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The Real Face of Cosplayers Vol.7:JILLーIf You Steadily Continue, the Path Ahead will Open

コスプレイヤーの素顔 vol.7 JILLさん 〜地道に続けることで道は拓かれる〜
| INTERVIEW | Posted
The Real Face of Cosplayers Vol.7:JILLーIf You Steadily Continue, the Path Ahead will Open

JILL is a businesswoman who designs accessories while also showing off her impressive, detailed cosplays. This time we sat down to inerview her about her double life and her philosphy regardng each side.


Otaku → Bangya → Riaju!?
オタク→バンギャ→リア充!?

I first cosplayed when I was in junior high. I went to Tokyo Game Show with a friend, and saw cosplayers for the first time and was really impressed. I made my cosplay debut with my friend at the next Tokyo Game Show the following year. I didn’t know where you could buy costumes so I bought some fabric at Aeon. Then I begged my mom to buy me a sewing machine and then put something togther with some clothes I had at home. I also didn’t know about matching cosplays, so my friend and I went as characters from two different series.

My aunt was a so-called fujoshi (a girl/woman who likes works depictng romantic male/male relationships), and when I would go to my grandmother’s house, she would show me things like “Urusei Yatsura” when Mamoru Oshii was the chief director and Studio Ghibli works. I had a lot of fun going to her house. My mom was a manga fan, so reading or watching things my mom and grandma selected, I naturally became a manga and anime fan myself. I inherited their girls manga collections with “Poe no Ichizoku” and “From Eroica with Love” and the like. (laugh)

When I got to junior high I was really into JUMP comics, and all I would think about is which characters I wanted to date (yumejoshi: a type of female otaku who enjoys thinking about being in a real relationship with manga and anime characters). (laugh)
I would draw manga and exchange notes with my friends who were good at drawing. I wasn’t just into manga, but also Square Enix-style games, which I also loved.

After that, I stopped liking what everyone else did, and enrolled in a creative arts high school. As a high school student, I fell out of anime, and became a bangya (a fan of Japanese visual kei bands). I loved Dir en grey. I would go to school dressed in gothic lolita, and ride on crowded trains in lolita outfits. At the time I thought I would be a lolita for life.

After graduating high school, I became less of a bangya, and was pretty much living a regular adolescent life. I would go to music festivals. At the tme I liked dub and harcore music. By the way, I’ve liked Denki Groove since I was a kid. I love Yasuyuki Okamura! Around this time, I was invited to cosplay by a friend from my hometown and did it a number of times.


Getting back into cosplay! Losing 4 kilograms before the shoot
コスプレ復活!撮影までに4キロ落とす

At work, I was only asked about once a year to cosplay as a vendor. At that time, a photographer I knew showed me pictures from Wonder Festival, and I was surprised at just how many cute girls, cuter than I had ever seen, there were in them. Now I’m aware that there are so many cosplayers wearing pretty costumes and taking pretty photos.

At the time I felt jealous, and then he invited me to do a shoot at a studio. I was really excited to get back into the studio and shoot after so long, but at the time I weight 8 kilograms heavier. (laughs)
I would be sharing the studio with Moe Iori.

I felt like I just had to lose weight if I was going to be sharing the studio with someone as cute as her, so I immediately signed up at a gym. I lost 4 kilograms before the shoot. (laugh)
The shoot was fun. I was glad the pictures came out nice.

After that I joined AnimeJapan, went to Wonder Festival, and started going to events I could cosplay at. Many of my friends were playing Vocaloid Producer, and I was jealous of those who had some kind of output, and I couldn’t help but want to try and do something myself. So I thought about doing it with cosplay.

From that point I was completely into it and prepared costumes, went to cosplay events, made ROMs… repeating the cycle all over again. To be honest I’ve never gone viral, but I constantly kept at it, and then my followers began to increase and here I am now.


JILL’s Top 3 Cosplays
JILLさんのコスプレベスト3

Saber (Fate)

Saber is a character I love, but also one that everyone has their own thoughts about. Because of that, when I‘m cosplaying Saber, even people who aren’t photographers will approach me as Saber herself rather than a cosplayer. Like, “Saber, this way!” etc. I’ve been doing a lot of different shoots with my Saber cosplay, and I’ve even done shoots of her if she were at home in her normal clothes.


Utaha Kasumigaoka (Saenai Kanojo no Sodatekata)

Out of all of the ones I’ve done, my Utaha cosplay ROM is the most popular.
When I was cosplaying as Utaha in Taiwan, the people there addressed me like “Utaha~!” as in the anime. I was so happy.


Female trainer (Pokémon GO)

JILL_cosplay_2018_028

JILL_cosplay_2018_029

The first time I traveled to Nagoya was when I cosplayed at WORLD COSPLAY SUMMIT. It was just after the game was released, so it got a lot of retweets. This was before I had joined my first Comiket circle, the number of followers I had increased and I was happy. It was hot and difficult. (bitter smile)

Basically, I like to do a character from whatever work I’m into at the time. Lately I’ve been really into “DEVILMAN crybaby”! It’s nearly impossible to cosplay as far as character appearance goes.
Although I haven’t seen the old DEVILMAN, I’m pulled in by the moment of the story and its shocking content. The images are cool and the theme song has Denki Groove to it so I recommend it. The rave scene toward the beginning is really cool so I definitely want people to watch it!


God is in the details
細部に神は宿る

– What details do you focus on besides the cosplay itself?

I try to focus on not using very much effects, and prefer to be photographed in a way that invokes the person looking to think “this is what so-and-so character would be like if they were standing there”. Since I can’t draw art or manga, I try to cosplay as if I’m creatng a doujinshi (fan comic). When I’m making a ROM (a CD ROM of photos), I try to find a studio that has a close feel to the original work and prepare props to use.

JILL_cosplay_2018_037

JILL_cosplay_2018_038

Also, I tend to do shoots closer to the camera. I want the person viewing the picture to feel as if that character were as close as possible ot them, and to feel fond of that character.

Besides that, I try not to corrupt the image of a certain character or work, and try to look as neat as possble. I think make-up is important, but so is keeping my wig and shoes clean, making sure my shoulder straps don’t show or that my NuBra isn’t out of place, and paying attenton to other really small details like that.
I like clothes, so I want to show them to look as neat as possible. If you really focus on the wig color, angle of bangs, the way the pictures come out is completely different.


Cosplay accepted at work!?
コスプレは職場も公認!?

Usually my job consists of designing accessories. Also, both my work and my parents are aware that I cosplay. Recently people at work will casually ask me things like, “Are you going to the summer Comiket?” (laughs)
Though I sometimes make and sometimes buy my cosplay costumes, since my job is making accessories, the quality of the hair ornaments and so on I use for cosplay are good… I think. Also I use proper pearls and can be particular about what materials I use. (laughs)


Cosplay is a cumilation of my accomplishments
コスプレはお稽古事の集大成

Cosplay is a hobby I want to continue doing for a long time. If I weren’t doing cosplay I don’t think I’d diet or care about if my face looked bloated or my appearance. Since starting cosplay I began caring about many more things. I’ve always had a lot of insecurities about myself, so I want to try and fix the things that I can.

Recently since there are more people taking video, I started paying attention to th way I stand and started going to a class to learn how to walk.(laugh)
Where am I headed?(laugh)
So in that way, you might say that cosplay is a cumilation of various lessons.


I want to find more parts I like about myself through cosplay
コスプレを通じて好きなところを増やしていく

I think it’s fun to wear the cute clothes your favorite character wears through cosplay. Of course there are times when it looks good on you, and times it doesn’t. I’d say it’s about half and half? Sometimes I think “It’s not going well today” and feel down, but times like that are also a good opportunity to reexamine yourself.

Interestingly enough, over several years cosplaying, even if it’s the same character there are times you’ll find that last year’s face and this year’s face are different. I realized that it was changing toward how I want things to be and then realizing that. Even if I thought something was good at the time, when I look back on it, it can feel different. It’s like a record of how much I’ve grown.

I think that self-evaluation is not high type. There are many things I dislike about myself. So when I look at pictures taken of myself, it’s a good chance to reflect. When I look back on them, I try my best to become more a certain way, or increase the parts I do like, even if just by a little bit.

Since I started cosplaying I’ve made more friends.
Usually adults don’t have as much time to meet new people, but I think it’s fascinating that I’ve been able to meet people who are different ages or have different jobs than me.


Making the most of work and hobbies
仕事と趣味を活かして

For myself, I want to continue working as a photography model. Since my accessory work is related to fashion, I’d like to gather the knowledge and experience I have from that and plan something for people who are just starting out with cosplay. I don’t have any specific characteristics or special skills. I just want to continue doing what I can, and keep doing that.

What I have kept on steadily is my current job and cosplay. Just continuing to do that, I think the road ahead will open up.


Related Links

JILL Official Twitter:https://twitter.com/JILL_mw
JILL Official Blog:https://ameblo.jp/jill-mw
JILL Official mail order site:https://girlfriendend.booth.pm

Translated by Jamie Koide

Author
Nessie
Nessie

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

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