If you missed last Saturday Cosmo Youth Parade at Orchard Road, you have missed the chance to see the adorable and charismatic Taiwan cosplayer Neneko in action. For those who came, you will agree with me she is a down to earth girl with lots of smiles. Some pictures here.
So just a brief introduction, Neneko is a Taiwanese cosplayer with 4 years of experience under her belt. Some of the characters she has cosplayed includes, Yui Hirasawa from K-ON!, Ahri from League of Legends, Tsukihi Araragi from Nisemonogatari, Kaname Madoka from Madoka Magica, Sena Kashiwazaki from Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai, Alice Faye from Queen’s Blade, Manaka Takane from LovePlus, Ohana Matsumae from Hanasaku Iroha, Nyaruko from Haiyore! Nyaruko-san and many more I could go on forever. All of which you can check it out over at her Facebook page.
Thanks to the organiser, I together with a few other bloggers were able to have a Q&A session with Neneko, to get to know her better. Other than myself, we have Speedknight, K_Ryuuji representing Ani-Culture.net and Anthony doing the interview with Operation P・Ani・C and Anthony doing the video recording.
Without further ado, below is transcript of the interview session.
Speedknight: This is your first time in Singapore, what is it that attracted you to come as a cosplay ambassador for the Cosmo Youth Parade?
Neneko: I like to attend events overseas as I get to learn a lot of things. Therefore when the organiser invited me to the Cosmo Youth Parade, I was very excited and looking forward to it as I can get to experience new things.
Speedknight: We know that you like Yui from K-On! a lot, what is the reason behind it she being your favourite anime character?
Neneko: I like Yui is because her clumsiness give her a very cute personality and although she is lazy at times, she still cares a lot for her friends like Azusa and will motivate them from times to times. Thus I see her as a tender loving girl.
Speedknight: Out of the many Yui’s outfits which one is your favourite?
Neneko: I like the school uniform as it brings out the character and also most people are more familiar with that.
Gordon: Is there any special meaning to your nickname Neneko? How does it came about?
Neneko: 4 years ago I was randomly flipping through a magazine for young females, looking for a suitable name based on a character I like. I found this character from the game Yumeria by the name of Neneko so I decided to adopt the same name for myself.
Gordon: What is your most memorable cosplay experience?
Neneko: My most memorable experience is forming a team with friends to cosplay characters from the same anime series. I enjoyed the interaction when we are designing the costumes/props and the advice we gave to one another to improve our cosplay. By being part of a team also allows me to get to know new friends who like the same series as well.
Gordon: Have you ever encountered enthusiastic fans with strange requests?
Neneko: I will usually treat fans as friends and one who shares the same hobby. If they have any out of normal requests I will not be unhappy but I will reject them in a polite way. In Taiwan, I have fans who made personal t-shirts based on me as well.
K_Ryuuji: What made you fall in love with cosplay?
Neneko: My love for anime and manga is what makes me wants to pick up cosplaying.
K_Ryuuji: How long does it take to complete a full costume and props?
Neneko: Different type of costumes will take varying amount of time to make and also depending how complicated it is. Props would take about 1-2 months. A school uniform would take around 1 month. Recently I have picked up tailoring and that speed up the costume preparation and making process by a lot. I also trim the wig myself .
K_Ryuuji: How about the materials to make the props and costume? Do u find them yourself?
Neneko: Sometimes I would consult my friends. I also go to convenient stores to source for materials and make something out of any suitable stuff I can find.
K_Ryuuji: Do you have any advice or tips to give to people interested to take up cosplaying?
Neneko: I think an important aspect of cosplaying is to get a feel of props making. It is alright if you do not know how to make costume but researching is a must so I will suggest for people to forcus on doing research on your own instead of just asking around. You will realise through self research you may discover more knowledge that way.
*Below are questions submitted by fans which I helped to ask on their behalf*
Q: In anime there is a kind of character that is hot tempered on the outside but gentle on the inside. Do you see yourself as one?
Neneko: Have I cosplay such character before?
Q: How about in real life?
Neneko: Do you think I’m an such person? >.<
Q: You certainly do not look like one. But if given a chance to cosplay such character would you consider?
Neneko: If I like the character I would, and I will mimic character’s personality as well.
Q: So till now have you cosplay such a character?
Neneko: Does the word means 傲娇？
Q: In Japanese it is call Tsundere, for example Shana from Shakugan no Shana and Aisaka Taiga from Toradora!. These characters are usually very mean to the protagonist.
Neneko: Yes, I cosplay such characters before and quite frequently. I did Kirino Kousaka from Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai.
Q: When choosing a characters to cosplay will you choose a character you like or a character that is more suitable for you?
Neneko: I would take both into considerations. But more importantly is whether the anime series that character is from attracted me and also the development of the character over the course of the story and if she has any unique attributes.
Anthony: Of all the characters you cosplayed before, which one do you think is the most challenging?
Neneko: The most challenging character I have cosplayed before is Alice Fayne from Queen’s Gate.
*Takes out PSP to show character*
It started out as a card game and was made into a game. This character’s unique point is her guns, the bottom looks like a Rambo’s knife and with patterns. The leather outfit and belt she wears has to custom made by myself. The character also has a very long tail.
Anthony: So this character has a lot of details to look out for?
Neneko: Yes, this character has quite a lot of details to pay attention to.
Anthony: So you like this character a lot?
Yes I love this character a lot. I kept a lot of her merchandises. I even got my friends who went Japan to buy this character’s merchandise as Taiwan do not import them. There is also a novel based on this series which not many people know of because it is only sold in Japan. I do hope Taiwan will be able to import them one day.
Anthony: Do u have any character whom u wish to cosplay in future? Or is it still a secret?
Not really secret and I like Queen’s Blade a lot. Most of the characters have a lot of weapons and armor so when making the armor I have to pay attention to the details. Every character have a unique point and I wish to cosplay the more mature characters but because my features might not be suitable for the characters so I’m worried if people might find it not sexy and seductive enough. Maybe I shall do it 10 years later when I am older. Haha.
Antony: What sort of details will you particularly watch out for for your cosplay?
I will observe the characters’ movement and practice at home. If the character dances, I will try to learn that too. Like for Tsukihi Araragi from Nisemonogatari she has a dance so I will practice her hand gestures for the dance and use it for static poses. As for costume, no matter how simple the costume is, I will pay attention to the design and cutting as every one of them is different. And also not forgetting wigs and make up. Basically I am very particular in almost every aspect.
Anthony: Makeup is an essential for cosplay, do you have any recommendation how to take care of your complexion?
Neneko: I feel that the most important thing is to take care of your daily personally well being and have enough rest else you might end up with a big pimple the next day. Like last week I went for a recording for a Taiwan show and due to lack of sleep, a big pimple pops up. And it is impossible to edit such a minor thing out during post production. That is why I think taking care of yourself is the most important.
Final note: So that concludes our interview with Neneko. After spending some time with her, one will find that she is very passionate about cosplaying. An example is the many variety of poses she will do for the camera. Her down to earth personality is also a hit with the fans. So with that, once again special thanks to the organiser and everyone involved in the interview. Will also like to wish Neneko all the best and if possible, hope to see her again in Singapore! 加油了！下次見！(・∀・)ノ