Name: Ai Yume
Age: 19, I’ll be turning 20 on March 16th ^-^
Damn, I’m getting old…
Location: California Bay Area
Q: So when did you start cosplaying, and what was your first character you cosplayed as?
Ai Yume: I started cosplaying in my first convention, Fanime 2011. But I did such a last minute cosplay that I don’t really consider it to be my first. I was Misa Amane from Death Note, a character that practically anyone could’ve done. I just basically bought a wig the day before and used my more gothic clothes to be her. I had so much fun though, that I vowed to do it again, and with a much better quality cosplay. So I spent the last half of the year before Fanime 2012 getting ready my next cosplay. I cosplayed as Saeko Busujima from High School Of The Dead, and I was so happy.
Q: What made you want to start cosplaying?
Ai Yume: Well I’ve always liked to dress up. I think it’s fun. I also like to model and stuff. However, I know I can’t really dress up often, since there really aren’t many occasions for me to do so. And I hate to be the only one dressed-up so much when there’s no reason to be, or no one to do it with. Attention can be nice, but not that kind of attention where you feel like the odd one out. >.<
So when I heard about an anime convention nearby, where some people who attend, dress-up as their fave characters from various animes/mangas/games, I practically jumped at the chance at my very first con. It was like Halloween, but only better because I knew that if I cosplayed as a certain character, people would love and recognize it. ^-^
Q: So what cosplays have you done so far?
Ai Yume: So far, just Saeko Busujima from High School Of The Dead and Misa Amane from Death Note.
Q: What do you enjoy most about cosplaying?
Ai Yume: I love meeting new people through my cosplaying. You get to meet tons of new people; wonderful, fun, crazy, and absolutely out of their mind people with the same interests, and make the best of friends with them.
During cons and gatherings I always have the time of my life, running around with everyone doing the craziest and funniest things. I just love to hang out with good friends, and being with these people always leave me in a better mood than before.
Q: In your opinion what are the Pros and Cons about cosplaying?
Ai Yume: For Cons, I’d say that the things that jump out at me the most would be how expensive and time consuming cosplaying can be. Sewing together costumes, looking for the right props and fabrics, and let’s not forget the shoes and wigs. And unfortunately all of this costs money, and certain things, much more than you’d like or be able to pay.
Ai Yume: However, I like to think that the Pros outweigh the Cons. You meet so many new and wonderful friends thanks to your cosplay, people who are just about as crazy as you, and with the same interests. Many of the people I’ve met through cosplaying are some of the kindest I’ve ever met. And it’s all worth it when people notice, love, and admire how much work you’ve put in to making your cosplay…or just really love the character. XD
It’s also quite nice how through cosplaying, you build and develop so many skills. Should you choose to make your cosplay, you learn how to sew and make accessories and props. We even learn how to model and act for photoshoots and videos, or to just be in-character around a con. It’s so wondrous when people get excited about how perfectly you play their favorite character, like they’ve just met them in real-life. Also, being taken pictures of, and meeting some new and friendly people, it helps those of us who were shy to really come out of our shell, to build self-confidence.
Q: If skills and money weren’t an issue what would be your dream character to cosplay as?
Ai Yume: Hmm…that’s a toughie, I’ve seen and read so many animes/mangas that I don’t know who to choose as my dream character. Oh, if it were a crossplay, how about Hibari Kyoya from Katekyo Hitman Reborn? He’s been one of my favorite bishounens for a couple years now. Even though the level of obsession has died down a lot from when I first started loving him, and I find a new bishie to love whenever I watch a new anime, I still find myself turning back to this tsundere carnivore. ^-^
However, if I were to cosplay as a character of my own gender…I’d say…Iwasawa Masami from Angel Beats! I don’t know about her being my dream character, but I’ve contemplated cosplaying her next many times. She was definitely my most favorite character from the anime, her story was just so sad. The biggest problem though, besides getting/making the uniform, would be the guitar. I’m becoming quite OCD about my cosplays, I suppose in a sense that’s a good thing, since it means I’ll keep striving for as close as I can get to perfection. But the thing is, I don’t want to carry around a guitar unless I know how to play it…which I don’t. I don’t even know how to read music… >.< I’ve always thought it would be the coolest thing though, that should I cosplay as her, I’d go around singing and strumming a guitar to her songs.
Q: What costume do you feel most proud of that you’ve completed?
Ai Yume: I’d say Saeko Busujima would have to be it. She currently my first and only cosplay I’ve ever made (although I did have some help with a friend). I’m very proud of her. She was very well received at my first con, and when a few Saeko’s turned up, a couple people even came up to me and said my cosplay was the better. I was so happy and humbled, to know that the two days staying up to about 3am my friend and I spent making her, and the hours upon hours of looking and stressing about finding the right things for her, really paid off.
I am starting to like my revamped Misa Amane cosplay though. Hehe, everyone seems to think I make a really good blonde. I’ve even been asked to join a couple cosplay groups as one of the blonde characters after I debuted Misa in her first social outing.
Q: Do you have any tips for people who want to start cosplaying?
Ai Yume: If you want to cosplay, or are just thinking about starting cosplaying, you should do it now! As soon as you possibly can! 😀 Cosplaying is such a wonderful experience to behold. And everyone who’s ever cosplayed knows just how inspiring, fun, and worthwhile it is. Don’t worry about whether or not you’ll look good. As long as you try your best, there will always be someone who thinks of your cosplay as one of the coolest they’ve ever seen.
And if you’re still on the fence about it, just try it at least once. You’ll see that just that one experience will leave you wanting for more. ^-^ Don’t go living your life and then regretting it later on when it might be too late.
Q: Aside from cosplaying what other hobbies do you enjoy?
Ai Yume: I enjoy a multitude of other hobbies. I love to sing, and many people have actually said I was really good. Just ask OneShotArtist, hehe xD
I love to dance too, people have also said I dance quite well. Some have even asked where I learned my moves, but to be honest, it just comes from watching other people. I just take it and do it in my own amateur, but still fairly cool-looking way, lols. It’s funny, I don’t practice any of it beforehand either, but when the music starts pumping and I lose myself in the beat, my body just starts moving on it’s own.
I draw too, although it’s been a couple years since I’ve drawn something I’ve thought worthy of keeping in my drawing binder. Hehe, I tend to draw little doodles every now and then when I get bored.
Besides all this though, I love to read and write. Reading? OC Fanfictions mostly. xD I even used to write fanfictions. Nowadays I just sometimes do this version of RPing a friend and I made up. It’s very different than how many of your online chatroom RPers write. And should I get hit with inspiration, I also write quotes.
Q: What new character(s) can we look forward to seeing you cosplay as in the future?
Ai Yume: Ciel Phantomhive from Kuroshitsuji (Black Butler) – I’m excited to cosplay Ciel. Thanks to a fellow cosplayer for lending me her cosplay, Ciel shall be my first ever crossplay. I hope I do well. ^-^
Kuroko Tetsuya from Kuroko No Basuke – I don’t know when exactly I’ll be debuting Kuroko. I’ll be joining a Kuroko No Basuke group for extra fun and shenanigans, but we’re not sure where and when we’ll be cosplaying them as.
Q: If any fans wanted to see your costumes what future conventions will fans be able to see you at?
Ai Yume: Not sure about too many cons, since I don’t know about a lot of them (I’m still such a noob to the cosplay scene x.x), but I’ll be making it to Winter Sac-Anime 2013 in January. I’ll be featuring my Ciel Phantomhive cosplay there on Saturday. Saeko Busujima shall be reserved for Friday, and Misa Amane shall be there on Sunday.
And I could never miss Fanime in May, it’s like my home base. It’s where I started out. x3
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?
Ai Yume: I guess a big thank you first and foremost, for giving me the opportunity of this interview and to those of you who have read it. :3
No matter what, always strive to do what you want to. (Within reason, of course, no running around doing questionably illegal things now~) For nothing can be more fulfilling than loving what you do. ❤
Q: Do you have any extra websites that you own that you would want fans to follow you on?
Ai Yume: Well, right now, the only site that you’ll see a page owned by me with all my cosplay-related stuff is Facebook. Hehe, it’s so much easier to keep track of things with one official site for everything. So please, feel free to check it out and like me to watch my progress in cosplaying! ^-^ I promise to keep giving it my all, and finally buy a sewing machine and learn how to sew myself up some amazing costumes! xD
Thank you very much Ai Yume for taking your time doing this interview. It was a pleasure working with you, and I look forward to seeing you at future cons.