Cosplayer Spotlight – Sayuri Nakano

Rouge (X-men). Photo by Eva.
Rouge (X-men). Photo by Eva.


Word of the Nerd is pleased to present to you one of our most popular features, Cosplayer Spotlight.  We feature new and talented cosplayers from the cosplay community.  Be sure to check back every day to catch some up and coming new cosplay talent or get a look at some well established and already famous members from the world of cosplay.


About Sayuri Nakano

Alex. Born: December 29, 1993. Live in Ukraine, in Lviv. Have Ukrainian and Korean roots. Height: 162 cm. Weight: 42 kg. Masters in the specialty “Computer technologies and systems of publishing polygraphic production”. A professional idler and master of slow responding to messages.

Sayuri Nakano - Miss Fortune (League of Legends).
Miss Fortune (League of Legends).

How did you first get into cosplay?

The first cosplay festival was held in my town in 2010 and my friend told me about that. I thought that on festivals of that size it’s a must to go in an appropriate cosplay. So I forced my mother to help me and we together created my first costume.

Do you cosplay just for fun or do you see it as a stepping stone to a future career?

For this time, it’s just for fun. Because I just don’t know how to make money off this 😀 Well, in fact, I don’t know who I want to become IRL, but cosplay is for sure a fine thing that makes me real happy.

Do you prefer to make your cosplays from scratch, buy or commission them or a hybrid?

I always make all my cosplay from scratch. I feel far more satisfaction when people admire or criticize thing that I’ve created myself. Only then I’m assured that it’s my merit and not somebody’s else.

How much time do you spend making each of your cosplays?

One or two months. Depends on costume difficult.

What is your favorite cosplay you done so far?

Harley Quinn is my favorite one. It’s most difficult from all for this moment. I really like this character. When I saw her in Arkham City game – I’ve just felt in love. That why I have warm feelings when I cosplay her.

What has been your most memorable experience (good or bad) as a cosplayer?

I have two of them 😀 They are both equal and good. First when I’ve become in my first time an organizer and announcer of cosplay festival that was held in my town. Second, when I’ve got in top 100 best League of Legends cosplayers in CIS and this gave me an opportunity to travel to Moscow on LCL.

How do you feel about group cosplays?

I often cosplay in a group with my friends. I don’t see a big difference between solo and group cosplay.

What cosplays are you currently working on or plan to finish this year?

Soon I’ll start to work on my dream cosplay – Shepard from Mass Effect. I plan to end it by summer. Also, I need to remake my Darth Talon cosplay. And I want to make another character from League of Legend by the time of the other Riot event.

What issues do you see being the most divisive in the cosplay community and how do you feel about it?

It seems to me that the conflicts between cosplayers are the main problem. I see it as it happens in most schools: people slipping into the group (for example in terms of its cosplay) and start throwing mud at those who are worse or better than them. At least that’s happening in the cosplay community that I know. Unreasonable criticism kills the desire of people to cosplay. And excessive, unjustified praise – creates arrogant and conceited people who begin to hurt others.

What types of characters or genres inspire your cosplay the most?

I will not lie – sexy type 😀 As you can see in my photo – most of my cosplay is a strong, self-confident and, of course, sexy women. The fact is that in high school and college I was rather closed, considered myself as ugly and therefore conducted a more “boyish” style of life (my friends were boys, I’ve always offended other girls, and dressed respectively). Almost all time being a teenager I have spent with the thought “why I wasn’t born as a boy?”. After I started cosplay sexy women I was able to feel myself a beautiful girl, and now I’m making up for lost time admiring the sexy and charismatic characters.

What is your favorite part (researching, shopping for supplies, sewing, photo shoots, attending cons, etc.) of your cosplay process?

Of course, my favorite parts of cosplay: visiting events, taking photos with people and performing on stage. Create a costume, of course, also very exciting process, but it is also very time-consuming and exhausting, so it’s not one of my favorites.

What are your best resources for cosplay materials?

All that I can find in a store.

What has been the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome as a cosplayer? 

It’s fear of people. In truth, I’m still very nervous when a lot of people looking at me, but, at least, I don’t panic now 😀

Have you learned any life lessons during your time as a cosplayer and what are they?  

I cosplay 7 years already – during this time I have received so many life lessons that have created me as a person, so I can’t remember everything. I find it difficult to answer this question.

What is your golden cosplay rule that you would share with new cosplayers?

When I cosplay and start to worry – I always tell myself that “these people don’t see you, only your character” or that “they’ll forget about you after a while.” You’re not limited to the scope of your personality when cosplay, so – have fun and not pay attention to the haters.

How do you feel the cosplay community has changed over time?

Of course. All things change over time. The level of cosplay, people’s attitudes, materials for creating a costume, the scope of events – all changes. Changes an integral part of life and cosplay is not an exclusion.

If money and time were not a factor, what is your number one over ambitious cosplay you want to do?

I don’t have grandiose cosplay-plans.

Do you set a budget for each cosplay?

Usually, my cosplay cost me about 1500-2000 UAH. This is half of the average salary in my city. And in fact, this is only ~ $ 75.

What does cosplay mean to you?

This is a significant part of my life that helps me to deal with the complexes, make new friends and generally have fun. I really appreciate the moments spent at cosplay events.

Is there anything that would make you stop cosplaying?

Quite a powerful argument – if I don’t have money for costumes and travel 😀 But beyond that … I don’t know… maybe I’ll simply “grow up” out of my hobby. Well, or I will have too much to do when I’ll make my own family – I don’t know.

You can follow and view more of Sayuri Nakano here


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