Name: Manik Semiramis or Manik
Age: I like to keep people guessing. :>
Q: So when did you start cosplaying, and what was your first character you cosplayed as?
Manik: I started Wondercon 2011 as Skull Bride!Ciel.
Q: What made you want to start cosplaying? I went to Wondercon a few times and always thought it looked like fun to cosplay.
Manik: That, and the idea of making a character of ink and paper come to life was intriguing. So I gave it a try in 2011, and I’ve been hooked ever since.
Q: What character(s) did you cosplaying as during Sac Anime?
Manik: I was Oichi from Sengoku Basara on Friday, and Elizabeth Middleford Campania version on Saturday~
Q: What do you enjoy most about cosplaying?
Manik: I actually enjoy the process of breaking down a character and putting the cosplay together. *_* Sewing, prop-making (this Sac Anime was the first time I made props!), crafting – it all requires different skills and time, learning how to work with different materials, and a lot of research. But ultimately, it’s the creative process that makes me happy. That, and hanging out with my friends while in cosplay, talking about our future plans, how we made what we made, etc.
Q: In your opinion what are the Pros and Cons about cosplaying?
Manik: I’ll start with the cons. Cosplaying can be very time consuming and expensive, especially if you make it on your own and depending on how much effort you put into it. I often have that feeling of inadequacy when I see amazing cosplayers and wonder if I could ever reach their level. There are a few people who find it weird, and have said some negative things about it. There’s also the sexualization of some characters and one of my friends pointed out to me that she thought cosplaying made it easier for predators to harass/target people.
Manik: In terms of pros, if you choose to make your own cosplays, you built some interesting skill sets and find out what you’re capable of, and are able to proudly say that you were able to crafted something. It’s definitely an interesting medium to express your creativity, and some people who might say they’re not creative, well, they might surprise themselves with what they can accomplish. You also meet some awesome people while in cosplay and are able to build some new bridges and friendships. 😀 Regardless of whether or not you make or buy your cosplay, I feel that it enhances the convention experience.
Q: If skills, and money weren’t an issue what would be your dream character to cosplay as?
Manik: All of Sima Shi’s costumes. (Which will happen, by the way.)
Q: What costume do you feel most proud of that you’ve completed?
Manik: It’s a toss-up between Sima Shi and Oichi. Both were my first attempts at making armor, Oichi more so than Sima Shi, but Sima Shi was my first attempt at applique. I suppose armor-wise, Oichi was more of a challenge. Her bodice in particular took a fair bit of thought, as I didn’t want to have a corset-like bodice and actually wanted it to look plated, so I had to pattern it out to get the segmented look. I feel that I’ve improved with her makeup, and I’ve actually made her props that she might be my favorite right now.
Q: Do you have any tips for people who want to start cosplaying?
Manik: Don’t be afraid to try something new. Plan things out – it doesn’t hurt to take a picture of the character, then start breaking down each part of the cosplay. Research different crafting/sewing techniques on your own, but also don’t be afraid to reach out to others on how to make things. 😀 Don’t be discouraged if something doesn’t work the first time you do it. Learning new skills takes a lot of time! XD
Q: What character(s) can we look forward to seeing you cosplay as in the future?
Manik: This list is very long right now, and getting longer, but the series I’m looking at are Magi, Black Butler, Dynasty Warriors/Samurai Warriors/Pokemon Conquest, Fate Stay Night/Fate Apocrypha, Sailormoon and Trinity Blood are just a few. For Yaoi Con, I’m planning on Ren Kougyoku and Ren Hakuei from Magi, as well as transformed Mitsuhide Akechi for Pokemon conquest, the Norcal Fall Gathering will see Helga von Vogelweide for Trinity Blood, and for PMX Kougyoku again, and I’m a little undecided on what else to bring down. :3 And of course, I want to do all the alternate costumes that Sima Shi from Dynasty Warriors 7/Warriors Orochi wears.
Q: If any fans wanted to see your costumes what future conventions will fans be able to see you at?
Manik: Yaoi Con and PMX for this year, and then next year I’m planning to be at ALA, AOD, Sakura-con, Anime Boston, Fanime, either AM2 or AX, and hopefully Otakon. And of course SacAnime Summer.
Q: Thank you for being part of this interview, and are there any last words that you would like to say the to the readers?
Manik: Cosplaying is fun! But also not for everyone. That said, I encourage people to try it even once! :3 Whether you buy or make your cosplay, it doesn’t matter. The ultimate goal is to enjoy yourself and to express your love/interest/fascination with the character!
Thank you very much Manik for allowing me to do a photo shoot with you, and for taking some time out of your day to do this interview. If you would like to see or follow more of Manik’s cosplay please visit these sites.
Check out the interview with both Pika and Manik here: https://reno317.wordpress.com/2012/09/04/sac-anime-2012-summer-interview-with-pika-and-manik-semiramis/
Some more Photos of Manik in her Elizabeth Middleford Campania vers. Cosplay: