Those who know me, know that my main focus and hobby is Rc Drifting. It is something I love a lot, something that I have a deep passion for and something which I also have a strong connection with especially with Rc Drifting in Durban. It has made me look at niche, up and coming and not so popular activities in SA and Durban. I have long had a liking for cosplay. I wish I could have cosplayed ha-ha but I think I’m a little past that now especially since my involvement with rc drifting in South Africa.
Although Cosplay has been around in South Africa for a number of years now, comparatively its actually quite young in SA but has been growing in leaps and bounds recently. After following this amazing scene and getting to know more about what cosplay is all about I got to know one particular cosplayer by the name of Anchen de Wet aka Michiko Cosplay. Not only is she a super down to earth and awesome person she’s also an amazing Cosplay talent! I got down to find out more about what makes her tick, what’s cosplay like and what cosplay is like in SA.
Bob Rock: So, Michiko, when did Cosplay begin for you?
Michiko: Cosplay as a hobby began about 3 years ago, but before that I always dressed up as my fave characters…pretending to be Pan from Dragonball GT was very much how I spent a lot of my childhood days…. or being a duel master (yu-gi-oh) or Pokémon trainer.
Bob Rock: Cosplay looks absolutely amazing but what is Cosplay?
Michiko: Cosplay can be split up into two words- costume and play. It is the art of recreating a character and embodying them. It appeals to me so much since I have been on stage my whole life and enjoy acting and drama, but it is also a creative outlet and I get a chance to be the characters I admire so much.
Bob Rock: How big is Cosplay in SA at the moment?
Michiko: Cosplay in SA is not AS big just yet, but it is growing very fast. I would say Icon, rAge and Geek Fest are some of your major events happening.
Bob Rock: When I first saw you the cosplay that caught my eye was your rendition of Harley Quinn! Please take us through your making of Harley?
Michiko: Gosh, this Harley cosplay…. it was a project I undertook for quite a few months only because there are so many references that weren’t really available before the movie came out. 30+ tattoos and a lot of accessories to research and make. I try to make as many parts of a cosplay myself as possible, but items like the boots and jacket and so on were bought through Koncept Kitty and then I just altered it (added the chain to the jacket for example) Harley has always been a favourite character of mine (seriously. The comic book collection is getting out of hand). It was not my first time cosplaying her and certainly won’t be the last
Bob Rock: Is Cosplay limited to a specific category of people or can anyone cosplay?
Michiko: Can anyone cosplay? Yes. An absolute yes. Any size, age, gender, race… do not let anyone stop you from expressing your love of a character.
Bob Rock: Any advice to anyone wanting to start cosplaying?
Michiko: If I can give any advice to newbies…. it would be not to be intimidated. The projects can sometimes seem daunting and so, but if you break it down into smaller pieces it seems more doable. Do not stop trying your best, even if you fail. Remember we are trying to create things that do not actually exist and make them real- we are bound to screw up.
Bob Rock: What’s your next cosplay project? Any sneak peaks? Any Shout outs?
Michiko: The next cosplay I am working on would be the DC rebirth version of Starfire. I don’t have that much of a sneak peek available as of yet except a late-night makeup test. Shout outs- waifu Lynzaykat for always being my support and motivation, hikari no michi cosplay for being there during my late-night sewing freak outs and Giantshev photography for her incredible patience with me and for always making me look and feel like a superstar during our shoots
There you have it! Michiko can be found on fb at www.facebook.com/Michiko.SA101 we have become quite good friends and she’s a real sweetheart with an amazing talent! Follow her to see more of her fantastic work. Most of the cosplayers actually make these costumes by hand and by themselves and that’s something to marvel at. In the meantime, enjoy these pics of Michiko Cosplay! Pics are by the talented Giantshev Photography follow her work here – www.facebook.com/giantshevphotography
Thanks as well to Jay Coboz from CosWePlay, for the extra photos.