Cosplay is a trend in geek culture when people dress up as their favourite characters from movies or video games. Innovativeness, community, and pandering to fandom all collide in this work. Additionally, it gives participants a chance to pause and contemplate why and how they choose to dress up in costumes in the first place.
It is a mashup of the words “costume play” and “costume.” People from all over the world come to the festival dressed as their favourite movie, television, anime, and video game characters. This expression, on the other hand, is most commonly heard among anime viewers. “Cosplayers,” or people who partake in cosplay, dress up as their favourite fictional characters for amusement.
Ronnie is one such cosplayer from Vietnam who has caught our attention. Her Instagram has really good cosplays starting from Dabi in MHA to characters of Tokyo Revengers and many others. We mailed her a request for an interview, and she replied back positively. Hi, Ronnie; first of all, thanks for replying positively to the interview. Do you want to introduce yourself to our audience?
Ronnie: Hi guys! I’m Sparkle Ronnie, a cosplayer from Vietnam. I’ve cosplayed for more than eight years, and I love to do ikemen(s).
Starting with the interview. What initially piqued your interest in dressing up as a character?
Ronnie: As a kid, I’ve always loved dressing up as certain princesses and cartoon characters; I didn’t even know it was called cosplay. When I was in secondary school, I stumbled through a cosplay competition ad in a teen magazine and thought, “Wow!! So cool, there are also people who actually cosplay here.”.
That’s when I started to know about the local cosplay community and wanted to become a part of it. It was just for fun and curiosity at first, but it slowly became my biggest obsession.
Question: As a labor-intensive art form, cosplay demands meticulous attention to every last detail in order to be really authentic. Alternatively, how do you go about it, and which phase is the most difficult for you to complete?
Ronnie: One of the biggest challenges, in my personal experience, is facing my insecurities and peer pressures when I’m cosplaying. There’re so many amazing and talented cosplayers out there, and sometimes I just feel exceptionally down when things don’t work the way I want or I don’t look as good as I imagined.
But in the end, cosplay is a way to portray me, and I’ve received so many things from it; I overcame my insecurities and learned to love myself more.
Question: A specialist in the field would be able to advise you better than I. We’d love to hear about your most memorable cosplay moments and experiences.
Ronnie: I’ve got a chance to be a VIP guest of a local convention, and it was a super fun experience! I cosplayed as a student character from a Disney Twisted Wonderland (a popular mobile game); the costume was comfy, and I met many amazing supporters. We played some games on the stage, and it was quite embarrassing too, but overall I enjoyed it xD
Question: In your career of 8 years, you must have had many ups and downs. So what gave you the strength to continue as a cosplayer?
Ronnie: My inspirations mostly came from Japanese cosplayers and photographers (Example: Zumi, LAY TOUGA, Kazuki, Wiru, Mei, Homuran, Johnny242, Mit Photography, Leo). There’re amazing cosplayers worldwide, but I gave them huge respect for their gorgeous works and the way they portrayed 2D characters. They might look completely normal in real life, but looking at their cosplay is like a character walking out straight from the manga/ anime; it’s awe-inspiring.
Question: Did you ever have the urge to try something different or ever think of giving up as a cosplayer in all these years?
Ronnie: There will be quite some months in a year (and every year is the same) that I just want to give up on this expensive hobby and move on to another. There were few reactions, no one wanted to see or support it, and I felt extremely down just by looking at my own cosplay. But then I reviewed my own feelings for cosplay and decided to continue because I still love it so much xD.
Question: Tell us about your fun experiences as a cosplayer, where you felt the hard work was completely worth it!
Ronnie: It’s Hanma Shuji from Tokyo Revengers. I created it with no intention at all, I just wanted to see how I look with that weird hairstyle, but people were obsessed with it and kept demanding more. Now I have a collection of different Hanma versions lol.
Question: Among all the cosplays you have created up till now. What do you think was the hardest to create?
Ronnie: It’s Dabi from My Hero Academia! It took me around 2 hours and a half just for putting on the SFX makeup (he has burn scars), the leather coat is extremely hot, and the makeup removing process after that was also painful, lol
Question: Okay, that’s enough of cosplay-related questions. Tell us about your favourite anime & TV show?
Ronnie: I have watched many different shows and have a big collection of favourite series, my no.1 favourite genre is shounen! I’m currently obsessed with Kimetsu no Yaiba, Jujutsu Kaisen, Chainsaw Man, Tokyo Revengers, and Blue Period.
Question: Other than cosplay, what else piques your interest?
Ronnie: I read books and dance also. I’m not a professional dancer or anything, but I can dance to many songs xD.
Question: After cosplaying a variety of characters, what do you think is your type? Like the kind of characters that hold a special interest to you. And What is the reason behind your interest in those particular characters?
Ronnie: I love to do adult ikemen(s), whether it be good guys, shiny prince types, or villains. I just think I look good when I’m cosplaying male characters, that’s all! Sometimes I do female characters also, but overall you can see that I love to be everyone’s 2D husband xD.
Question: What are your future plans on cosplaying or the characters you are planning to do? Are you excited about them?
Ronnie: I’m going to do more Tokyo Revengers photoshoots, and I have also started to work on Blue Period cosplay. I need to buy art supplies and be super artsy with Blue Period (it’s a series about artists xD), so I’m already excited about it!!
Question: What’s your experience been like at a con before? Where have you been to the biggest con? Could you tell us a little about your own experience with this?
Ronnie: I’ve been to many cons in my city, Manga Festival, Matsuri series convention, Winter Convention, Color Fiesta, etc., I’d say the biggest one is Manga Festival. Aside from the VIP guest experience, I also participated as the seller at Color Fiesta – an artist convention, selling my merchandise there. It was my first time producing my merch, and I was super nervous, but everyone was so nice, and my merch sold out after a short time (which surprised me so much). My table is also next to a VIP guest table, and I’ve admired this cosplayer for so long, so I was really happy to take a photo and talk to her xD
Question: Coming a long way in your profession, what do you think is your favourite part about cosplaying? What keeps you hooked on it?
Ronnie: Meeting new people. I’m a shy and introverted person in real life, and I don’t share much about myself with others. When I started to cosplay, I had so many new friends from the local cosplay community. I even had my chance to talk to foreign supporters through Instagram, getting replies and praises from my favourite cosplayers. I don’t feel down like before because there’re so many nice friends out there who always support me, and I felt really grateful for it.
Question: With the help of social media, you’ve grown a considerable following. What advice do you have for someone who wants to follow in your footsteps as a cosplayer?
Ronnie: Cosplay is for fun and for expressing yourself. Sometimes people can’t recognize what you’re doing, or the reach is not what you want, and you feel down to the point of quitting. But remember, as long as you’re happy with putting on a costume and becoming your favourite character, you’re the best cosplayer, and no one can stop you from doing that!
Question: It was a really fun talk—all the best for your future accomplishments. Please provide links to all your Social Media profiles.