Complex is a dance group originating from Taichung, Taiwan which includes the members: 阿葉 (Ayu), 瑠依(Rui), 兔兔 (Usagi) and武司(Takeshi). Their performances range from NicoNico dances to theatre-styled performances.
(Translations were made from Chinese to English)
[阿葉 (Ayu) – A, 瑠依(Rui) – R. 兔兔 (Usagi) – U, 武司(Takeshi) – T]
Q: Can you introduce yourselves and the character you are cosplaying?
U: Hi, my name is Usagi and my character is the oodachi, Hotarumaru.
R: My name is Rui and I’m cosplaying Tsurumaru Kuninaga.
T: I’m Takeshi and today, I’m cosplaying Ookurikara.
A: Hi, I’m Ayu and the character I’m cosplaying today is Jiroutachi.
Q: Why did you choose to cosplay these characters?
R: We chose them because we love the game, Touken Ranbu.
Q: How did you all meet each other?
R: Actually, we are a dance group. We got to know each other online and we meet up just to practice together sometimes.
Q: Why did you choose the name, ‘Complex’?
R: We chose this name because for each of us individually, our dance styles are very different.
Q: So, what are the members’ specific dance styles?
A: My dance style is more to hip hop and is more masculine and powerful.
T: Usually, I do the Japanese idol style of dances and I also like freestyle. One of the Japanese groups I look up to is Perfume.
R: I was actually in another dance group before Complex and my style is also more towards the Japanese idol group dances.
U: My style is very bouncy, cheerful and energetic. (laughs)
Q: Why did you choose your names?
U: It’s because I like rabbits.
R: I chose it randomly from the dictionary (lol).
T: I liked the Japanese kanji characters for martial arts but there are a lot of people using the same kanji, so Rui suggested to use two kanji instead of one.
A: During high school, there was an anime called Shaman King that was very, very popular so my friends started calling me ‘Big Boss’ and 葉 (ye) is actually my surname too.
Q: Do you make or buy your own costumes?
R: Takeshi and I make our own costumes. All of us have full-time jobs so we don’t have the time to start from scratch. So we usually buy a premade costume and modify whatever that is necessary, such as adding on more details by ourselves.
Q: Do you learn dance professionally or by yourself?
R: For dancing, we’re mostly self-taught. However, for our Touken Ranbu performance in Comic Fiesta, it involves the use of blades/swords. So, we got help from someone we know to give us some special training on how to handle the swords on stage.
Q: How do you balance your work life and your hobby which is your dance practice?
R: We actually have a schedule where we set times such as after work or during the holidays where we’ll meet up and practice together.
A: I usually help to schedule everyone’s times. For example, I’ll say like ‘In two weeks’ time, we’ll practice Touken Ranbu, so let’s meet at this time’. Everyone will then spare their time during this timeslot for us to practice.
Q: Where do you usually practice?
A: We actually practice in a public area which has mirrors. It’s not exactly a public park but we need the mirrors to practice in order to coordinate among ourselves. We managed to find this place which suits our needs for us to practice there for free. It’s too expensive if we rent a studio or a private place for us to practice.
Q: During your rehearsals/practices, it’s natural for groups to fight among themselves. So, what was the biggest fight that you’ve had and what was the reason?
(everyone looks at Takeshi)
A: All of us have our flaws. For example, I’m quite short-tempered and will get angry all of a sudden. Everybody’s point is different.
R: Since we’re a group, we have to be open and straightforward with each other in order to get feedback so that we can improve ourselves. Even for the past two days, we have been very blunt to each other.
A: Complex has actually been established for three years already and we have 9 members currently. A lot of our members are still students so they can’t just go overseas. If there are anyone that wants to join us, we usually work together with them for a short period of time to get to know the other person better. Once we feel that we can work with them, then only we’ll consider that person to be a member of our team. This is because if their personalities don’t match with ours, there might be fights and other rough edges to sort out.
Q: What do you think about Malaysian food compared to Taiwanese food since both countries are famous for their food culture?
R: Actually, we can have everything in Taiwan. In terms of the flavor though, it’s a little different even though it looks the same.
Q: You have specific roles to play in your group. What roles do you have and how do you assign them?
R: We assign our roles based on our own strengths and talents actually.
A: For me, I’m strong in dance choreography, scheduling and also editing music for our performances, such as the video and audio tracks for our performance in Comic Fiesta.
T: In terms of costumes, Rui and I will handle that.
R: When it comes to liaising with other people for performances, I’m the one that handles that.
U: I’ll just help whoever needs help (laughs).
Q: What food have you tried in Malaysia and what did you like?
R: Hainanese Kaya Toast. Most of the food here are spicy and I don’t like spicy food. We also had roasted chicken wings one night for dinner. It’s very popular among Taiwanese tourists and we liked it too.
T: I also like the Hainanese Kaya Toast. Oh, and ‘pisang goreng’ (fried banana). It was something very unique and we thought it was tempura at first (laughs).
Q: Is it your first time in Malaysia? If so, is there anything you want to say to your Malaysian fans? How do you feel about our country?
R: Yeah, it’s our first time in Malaysia. It’s actually my first time overseas. As for fans… Do we even have fans?? (laughs)
U: It’s very hot in Malaysia.
A: Malaysia feels like Taiwan, and it makes me wonder at times whether am I still in Taiwan.
T: Malaysians are very nice and friendly, the people in Comic Fiesta too! The atmosphere here in Comic Fiesta is also very different than the events in Taiwan.
R: The events in Taiwan are actually quite small and is not as big as Comic Fiesta. I’m actually quite surprised at the audience number here as from what I heard it can go up to 20,000 people or more. We’re considered lucky if we manage to get 10,000 people to watch our performance back home. Mainly because the venue there is smaller too. The performance style in Malaysia is also very different compared to the ones in Taiwan. Besides, the cosplayers in Taiwan are overly concerned about how people cosplay. We get criticisms easily such as ‘Your contact lenses aren’t the right colour’ or ‘Your makeup isn’t the right shade’. So, I feel that the cosplayers in Malaysia are more relaxed in terms of all this. I was also quite surprised that the Muslims here can cosplay even with their hijab on and it’s quite creative. At first, we saw it online and we couldn’t believe it, and once we came here, we were like ‘Oh, it’s real’.
T: It’s seriously really creative!
Q: Question for Takeshi, how does it feel being the only guy in the group?
T: Actually I’m not the only guy in our group. There are also 3 others in Complex.
R: Not all of our members cosplay all the time, it’s only Takeshi and another guy who’s not here that cosplays most of the time. He’s not here with us today because when we went for the competition in Fancy Frontier, it was only the four of us.
A: The females in this group are more masculine and the males in the group are more feminine, in my opinion (laughs).
T: Anyway, I’ve been friends with Rui for 10 years, so personally I don’t feel anything. However, It’s the first time for me to go overseas with friends.
We had a very enjoyable time interviewing Complex and we hope that they had fun during their stay in Malaysia! To get more information on Complex, check out their Facebook page!