Already with 15 years worth of cosplay experience, Yami came in contact with this hobby thanks to the anime Sailor Moon. The series stirred her curiosity, so she started searching for images on the Web. That was how she found out that in the USA there were girls who were actually dressing up as the sailor warriors, going to small gatherings together. This seemed like a lot of fun to her, and she started to fancy the idea of becoming Sailor Moon for one day. She also found a Sailor Moon mailing list, whose members had actually planned to go together at a small gathering. She asked her grandmother to help her get started, and in just 3 days her first cosplay was ready.
She has always been a huge Resident Evil fan, and ever since she played RE2 on PlayStation 1 it has been her top favorite game. The horror factor was something she had never experienced before; she played at a friend’s house, and she can still remember how all the 4 players were screaming when that ‘Licker’ jumped through the glass in the police station.
The game was special for her because it was the first RE game that was being released on PlayStation 3. She started playing it together with her husband just after the ‘midnight release’ and as soon as she saw the Giant Majini standing tall in the golden sunlight, she kind of fell in love – she has been pretty obsessed with Witch doctors and Tribe looking items and costumes since she was a child, mainly because of the mysterious air surrounding them.
Upon seeing her reaction, her husband turned to her and told her: “That cosplay will be hell to make; if you can pull that off, WOW!”. And, of course, as for any true cosplayer, the harder the challenge on a costume, the harder she struggled to accomplish it.
The Giant Majini costume took 4 weeks to finish. Yami usually starts to think and sketch the construction of a cosplay months before actually starting to craft it, and she considers this one of her strongest abilities; instead of trying out new techniques and then being forced to re-make them, she usually follows the ideas that pop into her mind. That way she knows what can go wrong and what would look great, saves a LOT of money for materials and also time. She brings her sketchbook everywhere she goes. When she decides to make a specific cosplay, she always takes inspiration from IRL items/materials and such. For her Majini she did some major research of colours and tribes in Africa and the rainforest.
Yami decided not to use pre-coloured fabric, preferring to dye the cotton fabric by hand and with natural colors. It took a lot of extra time, but the result gave a more authentic feel. The spiked club handle is actually a real tree that her dad helped her cut down from the woods. The downside is that it is very heavy and difficult to carry around, especially with just one hand. But, as she herself cheerfully admits, the positive effect is that it stretches her muscles and in the photos it looks like it’s really heavy.
The most difficult part in the costume-making process was the mask. As Yami recounts, she had never bended and cut so much craft foam as she did with that. It was also pretty difficult to solve the problems related to eye vision, as she didn’t want to walk around bumping into people. So she decided to try and make some kind of eye cover, so that while people could not see her eyes, she could still see clearly enough from a specific angle. It worked and she gained 100% vision on the side. If she needed to see straightforwardly, she only had to turn her head a bit.
When asked whether she intended to remake or improve the costume, Yami’s answer was very resolute: I would simply not improve it because to me it looks perfect. It’s really my version of the Giant Majini maybe adding more gore and blood.
Although she has such a great costume, she hasn’t entered any contest with it, and she is pretty sure she won’t in the future either. The reason is simple: because I love it too much. It’s my pride and joy and for me my best cosplay so far. I simply wear it for the fun of it.
Nonetheless, she would love to gather a lot of people in order to make a huge Resident Evil 5 group and also have a big photo-shoot, with zombies and S.T.A.R.S. members. That would surely be a lot of fun for her.