Saturday, 17 November 2012

AFA 2012: Kaname☆ (Interview)

Official Twitter:

So, Emi didn’t really want to interview Kaname. Because she’d already met him so many times. BUT I HADN’T.

Hence, although he is a very prominent figure in the event cosplay scene and he’s done a billion interviews - we bring this interview to you.



Q: Having cosplayed for so many years and interacted with so many of your fans, could you please tell us one thing about yourself that fans may not know about you?
Kaname: Well I often talk quite openly and I can talk about anything, so I don’t think I’m really hiding anything from my fans… Well, if I had to choose something, I’m doing something next year that will be released only overseas… Yeah I can’t talk too much about this! It still has to stay a secret! (laughs) Well when it comes to me personally, I do livestreams sometimes on Nico Nico Douga, where I tend to spill random things about myself so if you want to learn more about me, you can check that out instead.

Q: What first inspired you to cosplay?
Kaname: I found a Kamen Rider costume online and felt a sense of nostalgia for my childhood… so I ended up bidding for it. I didn’t manage to win the auction, but that was how my interest in cosplaying started.

Q: You didn’t win it?
Kaname: There were copyright issues so it couldn’t be shipped because it was a replica of a costume used at events at amusements parks and such, and it kind of emerged from the black market and was a very rare item, so the winning bid ended up being 330000yen. My maximum bid was 300000yen, so it wasn’t really very financially viable. (laughs)

Q: Do you have any tips you can share with new cosplayers, especially those who are new to cosplay?
Kaname: What’s the most in cosplay is that you choose a character from a series that you really like and enjoy. Rather than being so concerned about the quality and thinking too much about it to the point of being a general nuisance, even though it tends to happen when you really love the character, just make sure you enjoy it, take care of your health and treasure and respect the character you are cosplaying. At first, it may be really difficult to gain experience and learn because there are so many things to know about, but you’ll get there eventually so it’s okay to just start off with a light heart and just enjoy yourself. Makeup and wig-styling is a good place to start. (laugh)

Q: Could you tell us the importance of this event to you and what you think of the cosplayers you’ve seen so far?
Kaname: In Japan, what’s more common is that there are events and places dedicated only to cosplay, or only to anime and manga, or only to games, and being able to come overseas and see all these different elements of Japan all combined into one event is actually quite an extravagance. So I also feel like the otakus who gather here are of very high quality. (laughs) I feel that these kind of events are absolutely necessary in order to both let people know and hype people up about the Japanese culture. I’d like to bring the high spirits I’ve gained here back to Japan and create better cosplays! With regards to the cosplayers, I think that the cosplays I see in any event or convention with a competition segment, whether it is in Japan or otherwise, are really high-quality. Though I’m always being asked to be a guest at some event or another, there are many, many people around the world who do better cosplays than I do, so I always think that there is a lot to learn.

Q: You’ve been to many countries for cosplay events, but could you tell us something that you think is unique to AFA?
Kaname: Well, the events I am often asked to attend are mostly centred in Asia, though I have also been to America and France for Anime Expos or Japan Expos. The thing I find most unique about AFA is the variety in the stage events. In AFA both professionals, such as the pro Anisong artists and voice actors, and the hobbyist cosplayers, get to come together and stand on the same stage. Also what I think is most amazing is that AFA manages to draw so many people from all different countries of Asia. It’s not something that many other events are able to do. Even me, when I go back to Japan, I’m just another cosplayer – it’s not as if I’m viewed as a talent or anything like that, so I don’t get many chances to meet and interact with so many professionals, so AFA is a great opportunity for me to learn.

-Transcription/Translation/Commentary by Seren
-Layout/Pictures/Posting by Emi
-Picture credits to Golgolak's Den

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