Either an abandoned chat room or a game of Tiles brought Rian and I together on Gaia Online. Years later, we are still great friends, discussing money-making tips for Gaia’s over-inflated economy and sending dozens of heart emojis, and I have watched her grow as a person, cosplayer, and artist. Of course, the one time I met my long distance friend at a convention (that I traveled across states to attend just to hang out with her), I froze upon seeing her and walked the opposite direction. The few times I ran into her again, I responded no differently. I ran. Yeah, she got mad at me afterwards, but as I said, we’re great friends to this day. Maybe someday I will properly meet her face-to-face… or be the socially awkward person I always am! And run away. T__T;;
“Cosplay” is a growing community and a term infusing itself into the mainstream world, but for those who have yet to come into contact with it, cosplay is short for costume play, where fans dress as any character they can imagine (think Halloween with an anime twist, though definitely not limited to). Some costumes are company manufactured or quickly fashioned at home, while others are time-consuming, hand-crafted works of art.
And now, I present to readers… ~drumroll~ Rian! ~confetti~
M: How would you describe cosplay and its community to someone who is unfamiliar to what it is?
R: Cosplay is one of the most inclusive things I have ever encountered in my life. I realized very early on that the struggle it takes to put together cosplays is overwhelmingly returned by the kindness of the community. Cosplay isn’t just a costume to appreciate, but it is an amazing entrance to something that is greater than most small communities people grow through.
When and why did you start cosplaying?
Fall of 2014. My first convention was Anime Banzai, and it was one of the best and most exciting experiences I have ever had. Many people are ecstatic for their first date or first kiss, but I really don’t think anything like that will be able to top my first convention.
Do you have any cosplay mentors? A favorite cosplayer?
Not really, but my sister was the one who got me started, so I will always look up to her. Otherwise, I haven’t actually found a mentor within the community.
What advice would you give to anyone interested in or new to cosplay?
Go for it, there is nothing that should hold you back. Even if you get everything from Savers, you will find people who welcome you whole-heartedly and will root for you as you continue cosplaying.
Out of all the cosplays you have done, which one is your favorite?
My favorite to wear is Crona, but construction-wise, I love the work that went into Spooky Boogie.
Do you have a favorite character to cosplay, or do you wear an outfit once and then move on?
I normally do one outfit for a character and wear it multiple times. I would rather have a few well-done cosplay outfits than thousands of subpar outfits.
Do you have any funny cosplay stories?
Not really. Most of the events I have done in cosplay are really just down to earth with kindess everywhere. Though there are moments here and there we could laugh about. The funniest time is probably midnight cosplay making, but I don’t remember much.
What is the strangest cosplay you have ever seen at a convention?
There is someone who cosplays as a blow-up green suit. He’s called Greenman, and his single purpose is to make people happy by dressing in a blow-up suit.
Do you have an OTP?
I don’t have a single OTP… I have multiple. It’s hard to overwhelmingly love one above all others, so there’s lots of little baby relationships I love.
What unnatural hair colour (such as teal or red) would you like to have if you were a fictional character?
White – I love the diversity in personalities of characters with white hair, but many are kind, caring, and a little bit insane, which I think suits me well.
If you and three fictional characters were the last people on Earth, which characters would you want to be with?
Molly Monday, Monsterkind – She is happy and exciting, and I’m sure she could keep our spirits high.
Sebastian Michaelis, Black Butler – He always has dinner prepared. If it’s only going to be us, there needs to be someone who can get things done.
Edward Elric, Fullmetal Alchemist – Transmutation! Any supply needed can be crafted with ease.
Thank you to this Sunday’s guest of honour, Rian!