Kipi | Singapore Toy Game and Comic Convention 2011
Appearing for the first time ever in Singapore, professional Cosplayer Kipi from Japan will grace the much awaited Singapore Toy Game and Comic Convention 2011 (STGCC). Held over two days from Aug 20-21 at the Suntec International Convention and Exhibitions Centre, the convention showcases the latest in the toy, games, and comics scenes.
Having started at an early age, Kipi soon became a renowned Cosplayer, attending Cosplay and game conventions in Japan and across Asia. Amassing a following quite like no other, the 23-year-old, porcelain skin and angelic looking Kipi has numerous fan-sites and forums dedicated to her. ActuallyMAG speaks to STGCC’s special guest ahead of her highly-anticipated appearance at the convention.
What started you off into Cosplaying?
Kipi: I have been always a fan of anime and manga since young. When I happened to see pictures of cosplayers on the internet, it occurred to me that I wanted to cosplay as my favourite characters. I think that’s how I got started.
Not many deem Cosplaying as an actual career. When did you decide that you are going to do this professionally and how has that changed your life?
K: In Japan, there are a lot of people who keep their cosplay hobby a secret so to cosplay professionally is perhaps not as common yet. For me, I have been cosplaying with the mind-set, “I want to express myself through cosplay! I want to create something that is of high quality!” But I didn’t really think of cosplaying professionally until recently. Personally, I think cosplay will become bigger and bigger in the near future. I would definitely love to see more similar events in the future.
It can be considered a rather expensive hobby with the amount spent on costumes and make up. What’s the most expensive costume you’ve ever owned and which are your favourites and why.
K: The costume that cost me the most was the costume of Misa Amane from Death Note. Although it looks simple, the wig and the accessories cost me quite a lot. Because the cosplay depends on the costume, it is a hobby that costs time and money. As for my favourite costume, it would be the Suzumiya Haruhi costume from Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu. I created that costume when I was still not very good at making my own costumes, so it took me a lot of time to complete it. I think that’s why I have a special feeling towards it, and it was also through that costume that I met a lot of friends! I will treasure that costume and try to wear it again in the future.
What about Cosplaying that you enjoy the most?
K: When I first started cosplaying, I enjoyed choosing the materials and cloth, and sewing the costume the most. But now, what I enjoy the most is cosplaying. I can meet a lot of people and experience different things!
It’s just like acting, where you have to play different characters. How do you prepare for the roles?
K: I will study the character and try to analyse the poses and the habits that they normally do. As for characters that have weapons and equipment, the choice of poses will be much wider. The hardest part will be the expressions, there was a time when I found it unnatural to wink and I ended up practising in front of the mirror in the bathroom every time I took a bath (laughs).
Which character would you consider the most challenging to play and why?
K: Ayanami Rei from Neon Genesis Evangelion and Akemi Homura from Mahou Shoujo
Madoka Magica, because characters like these have very “cool” expressions; and for me, that’s the hardest character to cosplay as. It’s always very good to cosplay as the characters you like. During a photo shoot, when your expression does not fit the character, it will be caught on camera too. So I think choosing a character that fits your own personality is an important point.
How competitive is the Cosplay industry in Japan and how do you think it is growing in Asia and the rest of the world?
K: In Japan, we don’t feel the competition among ourselves as cosplayers, but we learn from each other when we look at the pictures of others and try to improve from that.
Tell us something we don’t know about you.
K: Hmm, I have a mole shaped like a star (laughs).
Aside for Cosplaying, what other hobbies do you have?
K: Other than cosplaying, things I do daily (laughs) includes gardening, karaoking, watching movies, and reading books. I also enjoy oil painting and running the marathon. And since I want to learn to prepare dishes from different countries around the world, I’m now learning to cook!
What can we expect from your appearance at the SGTCC 2011?
K: For me, it’s my first time taking part in an event in Singapore. I would like to meet and make friends with the local cosplayers in Singapore! And I’m really looking forward to the Cosplay competition at STGCC!
Famous last words for your fans.
K: I’m very happy that there are a lot of people overseas who have the same hobby as me. I will be do my best too during my visit to Singapore and I will need everybody’s support for it! Thank you very much!
– Zul Andra
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