For some of us, just playing our favorite games isn’t enough. Sometimes we like to make underpaying careers out of our hobbies (protip: don’t major in journalism). Sometimes we like to combine our passions with our creativity. There’s all manner of nerdy creativity out there, from original scores inspired by videogames, to traditional fanart, fanfiction and original characters, but my personal favorite is cosplay. Cosplay has come a long way, and has almost become mainstream in recent years. It’s something that has benefited my life in many ways, and I decided to ask a few Nintendo cosplayers some questions. Please take the time to visit their social media pages and check out their other work when you’re done reading. Be sure to check out the photographers’ pages as well, as their work goes vastly unappreciated in the cosplay community.
Pinku Perfect as Princess Peach
How did you get into cosplaying? I discovered that cosplaying was an actual thing around my sophomore year of high school, from a friend who went to conventions and came back during class to share stories. She wasn’t a cosplayer herself, but she would show pictures of AMAZING cosplayers she saw at these cons. I specifically remember a picture of a World of Warcraft cosplayer. I asked her if she knew where he bought the costume from, and she responded with “Oh, he made that all himself”. I was baffled, but my interest for cosplay perked immediately. I started researching conventions in my area (North Carolina), and I attended Animazement 2014, wearing a Leafeon cosplay I had made the ears and tail for myself. I went to panels, met a whole group of cosplay friends whom I’m still in contact with today, and made my cosplay myself, which I was very proud of. I was really happy that I had gotten involved with this community, and I’m still very happy that I call this my main hobby. It also gave me a reason to use my creative side, while being active with my nerdy side as well.
Why Peach? Princess Peach is a very well-known character, but also someone who I haven’t seen cosplayed a lot. This is how I choose my cosplays in general- ones that people know but who haven’t been done. I’m a really big fan of the color pink (hence the name of my cosplay page, Pinku Perfect Cosplay for Facebook and pinkuperfect for Instagram), and Peach’s dress screams pink, from the actual dress itself, to her parasol, to her lips. When I started working on Peach, it was also the time when my sewing skills had come to the point where I could consider myself somewhat skilled, so that’s why I wanted to tackle a bigger project and work on a ball gown styled dress, aka Peach. I’m really proud of how she turned out, and I’m looking forward to making other large dresses for future cosplays (I already have two in the making).
Were there any unique challenges posed by Peach? I had someone from Instagram see that I was working on Peach, and they wanted to know if she would be done in time for this big Super Smash Bros. tournament in my area. This was because they invited me to come in character as Peach to the event, get an interview from a blogger, and entertain those there. I was planning on getting her done around 2 weeks after this event, but I pulled two all nighters to finish, which left me a little insane during the tournament.
Has cosplaying Peach gained you more notoriety than other cosplays? I would say Peach has given me a lot of fame in the cosplay community, on Instagram and on other social media, but I see it stronger on more on a local level. I was asked to be involved with this very interview since someone saw me at a local convention, which I find awesome. Over the summer, I was asked by someone working with Paradigm Shift, a Super Smash Bros. professional tournament in Greensboro, NC, if I would cosplay Peach at their event and walk around in character. This was a pretty large competition as well, there were players from around the world that came. Overall, Peach has been very noticed and loved, though there are definitely others who cosplay Peach that make my jaw drop since they’re so amazing.
Do you plan to cosplay more Nintendo characters? For an upcoming con (Ichibancon 2016) I plan to cosplay Princess Zelda from Twilight Princess. The Legend of Zelda series has been my favorite video came series for as long as I can remember, and I have always wanted to cosplay the Princess herself for years. In the beginning, I wanted to cosplay her Skyward Sword version, because, wait for it… she has a pink dress. However, now that I have more sewing/armor making skills, I thought I would have more fun making the Twilight Princess version, and maybe I could even enter her in cosplay contests. I’m thinking about 3D printing her armor, that would wow the judges.
What does cosplay mean to you? I see cosplay as something that you can do to escape the real world and become someone else. If you’re having struggles or worries in your life, you can take a weekend and go to a convention to forget about them, along with turning into a completely different character. Personally, I like to go into full character when I cosplay. This makes my cosplay experience a lot better, as well as providing a little bit of entertainment for those around me. Cosplay is also an art, and as a Graphic Design major, I really appreciate and involve the arts in my everyday life. Art is something that makes the world go round, and makes people happy, and cosplay makes me very happy.
Nayruslove as Tharja
Photo by U.V. Photography (@u.v_photography)
How did you get into cosplaying? I got into cosplaying because I’ve always loved video games and anime since I was a child and I always wanted to actually be the characters so cosplay gave me that opportunity, once I learned what cosplay was I jumped at the chance.
Why Tharja? Tharja is my first gen girl from awakening , I married her my first run , dark mage is my favorite class, and she’s beautiful so she was perfect for me to cosplay
Were there any unique challenges posed by Tharja? her bracelets were weird to make then it was my first time sewing a big circle cape!!
Has cosplaying Tharja gained you more notoriety than other cosplays? No actually, I’d say my Robin cosplay is more popular! But both are personal favorites of mine
Do you plan to cosplay more Nintendo characters? Yes! Most of my cosplans are Nintendo
What does cosplay mean to you? Cosplay means a lot to me. It helped me grow as a person, and build up my confidence. It’s helped me in many more ways than one and I spend a lot of my free time working on cosplay, it’s very fun and relaxing for me. Cosplaying is one of the best decision I’ve made
How Did you get into cosplaying? I originally got into cosplaying after a friend of mine took me to the Carolina Renaissance fair, I was about 15 at the time. After seeing the passion for the crafts, and the all around magical environment, I was hooked. The very next year, I had a full suit of elven armor inspired by Lord of the Rings, crafted from foam. As I began making connections in the community, I realized that I could make actual armor and use the same basic techniques with leather. So since then, I have been dedicated to making both functional and beautiful outfits, and adding my own flare to the realm of fantasy.
Why Link? I chose Link because, like many, I aspired to be him. (haha) Growing up playing the originals, and (of course) Ocarina of Time, Hyrule is a world that leaves room for imagination. As I got older, I began to wish for a darker, more rugged look for hyrule; more grizzly, in a sense. Twilight Princess came close, and I did, indeed draw inspiration from the aesthetics. However, with anything that I do, as an artist, I have to add my own twist. So I tried (with what budget I had) to create something that would hold up on a movie set. Something that would look fitting with blood and realism, while still holding true to the character as best I can. I chose Link because I felt like there’s a bit of a gap. He’s typically thought of as “cute” with his peter pan-like tights, and dorky hat, and I wanted to show another side of the character, as he lives in my own mind.
Were there any unique challenges posed by Link? I think the biggest challenge with Link is that he is such an icon, and I am someone who likes to make things in my own style. Choosing what elements to keep, and where things could be played with was interesting. For instance, initially, I was not going to make the hat, as I felt that it counteracted the more serious tone I was going for. Obviously I (For the better) decided that it was too iconic to remove, and I instead played things like eye color, and adding a bit of dirt (Literally.) All that being said, to me, cosplay is a journey, and while I do crunch and get the majority done before the next big con, I am always making improvements and adding tiny little details that make it its own entity.
Has cosplaying Link gained you more notoriety than other cosplays? The Link cosplay has definitely turned many heads, I mean, he’s one of the most iconic game characters to exist, surpassed only by perhaps Mario. I’m still fairly new to character costumes, up until Link, I had mostly only done my original designs, which, sometimes unfortunately get overlooked, depending on the event. I hope to begin doing more characters in the future.
Do you plan to cosplay more Nintendo characters? I have put some thought into doing a movie quality cosplay of James from Team Rocket, perhaps making him a bit more vampyric, and of course, keeping the slight goofball side.
What does cosplay mean to you? Cosplay, to me, is a way to express a yearning for fantasy, and really putting yourself into those shoes that you would normally not be able to wear. Once in costume, I’m not thinking about my day job, I’m not wishing I was somewhere else, it’s solely about the moment, and sharing your fantasy world with others. It’s how I express my love for history and creativity, while engaging in one of the most supportive communities to exist in my experience.
Catherine Rose Cosplay as Camilla
Photo by Cosplay Kitchen
How did you get into cosplaying? I got into cosplaying because of my friends towards the end of high school. They were planning to go to a convention not too far from where we lived and I decided to give cosplaying a shot. Granted, it was a horribly put together cosplay of Tetra that I literally liquid-stitched together.
Why Camilla? Camilla is my personal favorite character from Fire Emblem Fates. I loved her so much as a character and I was completely taken by her design, despite it being very different from my usual choice of character. Also, purple is one of my favorite colors and her entire design has so many beautiful shades of purple that I simply couldn’t refuse! Also, Wyvern riding classes are my favorite!
Were there any unique challenges posed by Camilla? Camilla was quite an interesting costume to tackle. Her design is so ridiculous in game. So trying to bring it into reality was a little challenging. Especially because every reference image of her was different, especially between the character portrait and the in-game model. In the end, I tried my best to assemble some sort of design and I hope it looks all right in the end! I spent so many hours spent staring at the Accessory Shop model! Other than construction challenges Camilla was also a big personal challenge for me. I am super insecure and not the most confident person, so donning an outfit like hers was an experience. In the end, I realized as long as I was having fun in the cosplay that was ultimately what mattered! I can’t wait to debut my second revamped attempt at her this year!
Has cosplaying Camilla gained you more notoriety than other cosplays? I’d say so. When I was posting my progress pictures and such for Camilla I gained quite an amount of support to keep on going with her. I was shocked to see so many people supporting my choice of character and it made me really happy! I was cosplaying her out of my love of her as a character, but it was really neat to see so many people cheering me on!
Do you plan to cosplay more Nintendo characters? YES! I have grown up playing Nintendo games and they have been such a large part of my life. The Legend of Zelda series has been something I’ve grown up with, originally playing it because of my father on the NES, so I have a lot of cosplay plans from that for the future! Some of the characters I’ve been aiming to do are Lady Palutena from Kid Icarus, Samus Aran from Metroid, and Lusamine from Pokémon Sun and Moon to name a few .
What does cosplay mean to you? I hate to give the cliché answer here but personally, cosplay is all about having fun and getting to make costumes of the characters I love. Even if I spend hours drafting patterns from scratch, suffer countless burns from hot glue, and get paint all over myself, I love this hobby. There really is not a way to describe the feelings I get when I debut all my hardwork on the con floor, it is just such an amazing experience. I also love getting to meet others who are as passionate as I am about the character/series I’m cosplaying, it is so much fun!
As you may have guessed, I myself am also a cosplayer. This is a picture of myself as Link and my friend as a concept art version of Zelda! You can follow me on Facebook at Aether Productions and on Instagram at @aetherfenris, as well as the Zelda at Alatove Cosplay and @alatove. The Photograph I’m using was taken by Cosplay of the Carolinas, who is also on Instagram as @cotc_photography.
We here at NintendoFuse would love to see your own cosplays and possibly feature them in the future! If you’d like a shot at being featured, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and FOLLOW THE GUIDELINES BELLOW CAREFULLY.
-Make the title of your email “NintendoFuse Cosplay Spotlight”
-include links to any of your cosplay related social media
-Include a HIGH RESOLUTION professional quality photo
-only submit one cosplay per email
-Understand that just because you have submitted a cosplay does not guarantee that it will be featured