Today’s feature! Rai from Australia！🇦🇺
🏹 ＝ Rai
・Please tell us the reason of why you started cosplay.
🏹 ：It’s been such a long time I can’t remember, but I’m sure it was when one of my friends introduced me to conventions! I remember researching online and recognised Cosplayers who were dressed as my favourite characters. I thought they looked so cool, so I wanted to try it out!
My first Cosplay was an ANBU Black Ops from Naruto. I tried to make it all myself but broke my arm the week before the convention so I had to get help finishing it off haha.
・Please tell us your favorite anime/manga/game character.
🏹 ：If I had to pick one, it would be Azazel from Shingeki no Bahamut. He’s initially a villainous and complex character, but through the series you can see he only wants the best for those that he cares about. I can really relate to that side of him and find him very endearing.
Also his character design is everything that I love: dark, demon and bishounen lol
・Which character cosplay do you think is your masterpiece?
🏹 ：I would definitely have to say EMIYA (Archer) from the Fate Series! The costume is 5 years old now and nothing has fallen apart yet (aside from my shoes) – I’m pleasantly surprised! I originally made the costume to compete in WCS Australia Prelims, although that never happened. Plus I have gone through such a transformation with my makeup over the years. I’m quite proud of him!
・Do you make your own costume or props?
🏹 ：Most of my costumes and all of my props are made by myself. Crafting is a passion and stress reliever of mine so I can easily lose myself in a project when I start. My favourite part of Cosplay has and will always be when everything comes together once you put it on and walk out the door. It’s the best feeling in the world.
Depending on work at conventions however, I do still purchase premade costumes just to save time and be comfortable!
・Have you ever took part in any Japan or oversea events? (If not, are you planning to go?)
🏹 ：I have attended events all around Australia and also in Hong Kong such as CWT and C3 AFA HK. It’s always so interesting to see how different Cosplay culture is overseas. The most surprising thing I found is that Hong Kong Cosplayers often get ready at the convention location – hair and makeup included! We usually turn up all dressed and ready in Australia.
I’m very sad to report I STILL haven’t been to Japan, but it’s definitely on my bucket list! Hopefully I’ll get a chance to go soon!
・Have you ever took part in any cosplay contest? （If no, are you planning to go?)
🏹 ：I took part in WCS Australia Preliminaries both in 2014, 2015 and 2016. It’s such a tremendous experience to have with all the emotions and pressure you feel. 2016 was my favourite year and one of the most challenging as my partner was located in Queensland (I’m from Melbourne).
It was the first time I attempted making pneumatic wings! I ended up tripping on stage with them at one point during the performance but the audience thought it was part of the skit haha!
・Do Australia have a lot of cosplayers? Would it be difficult if I want to start cosplay in Australia?
🏹 ：The Cosplay climate in Australia has definitely grown a lot since I started Cosplaying. Conventions and other events always feel like they’re getting bigger and better! I’m from Melbourne, and we now have so many events throughout the year that I can’t keep up!
We’re still not as intense as some of the Asian countries, but I think it wouldn’t be hard to start cosplaying in Australia. My favourite thing about the Australian community is that everyone is SO friendly! You definitely won’t have trouble making friends at events!
・If cosplayers want to cosplay in Australia due to the religious factors, regionals factors, etc do they have to pay any special attentions?
🏹 ：Out of all the states I’ve cosplayed in so far, Melbourne I find is still the most ‘tolerating’ of Cosplay culture. The public here are pretty chill and don’t really mind as long as you’re being respectful of your surroundings and not causing trouble for others.
I think it goes to say that it’s common sense in any situation: Don’t be a public nuisance, pick up rubbish after yourself and be mindful of your surroundings.
Wherever we go, cosplayers will represent the community and that’s the impression that the public will receive.
We still have quite a lot of freedom in Australia, but I feel like each state is slowly restricting what we can do. Same for photo shoots, some areas require permits now and it’s not as easy to do photo shoots as before.
・Do Australia have any special props making techniques or tools? If yes, please share with us
🏹 ：In Australia, it’s becoming a lot more accessible to new materials and tools (eg. Worbla, Foam Clay) compared to a few years back. We definitely have the freedom of space and trading with other countries as well as our own suppliers for prop making materials. On the contrary, fabric is actually the most expensive thing to purchase here???