|Gifted for our sweet friend|
*EnjiNight is a drop dead beautiful model (naturally), but is a double agent in daydreaming, and cosplay magic. Hailing from Hungary, her costume choices are definitely unique and felt she would be a great person to put the spotlight on. Read below for the full interview…
Enji, tell us a bit about how the interest in cosplay came together for you.
Enji: In the beginning when I was 13, I've started to watch lot of anime series, but this passion was extended with reading mangas very soon. At the same time I was playing some online role playing games too. The characters of these worlds and their clothes impressed me. I wanted to identify with them and look like they do. I remember my first CON where I was in a costume. That was in 2009, and I trasformed myself to a Ragnarok Online character. It seems it was a good choice, because I got a lots of positive feedback, and I met really great people, who are my best friends now.
So, did your initial love of general costume design somehow morph its way into the cosplay world?
Enji: The truth is, this just happened the opposite way. First I was attracted by the cosplay scene, and then it was modified into my passion for the costume design. Even my current college was chosen to suit for my passion. So cosplay has become my lifestyle.
Most cosplayer I see usually have a general theme to costume picks. Admittedly, being a Firefox, Supergirl, and a lolita, you are one of the most versatile cosplayer I have seen. How do you choose your costume choices?
Enji: I'm glad you think so. I'm not only interested in the world of anime. I always keep an eye open, and where I see the opportunity, I try to create some cool stuff from this for example a cosplay from a browser icon. I like to create costumes that no one did before me. They are really challenging tasks, which requires a lot of creativity, because there is no pre-determined how to do the dress design. When I select an existing character, I pay attention to fit both my personality and my body type as well.
I know you've been getting a lot of requests lately, particularly for films such as Sucker Punch. Does this mean we might start getting more film and anime characters out of you soon?
Enji: Usually I get a lot of character suggestion, and it would be difficult to prepare all of them, but fortunately there are overlap of the suggested ones and which I want to do. These deserve the higher priority, because I'd appreciate if others would also be happy while my expectations are met. And what type of character (anime, movie or game) will be the next, I don't know yet. I like to try out all myself, plus my actual mood is very important how to decide.
Budapest attracts about 2.7 million tourists a year, making it one of the most popular spots in the world. Has this affected cosplay in terms of growth as well? Or do you feel the Hungarian community still needs time to accept cosplay on a more mainstream level?
Enji: Budapest attracts the youth in many ways. For example the Sziget Festival at the end of the summer. But the cosplay culture is not as common in this country to attract significant number of foreigners to us. Although more and more young people interested in anime and cosplay world therefore the number of visitors of the local anime and fantasy events increases every year. I hope soon we will be so interesting that we will able to attract the lovers of this culture from the nearby countries.
We know a lot of care goes into your costumes but have you hit any roadblocks with any particular costumes? Maybe there was an element of costume you had to buy because it was too hard to make?
Enji: Of course! It depends on the cosplay, but usually I don't buy anything for my dresses, except the base materials. I don't prepare the shoes nor the wigs, but if the character requires, I can modify them too.
What are you cosplay plans for the coming conventions?
Enji: I like to keep my upcoming cosplays in secret, but I'll tell you the nearest one: I'll be Chun Li from Street Fighter. But the next ones should be surprises! But if you really interested, I usually upload some test shots of my upcoming costumes to my cosplay facebook page.
Any stories you could tell us about your craziest cosplay fan encounter?
Enji: I really don't know which one to highlight. Maybe the weirdest situation was when a boy came to me during the con in a full leather outfit, and he wanted to take a photo with me. I agreed as always, and then handed to me a leash, which was tied to his neck. How couldn't I notice this leash before? [Smiles] He fell on his knees in front of me, and called me his mistress! The photo was made in this very moment, which I was never got received. Fortunately.
You've had extensive experience with professional photoshoots. Could you tell us a bit about this process and how a shoot is typical ran?
Usually I ask one of my photographer friends to take a professional photo shoot of my actual cosplay. After having agreed with the photographer I'm looking for outdoor venues, but of course sometimes we're shooting in studio too. On the morning of the photoshoot day I get up earlier to prepare myself, do my make-up, etc. If we decide take some outdoor photo, I leave home already in costume, while on a studio shot is possible to change my clothes in that place. A duration of the shooting used to be 4-5 hours. This time is far enough to prepare some cool photos, but still not so much to hate each other for a lifetime. After we've finished taking pictures, usually I edit them, because I want to improve my retouching skills to a new level.
Lastly, instead of requesting generic advice for other cosplayers, I'd like to ask you to perhaps share a lesser known tip about costume making that many people might not know. What advice could you share?
The most important thing is to dare to do it, do not afraid, and just feel happy about yourselves! At these events people accept each other as they are. If you are a beginner I could give you an advice: try to choose a character which fits both your soul and your body, so you'll be true to the character as possible I can only encourage everyone to start this exciting hobby, because who drops into the world of cosplay they'll get a lots of new friends and fantastic experiences.
Want to keep tabs on Enji's cosplay? Follow her cookie crumb trail below: