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Cosplay star AK Wirru on his first costume, whether cosplaying is an art form and more

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Representing Australia, Wirru, along with his partner K, were named Grand Champions at the World Cosplay Summit 2019

This year, the Bengaluru Comic Con played host to one of the best cosplayers in the world.

Quite literally as Sydney-based AK Wirru with his partner K, representing Australia, were named Grand Champions at the World Cosplay Summit 2019 in August.

“It is kind of like the Olympics for cosplayers. Very intense and rewarding and just reminded me how much I liked competing and how much preparation and mental strength goes behind cosplay. It was a huge moment because it was the first time Australia had ever won the World Cosplay Summit,” smiles Wirru.

There are no rules
  • AK Wirru’s tips for a newcomer include “starting simple. When you are starting out, you are going to make lots of mistakes and have a lot of frustrations. It is best to do it with a character that you love. I know a lot of newcomers who want to be impressive straight off the bat. They take something that is outside their ability and give up before they have the chance to really grow.
  • Don't worry about it. Remember a couple of the poses. There is no rule in cosplay that you always have to be in character and act like the character. It is more about liking the character and bringing the character to 3D rather than bringing that entire character to life. There is no rule for how to enjoy that.”

Talking about the winning costume, the chatty 30-year-old who cosplayed as Mutsunokami Yoshiyuki from Touken Ranbu on the first day of Comic Con, says: “[For] the first preliminary, we did field team leader and a Kulu armour set from Monster Hunter. When we won that, we decided to stick with Monster Hunter and do it with a different costume. In Monster Hunter, you can customise your character so you can pretty much do any performance with any costume. We took advantage of that and decided to do the Azure Starlord female and male set. We ended up getting the highest combined score.”

The star, who terms cosplaying a hobby/ job (he has even written seven books on the subject) has 46.5K followers on Instagram and fans from all over the world, including India (I didn’t even know they existed until I announced my appearance at Comic Con, he says with a self-effacing laugh).

But his journey to get to this point began quite by chance when he was 17 years old. “Back in high school, I used to draw a lot of manga fan art. And my friend said, ‘I think you will really like this event’ so she took me along to an anime convention. I saw people dressed up and I thought it was strange and thought maybe I can give that a try because I am also strange. I tried it and got addicted because it was a nice way for me to put all of my creative energy into one spot with drawing, music, sewing and so on.” Wirru’s first costume was fairly simple as he was playing Shinji from Evangelion.

“So, pretty much a school uniform and conveniently my school uniform looked exactly like that. But I actually went with a cello and played a song that he plays in the movies. That was a little touch I gave to it.”

Bahamut, the Dragon King, from Final Fantasy X, took the self-taught cosplayer the longest time to create — 14 months. “I do like to make everything on my own.”

Considering he has been cosplaying for quite some time, what does he think are some of the miconceptions around it? “I think the misconceptions have evolved with cosplay. When I started, the misconception was that we were weird people. Freaks. Now, most people know that it is costume, art and things like that.”

Stating that cosplay is getting there in terms of receiving respect, Wirru adds, “It is an art form. There is no reason it can’t be. We are making costumes so that is costume design and textiles, we are doing make-up, we are doing wigs so that is hair styling, we are taking photos so photography and modelling, we are acting on stage so that is performance. It is pretty much everything you see in theatre or a movie but we are doing it ourselves.”

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2019 6:51:15 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/art/cosplay-star-ak-wirru-on-his-first-costume-whether-cosplaying-is-an-art-form-and-more/article30017893.ece

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