Name: Akane Reaper, Yashimaru Bishounen and Aya Kitsu
Location: AR: Waldorf, MD & YB/AK: Suffolk, Virginia
Photographer(s): Myself, Aya Kitsu, Shelly Kiko and Theresa Willson.
What was your first Cosplay experience?
Akane Reaper: Oh my… Let’s just say I was cosplaying before I knew what it was. I worked at a nature center and we were having this Halloween fundraiser thing, and all the staff were supposed to be in costume.
I was a greater considering I had a talent with the animals but a lack of social skills, and that was the easiest place to put me. I took great care in making the best replica Tim Burton’s Mad Hatter cosplay I could for Halloween like 5 years ago. It wasn’t the best but I loved it. It was only until after the event that a coworker complimented me on the costume using the word cosplay.
Yashimaru Bishounen: When I was around 8-9 years old, I was big into Sailor Moon when it first got started and so I took my Sunday best and made a top hat and mask out of poster board and ran around the neighborhood with a cape on. But my first real cosplay experience was when I threw together Jareth The Goblin King from The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and since then it has become my most done costume.
Aya Kitsu: Duo Maxwell from Gundam Wing.
How long have you been Cosplaying?
Akane Reaper: About 5 years. Oh how time flies.
Yashimaru Bishounen: Just under 11 years seriously, but I used to run around in home made costumes when I was a kid all the time.
Aya Kitsu: Since 2003.
Who or what inspired you to take up Cosplaying?
Akane Reaper: I guess my inspiration to keep going with cosplay was the guidance given by Yashimaru and Ginger Ann London. They, like I, excel in the acting part of cosplay. It gave me a drive to become the characters I dress as. To complete the 3 parts of cosplay, costume, makeup, and acting. However, my biggest push to excel was after my altercations with YaYa Han.
If it wasn’t for her bulling like critique on my work and my drive to prove that I as a woman can cosplay even without over sexualizing characters or myself I wouldn’t be at the level I am today.
Yashimaru Bishounen: When I was 5 years old I started acting and stayed in it until I was around 13 and my agency went under. Been trying to get back into acting ever since but I found cosplay was just like acting, and more fun. I get to choose my characters and take on the role for the fans to interact with and seeing the looks on people’s faces when I do makes it all worth while.
Aya Kitsu: Honestly? A love of the characters and wanting to share that love with others.
If you had to pick a favorite Cosplay you have worn, or have seen someone else wear, what would it be?
Akane Reaper: Sarah Williams ball gown form. Hands down my favorite. Yes it’s painful, yes it’s hard to maneuver in. But it’s my fairytale dream cosplay. I died of happiness when I got it made. Living a childhood dream is something I believe cosplay was made for. And I live mine every day through it.
Yashimaru Bishounen: Goblin King Jareth without a doubt. I love that costume and I never get tired of doing him. As far as other cosplayers, sadly the name escapes me but I once saw a cosplay done of Myotismon from Digimon and it blew me away.
Aya Kitsu: I had SO much fun doing Tohru Honda from Fruits Basket!
If you had unlimited funds and resources, what Cosplay would you create?
Akane Reaper: That’s a hard one. Honestly I have many on my list I would love to do. And as of right now it’s getting Mr. Bubbles from BioShock and my Tron cosplay. We have they layout and the technology, but not the funds or the help to put it together.
Yashimaru Bishounen: I am still planning it and will be making both of these but it is taking forever. Mr. Bubbles from BioShock and my Tron OC both with working lights.
Aya Kitsu: Either Proper Death Scythe Hell Custom with me piloting as Duo or buying my entire family the costumes plus the bikes for Final Fantasy Advent Children.
What advice would you offer to those who are aspiring Cosplayers?
Akane Reaper: Don’t worry about messing up! The biggest crutch people use to not cosplay is that they are afraid they will mess up on it. Guess what, you will. Over and over and over. But it’s that failing that helps you learn and succeed!
No one’s perfect. And no one’s going to be perfect their first time styling a wig, or making armor, or sewing. These are talents that over time are perfected to the individual person. But it doesn’t happen overnight. Don’t let it get you down, keep trying. And keep loving what you do. You’ll get there, I promise.
Yashimaru Bishounen: There are 3 levels of cosplay: Dress-up -> Professional -> Famous. The advice I give you is never look at someone above the tier you are on feel like you are not as good as them and shouldn’t be cosplaying because of it. The professional ones do this for a living be it as a model or for awards, and the famous ones are just the most successful of the professionals. But, what you need to never forget is that we ALL started as dress up. We all picked a character we loved whether we looked like it or not, and threw together what we could for the sake of fun.
There will always be those who have moved past the level of dress up and it is sad to say that a lot of them have forgotten about the fact that cosplay no matter what level you are on should be fun and if you aren’t having it you shouldn’t do it and NO ONE has the right to get in the way of another cosplayers fun. Enjoy what you do and you will go far.
Aya Kitsu: Be you. Do not worry about other people, do what makes you happy and cosplay for YOU not for someone less important.
To learn more about Noblesse Oblige feel free to follow Aya Kitsu on Twitter: @cosplayingkitsu and find Akane Reaper and Yashimaru on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AkaneReaperCosplay & https://www.facebook.com/Yashi.The.Pirate
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