Five Questions With Shikarius

Shikarius1. First off, tell us more about yourself and what you do!

I’m an ivy-league graduate and a current mental health counseling graduate student, but all I really want to do is make high quality maid uniforms. It’s a struggle.

I was a psych major during undergrad as well, but all of my electives were in theater costuming and various aspects of Japanese culture ranging from classics to taiko drumming. Instead of working on my thesis, I studied abroad in Kyoto where I pondered the development of zen by hanging out with monks who taught me how to use Twitter. It was a weird summer.

Basically, I pretend to be a respectable adult on paper, but I really just cry about anime and costumes a lot.

2. What’s your favorite thing about Japan? Do you have a favorite anime?

I’m so obsessed with UFO catchers (crane games) that I think it started becoming compulsive behavior to play them…

But as a whole, I love being able to just walk into a store and find things from the shows and manga that I love. Akihabara is just streets and streets of multi-story specialty shops and it’s really an amazing feeling being able to find so many cool things.

Favorite anime is… way too difficult! I couldn’t even tell you what my favorite *sports* anime is. I like lighthearted episodic shows like Hoozuki no Reitetsu and Nozaki-kun, but I also love over the top action like Sengoku Basara, G Gundam, and Gurren Lagann. I’m really into K Project and AoharuxMachinegun right now, though. Indecisive? Absolutely.

3. What was your first costume? What drew you to cosplaying?

The first costume that I ever put together 100% by myself was Dark from DNAngel. I was 12, it was hot glued together, and none of the edges were finished, but I felt cool so it’s a fond memory.

I still remember the moment I found out about cosplay; I was playing Final Fantasy 8 and searching google for pictures of Squall Leonhart because he was my *husband*. One of the first results was actually a cosplayer and I had an intense “YOOOOO” moment. It was all downhill from there because I have a very supportive -if confused- family.

4. Can you tell us more about one of your panels?

I’ve managed to wrangle in a Japanese friend of mine for a panel on cosplaying in Japan. We’ve both cosplayed at different events and venues in Japan and it’s a much different experience from cons in the US. There are a lot of very interesting social dynamics and logistical differences that I want to discuss, though I’m most excited to talk about unexpected cos-venues like Cosplay Purikura stations where people literally get into full cosplay just to take purikura. I’m hoping that people who’ve never seriously considered it will come out of the panel wanting to try cosplaying in Japan as well.

5. Finally, what are you most excited for at Anime USA?

I’m super excited for the Masquerade! One of my favorite parts of cosplay is learning all the crazy things people do (and attempt to do) to bring a character to life, so I’m really looking forward to chatting up all the participants.

Though after the most recent guest announcements, I’m hoping I can check out the tea ceremony as well! …The instructor in Kyoto said my tea had an excellent visual result but my whisking was too intensely violent to watch serenely… Watching it properly done is very soothing.

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