AsiaPOP Comicon 2016 brought in plenty of guests for the different geek world and fandom, one of them was international cosplayer Ani-Mia, who was also invited to judge the Cosplay Authority Global Challenge (CAGE) competition. We had chance to interview Ani-Mia and get to know her better.
Tell us about how you started getting into Cosplay?
I’ve always been a big geek. I grew up that way. My dad raised me as a geek but I never really knew that conventions really existed until one of my co-workers was really into anime. We were the only two people at work that really watched anime and we got be really good friends. One time she told me, “You should go to a convention,” and I asked, “Wait they have conventions for anime?!?”
So I went to my first one and I saw cosplayers and they were having so much fun. They were having a blast being characters that they loved. And I was really drawn to that.
I come from an art background and it combined two things that I loved. I actually bought my first cosplay and it was horrible. Haha. I had not known how to measure myself at the time. It was three times too big and the wig was falling off half the time but I just really had so much fun. So I said alright, I’ll make them my own and make them better, and I just haven’t stopped.
What is your favorite cosplay that you’ve done so far?
Hmm… That’s tough. Well… Zatanna’s my most popular but the most fun I’ve ever had was actually dressed as Master Roshi. Haha.
I actually did it as a bet with a friend who’s a 6’3” Marine. He told me, “If you dress up as Master Roshi, I’ll dress up as Bunny Bulma.” And I just wanted to see him wear 5 inch heels so I did the full thing with a bald cap and everything. I was so nervous because it was at Dragon Con and girls wear very sexy costumes at Dragon Con and you know here I am, a 90 year old man with a beard and a bald cap. I was scared to leave the room but I ended up having so much fun because I just walked to all my friends, including Riddle, and I just grabbed their butts and acted like Master Roshi.
I ended up having so much fun and that I wasn’t scared after that.
Oh wow, we did not expect that. Master Roshi… turtle shell and everything?
Yeah, turtle shell and all. I went full Master Roshi. Haha.
What’s the most challenging cosplay you’ve ever done?
I think the hardest, in general because of my skill level at the time was when I did Luka from Singing of the Dragon. She’s a vocaloid and she has this huge ball gown and it was very detailed. I have never made a ball gown in my life at that point. I think I’ve only been sewing on a sewing machine for six months.
I messed that thing up so many times but it was a real learning experience. I was really proud of it, it was really detailed. It took me forever, but I was very proud of it afterwards.
How do you decide on a character to cosplay? What goes through the decision-making for you?
It’s always stuff that I love. I watch a lot of movies. I watch a lot of tv especially when working on things so my list of costumes that I want to do is just really long now.
I find inspiration from everything. I literally put up pictures on a board and I just throw a darts at it. And I’m not even kidding, I just do what’s closest to that dart. I love them all and I want to do them all eventually. But when you have 60 characters that you want to be, how do you pick which one to work on next? So, yeah.
Do you play video games?
Oh yeah! But I haven’t as much now because cosplay has pretty much consumed my life.
What video game character would you want to cosplay as?
I do a lot of Final Fantasy. The next one that I want to do is Fran from Final Fantasy XII because I’m just a Final Fantasy fan girl; so I’ve done stuff like Sarah and two versions of Tifa.
Who would you consider your hero, you know in general?
I’ve always a Ripley fan, well honestly just a Sigourney Weaver in general. But as Ripley, I’ve always been drawn to strong female characters. Part of it was because I was really shy, like super shy, and cosplay is what got me to not be shy. So I’m always drawn to these very powerful, very strong women because that’s who I want to be. I want to be stronger so I tend to portray those type of characters now.