lot of fun so I guess I was hooked from there.
When you’re not cosplaying or at a convention what can we find you doing?
Housework probably! I always seem to be working on some sort of project but if I get any spare time I like to make model kits.
Either pattern drafting or prop making. I am terrible at prop making so I try to choose characters who do not carry a large sword or anything like that. I actually draft all my patterns from scratch so sometimes it can be real trial or error. I have a habit to make things too big. I still have a long way to go I think!
What inspires you to choose your next cosplay?
I always have a mile long list of characters I want to cosplay. I’ll be watching something or playing a game and think wow this character looks so cool! Then feel this need to cosplay them, sometimes friends request me to cosplay certain characters and if I like the character or series I might consider it.
What cosplays can we expect to see from you in the future?
I have about 8 or so cosplays at various stages of completion to get through before the year is out. My next cosplay will be Soshi Miketsukami from Inu X boku SS. I have a bunch of shoots to edit and cosplays sitting aside that I’ve done nothing with yet so expect to see those appearing in the next few months.
As well as a convention attendee, you have also experienced the other side – being a convention dealer – what was this like?
Some of the hardest work and best fun I have ever had in my life. To do an event like the MCM Expo is incredibly hectic but you get to meet a bunch of great people. You end up forming a strange sort of ‘brotherhood’ with other con dealers, I think this is nice.
I had actually worked for another café before. When I saw there was a butler café forming I sent somewhat of a ‘joke’ application – a ridiculous photo with the caption ‘you know you want me’, not expecting to get in. unsurprisingly I did not make it through the first recruitment. When it came to a second recruitment, I took a more serious approach and was asked to join. To work at a butler café is like a combination of cosplay and roleplay, if this is the sort of thing that appeals to you it is a great job to have.
What’s the best part of being a butler and working at a Butler Café?
The best part is being able to joke around and interact with customers. You can be quite cheeky sometimes!
Have you found any challenges in this role?
Probably staying in character, that and making sure the customer feels comfortable and is having a good time.
I’m not sure if I have a style really, it depends. I like very cute stuff but I also incorporate some quite otaku-ish things so I guess a mix of ‘kawaii kei’ and ‘Akihabara kei’. When I wear girls clothes it is more gyaru style and when I wear boys clothes it is more punk style.
Do you have any fashion or shopping tips, to those with similar style?
My main shopping tip is to just look around for unusual items; you don’t need to spend a lot of money necessarily. I buy most my clothes on the internet.
I hear you are currently working on a visual novel, can you reveal any details about this project?
Yes I am! It is still in very early stages so I can’t let on too much yet. I am working as part of a small circle so we hope to have its release by the middle of next year.
I have never experienced cosplay bullying myself. Maybe I am just naïve to it but it strikes me as something that happens more online? At its essence cosplay is a hobby that revolves around just dressing up and having fun. Some take it very seriously and put in a lot of hard work, others not so much. Instead of worrying so much about what other people are doing or what they are thinking of you spend that time to better yourself. Putting someone else down will not make you better
What advice would you give a first time cosplayer con-goer?
Be respectful, don’t worry about looking silly, have fun!
Thank you Kotononn for this great interview! You can check out of all of Kotononn’s cosplays via https://www.facebook.com/sweetkotononn?fref=ts