Emi-zone and Felixize represented the UK in the World Cosplay Summit this year. These amazing cosplayers shared with us what this extraordinary experience was like and the cultural difference between cosplay in the UK and Japan.
How did it feel winning the UK qualifier at PlayExpo? Did you do anything to celebrate?
Honestly it was a huge surprise for us, when we arrived at the event we saw everyone else’s amazing costumes and sets and our confidence diminished. When we were called we couldn’t believe it was happening, it was the most amazing thing. We went back to my house to change and drop the set off and then went out for a big dinner with our friends.
For both the UK qualifier and the WCS championships you entered with Li and Sakura from Tsubasa Chronicles, was there a reason for this?
When we decided on Sakura and Syaoran for our prelims we quickly found that we had a similarly strong interest and like about them. They worked well for our body type and height difference, and Tsubasa featured so many amazing costumes and was full of skit potential. When it came to choosing our championships costumes we dwelled on it for weeks on end before realising we already had the perfect choice, so we pinpointed our favourite costumes and went from there.
What was the most challenging part to make of your costume, how did you overcome this?
The most challenging part, though for different reasons had to be the small triangle pieces that adorn Sakura’s costume. There were close to 100 of them in total and each individual piece consisted of 3 different beads, thread, lobster clasps and a bell. It felt like a never ending scenario, between the two of us, I can’t even guess how many hours we spent making them! We would sit and marathon Gintama or Free while doing it in the evenings or between practises.
How long did it take to learn the impressive skit which you performed in the WCS finals in Japan?
I’m glad you found it impressive! We actually live very far apart so we weren’t able to spend as much time practising as we’d have ideally liked. We scheduled visits – during which we worked on both the costumes and the performance. We would spend a couple of hours each day – either in the morning or during the late afternoon doing run throughs over and over again. We had the help of a friend who worked with us to choreograph our dance and give us feedback also. We spent the night before the finals practising till about 3am!
Did you have a favourite part of your visit to Japan?
I think WCS itself was an amazing experience, we both felt so privileged, it’s going to stick with us forever. We met so many talented and kind people, in both the cosplayers and the staff – it’s hard to focus on just one part of our trip to Japan. It’s a beautiful country with stunning views and tradition, there is no end to the things you can see, do and eat!
What was the biggest culture shock for you when you visited Japan?
The heat was a bit of a shock. Cultural differences that effected us however included not being able to talk in the lifts, or eating while walking. We found it hard to grow accustomed to dodging the cyclists too, as they ride on the pavements. This felt like certain death to us.
Overall what was the highlight of representing the UK and entering WCS?
The opportunity to travel to Japan, take part in the WCS experience and be part of the World Cosplay Summit Family. We received a lot of support during the lead up and while we were over there and we’re so thankful for it all.
After your experience, in your opinion, how does a Japanese convention differ to our UK conventions?
Japan doesn’t hold conventions as we know them, cosplayers attend cosplay only events run by organisations such as JCF which gives them an environment in which they can network and take photos with other cosplayers, they don’t have panels or masquerades. Both have their advantages depending on what you want from an event!
Russia won overall, but did you have a personal favourite entry from another country?
We were both really fond of Denmark’s performance and costumes, they deserved the Brother Award so much. I [Emi] was also fond of Mexico’s skit and all the effects they used as I’m a huge Ghibli fan!
WCS qualifiers take place at Winter Hyper Japan, any tips for those entering, additionally advice for those worried that there not good enough to enter cosplay contests?
We actually put together a list of helpful tips on our blog for anyone thinking of entering WCS this year – or in the general future! It’s by no means a MUST do list but it’s what we’ve come to learn during our experience and will hopefully be of use to anyone planning on competing!
For anyone unsure about entering – you’ll never know until you try!