Thursday, September 15, 2011

STGCC 2011: Interview With Cutie Cosplayer Kipi

Red Dot Diva openly admits that this STGCC-related article and a few more following are long overdue. Do blame the delay on her mundane day job and busy life schedule. And erm.... other distractions.

But she thinks that fans of these subjects of interest would still enjoy the information and tidbits gathered that week.

Not being a major anime, game or cosplay enthusiast did not deter a curious Red Dot Diva from getting a little up-close and personal with popular international cosplayer Kipi, at the STGCC Media Preview a couple of days before the convention started.

All doe-eyed and girlish smiles, the fair Kipi (who hails from Japan) was in costume as Serizawa Fumino from "Mayoi Neko! Overrun" and looked like a adorable, giant walking doll.

While doing a round of interview with DC guest Paul Levtiz, Red Dot Diva couldn't help but hear almost constant bursts of loud amused laughter from a group of male reporter-fans at Kipi's round table session. By the time, Red Dot Diva was available to interview Kipi, the official timeslot for media sessions had actually ran out.

However, the kind PR folks from Ninemer and Kipi herself were willing to allow an extended 10 minutes, and Red Dot Diva managed to get a quick one-on-one with the pretty cosplayer.

Noting Red Dot Diva wearing a sleeveless top, Kipi enquired in a genuinely concerned manner, if she was feeling a little chilly from all that strong AC in the room. Red Dot Diva was very appreciative of the sweet gesture, and so decided to be equally sweet with Kipi on her interview questions.

Through a very capable interpreter named Reiko, the winsome Kipi gave Red Dot Diva some surprisingly shrewd answers during the Q&A, belieing her outward appearance as a super-kawaii anime character.

Red Dot Diva: When did you realize that you first got interested in cosplay?
Kipi: It was only recently that I have actually enjoyed the process of cosplay. When I started at the age of 17, I found difficulty in getting the real results that I wanted and found myself struggling with the art. But recently, I was able to make the costumes close to what I have planned and wanted, so I am enjoying cosplaying a lot more recently.

Red Dot Diva: Which character has been the most challenging to cosplay so far?
Kipi: The hardest to cosplay was Hatsune Miku from Vocaloid because her costume was very futuristic looking and it was tough to find the material to make it look as shiny as glittering as it is supposed to be.

Red Dot Diva: And who has been your most favourite character to cosplay?
Kipi: I have lots of sentiments towards Haruhi Suzumiya from "Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu" (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya) because cosplaying her was what got me famous. And it is one costume that I've worn many times. And because people remember me a lot when I was cosplaying Haruhi, she is my most favourite character.

Red Dot Diva: What do you think are the qualities of a good cosplayer?
Kipi: I think that cosplay is about how accurately one can transform a 2D character and its clothes to something in real 3D form. One thing that I put a lot of emphasis on when making the "conversion" - even if it's just a school girl - is that the cosplay still has to look natural in the actual world. It is also about how accurate the costumes can be replicated, especially in fictional characters.

Red Dot Diva: In your many years cosplaying, have you received many negative feedback and how do you deal with such comments?
Kipi: Actually, most of the time I get negative feedback about my costumes than compliments.
Red Dot Diva: Really?!!!
Kipi, nodding and smiling: Yes. So, I'm used to getting my cosplay and costumes criticized but so long as I'm quite confident and fulfilled with my cosplay and costume, I don't take things too much at heart or get depressed about it.

Even though I cosplay with confidence, it does not mean that I am 100% perfect. There is always room for improvement, and I will try to hit my own standards at that given point in time. And if that is fulfilled, I am satisfied.

It is also almost impossible to look at myself objectively, so when I read negative comments on blogs or websites, I will accept what has been said objectively and as a comment, and try to improve further.

Red Dot Diva: What are the fun things that you are intending to do in Singapore?
Kipi, laughing and immediately gave excited pincer-gestures with both hands: I want to eat some crabs! In Japan, crabs are so expensive and I've heard C.B Cebulski mentioning about all those delicious crabs he has been eating, so I really looking forward to trying some crabs!!

To round off the fun interview, a semi-drugged-out Red Dot Diva (who was, BTW, sounding quite raspily-sexy from a flu *cough*) requested to take a pic with Kipi. And while standing beside her, the lovely Kipi rubbed Red Dot Diva's shoulders again in an attempt to warm her up from the cold wafts of the AC.

So awww.....

The un-glam Red Dot Diva and sweet Kipi
So, it seems that one just can't help but take a liking to Kipi after only spending a few minutes with her!

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