The Real Face of Cosplayers vol. 5: Natsumi Shirahoshi―Cosplay as a Magic Portal to the 2D World

コスプレイヤーの素顔 vol.5 しらほしなつみさん 〜コスプレは憧れの2次元に行ける魔法〜
| INTERVIEW | Posted
The Real Face of Cosplayers vol. 5: Natsumi Shirahoshi―Cosplay as a Magic Portal to the 2D World

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From anime and game characters to fairytale-themed original characters, the multi-talented Natsumi Shirahoshi shows off her extraordinary range of cosplay.
This time we interviewed her as she prepares to appear in the stage play “Ueno Pandajima Bikinis Minus 2.5” produced by Yukihiko Tsutsumi, from March 15 to 18 2018.

Origins in “Cardcaptor Sakura”

Shirahoshi: My first cosplay was Sheryl Nome from “Macross Frontier”. When I participated in a “Macross Frontier” event in Nippon Budokan, a friend gave the costume to me as a present. That’s where it all started.
I tried cosplay for event, and encountered lots of cosplayers. I was astounded at the low quality of my cosplay in comparison to them.
From there I began to research how to emulate the characters, and soon fell into the cosplay bog.(laugh)


– Were you always an otaku?

I began with “Cardcaptor Sakura” when I met during primary school student, which I still love now. It was around the same time Nakayoshi: Monthly Shōjo Manga Magazine began serialization, so that’s a shock!
As those who’ve read it would know, Cardcaptor Sakura is different from the regular magical girl genre in that her outfit changes each time. And those outfits are so cute! Since I’ve always loved fashion from childhood, I’d look forward to reading every month.
When the anime series began during my elementary school years, I’d go to the Animate store to buy goods and decorate my room with my collection. I’d listen to the character songs again and again. I even went to the events by myself because I was that obsessed.
This is a dark past, I threw cards in the house trying to copy Sakura-chan.(laugh)

I loved “ONE PIECE” too. This isn’t uncommon, but I accidentally bought doujinshi instead and ended up becoming a fujoshi.(laugh)
“Fushigi Yugi”, “Saiyuki” and “Mamotte Shugogetten” were also favorites of mine.

After that I stopped being an otaku for two years and went into the gyaru scene.(laugh) That was the period of time it was becoming extremely popular, and I was into something close to the Yamanba gyaru style.
During that time I cleared out the goods I’d collected till then, but ultimately I realized I was an otaku at heart so I washed my hands of gyaru and returned to my otaku roots. I worked hard to find the goods I’d lost and bought them once more!

Special skill in Gatotsu!?


When I was around 20 years old I was scouted by an agency and became a reader model.
The director was quick to zero in on cosplay, but back then there weren’t many job opportunities in cosplay.

As a hobby, I went for events at the TFT(Tokyo Fashion Town) building and rented studios late at night for photo shoots with my childhood friends. Compared to now, my activities were very low-key.

After that I switched agencies, and times also changed. There were many more opportunities for work involving cosplay. I appeared in Takanori Nishikawa’s program and sang the theme song for a movie among other jobs.
By the way during my interview I performed “Gatotsu” as Saito Hajime’s killer move from “Rurouni Kenshin”, and was accepted into the agency.(laugh)

When my childhood friends retired from cosplay I became something of a lone wolf, but thanks to the increase in work I was able to meet lots of new people. Over the years I’ve gained many cosplay friends!

Top 3 Cosplays by Natsumi Shirahoshi

White Rose Transformation (Original)


This was an original cosplay that won me the “GIJINKA The World Grand-Prix of Cosplay” at the World Cosplay Summit. That year the theme was “flower transformation”, so I created a cosplay based on a white rose. Everything was made by hand, from the costume to the wig. For the wig, I wove the hairs to look like a rose. The costume had 80 LED lights stitched on. It was such a difficult process to make I almost passed out making it.(laugh)

Shirahoshi (ONE PIECE)


This is a character with my stage name. In November I did an intense photo shoot that involved me entering the water. It was so cold my body went rigid; it doesn’t show in the photos, but I will never forget how cold that was.

Asuka Langley Shikinami (Neon Genesis EVANGELION)


Evangelion is one of my favorite series, but the plugsuit was incredibly difficult to make. The chest portion was made on lion board, but attaching the synthetic leather was an arduous process. I was also making Rei Ayanami’s plugsuit, so it took me around a month to finish. When I started on the molding it took me over 10 types of cutters and small tools that filled up my whole house.(laugh)

Recently there’s lots of creative cosplay.

One is fairytale-themed cosplay. It started from my love for clothes that looked like they appeared in fairytales, and I wanted to create that atmosphere in my cosplay.
Other than that I also like Kemonomimi, and I enjoy cosplay that anthropomorphizes animals. I released an original cosplay photo book twice at Comiket.

Costumes made entirely by me. Once I did a photo shoot cosplaying an anthropomorphic bird, and got confused for “That’s Monster Hunter!” by the children watching.(laugh)

I’m picky about being conscious of the 2D aspect when taking photos.
For example, when I swish my hair or flutter my skirt I want the movements to look like they came out of a drawing just like how it does in the 2D world like anime. I also choose my photo shoot locations with the 2D aspect in mind.

Cosplay relives the 2D world!

The real thrill of cosplay is being able to become your favorite character and wearing clothes you admire. It’s something like an extension of the make-believe games we played as children. In a way, cosplaying as an adult can fulfil those childhood dreams.

My senses heighten to the maximum when cosplaying and I feel everything even more, not just the cold or the heat, but also the tightness of the wig and the restriction of movements. It’s intense.
But no matter how tough it is, the joy of seeing your photos from every photo shoot turns into something special. It’s because those photos are 2D. That feeling of finally transforming into 2D is a treasure for life so I want to emulate that world as much as I can.


Stage play appearance from March 15!


My activities are basically in talent work. I model wigs and color contacts, and do work in cosplay-related programs or companions. In 2017 I also made my gravure debut. Now I’m rehearsing every day for the upcoming stage play that I’ll appear in.

I’ve also had a collection mania, so I have around 150 figurines. Of course, I also collect anime and game goods. My beloved “Cardcaptor Sakura” alone makes up a significant amount!

※This is only part of her collection/写真はほんの一部です

※This is only part of her collection/写真はほんの一部です

My room is absolutely stuffed with figurines, goods and cosplay outfits.(laugh)
I also like makeup and fashion, so I have a huge variety of collections.


From March 15 to 18 I will be appearing in the stage play “Ueno Pandajima Bikinis Minus 2.5”, produced by Yukihiko Tsutsumi (famous for directing series such as “Keizoku” and “SPEC”)!
Humor is an important point, and it’s a fun stage play! I might even go so far as to say my role is the funniest.(laugh) The costumes are my own, so I’d be happy if people noticed them!
Please come to watch us.

Ueno Pandajima Bikinis Minus 2.5
March 15, 2018(Thursday) to March 18, 2018(Sunday)
Shinagawa Prince Hotel club eX(Tokyo)
Misaki Nishikawa, Haruna Yahagi, Mayu Koseta, Yuki Minahara, Chihiro Ishihara, Rie Matsuoka, Rui Odagiri,
Nao Ota(AKB48), Natsumi Shirahoshi, Mayu Mashiro, Saya Chinen, Yuki Nakashima, minan(lyrical school), Zuru Onodera, Yoshihiro Nozoe
Information site:

Related Links

Natsumi Shirahoshi Official Twitter:
Natsumi Shirahoshi Official Instagram:
Natsumi Shirahoshi Official Blog:

Translated by SHARURU

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

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