Mary’s a born and bred southern cosplayer. She’s been all around Texas cons and has big plans to go further and even more extravagant in years to come. Her looks are typically sexy, powerful females with an intimidating edge. The sexy cosplayer sits down with me and spills.
Katy: Who did you first cosplay as? What inspired you to cosplay? Did you buy or make the costume?
Mary: My first cosplay was Hana from Fruits Basket. I think I cosplayed her when I was about 15. My mom and I made the costume together since I hadn’t really gotten the hang of sewing on my own yet, but it was pretty simple being my first cosplay ever.
I was actually inspired to start cosplaying by my friend Spike, who was in the Japanese Club at school with me. The club was holding a party where they would be a cosplay contest and he urged me to enter into it. It was really a great experience for my first costume since I ended up winning a Best Look Alike Award in the contest.
K: What has been your favorite con to date? What makes it your fav?
M: My favorite convention has been Anime Fest in Dallas for years now. I’ve always had so much fun at Anime Fest because of the pace of the convention. It’s not quite as crowded as the bigger cons in Texas and I’ve made so many wonderful friends while attending that it’s always been the favorite.
K: What was the most difficult look to put together? What made it hard and how did you overcome it? M: I think the most difficult cosplay I’ve had to put together was Rosa from the Final Fantasy 4 Yoshitaka Amano artwork. When I took on that one I was still pretty new to things like armor and detail works. I probably went through more tutorial sites than I can remember to find ways to make the armor and get the right looks. In the end I had combined a few different techniques for clay working and painting to get a look I was happy with for the convention. Rosa was a very time consuming cosplay to get together, but if I ever got the chance to remake her again I definitely would.
K: How do you choose who to cosplay as? What’s the typical process you go through to prepare for a con?
M: Choosing characters to cosplay is usually a pretty simple process. I like to cosplay characters that I already like and know from anime, video games, and comic books. Although, I do also do cosplays for friends as well, because cosplaying together is always a good time.
Usually when picking out characters to make I end up with a list of 10 or more before a convention; I just get so many fun ideas! Then I go through the list again and look at what will actually be possible to get together before the convention and which ones spark more interest for me at the time. The list generally gets cut down to 3-5 characters a few months before a convention and then I just work on those alone. Preparing for a convention is always a big ordeal. I’m very organized with my cosplay and I tend to make way too many lists. Everything from costume pieces I want to make sure I don’t forget to cosplay emergency tools in case of something going wrong. Generally I check my lists 3 or more times just because I get so nervous.
K: You cosplayed as both Nami and Bonney from One Piece, which character do you think you’re more like and why? Which character did you enjoy coplaying as more? And, be honest, have you really seen every episode of One Piece?
M: I think I’m more like Nami: Bonney is definitely more rough around the edges than me. Like Nami, I want to travel the world. She wants to do it to make her maps, but I don’t really have any mapping skills so I just want to see everything. I also have her love for clothes which is probably not a good thing for my closet and I like saving money. She’s also very protective of her crew when it comes down to the battles in One Piece and I’m very much the same with my own friends. I believe in taking care of them and keeping them safe when they need me, even if the situation is a bit scary.
And, honestly, I’ve seen every episode of One Piece before the time skip episodes, I usually just read the manga. Less fillers and more main story.
K: You also cosplayed as A.B.A of Guilty Gear; what made you choose her? How do you feel about homunculus in general? How different are they to humans? Are there other homunculi you’d consider cosplaying as?
M: I decided on ABA because of her design and the fact that I thought she was a pretty cool character. Her story was such an interesting one about the strength she had to leave her creators home and go out into the world with nothing to make her own way. Homunculus to me aren’t too horribly different from humans, really to me they seem a bit like the Mutants from Xmen. They’re generally misunderstood and looked at differently although they’re generally still human in nature. As for cosplaying another one, I have always wanted to cosplay Lust from Fullmetal Alchemist. I’ve always wanted to try and engineer her extending nails as a challenge.
K: Between Juri Han and Talim who do you think would win in a fight and why? Were these your go-to characters in their respective games or did you just like their look? If you did/didn’t play with them, why did you/why didn’t you?
M: I really think that if those two ever went head to head, Juri would take the prize in the fight. Juri is probably a hundred times more blood thirsty than Talim is, but I guess being a priestess of the Wind temples wouldn’t really allow that kind of aggression.
As for playing them in their respective games, Talim will always be my go-to girl for Soul Calibur. I love her flow of combat and the speed that she has, she’s a great example that you don’t have to be big to take down your enemies. Her combos are quick and easy to maneuver for me, especially because it drives me crazy to play slower characters and have to wait forever for the wind up. As for Street Fighter, my usual go-to is actually Cammy. I loved Juri’s look, but I just never really got the hang of her fighting style. I’m going to keep working at it though. What really intrigued me about Juri was her backstory; it’s what keeps me going back to her play throughs all the time.
K: What are some of your cosplay/con plans for the future?
M: I have some cosplay plans for the future that are going to really challenge me to work on areas that I’m still not quite up to par in. I’m going to be working with a whole lot of leather very soon for my upcoming cosplay for Rikku from Final Fantasy X-2 in her warrior dress sphere. I’m also going to take on the challenge of making wings for Ultemecia from Dissidia. And I’ll be working on the really strange field of latex prosthetics for Donquixote Doflamingo of One Piece.
My next convention may actually be overseas next year at the London MCM Expo unless I can get time off from my normal work to get to Anime Fest in Dallas again this year.