The Team Costa Rica from the World Cosplay Summit (WCS) was formed by, Will Avendaño, an illustrator and fan of culture and art, and Anthony Zúñiga, a sous chef or second chef, excited to try new flavors and the traditional Japanese cuisine. They like to teamwork and learn everything that surrounds them to improve their skills.
In the WCS 2018 championship, they performed a play based on the manga-anime Fate / Apocrypha, playing the characters Siegfried and Karna. This play situates us in a parallel world in which he tells us the history of the war for the Holy Grail.
Here we leave you the interview that they granted to kawaii aichi in the first days of the WCS contest.
□ What’s your cosplayer name?
William AS: My name is Will Avendaño and my cosplayer name is William AS.
Anthony Zu Art: My name is Anthony Zúñiga and my cosplayer name is Anthony Zu Art.
□ What’s your team name?
Anthony Zu Art: Our team name is Racoon Battle Team.
William AS: Previously we had worked together on sporadic projects, but for the WCS 2018 Costa Rica, we united to present the project as Racoon Battle Team, for the first time.
□ When and how did you start to become interested in cosplay?
William AS: I’ve been doing cosplay for about 9 years.
Anthony Zu Art: In my case, I’ve been doing cosplay for 11 years.
□ How many hours does it take making the costumes?
William AS: Well, it varies according to the character. For example for this World Coslpay Summit we decided to enter 6 months for the championship. So we worked for those 6 months a little bit every day. Let’s say that the actual work, the net time, could come to be about 3 months of constant work. However, it will vary a lot in each project, right? Personally, we like to try to be the best we can to represent the character as best we can, looking for the best way to do it, bringing it to reality. Then each project will take its time. We do not want to treat any project lightly, but in each project there is planning and taking your time to think about the best way to solve it, right? From thinking about what fabrics I’m going to use to how I’m going to solve different proportions to adapt them to my body and other kinds of things that really take up a lot of work, not just come and say: “OK, I’m going to use that.” You have to think it over.
I think that all people who do cosplay always want to do it the best way. As time goes by and as you are involved in this, you will realize that you are learning things as well. It’s like a process where at first you probably did not know many things but as years go by you face new challenges.
□ How many costumes do you have already?
William AS: At least round 45 suits.
Anthony Zu Art: I have around 40.
□ Have you received any prize or won any contest?
William AS: I have had the opportunity to participate on many contests. The first big prize offered by Costa Rica was to travel to Mexico, to see the TNT, which is the Grand Champioship of the World Cosplay Summit Mexico. Then I had the opportunity to witness it on 2 occasions along with other friends from Costa Rica. And it was an experience that nurtured us a lot. Even that it served us a lot for this occasion because we started to see how World Cosplay Summit Mexico worked and how the cosplayers took so much work to get to present their works, their cosplays. That, personally, I feel that taught me a lot.
Back to Costa Rica, I won a big event that gave me the opportunity to come to Japan. The first time I came Japan wasn’t to compete, it was to know a little about Japan, to know the culture. It was about 4 years ago, approximately.
Later, the World Cosplay Summit opened and I was able to participate with my partner. I think that I have had the opportunity to meet incredible people, I have had the opportunity to go to incredible places. Thanks to this, I’ve had the chance to meet people who never imagined I could meet. And it has been an enriching experience for me. From not only the fact of clothing design, which I love, but also all the creativity. To the fact of putting your hands on the material, as well as being able to share with people who are talented. Not only you know cosplayers, but dubbing actors, artists, illustrators, a lot of people with skills that you really like and are passionate about. And the fact of being able to come and see in retrospect everything you’ve done. And thanks to this and I can say that I never imagined that I could meet the person I admired and had the opportunity to shake his hand. There are things that really fill you up and make it not just to put on a costume.
□ How do you describe this experience as a WCS participant?
Anthony Zu Art: Well, one does not imagine what it is to be here. It’s amazing the order, the attention (in Japan). The other teams, the coexistence, the place, is too much to digest.
□ Which characters are your favorites?
William AS: My favorite mangas are Gantz, Saint Seiya, Shaman King. And my favorite is Saint Seiya.
Anthony Zu Art: For me, my favorite manga is Drifters, and my favorite anime is Card Captor Sakura.
□ Who is your favorite cosplayer?
William AS: I have many cosplayers that I like. I follow the work of many people. However, great inspiration for me could be said to be a compatriot, Angela Bermúdez Cosplay. Because I like how she handles different materials. Internationally there are cosplayers that I like very much for their projection. Sosenka. Not only the cosplay is impeccable, and well done, but also how they represent the character through gestures, poses, body language. That really conveys that to you, and you do not need many things too much weight to show that you really like it and the character is there. So let’s say, Ryoko Demon, I like him. He is a Russian cosplayer. And a great inspiration too. And so we could give you a list of people, but I feel there are a lot of talented people in this. And I feel that everyone has their own talent. Suddenly you’re good at handling props, or suddenly another person is good at dressing, other people go for makeup. Everyone has something in what they stand out.
In Japan, I like cosplayers like Billy Blue, an English who lives in Japan.
Anthony Zu Art: Reika who is also a great inspiration. She came to the WCS final in Costa Rica and we were able to meet her. She even asked us for a picture. I felt like I was dying…
I also really like how Alyson Tabbitha transforms into every character and achieves a similarity that amazes both cosplay and crossplay.
□ How is cosplay in Costa Rica?
William AS: In Costa Rica there are many cosplayers. We have a community, and as the years go by, it’s getting bigger. There are a lot of quality cosplay but we consider that they are very afraid to go up to the stage and perform. And that is our weakness. The World Cosplay Summit in Costa Rica comes to revive that. Because it had been lost for many years without it. Previously there were contests where performance was made, but as time went on, it was removed or the priority was lost to the topic. At the moment we have Anime Empire, the society that took the World Cosplay Summit to Costa Rica, and already the teams are motivating themselves a little more. However we lack work to make all those kids want to plunge to stage. Because there is a lot of quality cosplay, and there are many cosplayers, but not all feel are able to climb to the stage.
□ From this Cosplay Summit, do you have any favorite country?
William AS: In terms of performance, from the very beginning Mexico were a great inspiration for us and it was something that set us up and motivated us to work every night by putting videos from the end of the World Cosplay Summit. Because performance is something that is difficult to Costa Ricans. Watching Mexico Team so relaxed, so good in their area (dance). The dance applies to the fact of transmitting to people. We learn a lot and it served us a lot. I want to say Thank you very much the Mexico team.