This week I interviewed Cosbabe the ultimate magical girl cosplayer! She has bought characters such as Sailor Moon and Cardcaptor Sakura to life, however just like a real magical girl, do not be fooled by her appearance she is a force to reckoned with having represented Germany at the World Cosplay Summit.
You started cosplaying back in 2003 – how did you get involved?
I was a massive Anime and Manga fan when I was a teenager: I spent all my money buying books and magazines and even had my personal website about almost everything related to it. Through that, my best friend and I met another girl that also had a website. We exchanged details, started chatting a lot and then eventually decided to meet up – and since we all had the same hobby, we decided to see each other for the first time at a convention! After some research regarding events, we discovered cosplay and felt that we had to give it a try! It was an insane experience, so that more and more costumes followed magically.
In 2008, you ‘retired’ from the cosplay scene, what caused this and what made you start again in 2012?
My cosplay partner (back then) and I always had the goal to be a part of the World Cosplay Summit, which is a cosplay world championship held by TV Aichi in Japan. In 2007, we actually managed to win the German preliminary’s and were chosen as “Team Germany 2008”. This achievement felt like the highest point of my cosplay career and with a lot of drama developing in the German cosplay community, I decided to finally let go after some stressful years in order to keep cosplay as a good memory.
However, I couldn’t really let go of it. During my studies (I am now a Graphic Designer), I learned how to approach creative fields in a different way. I finally realized that cosplay is another form of being creative instead of seeing it as a competition among people who actually share a passion for the same hobby. This new drive made me re-discover my passion!
What is your favourite cosplay and why?
I actually have more than one favorite costume – although there is only one I’ve got a special connection with: my Dancer (Ragnarok Online) costume!
This was the very first costume where I didn’t let myself get restricted by my old frame of mind and started using different materials, tried new techniques and whilst making it, I actually found my passion for the crafting process itself. The feeling of finally letting go of “What will others think of me?”, “Will they like the costume?” and “I hope it will be spectacular enough…” was incredible!
What do you find the biggest challenge when making your cosplays?
I always see the stage of planning a costume that involves a big amount of research for detailed imagery, sourcing the right material and figuring out how to actually sew/craft everything, as the hardest one in the progress of making a costume. I’m a really big perfectionist, I can spend days browsing the internet and trying different things till I achieve a result that is satisfactory. Once I’ve completed this stage, everything else feels as easy as licking ice-cream.
Some of your cosplays have a strong focus on video games, is there a particular video game character that you relate to?
With my first steps into the gaming industry, my taste regarding visuals simultaneously changed and I kind of moved over from comic to video game characters. It is very important for me to somehow relate to a character – may it be the character’s personality or even just the design you somehow really love. My absolute thrill is Gwendolyn (Odin Sphere): Not only the character design is amazing, but also the story itself and they way it is being presented is very thrilling for me.
What do you do outside of cosplaying and conventions?
I am creative in any possible way: I work as a digital designer and I love to illustrate or take photographs – basically nothing that involves a part of “being creative” is safe from me! I don’t play many video games anymore, like I used to do, because being a grown up sadly involves having not-so-much time. However, whenever I do find a moment, I play with my boyfriend and together we slaughter many enemies (I am a PvP-er by heart)!
What do consider your proudest cosplay achievement?
Definitely being part of the World Cosplay Summit! “Team Germany” is not only a title, but also a big honour and an opportunity to experience a whole new world. During my experience in Nagoya, Japan, I met so many new friends, learned about “cosplay in other cultures” (back then it wasn’t that common to visit conventions and expos in other countries) and actually coming together with people from all over the world that share the same love for something is amazing. Having made this experience truly is a treasure I will keep forever.
You have entered several cosplay competitions; do you have any tips for cosplayers looking to enter their first competition?
Don’t be scared! Everyone starts as a newbie and with time, trial and error also comes experience. The more competitions you enter, the easier you will find it to figure out what to do. I would love to give some specific tips, but as there are so many different competitions nowadays – and each single one puts the focus on a different area – the best to do is: Check out other people that were successfull in that certain competition and try to figure out key points that they all have in common.
Con season is approaching and you are a guest at London Anime and Gaming Con, what will you be doing there? Can you reveal what you will be cosplaying as?
Oh, I am so excited! This is my first time being invited as a cosplay guest and therefore I wanna keep it low for now and see how it is in general. However, there will definitely be a “Cosplay Stars Q&A panel”, where all cosplay guests will come together for a question and answer session! I will be attending both days, debuting a new costume (Chii, Chobits) and bringing an all-time favorite (Super Sailor Moon, Sailor Moon).
What does 2014 hold for you?
This will be the year where I can finally give 100% (due to finishing studies, moving and getting a job, my “come back” wasn’t really that satisfying), so I want to give my best as well! My goal is to make a fair amount of new costumes, visit lots of conventions and – one of the most exciting things – meet new people from the UK cosplay community!
Follow Cosbabe on Facebook and Twitter @cosbabe_cosplay
Meet Cosbabe at London Anime Gaming Convention on Saturday 8th – Sunday 9th February. Tickets can be purchased here http://www.londonanimecon.com/login.php
Photo credits all images by Cosbabe and Annie Fischinger