I am currently on the hunt for awesome cosplayers throughout the world! And I did indeed find myself an awesome cosplayer this week by the name of Anri Asahina Cosplay! She is a super kawaii cosplayer based in Seattle, Washington. Even briefly viewing her page I could tell she has such a burning passion for cosplay! I personally enjoy her League of legends costumes although I might be biased seeing as I am an actual fan of the game!
I hope you enjoy our interview with Anri Asahina Cosplay!
The Geek Lyfe: There may be a few Geek Lyfers who have not seen your work before, would you be alright introducing yourself?
Anri Asahina: Hi! I’m Anri Asahina, cosplayer from Seattle, Washington! ^^?
TGL: How long have you been into cosplay and what led you down this path?
AA: I have been cosplaying for 6 years. I started in 2010 but didn’t start getting more into it until just last year. I had a friend who invited me to go to Sakura-Con with her in 2010, and found out that many attendees there dress up! I decided to go as Kagamine Rin, while she was Kagamine Len both from VOCALOID. At the time, I didn’t know how to make my own costumes so I bought them. As a kid, I loved to dress up. When asked, “What is your favorite holiday?” I often responded with, “Halloween” while my friends said, “Christmas’. Around 2013, I discovered that there are well-known cosplayers in the community, and found out that there is way more to cosplay than just the costume. There’s the make-up, the wig, styling, and the weapons/props. That’s when I wanted to try harder on my cosplays. However, it was really difficult for me to find a job, so I couldn’t really afford to buy costumes or materials to make my own. After finally getting a job, I decided to challenge myself with a difficult costume. This character was Arcade Sona. This cosplay was the first one I made on my own that required sewing. I looked online for the prop since I wasn’t sure how to make it myself, but it was very expensive and didn’t meet my expectations. After thinking about it, I thought, “Hey, maybe making it myself won’t be so bad? How hard could it be?” Oh, boy was I wrong.
TGL: What has been your favorite moment?
AA: Favorite moment? Let’s see…Oh! I met one of my favorite cosplayers at an event earlier this year! I was really hoping to get a selfie with them if I got the chance. Sadly, we weren’t allowed to ask for one when they were doing autograph signings or during their meet and greet. One the second day of the event I was roaming around the entrance area waiting for a friend. That’s when I saw the cosplay guest walk out with a staff member. They recognized me since they saw me twice that day and waved at me. A friend of mine ran up to me and asked, “Oh my god, did you see them?” I simply replied with a yes, and the next thing he asked was, “Did you get a selfie with them?” And that’s when I froze for like a solid minute haha;;. I said, no and he said, “Let’s go! You’ll never get a chance like this again!” Knowing this, I started to run, while dragging him with me. I ran pretty far despite having low stamina, and also wearing platform boots ><. I finally caught up and got a selfie with them. I was out of breath but it was totally worth it.
TGL: What was the worst day for you in your cosplay career, what happened, and how did you deal with it?
AA: Hmm…my worst day was during day 1 of Sakura-Con 2016. I had to attend the cosplay contest meeting at 10 AM on Friday, and if I missed it I would automatically be disqualified. I was stuck in traffic for a long time and ended up missing it…I was devastated. I worked really hard on re-making my costume to make it better and was so ready to present it on stage. To be honest, I didn’t deal with it really well…A friend of mine was with me in our hotel room and I tried to assure her that I was okay and that I could just enter next year. I really didn’t want to breakdown and cry in front of her, so I just tried to brush it off and did it later when I was redoing my make-up which wasn’t a very good idea… But I tried to tell myself that there’s nothing that could be done and that I should at least try to enjoy the rest of my day at con.
TGL: When you aren’t doing this, what do you do in your spare time?
AA: I like to listen to music, watch anime, draw and hang out with friends, though my job takes up most of my time sadly.
TGL: What geek medium (Video Games, Comic Books, Novels, Movies, etc.) made the biggest impact on your life and why?
AA:I would have to say Video Games. I grew up with fighting games like Tekken and Dead or Alive. I always had an interest in the characters and their designs. I loved the outfits that the characters had and I always wanted to dress up as them. I also loved unlocking each characters’ ending so that I could learn more about them. One of them, in particular, stood out to me. Kasumi’s ending in DOA3 showed her running away from ninjas that tried to kill her and she did so many cool moves in order to avoid them. I would replay the ending over and over again while trying to imitate her moves. If she jumped off the tree, I would jump off the couch and tried to look heroic while doing it haha. I was probably around 6 at the time? I miss those days~. I guess 6 year old me wanted to be as cool as the characters, but now I can! Just, as a cosplayer ^^.
TGL: If you could live in any geeky universe, which one would it be and why? (Naruto, Harry Potter, Pokémon, Lord of the Rings, etc.)
AA: I would love to live in a universe where I can have powers, so maybe Fairy Tail? I want to join a guild and do jobs with friends. It sounds really fun ^^. I want to have Gray’s ice magic or Erza’s requip magic!
TGL: Do you have any projects in the near future we should be excited to see?
AA: Yes! I’m currently working on Star Guardian Jinx from League of Legends! When her star guardian splash art was released, I was IN LOVE with the design. I will also be starting a Sylveon costume that I designed, so please look forward to
TGL: What advice do you have for any aspiring cosplayers out there?
AA: Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone! Always try new things even if you think you won’t look good in a certain costume or do well on a certain prop. It’s good to look for ways to improve your skills, however, if all you do is look at the flaws of your cosplay, it won’t make you happy, so try to give yourself more credit!
TGL: Out of the costumes you have done in the past, which one has been the most difficult and why?
AA: Arcade Sona. It looked so simple to do when I was planning it, but when I got down to it, I was basically winging EVERYTHING. I didn’t have a sewing machine at the time so I had to hand sew everything. It was a nightmare. I didn’t even know if I was doing it right, so I just tried to make it work. I stabbed myself with a needle by accident countless times, and had to resew many parts because the thread would just somehow magically end up in knots… Sona’s weapon called the etwahl, was my first prop made from scratch. Sizing the prop, and thinking about how to attach the different parts together were just through guessing… If it works, it works, right? ^^;; The weapon mostly consisted of craft foam board, wood, craft foam, paint, and hot glue. When I finally got a sewing machine, I remade this costume, so it looks a lot better now haha!
Thank you again to Anri Asahina Cosplay for taking the time out of her busy life to answer a few of our humble questions! We seriously enjoy her work and we hope you do as well! Be sure to check out more of her work on Facebook!
Header Image by V Photography
Waterside Image by Evan Chen Photography
Sidewalk photo by 16Moon
Red Photo by JP Lumansoc Photography
Dab photo by Evan Chen Photography