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The Real Face of Cosplayers vol. 2: meico— Seriously Enjoying The Path of Cosplay

コスプレイヤーの素顔 vol.2 みぃこさん 〜あそびにまじめ!なコスプレ道〜
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The Real Face of Cosplayers vol. 2: meico— Seriously Enjoying The Path of Cosplay

This is a series that delves behind the origins of cosplayers, their distinct traits, their ordinary lives and real faces.
In the second volume, we talk to prominent cosplayer meico.


Even though I was a delinquent, I was actually also an otaku/不良だけど実はオタク

meico: I’ve read manga and watched anime since I was young, but instead of girls’ manga I grew up on WEEKLY JUMP and Weekly Shōnen Magazine. I especially loved series with robots like Gundam and Macross.

I grew up in a bad home environment, so when I was going through some rough times I came across Neon Genesis Evangelion and became an otaku. I liked Kaworu Nagisa, and that’s how I got addicted to voice actors. I was a fan of Akira Ishida.

During my school years I hid my identity as an otaku. Even though I was a delinquent at school, I would devotedly built Gunpla (Gundam plastic models) at home (laughs).

When I was working part-time at a game shop, I met professionals who made Gunpla and dioramas and learned techniques from them. As a result, I eventually got to the level where people would tell me they wanted my models.

Around that time I was also into the FINAL FANTASY XI online game, so between that and making Gunpla I never got much sleep. It even got to a point where I was so addicted to online games that my boyfriend dumped me (laughs).


Take your hobby seriously!/あそびにまじめ!

I began living alone while working in Fukuoka.I would go to the game center frequently and intensely play particular one-on-one fighting games. Focusing all my time apart from work, I polished my skills in those gaming battles. I even managed to win prizes at competitions.

It’s the same for Gunpla, but you can do anything if you work hard at it. I learned that you can create things with your own effort. That had a big influence on my life thereafter.


Moving to the city and the first cosplay/上京、そして初めてのコスプレ

I was born in Osaka and lived in Fukuoka, and in my early 20s I decided to move to Tokyo. This was the period where I first met cosplay, when one of my gaming friends brought me to a cosplay event.

The first character I ever cosplayed was Asuka from Evangelion. At that time I still didn’t know how to make my own costumes, so I just wore a ready-made costume I had bought.

After that I started getting invited to cosplay events frequently. In the beginning I was only enjoying it for fun, so I was surprised to see a culture where cosplayers attracted lines of people and exchange cosplay name cards.

I soon began doing studio photo shoots, and would upload photos of me cosplaying as Asuka, Rei Ayanami and Kaworu Nagisa from Evangelion onto the website Cure.


If you keep going it’ll become a part of you/やり続ければ似合ってくる

Right when Macross Frontier was popular, I cosplayed as Ranka Lee in her Seikan Hikou outfit and people lined up for me. I love Ranka’s character. As someone who grew up in a difficult household, I feel a great empathy for characters who had a similar upbringing.

To be honest, I didn’t think I suited Ranka. But, the more I continued, the more people started to recognize me as the Ranka cosplayer. I figured that if I kept going, the character would become a part of me. Likewise, I felt this way when I cosplayed as Narmaya from Granblue Fantasy. As long as I persisted in cosplaying them, the character’s image would become imprinted on me.

meico_cosplay_2017_017

By the way, I often get the wrong impression that I have Narmaya’s gentle character and voice, but be careful not to get fooled (laughs).


A sudden illness, the meeting with Narmaya/突然の病気、ナルメアとの出会い

Cosplaying as Juri Han from STREET FIGHTER IV was the first time I ever made my own costume. Looking back, I did a pretty bad job, but I met the female photographer Pai who I have come to make many requests to take photos of me.

Following that it seems like I had a blank year with nothing, but in truth I had contracted an incurable disease and I was forced to take a break from my activities. My symptoms gradually got better, but as a side effect of the medication I gained weight and started having a complex about my figure.

It was around that time that I found Narmaya, the main character of the Draph race from Granblue Fantasy.

Because I had gained weight I’d begun to lose heart in doing cosplay and other things, but there were many people who praised my Narmaya and Draph cospay. Even though I’d always thought that you had to be thin to cosplay 2D characters, there were people who told me I just had to do my best in expressing the characters with the figure I had. It really encouraged me to do continue cosplaying.

Once again, my mindset on life changed after this illness.
You never know what might happen to you, so go out and do what you love doing with no restraint. You can get stronger at anything as long as you do it with all your heart.

I was determined to do it, so now apart from photo shoots I do everything by myself such as producing cosplay photobooks.

Right now more than cosplay I want to do create my own works. I honestly didn’t like making my own costumes that much, but I enjoy the way photographers are able to make me look good in photos during shoots.


I love movies and cats/普段は映画好きで猫好き

– Please tell us about the ordinary meico.

I’m working in education and am already married.
I’m a fan of films and especially love the Marvel series.
Also, in high school I used to be in a band covering artists like SHAKALABBITS and JUDY AND MARY, so I know the basics of singing and playing guitar and bass.

I love cats, and have one named Bell.
Right after Pokémon GO was released I was walking around looking for Pokémon, but I found this kitten instead. When I tweeted about this it somehow became a trending topic about how I’d found a real life Meowth, which surprised me.


Balance and expression are important/こだわるのは全体のバランスと表情

– Please tell us what you pay attention to in cosplay.

Overall balance is important. For example, when I cosplay Narmaya or other Draph characters I make sure that the costumes are well-proportioned in the size of the chest and horns, as well as the length. Since I can’t tell about the torso, I try on the costume again and again until it fits. As a result it takes a long time to finish a costume.

Another important detail is having a variety of expressions that fit the character. I not only watch the series but also look at art books to study the character’s expressions, and carefully review the makeup that would suit those expressions. Sometimes I also look at it the other way and think of expressions that wouldn’t look right on that character.

As for how I choose the characters I cosplay, whether I like them or not is a factor. I enjoy cosplaying characters that are as different from me as possible; that’s the real thrill of cosplay. So rather than seifuku styles, I find it worth doing characters whose costumes come from anime and games.


Cosplay is an adult club activity/コスプレは大人の部活

– Lastly, what is cosplay to meico?

To me it’s an expression of the character. It makes me so happy when I hear that I’m able to produce the expressions of that character in pictures.

Through cosplay I get to meet people that I would never have met in my usual life. I also love interacting with people from overseas. It becomes like an adult’s club activity, because I love the friends that I click with from those connections. The more people I meet, the more my own mindset changes. I start to like things that I once had a prejudice about, and it’s such a fun change to have.

I will be distributing my GRAVITY DAZE photo book on the first day of Comiket 93, December 29, 2017. It’s a game-related work that I’ve always wanted to do, so I wanted to challenge myself to express what I could with all my experience. Its different from my usual photo book, so I hope that everyone would take a look at it.


Related Links

meico Official Twitter::https://twitter.com/mmm_mii_
meico Official Instagram:https://www.instagram.com/mmm_mii_/
meico Official Cure:https://worldcosplay.net/member/mmm_mii_

Translated by SHARURU

Author
Nessie
Nessie

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

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