Years of Cosplay: 7
Shanghai, China
As expected, China has a blooming scene and lots of places to cosplay. Hagaren has the Chenghuang Miao Temple behind her, and all the important materials to make a show of it. Sometimes all the materials fit into complex whole, and when they fit you are immobilized by the huge and giddy balance of materials, clasps, buttons and finely arranged folds. She also tells us that there is a life after time-consuming and costly cosplaying with a possible career in the comic books & cartoons; the very place where some of those gorgeous costumes came from!
Hagaren as Fuma Monou (X/1999) // Photo by Snake
Hagaren as Fuma Monou (X/1999) // Photo by Snake
Cosplay Gen: You’ve done a pretty impressive Souji cosplay from Hakuoki, and you’ve also added an original story to it. Can you detail a bit your own view about this cosplay?
Hagaren: When I decided to cosplay as Souji, I didn’t think I was suitable for him, and my opinion about him was as follows: he was a consumptive and weak guy, sometimes spitted blood… Also, his friends always loved him. Actually, I didn’t understand why he was worthy to be loved. The first photo-shoot as Souji was an exploratory stage, I still didn’t have a complete story, I just tried to shape the character; therefore, the first shooting was actually a fail. The second photo-shoot was focused on Kaoru; the first time I saw Kaoru, I just thought I could single out Kaoru and Souji to add a story for them, especially with Kaoru dressed like a drag queen; on the other hand, I thought that Souji was the type suitable to stay with another guy (sorry I am a fangirl). And if there is any possibility to set two guys together, regardless the anime, I always try to make them be together… (of course, based on finding reasonable grounds…) The subject of the third photo-shoot was “back to future”; the cosplayer who worked with me really loved this idea, and she hoped to go back to the game of Hakuoki, and fall in love with Souji. It’s a starting point, actually I think any girl would think about it; the problem is how to express the story – that is to add the story and the details in simple terms, to find things the characters would do. After thinking about all these details, I tried to shoot all of them, and afterwards I went back home to begin the post processing…
Hagaren as Hatsune Miku (Vocaloid) // Photo by Hermes
Cosplay Gen:You seem to choose very carefully the characters you cosplay as. What are the most important things you take into consideration when selecting your cosplays? Do you think there are certain similarities between your characters of choice?
Hagaren: I want to say that I choose my characters unexpectedly; when I watch an anime series, if a part of the story suddenly stimulates or shocks me, and I also get some good ideas, I immediately decide whether to make a cosplay or not. A very important element for most of my characters is what is he/she doing in the movie, or what is he/she doing in relation with the others. I feel it’s very interesting, and want to do it again; or if there is something he didn’t do in the movie, but I want to do, and I want to see him/her doing it, then I will cosplay as him/her, to let him/her take part in the story I imagine, to let the character I cosplay as complete this story… Maybe there are no similarities between me and the characters I select, but when I cosplay as them, I always let the character act according to my nature, think about things and pose according to my nature. I don’t try to figure out the movements and expressions of the original character… This is my habit, very casual and stubborn…
Hagaren as Ashura (Ashura-jo no hitomi)
// Photo by Hermes
Hagaren as Vash the Stampede (Trigun) // Photo by Hermes
Hagaren as Vash the Stampede (Trigun) // Photo by Hermes
Cosplay Gen: What was the most challenging costume you’ve done so far? Can you tell a few words about how did you complete it?
Hagaren: I think it’s the costume of Vash from Trigun. I love this anime very much, even since before I started cosplaying. Since I began cosplaying, in 2005, I’ve been always thinking about Vash, but I thought I lack the ability to cosplay as him. However, in 2010, I was determined to do it! First I bought the fabric and all the belts. Afterwards, I went to the Chenghuang Miao Temple and bought all the buttons, clasps, accessories, etc. The red coat was made by a tailor. Then I cut the belts, fixed the buttons one by one, and remade the gun, all by myself. I used all sorts of materials, paint, and I also included some small parts in the gloves. I revised the hairpiece again and again… Actually, when I dress up with the full set, I can’t move even a step…
Hagaren as Tusu Baili (GuJian) // Photo by Hermes
Cosplay Gen: Your photos seem the result of a lot of work; how do you usually plan out your photoshoots? Also, do you think that it’s important for a certain relationship between the cosplayer and the photographer to exist, for such results to come out?
Hagaren: Yes, I work a lot for my photo-shoots, and I don’t know if people who see my photos think I am a tough person.
When I cosplay as a certain character, first of all I decide the partner for the session. After both of us confirm the photo-shooting, I begin preparing the costume. I am usually ready with everything in about two weeks, including the costume and setting. Meanwhile, I also consider the story for the shooting, and let the photographer know what anime is, in order to watch it, tell her what character I’m going to cosplay as, and also my partner’s character, and confirm the time of shooting, the story, and the details. The stories are always based on my feelings, or on an idea I sometimes get from a dream, or from a fragment of my dream… When I think about the story, the most important element is to find excitement in it. Regarding the relationship between cosplayer and photographer, I think friendship would be the best option for both; friends always meet each other even outside cosplay, just like me and my photographer. We always communicate, or quarrel, as we are very close, so the photo-shooting is much more natural.
Hagaren as Lelouch (Code Geass) // Photo by Hermes
Cosplay Gen:China has quite a big number of cosplayers; what is your opinion about the Chinese cosplay scene?
Hagaren: I am a very casual person; cosplay is a part of my life, and I love this kind of life. Nowadays, China has a lot of cosplay events every year, and there are various places fit for cosplay, so I can choose to participate in various activities. That is how I met a lot of partners and friends, and also my photographer. Now, in China there are many cosplay styles, such as the traditional Chinese costume, which is very popular. The Chinese want to create their own cosplay style.
Hagaren as Souji Okita (Hakuouki: Shinsengumi Kitan)
// Photo by Hermes
Hagaren as Souji Okita (Hakuouki: Shinsengumi Kitan, Rasetsu version) // Photo by Hermes
Hagaren as Diao Chan (Dynasty Warriors)
// Photo by Hermes
Cosplay Gen: Do you consider cosplay as pure hobby, or as something more? Do you see yourself abandoning this hobby at some later point?
Hagaren: To me, cosplay is entertainment, a kind of entertainment that is able to inspire me. I can get a lot of inspiration and a lot of fresh things from cosplay. However, cosplay is also an entertainment that consumes money and energy, so when the time comes, I will stop cosplaying and draw cartoons instead, thus telling my story in drawing.

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  1. […] meet Hagaren? Go to Comic Party 42th in Chonburi, Thailand this February COMIC PARTY 42TH IN CHONBURI BY : […]

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