“Please cherish your friends as you can not Cosplay alone.
I think doing cosplay together is more fun than doing it alone!” – Reika
Reika, popular Japanese cosplayer and our cosplay guest at AFA Singapore 2012, was able to spare us some time with an interview! We are very honoured to have known such a passionate cosplayer such as Reika. She is known for her accuracy in her cosplays and stunning portrayal of the characters in her photos. She creates each costume with much care and diligence and spends a lot of time of getting her wigs styled right and getting her make-up as close to perfection!
Along with her gorgeous features, Reika also has a very warm and beautiful personality. We were very touched by her views on cosplay and we are more than delighted to share them with you as well!
The interview was originally in Japanese but we have translated it for all her overseas fans! Translation thanks to Mika and Johnny!
Get to know Reika a little bit more with AFA Channel!
1. How did you start cosplaying?
Initially, I used to draw and join events with my doujin-works. When participating in such events, I saw the cosplayers having a wonderful time. This made me want to try out cosplay as well.
I joined a local event as a cosplayer and found out that it was really fun for me to make costumes. Eventually, I found myself to be no longer drawing.
If I was really good at drawing, as well as being able to express well what I have imagined in my mind, I would probably not be cosplaying for such a long period of time.
2. What is a crucial criteria for you to choose a cosplay character?
I would choose the character that I really like.
The more I like the character, the greater my desire to make that costume.
On top of that, I can enjoy myself when I’m in that costume.
I think it is same as children who enjoy wearing the belts of their favourite heroes. (laugh)
3. Do you have a preference to cosplay female or male characters?
Basically, I cosplay as male characters because my favourite characters are mainly male.
I prefer to see cute girls who are cosplaying as female characters rather than cosplaying them myself.
4. Do you have any cosplayers that you respect?
I used to like some cosplayers that are from Tokyo, but recently I don’t see them at events.
Perhaps they have already retired, but even now, I still respect them.
I like them in all aspects: their costumes, photos and the way they show their love for through their work.
Apart from that, they are hard workers.
I am always touched by the remarkable cosplayers in the countries which I have I visited. I feel that the moe point is the amazing costumes that these cosplayers have created and I have much respect for them.
5. We understand that you make your own costumes, which is the most difficult costume you had to make and how long did you take?
I always have trouble when making costumes as I am clumsy (laugh).
A particular cosplay that caused me a lot of trouble was Origami Cyclone of TIGER & BUNNY because It was my first time making a costume that does not reveal any skin and it was my second time making a mask (the first time was ZERO of Code Geass). It took 2 weeks to make these items. I made it frantically every night after work.
Also, Sangoku Musou 7’s costume, which I am making now, is very difficult too as it has many small ornaments.
特別思い入れが強い衣装はTIGER & BUNNYの折紙サイクロンですね。
6. What is the fastest cosplay costume you have made?
It is the jacket of SMS (Macross). Starting from cutting the cloth, it took 1 hour and half to finish.
I remember I did a live broadcasting while I was making it. (laugh)
I think I can make a costume faster than most people. I usually complete a costume in a day. (Since I start after work, I finish a costume in 1 night)
If I take more than 2 days, I will lose concentration.
7. Which is your favourite cosplay costume by far?
The characters for which I made costumes for are all my favourites so I cosplay all of them after I do what I can do for the costumes, so it is hard for me to choose one, but the costume which I have the strongest feeling for is Arikawa Masaomi of Harukanaru Toki no Nakade 3. I won the game company’s official contest with it. I remember I was really happy because it was my dearest character.
And Hijikata Toshizo of Hakuoki is a memorable character.
I realized I cosplayed it 38 times in a year. I have strong feeling especially for Hakuoki, that’s what make it as my precious work.
Maeda Keiji of Sengoku BASARA is memorable costume as well.
I cosplayed this character after a year’s rest from cosplaying. I struggled to make the costume because I forgot certain steps in making it..But I was so happy that I was about to cry when the voice actor of Maeda Keiji said to me, ”Your costume is great!’ at an event in Kyoto.
Also, Jinguji Ren of Uta no Prince-sama!
I have made 14 costumes of Ren so far, which is surprising even to myself. Whenever I am making or wearing these costumes, I feel really happy, as if I’ve fallen in love. I’ve also felt as though I’ve returned back to my childhood.
8. In Singapore, new cosplayers make friends by going to a forum or other sites to source for partners to form cosplay groups. Is this the same in Japan? How do cosplayers in Japan find cosplay groups?
I think Japan is same as Singapore. But I feel Japanese cosplayers would rather take pictures for themselves than communicating with each other.
So I think they know each other on websites first, then meet at events when they join it.
Compared to older times, I feel the interchanges are not as prosperous in Osaka, where I’m living in, even though it is a place with a homey atmosphere.
On the other hand, they communicate with each other well at artwork events (there are lot of such events in Japan) as the people who really like the artwork go there. It is very fun.
9. What is the something you have learnt from cosplay?
I learnt a lot. The importance of observing the rules and keeping promises, the planning that goes to making costumes, continuing to challenge myself, how to handle relationships and studying language.
I’m studying every day. I even learnt the violin and football for the sake of cosplay. (laugh)
I would like to level up myself more with the new techniques which I come across when making a costume every time.
10. Do you have any tips you can share to new cosplayers?
Please cherish your friends as you can not Cosplay alone.
I think doing cosplay together is more fun than doing it alone!
Also, please love the original work that your cosplay is based on. Cosplay is a display of your love for the original work, even though there are people who cosplay a particular title simply because it’s a popular work.
Don’t think of this as a method for you to stand out.
Meeting people who also loves the same works as you at events leads to the further widening of your social circle. I like a world that is like this.
11. Reika-san has a lot of fans all over the world, what is the most memorable incident with a fan that you can remember?
There is a lot, actually.
My first overseas trip was to China. At that point of time, the general feeling of the event was, “Anyone will do as long as long as you invite a Japanese cosplayer”.
Thanks to an invitation from an acquaintance, I participated in this event.
However, on the first day, the organisers said to me, “It was really great that you were able to come”. This line made me very happy, and that I have to do my best at the event.
On top of that, I usually return to Japan on late-night flights. But I was grateful that are people that accompanied me even to the airport. Being together until late fills me with gratitude.
Although I feel sorry for not being able to thank everyone individually, I turn that as my motivation in continuing to cosplay.
AFA Channel would like to once again thank Reika for her time and her detailed and generous answers to our questions.
We hope you have got to know Reika a bit more through our interview!
Do let us know your views on cosplays as well!
More photos below!: