Spotlight

AnimeNEXT Cosplay Spotlight

In the realm of fantasy that is a convention, you can find all types of fans of all kinds of entertainment outlets, and AnimeNEXT in Somerset, New Jersey is no exception. Anime, video game, and comic book supporters came from all over, and many paid homage to their beloved characters in the form of cosplay. While attending, we took the time to ask a few of our personal favorites about their costumes of choice, their experiences at the convention itself, and an assortment of other queries.

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Nami of NekoNami Cosplay,  as Nui of Kill La Kill:

—How long have you been cosplaying?

I’ve been cosplaying since 2009, it’s been about 5 years now.

—This cosplay you’re wearing, how long did it take you to make it?

This costume, I actually managed to make in about 3 weeks of almost non-stop work. I sorta neglected everything else around me; went to my classes, came home and just did work for this costume the rest of the time.

—What is your favorite part about this cosplay?

I love the wig! I have a love hate relationship with it. It squishes my ears but, it it is the most ridiculous thing I’ve made to this day and it is worth every bit of the heartache that went into it. My tears paid off!

—What is your favorite cosplay you’ve ever made?

As of right now it would have to be this one. A close second would have to be Katara. It was actually one of my first. I look back at the costume and it was very poorly done but I adored the character, so it just one of my favorite classics to this day.

—And what is your favorite convention to go to?

Probably AnimeNEXT. I’ve been going to this convention for like, 6 years now. It’s gotten bigger, its gotten crazier, and everything is absolutely insane now but its still my home and I know where everything is and how to avoid the crowds.

—How many cosplays have you made?

Oh god this is something I’d actually have to count. I think it’s at fifteen now? I feel like it should be more, but I know if I sat down and counted its probably a lot of things I started and never actually wore yet so I can’t count them quite yet.

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Karina of Lazy Cat Cosplay and Photography as Gender Bent Esmerelda of Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame

GB Esmerelda by Lazy Cat Cosplay
Photo by Cozpho Photography

—How long did it take you to make your cosplay?

It took a while because I procrastinated but of actual work it was probably like 3 days.

—How long have you been cosplaying?

Like two years, maybe? Not that long.

—And you’re also a photographer, right? Which do you prefer, cosplay or photography?

I think I have more fun cosplaying, but photography comes more naturally so its more of a challenge to make stuff then it is to come and take pictures and derp and have fun.

—What’s your favorite cosplay you’ve ever done?

Probably this one. I’m having a lot of fun being a gypsy. *laughs* I’m jingly and I get to snag things from people and run away so its been a fun day.

—Is this your first AnimeNEXT?

Second. It’s my second time here.

—What’s your favorite convention?

Katsucon. I loved Katsucon.

—What’s the next cosplay you’re planning?

I don’t really know actually because its weird plans between people (cosplay groups). I have been working on doing Frost Giant Loki, so that will hopefully happen, but I’m really bad at planning ahead.

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Rei Inari and Geno Garon of Mage & Mercenary Cosplay as Ahri and Garen from League of Legends

Ahri by Rei Inari of Mage & Mercenary Cosplay
Photo by Dapper Moose Photography

—Is this your first con for these cosplays?

R: No.

G: Mine is about 2 years old. Maybe 3.

—How long did your Garen cosplay take you?

G: Good question, you’d have to ask the guy who made it. *laughs*

—So it was a commission?

G: No actually, it was made by a guy named Kyung Min Kong for himself. He then retired it, and, through quite a language barrier, I communicated with him and purchased the costume from him. But I suspect it took him at least a couple of months to build.

—Is this one of your favorite costumes to wear?

G: I LOVE this costume. I will wear it until it breaks and turns to dust.

—Rei, did you make your costume?

R: Originally I bought one on eBay. I didn’t like it, it didn’t fit well, but I wore it anyway. Then a couple of months ago a friend of mine remade this. She did a lot of the work, Alina, and the tails were from ebay but I added new fur to them to make them fuzzy.

—How long have you two been cosplaying?

R: Eight, almost nine years.

G: About 3 to 4 years now.

—What’s your favorite convention to go to?

R: Pax East

—That’s actually something we would love to do in the future, in a League cosplay

G: League is fantastic at Pax because Riot has an enormous booth, they do a League cosplay parade, it’s not even a contest, they just want to showcase their cosplayers. And they give huge amounts of swag to all the cosplayers?

R: And now they have a hospitality suite so you get to hang out in their room with other cosplayers and they have a repair station, you can get changed in there, it’s awesome.

G: In private changing rooms.

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Caryn aka Siryn as Lilith from Borderlands 2

Siryn as Lilith
Photo by Cozpho Photography

—How long did it take you to make your cosplay?

A couple of weeks actually.

—What is your favorite cosplay to wear?

That’s not fair!

—It’s alright, you can give a couple.

Cosmo from Fairly Odd Parents. For several reasons. *laughs* And Lilith, I do enjoy Lilith, as painful as she is.

—How long does it take you to paint all the tattoos on?

At Katsu [the first time I wore it] it took an hour. Here it took two hours.

—Have you been to AnimeNEXT before?

Oh yeah. For several years. I don’t even remember my first one.

—And what’s your favorite convention?

Katsucon and MangaNEXT.

—How long have you been cosplaying?

Ten plus years. I don’t know the exact number but I know its over ten.

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All of these cosplayers, as well as the tons upon tons that we didn’t get to speak to, were fantastic, and the convention itself was an absolute blast despite the heat. Look out for these wonderful cosplayers on Facebook and at conventions in the future!

Until next time!

-Riley & Dera

About the author

Riley Sinclair

Riley is a New Jersey based cosplayer of 5 years with more than 25 characters under her belt, including Axton the Commando, Catwoman, Tony Stark, Kanji Tatsumi and Badou Nails. She cosplays from all forms of media and is looking for new and more challenging cosplays for the future. Riley is an avid gamer and a new fan of comics. She is an interviewer for the site and also provides Word of the Nerd with cosplay related content and articles.

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