Cosplay is truly an art form and today, I had to pleasure of interviewing Ichigokitty, who embraces that art with passion!  She has created over 150 of her own costumes since 2002 and is still pursuing her passion today!  Below is the transcript of my interview with her!


Josh: When it comes to cosplay, what inspired you the most to get into the art?

Ichigokitty: I think it’s that natural desire for a young girl to dress up like her favorite characters she sees in movies and shows she likes! As a young teen, I was very into roleplaying/acting as my favorite characters with my friends, and dressing up was the next natural step.  

Josh: It says you are self-taught. How hard was it to learn how to make costumes or was it something that came naturally to you?

Ichigokitty: In general, I’m the type of person that picks things up fairly quickly.  I would say I didn’t think it was very hard for the most part.  It feels harder now because I have better knowledge, and I will double guess fabric choices and techniques.  I’m more interested now in doing things the “correct” way, and that’s more of a challenge to me right now. I’m very interested in trying a class now, and seeing if that helps my speed!

Josh: Were there any cosplays that you have made in the past that posed an incredible challenge to make?

Ichigokitty: Truthfully, each costume is difficult in it’s own way! I don’t think many of my personal costumes have been particularly challenging over others, but some that stick out are Midna, Super Sailor Moon, and Floral Hibiki.  Most of the costumes that I want to make in recent years aren’t terribly difficult designs for my current skill level, so I don’t feel more than moderately challenged.  I do want to make some more insane designs, but I typically cosplay things I am a fan of, and they aren’t often crazy designs.

Josh: You have a very high attention to detail when it comes to your costumes. How important do you believe details are when it comes to creating cosplay?

Ichigokitty: I think it’s one of the main important factors of a costume.  It’s true that most people will recognize your costume, and won’t notice details missing if they haven’t studied the design. However for me, I can’t let those little things go! If you fudge over the details, or the proportions aren’t quite right, in the end, it won’t look like the source material.  Details are where I like to add my own spin on things, while still staying true to the original design.  I could make a trim glittery, or add sequins somewhere, or line my pockets in creative fabric that goes with the theme of the costume.  Those types of things are very fun to me. 

Josh: Are there any characters you haven’t cosplayed as yet that you would love to portray?

Ichigokitty: Of course! There’s also some I’ve only cosplayed a few times a long time ago that I want to get back to.  Some of these things I’ll be making a reality shortly! I would like to make Ryoko from Tenchi Muyo, more (newer) Umi Ryuzaki costumes from Magic Knight Rayearth, finish my new Misato Katsuragi costume from Evangelion, and finally be my childhood hero: Lara Croft.  

Josh: Having attended conventions in Japan, what do you like the most about Japanese culture compared to American culture?

Ichigokitty: In regards to cosplay, at Japanese conventions there are more rules.  Depending on the convention, you generally only wear your costume in a specific area, and you change at the convention.  I’ve only cosplayed at a Japanese convention once, ten years ago, so I’m not sure if I think this is better than American conventions or not.  Sometimes the rules about the cosplay seem overly strict for no reason.  I was asked to put my Dragon ball away at Comiket because “I might drop it, and then someone might step on it and fall”, which I found to be ridiculous reasoning (and, well, I didn’t put it away).  

Positively, Japan does have many more personal privacy laws than America, and I think that’s better.  You’re probably not going to catch someone snapping a photo of you without asking, or while you’re eating or not ready.  This happens on a regular basis in America, and while we are wearing conventions, it doesn’t mean we’re animals on display for you to take photos of whenever you feel like.  In Japan, you’re also less likely to find very loud groups of people at conventions, because being noisy is generally looked down on.  That’s another factor I like, haha.

Josh:  What are some of your favorite anime shows or manga series and why?

Ichigokitty: Currently I’m very into the iDOLM@STER franchise. I enjoy the games, music, lives, animated series, goods, and designs. Of course I also enjoy the characters, which is a requirement for me to like a show! Every character in at least the original imas cast are amazing and perfect. 

Some of my favorite manga are One piece, Magic knight rayearth, No Need for Tenchi, and Evangelion.  I also really love Dragonball.  One Piece I think is written fantastically, has amazing characters, and just keeps impressing me with how far back Ota planned something! Rayearth is a classic with a beautiful message, and of course the most beautiful art by CLAMP you could ask for.  Tenchi is so much fun, and I love the manga art.  Evangelion is also a classic! Most of these series I’ve been a fan of for 20 years ! 

Josh: You also have some very impressive talents including singing, playing the piano and the trombone! Have you ever ventured into covering anime songs or have created any original music?

Ichigokitty: I would say my singing talent is “decent”, and any talent there is mostly from my musical ear.  I’ve never been trained to sing, but I guess I can be pretty decent.  I wouldn’t mind taking some lessons, though! Piano and Trombone I started around the age of 11, and like most things, I picked them up pretty quickly.  Years ago I tried to write Yuzurenai Negai for the piano, but I didn’t get very far.  Being able to play instruments, and being a composer, or learning musical theory are two totally different things, haha.  I can read, and play, but I can’t really write songs.

Josh: Lastly, is there anything you would like to say to The Outerhaven readers?

Ichigokitty: Keep it real, folks! If you ever have questions about cosplay, or iDOLM@STER, feel free to hit me up! You can follow me at the following links!

Ichigokitty’s Instagram: @Ichigokitty
Ichigokitty’s Twitter: @_Ichigo_kitty_ 
Ichigokitty’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Ichigokitty/

You can check out Ichigokitty’s Kospre page at the following link: http://www.kospre.us/ichigokitty

Cosplay

Ichigokitty as Super Sailor Moon from… well… Sailor Moon!

 We here at The Outerhaven wish to thank Kospre for this interview opportunity and want to especially thank Ichigokitty for taking the time to answer our questions! Make sure you return the favor by following her on social media and supporting her work! The photo here and our featured image were provided courtesy of Kospre.

About The Author

Josh Piedra

Josh (or J.J. as some have come to call him), is a long-time geek culture enthusiast with a deep passion for anime, manga and Japanese culture. Josh also has a Bachelor of Arts in Game Design and is a creative writer who has created original content for over 20 years!