Pop-It #1 ~Tomoko Miya (An International Cosplayer)

Tomoko Miya, an International Cosplayer talks exclusively with Team Super Sugoii about her journey in the world of Cosplay.

“Cosplay is a way to express your love for the character you play”

When and how did the cosplay bug bite you?

I was in my late 20’s when I started cosplaying. I got in it seriously after working as a Director of Cure & World Cosplay. Though I have always loved wearing Neko (cat) ears, putting makeup on and participating in Halloween parties, It was a moment when my hobby matched up with work.

Can you tell us more about the costume-making process? What is the average time it takes for you to make a costume, including the props?
I usually take a week to make the costume itself. However, I start looking for good materials for it a few months in advance, I guess it totally takes a couple of months to do everything from scratch. Basically, I create my costume by myself to fit my body, but sometimes I ask my friend for large props creation. Purchased props also work well.

What was the most challenging costume you’ve ever made?
It was a costume of Maetel from The Galaxy Express 999. The waist of the character was very thin and in a high position, so I had a hard time making it. A simple costume needs a lot of efforts.

What is your favorite material to work with when making your props?
I prefer materials called Reala Board or Soft Board in Japan. These materials are lightweight and easy to handle. I guess these are sort of Urethane foam.

Is there a certain character or series that has a special place in your heart? If yes, could you tell us a story related to it?
Fran from Final Fantasy XII and Final Fantasy XII. I’ve always wanted to do it for long time, but I haven’t been able to complete it yet because it needs time to create lots of parts. I’ve played Miqo’te from Final Fantasy XIV before. I love the Beastmen character in Final Fantasy series.

From Japan to India to Europe. You travel a lot. What do all those experiences mean to you? How did they influence you and left their mark upon you?
I’ve been participating in many Comic Cons and Anime Cons is Asia and Europe. It’s great to make friends with çosplayers in each country. I realize that Cosplay is really enjoyed as a world-wide culture. I am looking forward to the development of cosplay in the world.

In what way did cosplay help you in your everyday life? Be it your job or your usual routine?
I don’t cosplay on a daily basis, but often participate in J-pop con and Comic Con. I talk to my cosplayers’ friends on a daily basis. It helps you feel creative and liberated.

If you were to give a piece of advice to those who want to start in this journey, what would it be?
Well.. There are 3 points :
First of all, try to imagine yourself as the character. See if you feel the longing to become one yourself. At that time, stop worrying about other people’s perspective, if you resemble the character or not, or if the body type is different etc. Cosplay is to express your love for the character. Cherish your freedom of this expression of love.
Secondly, cosplay can be enjoyed without depending on ingenuity. Try spreading your antenna of creativity. You can experiment without having anything, even your personal belongings.
The last part is to enjoy. Have fun if you like Cosplaying!!

What are your future plans as a cosplayer?
Up until now, I’ve been making photogenic cosplay costumes, but now I’d like to focus on
creating quality costumes and props that have excellent range of motion for the future.

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