Bri and Kasumi are cosplayers hailing from Nueva Ecija. As most cosplay events happen in Manila, it can be tough for cosplayers living in other parts of the country to attend most conventions. Even so, Bri and Kasumi do the best they can to keep their passion for cosplay alive: crafting costumes and props, congregating with other cosplayers in their area, doing simple photoshoots in their hometown, and bearing with long, tiring trips to attend events in Manila when the rare opportunity arises.
I get to see them during conventions and got to be friends with them online, so when I got to see their new cosplays I was quite excited. They had a photoshoot of their new costumes at their place in Nueva Ecija and I was thrilled when I saw them: Shaider and Annie. It was pure nostalgia for me and I vowed to do a feature on them, and fortunately with their consent I was finally able to.
Bri and Kasumi cosplay Dai and Annie, the main characters from Space Sheriff Shaider or Uchū Keiji Shaidā , a Japanese hero television show that aired from 1984 to 1985. It was released in the Philippines as Shaider in the mid-1980s, where it became the first tokusatsu show to be dubbed in Filipino by TV station ABS-CBN. Although not much of a hit in its homeland of Japan, it has gained a cult following here in the Philippines, particularly among those grew up watching the exploits of Alexis (Dai) and Annie battling the forces of an evil empire.
Bri was among those who tuned in every week to watch the show. Shaider was his childhood hero, and he earnestly dreamed of being a space sheriff when he grew up. Though he realized his dream may remain just that, cosplay has allowed him to get some measure of what it would have felt like to be one. When he finally got the hang of crafting armor costumes, creating Shaider was the first thing that came to mind as his big project. Kasumi on the other hand says she feels an affinity to Annie being passionate and softhearted about helping those in need, something that she strives to do in real life.
Bri tells us that the Shaider costume took almost two weeks to make: the armor, helmet, sword, blaster and other weapons. The Annie costume meanwhile took a week of sewing, customizing boots and making the beam gun. They say that this is their first-ever pair cosplay. They both love the series so much and they say taking on the role felt right.
They both tell us that it is fun and enjoyable cosplaying as a pair. They discovered that it makes them more passionate in their craft as they continue to work together. They say that cosplaying as a pair brings out the best in them because they love each other in real life and that makes their characters come alive even more. Outside of cosplay, they both love playing video games, reading books and comics, drawing manga, traveling, and going out on food trips.
The couple made their Shaider and Annie cosplay debut at the 7th Philippine Cosplay Convention at Robinsons Manila. Their cosplays were an instant hit. Hundreds of people asked to have their pictures taken with them and photographer were all over them asking for a shoot. We asked them how they felt when people took photos of them and with them. “We feel happy and honored that people want to take pics of us because they also grew up watching Shaider and they share their memories with us how the series inspired their childhood.”
They tell us that the greatest challenge in cosplay is bringing a character to life and giving justice to it. “When people can see only the character you cosplay and believe you are that character they love, then you can say that you have succeeded and have done it well.” Despite the trials and difficulties they have had cosplaying, they are glad to have friends and group mates who have always been supportive of them. They admit that their parents can’t relate to their cosplaying most of the time, but they do try to let them enjoy their hobby once in a while as long as they don’t forget their responsibilities at home. And to those who have helped them out over the years, they have this to say: “We would like to thank our group mates at Red Factor and NECC (Nueva Ecija Cosplay Club), who were always there to support and cheer for us. And most of all, we would like to thank the Lord for giving us talents and skills that allow us to be creative and artistic in our passion.”
Seeing their cosplays made me realize the power that cosplaying can have over people. It can evoke so many emotions ad memories of a time long forgotten. More than just for nostalgia, cosplay presents endless possibilities to turn imagination into reality.
Thank you for dropping by. Do visit us again for more cosplay features here at arkadymac.com.
Xtian Mack took up AB English Studies, Major in Creative Writing at UP Diliman. Currently works for a medical transcription company. He is the Creative Director of The Cosplay Cafe: arkadymac.com, doing photography, writing, and reporting for the website. His line of photography specializes in cosplay event coverage, having covered 300 events in a span of 3 years. Loves cute and furry things.
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