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The Real Face of Cosplayers vol. 1: Coyomi

コスプレイヤーの素顔 vol.1 こよみさん
| INTERVIEW | Posted
The Real Face of Cosplayers vol. 1: Coyomi

Even cosplayers who transform into anime and game characters have their own “normal” face.
Why did they get into cosplay? What kind of person are they usually?
These are common questions people wonder about them.
This is a series to introduce both sides of a cosplayer—their cosplay face and their everyday face.
We spoke with Coyomi, a cosplayer who also works as the manager of the Shibuya bar Apare.


“I hated cosplayers at first”/最初はコスプレイヤーが嫌いでした

– What made you start cosplaying?

Coyomi: I became an otaku after my father got me reading Osamu Tezuka’s manga “Apollo’s Song” in kindergarten. From there, I became a fan of manga and grew up reading series like “Detective Conan” and “ONE PIECE”.

When I was in elementary school, a “BOOK OFF” (large Japanese secondhand bookstore chain) opened in my neighborhood and it was there that I came across Boys’ Love manga. Who knew that I’d make my Fujoshi debut at 9 years old (laughs)?

I began surfing the Internet when I was 12, and got addicted to a fan site for the manga series “Flame of Recca” that I visited everyday.

At 14 I made my Comiket debut! I got on the first train and waited 5 hours in line to buy doujinshi. At that time I was just there solely to buy doujinshi, and to be honest I didn’t really like cosplayers.

After I entered high school I was able to work part time and earn money, so I spent my days buying all the doujinshi I could get my hands on. I was enjoying a double life in both the otaku community and the real community.

Since my college applications ended early, I became really free and started looking for friends on mixi. It was there that I coincidentally met a cosplayer. They took me to a cosplay venue and gave me a costume, saying “wear this”, and before I knew it I was in cosplay. That’s how I made my cosplay debut, dressed as Haruhi Suzumiya from “The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya”.

koyomi_cosplay_2017_005


Turning point with first photobook/初めての写真集が転機に

– What kind of activites did you do as a cosplayer?

After I debuted, I went to studios with photographers and participated in events at the Tokyo Fashion Town (TFT) Building.

When I cosplayed as Haruhi Suzumiya at the TFT events, people lined up for me for the first time. After that I made friend with cosplayers, and even found out I had senpai at my part time job who did cosplay. All of a sudden my cosplay circle expanded widely.

I was going to cosplay events and studio shoots pretty much every week, and would upload them to the cosplay community site Cure.

At that time, I thought about releasing a Vocaloid cosplay photobook and applied to Comiket, but unfortunately wasn’t accepted. A photographer whom I knew later told me I could sell my photo books at their own booth, but that booth had relatively sexier works. If I were to have my photobook alongside those, I thought I would have to make mine sexier and subsequently I made a “Toradora!” photobook.

I went to a cosplay venue dressed as Taiga Aisaka from Toradora! in a school swimsuit — lots of people gathered around me and I appeared in a lot of media outlets. From there my Twitter followers exploded, and my photobook immediately sold out.

That was what got me attention, and after that I hopped on the “Love Live!” bandwagon and cosplayed as Maki Nishikino. My follower count rose once again.

koyomi_cosplay_2017_006

I also cosplayed as Luigi and that too became a trending topic, so my followers unbelievably increased to 50,000 people. By the way, when I looked back at those photos I realized my zipper was undone (laughs).

koyomi_cosplay_2017_007


Company bankruptcy?! New job as a bar manager/会社が倒産!?そしてバーの店長に

While I was cosplaying I was always working as an OL, but I started to get a lot more jobs from live broadcasts to speaking at trade events to organizing events.

I would go to work normally on weekdays and cosplay on weekends, and because I also appeared in broadcasts and events, I never got to rest. I often collapsed and had to be picked up in an ambulance. I thought I should drop something, and eventually decided to stop going to cosplay events.

And right at that time the company I was working for folded (laughs)

It was terrible timing, but a friend approached me with an offer to become the manager of a bar they were starting. My dream was to be a “snack mama” (A “snack” is a small bar similar to a hostess club and the “mama” is the manager.), so I accepted the offer and here I am now.

Now I work as the manager, and also do a variety of jobs from broadcasts to emceeing events. Ever since I started my manager job I’ve gotten more time to rest too, so there hasn’t been a need for ambulances recently (laughs).

Apare is a bar where the staff are cosplayers and idols. I think it’s similar to a maid cafe.

Customers can enjoy food and drinks prepared by cosplayers and idols, and take polaroid pictures with them. Of course I also do shifts on certain days, so please feel free to come!


Coyomi’s Cosplay Best 3/こよみさんのコスプレベスト3

Taiga Aisaka – Toradora!

koyomi_cosplay_2017_014

I didn’t watch the series when it was on TV, but I got addicted to is after watching a DVD that a friend from high school let me borrow. I was fairly late on the trend, but for myself as I was watching it, I fell in love with it anyway, and with that fever still burning hot it was the first cosplay that I did at Comiket so it’s a character full of fond memories for me.


Maki Nishikino – Love Live!

I fell in love at first sight when I watched the anime on TV. I think there might be many people who came to know me through my Maki-chan cosplay. Since the character’s an idol there are lots of cute costumes; it’s the most popular character I’ve cosplayed to date.


Kyoko Sakura – Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Kyoko-chan is a saint. The only real coupling for me is Sayaka/Kyoko. A girl who loved but wasn’t loved by another girl who wasn’t loved by the man she loved the most. A girl who, even so, loved to the very end. It’s so pure. Even though I only did it once, I was satisfied enough to not do it again. But talking about it now makes me feel like doing it again.


Treasuring the identity of the character/そのキャラのアイデンティティを大事にする

– What are you recent cosplay activities?

Recently I’ve been into “SINoALICE” so I released a photobook at the recent Comiket92.

Right now I’m cosplaying works that I wanted to do in the past. I feel like now I can produce quality. If there’s cosplay that I want to do before I die, it’d be “Flame of Recca” or “Phantom Thief Jeanne”, or a CLAMP series.

– What are your cosplay tips?

I think it’s best to cosplay characters that suit you. Also it depends on the character, but it’s important to pay close attention and stay faithful to their identity. For example when I did Haruhi Suzumiya, I made sure to have strands of hair coming out of her headband, and properly wore black socks instead of white. There are all sorts of traits to take note of.

– What is the fun part of cosplaying?

That’s a difficult question.I’m not the kind of person to think that something is fun, but in the end I suppose it’s fun and interesting to see a photo of me that looks completely different from my usual self.

I definitely love seeing photos of me cosplaying as my favorite characters from my favorite series. It satisfies me more than enough to just see them, so there are actually many pictures that I haven’t uploaded on social media. I also enjoy communicating with photographers, because that communication affects the work that is produced.

Recently I took pictures in an outfit for Halloween and I liked how the light looked in them.

– Lastly, please give a message to people who want to try cosplay.

I think it would be nice if there were more people who simply cosplayed for fun. I’d love to see them dressing up for Halloween without limiting themselves.


Related Links
Coyomi Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/coyomi_43
Coyomi Official Blog: https://lineblog.me/coyomi/


Bar Aperu
Address: Sosiarudougenzaka 1st floor of the basement, 1-14-9 Dogenzaka, Shibuya, Tokyo
Hours: 6:00p.m. – 11:00p.m.
Bar Aperu Shibuya Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/bar_Apare
Bar Aperu Official site: http://apare.strikingly.com

Author
Nessie
Nessie

A web producer who passionately loves Sake, Cosplay, and Idols.

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