Those that have been touched by the magic of Studio Ghibli and their films express that love in many different ways: supporting the release of every new film, listening to the amazing soundtracks or creating fanart. But for Kasaikun, nothing lets her live and relive the magic than by being her most beloved characters!
So, meet our fellow Studio Ghibli Otaku JapanLover!
Kasaikun, Yoroshiku Onegaishimasu!
Nyao hello~! To close friends & family, I’m just called Katz (with a “Z”), but online I go under the alias name of Kasaikun.
I am from the Philippines. I’m a 27 years old graphic artist who designs children’s footwear for a living. I love the fact how my work balances both the job & the fun I get from it at the same time. :)
The Kasaikun JapanLove Story
“By the power of the moon, I shall punish you!” if you are familiar with that, you’ll get that my love for Japanese culture began with Sailormoon. It was the first anime show I grew fond of as a little girl. Learning that it was Japanese animation (aka anime) got me curious and so I began my research. A few years later, I was exposed to more amazing parts of Japan like manga, culture & fashion.
As an artist, I would have to say that my connection with Japan strengthened because of animation & art. It inspired me to take Fine Arts in college. The more I got into what I thought I loved most, the more my eyes were opened to other possibilities. So what really stuck was my growing passion for fashion.
My love for fashion got me intrigued with the concept of Cosplay. It started when my friend from college wanted to give it a try. I never thought she was the type to do such things because, back in college, we would be the ones by the corner trading mangas, drawing our favorite anime and drooling over cosplay magazines. Then she decides she wanted to try cosplaying Rinoa, the lead female character in Final Fantasy VIII.
Coincidentally, I was quite attached one of the characters from the same game. So after we graduated and began to save some money, I finally agreed to collaborate with her. And then, BOOM, we were hooked ever since! Why? Because I loved the thought of possibly bringing a character I love to life!
As of this interview, I have been cosplaying for *counts fingers* –holy tunafish, 6 years now!
My first year was more of a learning process. I was working at a company where my job required me to design apparel for children and my constant partner was our resident tailor. He taught me everything I needed to know about pattern-making & sewing. My first three costumes were tailored because I wanted learn from a professional and also because I wanted my first cosplay experiences to be memorable.
Two years later in 2010, I decided to test my new-found knowledge. My first tailored costume was Ula, a character from the world of The Saligia.
She’s one of the characters that one of my favorite artist cousins created, patterned after the would-be lives of the Seven Deadly Sins. Ula represents Gluttony. She may not be from any existing series, but to me she was a very interesting character. I tried to study her story as much as I could and grew to love her. During my debut, I was successful in making the costume, but it lacked volume in many places. So much for a first, but my cousin was happy & thanked me for it! It was also the first time I ever made a costume dedicated to anyone.
Then came my love for video games. I went on making more costumes the following different series. As my work progressed, I realized I enjoyed more challenging characters and ventured into armored cosplay! I spent a lot on my savings just to have it commissioned, but it was worth it!
It was only during 2012 when my cosplaying hobby became something “professional.” A big toy distributor in our country appreciated this little hobby of ours and recruited me, along with other friends, to help them promote their toys. Since then, we’ve been toy ambassadors of the well-loved Monster High series.
We’ve been doing mall tours, Meet & Greets and performances that the kids love! Now the same company has also recruited us for Disney Princesses as well.
So my group and I look forward to our schedules just so we could see kids again and continue being their role models by making their childhood a memorable one.
And seeing that I have so many seemingly-impossible cosplay plans, I decided to set a theme every year: mecha-year, games-year, tandems-year, etcetera.
Being Spirited Away with Studio Ghibli
I love Studio Ghibli because of THE MAGIC! I’ve been a Ghibli fan for as long as I can remember, my first one being Princess Mononoke!
I love these movies because they not only dig into the amazing world of modern and traditional Japanese culture, but it centers a lot of colorful storytelling that has also inspired a lot of western books-turned-movies recently.
Ghibli films play with your mind and imagination, like a playground to us grown-ups! Each character is not just there for show and is beautifully crafted with a story of his/her own. You are not just focused on the main character because you will love the supporting ones, enemies and creatures.
I have to be honest, I have A LOT of favorite films! My top three are Princess Mononoke, Howl’s Moving Castle and My neighbor Totoro.
I enjoyed doing San the wolf-girl because naturally I am a nature girl at heart. Her love for protecting the forest and its inhabitants meant so much in the movie and it really inspired me.
Oh, I am also in love with Whispers of the Heart & The Cat Returns because I’m a sucker for romantic stories with a twist! :3
Kasaikun’s Moving Cosplay Castle Into the Future
There is no actual limit to what characters I’d like to cosplay. Actually the more challenging, the better! As long as it has a great impact on me, enough for me to want to cosplay them because it is more meaningful when there’s a specific character you can relate to. As far as Studio Ghibli characters go, I haven’t picked one I plan to cosplay soon. My current list this year involves big weapons, armor and garments!
I am now part of a lovely group of cosplay girls called Project Nadeshiko which you can find on: http://facebook.com/p.nadeshiko
I also host a blog regarding cosplay information, tutorials, need-to-knows and list of awesome interviews from both local and international cosplayers: www.kosupure-kei.com