During Visual Arts Expo 2017, THE MAGIC RAIN team had the chance to interview a representative from Cure WorldCosplay, Tatsumi Inui-san! He is the founder of the Cure WorldCosplay website and also the host of the Cure Cosplay Collection, a famous cosplay fashion runway that started in Japan. If you aren’t sure what Cure WorldCosplay is, it is a community platform for cosplayers and cosplay fans all around the world. It allows members to share their photos with cosplayers and fans alike as well as find new cosplayers, fans, or make friends from other countries. The site is currently available 12 different languages.
Disclaimer: The contents of this interview have been mildly edited for additional reading clarity, but the meanings have not been altered.
Q: What made you want to cosplay?
A: Actually, around 30 years ago, I used to draw doujin comics and in order to sell them, I cosplayed to advertise my comics. Even back then, in order to really look like the character I was cosplaying, I would wear contacts and spray my hair the same colour as the character. However, you can’t imagine doing that anymore because we now have wigs, better contact lenses and more items to have us better fit the character.
Q: How do you think cosplay has evolved over the years?
A: So how it’s changed since then is that, especially in Japan now, cosplay itself has expanded and become more accepted. Even now during Halloween, people who are not cosplayers tend to cosplay as well until it suddenly turned into a big boom of popularity in the community. However, before this, it wasn’t really as open as it is now. So using Halloween as an opportunity, cosplayers are actually cosplaying so that they can showcase their cosplaying skills to the public. Before this, when it came to cosplay, the main focus was just to take photos of the cosplay and just showing pictures, now it’s more of an active thing, for example on Sundays, we will have the Cure Cosplay Collection and we use that stage to show off our costumes like a sort of fashion show.
It has changed from a stationary cosplay type to a moving thing. It has also progressed from still pictures to showing costumes on stage, skits, dances, performances and so on. Even for Cure Cosplay Collection, a lot of Malaysians really want to participate in this as it introduces a new way of enjoying cosplay to the local cosplayers. I’m sure all of you have seen cosplay runways and skits before but what we’ve done this time is that we’ve brought a few cosplayers from Japan and gathered them into teams to show their skills. So it has moved from a self-satisfying sort of hobby to a hobby which you can share with everyone.
Q: Just recently, our team organized a cosplay event in Malaysia called Cosplay Commuter. The concept was for cosplayers to travel on the train together in public. Do you think this kind of concept would ever work in Japan?
A: In Japan, there was a train company that actually did that before, but it wasn’t in a widespread area like Tokyo but rather in a small area like the suburbs. Because it’s Tokyo, there’s way too many people and too busy so we can’t really do it there. Instead of that, we gather around in the streets and we enjoy cosplaying together at places like Ikebukuro.
Q: What are the difficulties that you face when it comes to cosplay?
A: Personally, I feel that one of the most difficult aspects of cosplay would be the time needed to do it properly. For example, if you were to do an illustration of a character, it doesn’t take very long. However, if you want to do a cosplay of that character, you’d have to check the character design as a whole, then you have to make the costume, buy the wig and accessories, and then take pictures. All that takes a lot time just to get the end product you want.
Q: As this is not the first time you have come to Malaysia, have you had any thoughts about our cosplay scene?
A: The thing that’s mostly different among local cosplayers, I feel that the way we show how we enjoy cosplay has sort of developed over time. Like for example, a lot of cosplay-related things became news in Japan and in Southeast Asia like the event that happened lately, Hijab Cosplay because for us, it is something very new and very unheard of. To see this kind of thing make the news is just a really big thing for people who love anime and cosplay. Compared to before, the way it has progressed and the way it has advanced is something local cosplayers show and it’s something that I’ve been impressed with lately.
The website that I’m using, WorldCosplay, has rankings and the ranking of Malaysia in the website is quite low so we hope that their cosplayers will approach us and make their rank higher. I think that the quality of the cosplayers in Malaysia is really good. I hope that they will appeal themselves and make themselves appear in the higher ranks. And because of the ranks, it’s easier for us to help them appeal themselves so I hope that cosplayers in Malaysia will use this chance to expose themselves internationally.
Q: What are you looking forward to for cosplay this year? Any new characters? Any new original characters perhaps?
A: So in Japan, there’s a series called Fate Grand/Order that’s really popular right now so I’m hoping to cosplay a character from Fate that I like.
Q: Since you’ve been in the cosplay scene for so long, I think back then before the internet was huge, widely spread and widely used, cosplay might’ve had a very different scene from now. What are the biggest differences? Do you miss the old times?
A: Last time, because the internet hasn’t existed yet, we actually collected information at doujin events. The person who sold doujinshi would most likely be cosplaying so when the buyers approach and introduce themselves, they will ask questions to the seller about the cosplay. Because of that, people have created events such as cosplay dance parties which is like those DJ dance parties but in cosplay. Up to about 10 years ago, it was still very much like that but lately, it’s become less and less and less here and there. So the main thing was the only real way you could get information is you would meet people and make connections and that’s how you would get your information.
So in Japan, the funny thing is that one side of the country which is Kansai (Kyoto, Kobe, and Osaka) and on the other side, you have Kanto (Tokyo, Kanagawa). The funny thing about this is that the Kanto cosplayers and the Kansai cosplayers have completely different styles when it comes to cosplaying. Because you get you information by being close to people, the further and further you get from each other, the further away your style and culture will be. So when people who live in Kansai, they move to Kanto and they get a really huge culture shock because of that completely different style of cosplay.
With that, we’d like to thank Tatsumi Inui-san for the great interview. We wish him all the best for his future endeavors!
If you want to know more about Tatsumi Inui and Cure Cosplay Collection, find out at: –
Inui-san‘s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tatsumi.coser/
Official Website: https://worldcosplay.net/