World Cosplay Magazine brings you: Meru Cosplay
At the age of 22, this cosplayer from Vigo (Galicia) was preparing for public examns. With the cosplay she discovered that she was very good at patterns/stitching so next year she will be study for Higher Pattern and Fashion Training to be able to dedicate herself professionally.
She has been making cosplays for five years. Every time she has time off, she spends it rehearsing.
We met her after discovering the photos that Sayumi Cosplay took for the World Cosplay Magazine at ExpOtaku A Coruña.
First, we would like to thank you for giving us some of your time for this interview. Well, what an adventure to go from studying for public exams to studying to be a designer, right? Meru is a very particular name: tell us where it comes from and what it means to you.
My name as a cosplayer comes directly from a part of my real name but just as it would be pronounced in Japanese. My name is Melanie but everyone calls me Mel, so at some point I thought I’d look it up in Japanese and I liked the way it sounded (Meru) and from then on I used it as my name in the cosplay world.
In the north of Spain, especially in Galicia there is a large cosplay community… How were your beginnings as a cosplayer and how did cosplay come into your life?
Thanks to some friends who told me about an event that took place every year in Galicia and they told me that people dressed up as the characters of their favorite series and that caught my attention because since I started to see anime I was excited to make some costumes of those characters I liked.
The fact is that I was encouraged to cosplay and had never thought of sewing, I ordered a suit online and bought a wig in a local store (you can imagine such a disaster, but I was very excited). At the event I was a little frustrated to see that the other cosplayers were doing great and I was a little disappointed with myself, but it was a good experience. After that I started to get a good idea of where to buy items and fabrics.
You have recently been at ExpOtaku A Coruña with Sayumi, a cosplayer we had the pleasure of interviewing some time ago and an occasional collaborator with us, how did you enjoy the event?
ExpOtaku is an event I’ve been going to for many years and always I had a great time thanks to the company of my friends and of course other cosplayers with whom I could talk and had fun. This year I was able to attend the three days of the event and I wore the cosplays of Chji Maid of Chobits, Janna Star Guardian of League of Legends and Ange de Princess Principal.
I felt very comfortable with everyone and was very excited to show my costume Janna’s, because ever since that skin came out I wanted to do it and it was a huge labor to get it done on time, but it was worth it.
Talking about difficulties… What do you think is the hardest thing you’ve ever faced in cosplay?
Everything, because I came from scratch with no idea of sewing or anything. I sewed poorly by hand, but thanks to tutorials I managed to learn the basics little by little.
Besides of the technical difficulties, there were also for me the insecurities about “what are people going to say?”, “will I look good in my cosplay? A lot of doubts that crossed my mind, but thanks to people who were supporting me from the beginning, I managed to overcome those silly fears and enjoy cosplay.
Most cosplays characters are usually inspired by movies, video games or anime. Which are your favorite characters that inspire you the most?
My favorite video games are Miku Hatsune’s Project Diva for PSP (it’s the only thing I’m good at, I’m null for everything else) and my favorite anime games are Steins, Gate and Maho Shojo Madoka Magica, I can’t choose between those two.
You told us you’ve been cosplaying for about five years… How many cosplays do you think you’ve done so far?
The truth is that I don’t usually count them, but they should be around 50. I usually do an average of 10 a year. It seems like a lot, but some of them are really school uniforms or simple things that can be made really fast and easy.
We all have a fascination with one character we like more than another or with whom we feel more identified depending on the moment. Of all the cosplays you’ve made… which one would you say is the one you’re most passionate about?
I love my first hand-stitched cosplay because it was a huge job and although I didn’t have much idea. I managed to finish it and I’m very proud of it. The cosplay in particular is by Homura Akemi Demon Demon from the film REbelion (lots of pens everywhere and a bit of a complicated design). Homura is one of my favorite anime characters and making that particular costume was a dream. That’s why I’m especially fond of him. I feel like repeating it with all the knowledge of sewing that I now have as a tribute.
About the contests. Did you participate in the last event you were at?
The truth is that this year I didn’t take the cosplay competition because I didn’t think my cosplay had the level for it and I couldn’t think of any performance (the performances is not my cup of tea), but last I took it and got a special mention from a member of the jury, it was a very rewarding experience.
On the other hand, I usually go to fashion shows because I feel more comfortable than acting, but it’s not something I do at every event I attend. Only if I feel like it at the moment or I think that cosplay is with good details (to show off cosplay is great even if you don’t always win).
As you said before, you usually make an average of 10 cosplays a year. We still have half as much to see as you plan to prepare… Tell us something about your projects for 2018.
This year I don’t think I’ll do many more because I’ll start studying and I won’t have much time, but in the future I’d like to do two or three and take a chance with big suits (I’m crazy about “dressing gowns” but I still don’t have the guts).
As always, our question… the advice. For all those who start cosplaying or start sewing, what advice would you give them?
The main thing if you’re just starting out in cosplay is to go a little bit at a time. No one is born knowing and it is better to start with simple things that look good. Not wanting to embrace everything and then get frustrated by not getting the desired goal. Anyway, on the Internet there are thousands and millions of great tutorials that help a lot and there are also cosplayers who never hesitate to offer a hand to people with less experience. Anyway, if cosplay is something you are passionate about, never get discouraged and go ahead and your efforts will be rewarded.
This little piece is a part of the original video that Zona Otaku recorded in ExpOtaku A Coruña.
The cosplay is Ange from Princess Principal.
You can follow more about Meru Cosplay in its social networks:
Cover: Emilia – Re:Zero by JCampos Photography