Cosplay Gen‘s first Community’s Choice contest ended a while back, and here we are with an interview with our third place winner, Seranaide from Italy! She won the contest with her Hizaki from Versailles cosplay!
Years of Cosplay: 1 1/2
Cosplay Gen: Everyone has a reason for getting into cosplay, what’s yours?
Answering this question has been harder than I would have thought; in fact there isn’t a real reason why I started cosplay. I was kind of ‘forced’. You know,I lost in a game of cards with a friend… If I’d won he would have dressed up as a woman. And if he’d won I would have had to participate at a convention wearing a cute cosplay. And that was it.
I’d only participated in conventions as a coscaddy before, and wearing a cosplay for the first time was a shock for me! I felt very uncomfortable and embarassed at the beginning. What annoyed me most was that I didn’t even have the time to be with my friends at the convention… But then the costumes I was creating started to be appreciated by people. I’d never been good at anything before then, I felt like a total and complete failure. Seeing for the first time somebody sicerely appreciating my work made me want to continue doing what I was starting to enjoy. The definite decision to proudly continue calling myself a ‘cosplayer’ came when for the first time I watched the wcs 2008 exibition of France. The passion I saw in their eyes overwelmed me so much that I cried. I decided that I would also try my best with that same passion that I saw in the others.
Seranaide as Miyoubi (Alichino) // Photo by Psydis
CG: Why did you choose to portray Versailles’ Hizaki?
I fell in love with Versailles and their music even before I become a cosplayer. I laughed to myself, looking at their clothes: “I wonder who could have sewn those dresses, maybe a god or something?” Hizaki caught my eye more than the others, even though I love Teru’s outfits. Even now I think he is one of the most handsome men I’ve ever seen.
This summer I wanted to try something different. Something that would have represented a new challange after the one of Myoubi. I eventually decided to choose Hizaki, also because my music compilation was full of Versailles’ music.
Seranaide as Hizaki (Versailles, Revenant Choir version) // Photo by Alessandro Guidi
CG: How did you make the costume? Could you share with us the creation process?
It took two weeks and a half to complete HIZAKI’s costume, for a total of more than 200 hours work. This means it took about twelve hours a day! It was very hard finding the right materials. When a cosplay refers to a charcter from anime or manga, the material their clothes are made of are not specified so the cosplayer can choose whatever he likes.. But if you have to create the costume of a character that existes in real life it’s necessary to remain as faithful as possible to the material of the original clothes. For my cosplay I used red velvet and satin, cotton, organza and numerous ornaments. I had to search for a while before finding the right material. When I got to a certain point I realized that the base of the skirt was wrong. At that point, with only two weeks and a half before the convention, I could decide to continue working on it but with the wrong base, or restarting it all from the top and working extra hours. I restarted it all again from the top.
One of the things I probably found the hardest were the details and the finishing touches; Hizaki ‘s got loads! Even the wig is a very important detail: it was made starting with a straight base. It took three hours and a half to make it look like his hair! So… Hizaki’s been a challange in sewing, wig-styling, make-up and details. I don’t think a masochist could have chosen any better.
Seranaide as Hizaki (Versailles, Revenant Choir version) // Photo by Elisa Nocentini
CG: On what basis do you usually choose the characters you want to cosplay?
Seranaide: I usually choose charcters that look like me but I try to avoid the ones that I don’t like for their personality. My choices normaly move towards young bishonen and dollish female characters. Nevertheless I don’t refuse a challange once in a while.
Seranaide as Kaito (Vocaloid, Setsugetsuka version) // Photo by Naiyork
CG: What can you tell us about the cosplay community in Italy?
Italian cosplay is “various” and “omogeneous” along the whole country.
Cosplayers usualy gather within conventions called Comic fairs, whose frequency is very high in Italy; Sometimes there may be more than three conventions on the same day, but in different parts of Italy. The most important conventios are Lucca Comics (Lucca), Romics (Rome), Cartoomics (Milan), Comicon (Naples). Convention ticket prices range from 7 to 14 euros for the most important conventions, but some conventions are entirely free (the great majority, actually), not to mention that cosplayers get special discounts.
Lucca Comics definitely is Italy’s most important convention: more than 150.000 people attended Lucca Comics this year, and there’s probabily no Italian cosplayer who hasn’t attended this convention at least once: it’s a must for every cosplayer. Despite this and its huge dimensions (the convention takes place in the whole hystorical centre of Lucca, which is like the entire city more or less), Lucca is smaller than than San Diego’s Comicon, but bigger than Tokyo Game Show.
In order to take part in the cosplay contest you have to register online, and the submissions are limited. Two years ago, the submissions for both days (more than 800) were closed in less than five minutes, from 21:00 to 21:07.
Seranaide as Kanon (Umineko no Naku Koro ni) // Photo by Naiyork
CG: Can you share with us some of your future cosplay plans?
Seranaide: I’d like to cosplay as the throne elf from Lineage II and as Insane Black★Rock Shooter from Black★Rock Shooter. These are my goals for now… there are still many projects in my mind, and I hope I’ll achieve them!
You can find an interview with the first place Community’s Choice winner, Yuu Shomura, in Cosplay Gen #04 which is available at the shop.