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Constantly Challenge Yourself! An Interview with Cosplayer of Color Oshuncosplay

How did you get into cosplay and How long have you been doing it?

Anime was a huge part of my childhood. DBZ, DragonBall, Sailormoon, Pokémon, Card Captor were all shows I remember watching as a child without understanding the actual concept of “anime.” Middle school into Highschool was when things started changing Manga and Anime like Inuyasha, Yu Yu Hakusho, Big O, Cowboy Bebop and Naruto changed my life. Cosplay and Conventions were never a stretch or a jump because anime had always been a huge influence over my life. Then one day as an adult I accidentally stumbled upon Nekocon (back when it was free) everyone was dressed up and in character and I remember thinking to myself “these are my people,” but I was too shy to even attempt the bolder cosplays. I want to say my first ever cosplay was Sim others were Ed from Cowboy Bebop, Black Lady, Princess Bubblegum, and Rose Quartz. I’ve been cosplaying for about 5+ years unofficially but I didn’t start getting serious until the end of last year.

 

Do you cosplay often? If so what is your favorite character to cosplay? If not what would be your favorite character to cosplay?

I have been cosplaying a lot this year and I have a bunch in the works. One of my favorite cosplays is Kiba from Naruto. It was such a last-minute put together and the shoot was so amazing. I never intended for it to even be close to a favorite but it surprised even me. I love it when something turns out better than I expected.

Do you buy your outfits or do you make them yourself?

I buy a lot of my outfits and I put them together. Usually, I like to piece together outfits in casual ways and before I got serious I would even thrift shop.

 

Do you have any major cosplay influences?

Some of my major influences are kingkitsu, thoartanuli, blackcrystalcosplay, wreck_it_ronnie, kayybear, and _kissmyashe. I remember just being enamored by their cosplays. A lot of their work sparked my own passion. To see people of color in the spotlight killing it gave me hope and confidence.

If you do are they your favorite? If not who is?

They are my favorite 💖

 

How do you fit your cosplay in your lifestyle?

It has taken an immense amount of work and effort to do this and fit this into my lifestyle. Working and cosplaying can almost burn you out. I know a lot of us are working from a place of poverty and working alone and it isn’t easy but it’s a passion of mine and it’s worth the struggle to maintain. I usually cosplay on my days off or nights to make it easier.

What was your first major project and how did you achieve it?

My first major project was my Bowsette. I used a lot of tutorials from YouTube to make the horns and crown fit perfectly under the wig. This was something that I put together in a matter of days for Nekocon. 😅 my last minute cosplays always turn out to be fire!

 

Tell us about a hardship or crazy situation you’ve had to deal with cosplaying.

I remember the first time I cosplayed as Ed from Cowboy Bebop at Katsucon. I branched off from my group and a random cosplayer made a comment about how my complexion wasn’t correct for that character. They were so smug about the interaction and at the time I didn’t have the tools to address the situation properly or even the courage to talk to my friends about it in fear they wouldn’t understand me. I spent years after dissecting and understanding racism, systematic racism, and antiblackness. It wasn’t the ultimate thing that pushed me towards fighting for social equality but it definitely played a part. Cosplay was supposed to be a place where those things are set aside because literally none of it is real lol but even in a place where dragons and flying children exist racism is still prevalent.

What has been an invaluable resource for you while cosplaying?

Amazon, eBay, and YouTube. Almost anything you need is there!

 

Are you watching any dope animes or any shows with Cosplay worthy characters?

I just finished Darling in the Franxx and I’m super excited about my upcoming 002 cosplay!!! I’m more excited about the makeup than almost anything.

Is there anything you want your fans and the fans of PUNK BLACK to know?

One of the things I’ve preached during my time as an activist was when you’re dealing with racism, sexism/misogynoir, ableism, transphobia you have to remember that making yourself the exception blinds you to the ways in which you do cause harm. None of our hands are clean and unlearning these toxic behaviors isn’t a destination… it’s a life long journey. In order to not slip through the cracks, you have to be constantly challenging yourself. Once you think you’re above toxic behavior is when you really lose sight. Be radical in your thoughts about your behavior. You got this!

 

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