This year the World Cosplay Summit (WCS) Chilean team was formed by Elisa Mahnke and Rocío Radrigan. Elisa is a Fashion Design student and a young entrepreneur with her own clothing brand, “Pastel Street”. Rocío is a Cinematography student and aspires to work with the best film directors in a very near future.
In the WCS final they made a performance based on the manga-anime Kuragehime, an interpretation that put a nice and adorable note in a final full of swords and tragedies.
Here we leave you the interview that was granted to kawaii aichi in the first days of the WCS contest.
□ What’s your cosplayer name?
Eriza Cosplay: My name is Elisa Mahnke and my cosplayer name is Eriza Cosplay.
Chrome Cosplay: My name is Rocío Radrigan and my cosplayer name is Chrome Cosplay.
□ What’s your team name?
Both: We are Mister Chispa
□ When and how did you start to become interested in cosplay?
Eriza Cosplay: I started around 2010 going to local events in the city where I lived. But back then I didn’t know anything about cosplay, I didn’t even know what it was called. But it caught my attention and I said: “I want to do that, I don’t know what it is but I like it”.
Chrome Cosplay: I also started in 2010. In my circle of friends we liked the series “Hitman Reborn!”. And I really liked a character called “Chrome”. That’s where my cosplayers name “Chrome Cosplay” comes from because it was my first costume. It all started because my friends wanted to make a group performance of that series and there I started to get into the world of cosplay little by little.
□ How long have you been doing cosplay?
Both: The two around 8 years.
□ How many costumes do you have already?
Eriza Cosplay: More or less I make about 6 costumes a year. Till today I have around 70 costumes. Many of them are very simple. For example, It’s not rare for me to make one during the weekend because I feel like it.
Chrome Cosplay: I have about 40 costumes.
□ When you have a cosplay event or contest, how do you choose the theme? Is it usually free or is it already decided?
Chrome Cosplay: We freely choose the theme. But there are many events that have rules such as wearing a new suit or sometimes give you more points if the suit is related to the event, such as video games or comics. But we usually don’t attend contests, we usually go as a general public to have a good time.
□ How many hours does it take making the costumes?
Eriza Cosplay: It depends on the complexity of the costume. In my case, if it’s a simple costume, I can do it in a day. If it has a little complexity, it takes me 2 to 3 weeks. And if it is already quite complex as is the Final stage one, months.
Besides that we are in the University, so while we study we prepare the costumes.
□ And how many hours do you practice for the performances?
Eriza Cosplay: The truth is that we have never had to do something as complex as the performance we prepared for the WCS. For the National of Chile, we were rehearsing 5 days a week. Not only is the performance, but also we had to prepare the scenery, resources and everything. Almost all the events in Chile are just parades on stage to show the costume to the jury and that’s it.
□ Have you received any prize or won any contest?
Eriza Cosplay: We won the WCS Nationals in Chile.
Chrome Cosplay: A few years ago my circle of friends and I won the first place in a contest in Chile but exceeded the limit of participants per team, so we won second place.
□ Do you have any goals for the future as cosplayers?
Chrome Cosplay: In my case I study cinematography. And I’ve seen American cosplayers who work with Guillermo del Toro, making prosthesis. I would love to do that in the future, use what I have learned as a cosplayer in the professional field of what I am studying.
Eriza Cosplay: I’m in my last year of career and I already have launched my clothing brand along with my boyfriend Pastel Street. And obviously the style of our clothes is influenced by the Harajuku Japanese style.
□ How is cosplay in Chile?
Eriza Cosplay: What I have noticed in Chile is that they do not want to make the contests as simple as possible. The important thing is that the suit is very showy. On one hand that is good, because the costumes are very good, but on the other han it is bad, because with this people become become lazy regarding representations.
It’s true that we don’t have a necessary and adequate space to be able to carry out the cosplay performances. There is no safe scenario, there is no correct lighting.
We also notice that people do not get too involved. That is, there are very detailed and beautiful costumes, but there is no more effort to do something else.
□ When and how did you get interested in Japanese culture?
Eriza Cosplay: In my case I was never interested in Japanese culture. I was only interested in cosplay and anime. But I have not been interested in learning the language, as well as friends that I have.
□ What do you like most about Japan?
Eriza Cosplay: More than the culture itself, what has interested me most is the day to day in Japan. Which has made me able to have several different perspectives of everyday life, such as respecting the personality and tastes of each other. For example, in Chile when I made my hair pink everyone looked at me badly. I would like to remove that attitude, that prejudice for being different from others.
Chrome Cosplay: Well, I, like almost everyone in this hobby, I was interested in Japan because of anime. It’s what they put on television. And then I started to get interested in manga and eventually Japanese literature. I really like how the topics are addressed. For example, haikus, I find them wonderful. As they concentrate so much in such a short phrase.
□ Have you been to Japan before? What part or what city of Japan do you like? What do you think Nagoya?
Eriza Cosplay: Nagoya I find it much less frenetic than Tokyo.
Chrome Cosplay: For me it’s the first time in Japan. I see that there is a lot of people moving. It seems a bit similar to the life on a neighborhood where I lived. What I find here incredible is that there is so much nightlife, so many shops open at night.
□ Do you have any Japanese favorite food? Did you try Nagoya food?
Eriza Cosplay: We have not tried much yet. Actually we are having a lot of miso soup at breakfast.