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A Q&A With J. Tanooki — 1

J. Tanooki Cosplay

I recently decided to host a small Q&A on Facebook to see what questions people might have for me, both from a cosplayer standpoint and just to find out more about myself. Here are the results of this recent Q&A.

J. Tanooki Cosplay

How do you get into cosplaying?

I’ve been cosplaying as a hobby for over ten years. Besides dressing up when I was a kid, for Halloween and otherwise, I’d say my first venture into cosplaying came back when I was around 12 or so. My interests in cosplay began the same as a lot of other cosplayers, with an interest in anime. My very first cosplay was an homage to Sakura from Cardcaptors as it had just begun to air on North American television. My first convention and first experience cosplaying in a crowd was when I was 14 and attended Ai-Kon as Pan from Dragon Ball GT. Getting the response from people knowing who I was dressing up as and the understanding that I was a fan of Dragon Ball (Not so much GT, but I’m sure you’ll forgive my 15-year-old self) was amazing. This could easily be pinpointed as the start of my interest in cosplay.

What’s the first step to getting into cosplay?

The best way I can summarize this is find a character you like and just go for it to the best of your abilities. This can be for a variety of reasons like their personality, their costume design, or the series or game they’re from. Don’t necessarily make something to impress others. Do it because dressing up is always fun, regardless of age, gender, race, or skill level. And if you really want to cosplay competitively or for recognition of your skills, remember that practice makes perfect and it’s okay to not be talented at every skill required for every cosplay. I still get a lot of help on parts of my cosplays because I can recognized my strengths and my weaknesses. It’s just as fun to cosplay in outfits pieced together from thrift stores and cardboard boxes as it is to use thermoplastics and silicon-molded resins.

Do you feel like you should act like the character/person you are cosplaying?

It really depends on the character. If you plan to do photoshoots, it’s good to have a sense of the character’s personality so it can come out in the photos. It’s a bit conflicting to see a villain character smiling sweetly, just as it is to see a Disney princess acting aggressively. When I cosplayed as Bayonetta, I definitely did my best to exude her sultry sex appeal. But I’m not exactly a good enough actress to start imitating accents!

Most desired cosplay to attempt?

I’ve actually got one on my mind that might still turn out to be more reality than dream, so I will keep that one to myself for now. But one cosplay I’ve been thinking about for a long time, and hope to do eventually, would be Nariko from Heavenly Sword.

Who is your all time favourite cosplay star/role model?

Like a lot of other cosplayers, I would have to say my cosplay role model would be Yaya Han. I have a huge respect for her talents and her pursuit of high quality craftsmanship. In my own wardrobe, I want my cosplays to be well built and near future-proof. I also hold her in high regard as a self-made business woman. She completely owns the Yaya brand and finds many business opportunities to increase her brand.

If you did a crossplay, who would you be?

I would seriously consider doing Riku from Kingdom Hearts or Vincent Valentine from Final Fantasy VII.

… And here’s some of the more sillier questions.

If you could be a food, what food would you be?

I would be a potato. Potatoes can take on a lot of different forms while still being just their awesome potato-y selves. I also personally love potatoes in every way: Fried, boiled, baked, mashed, distilled into vodka… Yep, every way.

Have you really been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like?

Even to decided, I think to do look more, you must want to even as far to even as you’ve really been. So to even go want to do, you should really been far even to look more like. This will lead you to use even go want to do as really been far even as decided.

What Saturday morning cartoons did you watch when you were growing up? Do you still watch them or has your taste totally changed?

I don’t remember specifically what I watched on Saturday mornings, but I do remember a lot of the cartoons I grew up on. Ren and Stimpy and The Simpsons were very prominent in my childhood, but I also watched shows like Animaniacs, Darkwing Duck, Goof Troop, Reboot and Rugrats. I don’t think I could name every single show. I still hold a lot of nostalgia for some of these cartoons and occasionally go back and watch through some of them. Besides going back to a select few, I’ve very much welcomed all the newer cartoons I’ve gotten to experience over the years, including a lot of anime. In fact, most of my regular entertainment comes from cartoons, animated movies, and video games. You could still say I’m a self-admitted cartoon junkie.

Favorite anime genre?

I’m a sucker for horrors and thrillers when it comes to anime. I love the one that are gory, but also mentally twisted. My favorite animes of this type of genre is Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni, Elfen Lied, Another, and Bokurano.

Thanks so much to everyone for their questions. I hope to do more of these in the future, so keep sending them and I’ll answer when I’ve got some more collected.

J. Tanooki is a Contributor for aybonline.com. She has been a lover of cosplay for over 10 years and regularly works on new and exciting cosplay projects. She actively posts about her cosplay plans, progress, and random shenanigans on her Facebook page, Twitter, and Instagram. Her opinion is her own. 

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