Lin Ling as Kiryuin Satsuki, by Kuroyuki Kanade
Cosplay Community is our latest segment where we present the creative and intrepid people who have sought to bring cosplay in the Philippines to a wider audience through their artistry and hard work. We at arkadymac.com wish to feature the cosplayers, photographers, craftsmen, organizers, and groups who have, in their own way, kept cosplay alive and well throughout the years. The community itself still has any challenges to overcome, but we want to show how it continues to evolve with the energy and dynamism of the people who live and breathe within it. It is our hope that by doing so, someday, more people will be more understanding and more appreciative of this hobby, this art, this passion for cosplay.
Continuing our series on great cosplayer-photographer collaborations, we present how there has long been a unique, symbiotic relationship between the people in front and behind the camera. Both are essential to bringing a character being portrayed to life, and the results of their efforts are nothing short of works of art. For our third feature we present Lin Ling as Kiryuin Satsuki of the outrageous anime series, Kill La Kill, photography and art direction by Kuroyuki Kanade of A|E_imAginE |alec.egido|. Their team also includes graphic artist Ej Daryll Fiestan, 3D artist Mrvn Frago, and costume craftsman Gibs Sagun, with Artist’s Haven Studio.
Since its inception, Kiryuin Satsuki ‘s Junketsu Battle Form was meant to be as imposing as it was audacious, presenting unique difficulties cosplaying it. “I cosplayed her to challenge myself how far I can go portraying a character. She’s a whole lot different from the normal cute characters I do,” Lin Ling confesses. “Since no one has tried the full armor version yet locally, I took the liberty in trying it out first.”
“There are traits I share with Satsuki, like her recklessness, her determination, her willingness to cast aside pride and appearances for her beliefs,” Lin Ling explains. But even with that, she admits Satsuki was difficult to portray. “Since she’s known to have a cold exterior, I can say appearing ‘strong’ would be one of the challenges portraying her, since I never really do those characters,” Lin Ling admits. “It’s out of my comfort zone, but I like trying out something new.”
Because of the revealing nature of this particular cosplay, we asked her about how people reacted to it. “I’m not really conscious if people will criticize me about my cosplay. I mean, even my friends were stunned when they saw the teaser shots,” she says. “But I guess its normal. I’m aware our culture is reserved. People will criticize me for it, but I’m all prepared.”
“I’m sure I’m not the only one who wants to cosplay this version. There are lots out there,” she adds. “I wanted other people to realize that these kinds of cosplays should not hinder anyone from cosplaying them. If a foreigner can do it, why cant we? Why should we be any different from them when we’re all in the same field and passion.”
Starting out as a congoer, she still remembers how eyes twinkled the first time she saw all those colorful cosplayers. “I liked watching them, but I was shy. I promised myself that I would be friends with those people and be one of them,” she remembers. “I was attracted to their passion. I wanted to cosplay but I didn’t have anyone to accompany me while in costume.” She eventually got the chance to cosplay for the first time around 2012 when she attended an event as Tomoyo Daidouji. “That was my first time to cosplay,” she remembers. “I knew my character very well, but I wasn’t used to people taking pictures of me. I was so stiff back then.”
Lin Ling has come a long ways since then, and we wonder why she has kept on cosplaying. “I have loved anime ever since I was a kid, which is why I like to dress up like them and see how it feels being the character I admire.” With a couple of years of experience, she says cosplay is still challenging. “From getting materials , to studying the character, it really takes a lot of effort and it can take its toll on you. Cosplay is not a cheap hobby, but it doesn’t mean that it has to be expensive. It requires you to be resourceful as well. It takes a lot of skill to finish and a lot of passion to produce amazing output.”
Outside of cosplay, Lin Ling tells us of her other pursuits. She’s quite an avid gamer, playing games on different platforms and consoles, particularly RPGs. “I like doing crafts, hair ornaments, though not very good at it. I like dancing as well. I covered two video dances already from Vocaloid, Hello , How Are You? : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-eQL3MJHoIand, and Renai Circulation : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYQCLWCvBNI from the Bakenomonogatari anime series. I also like singing. That’s it. Can’t say much more about it. Notice that I never include going outside like travelling? I’m actually more of a homebody. I can stay and live in my room all day.”
When asked how long she intends to cosplay, she says she can’t say yet. ” I’ll keep cosplaying as long as I’m still enjoying it.” She says cosplay has given her many fond memories and experiences. “I go to events in costume and get to see my friends in costume as well. I get to chat with people I know, have pictures taken by photographers, fans and congoers, then at the end of the day we get to eat together, have fun , laugh and be merry. Once we get home, we wait for the photos to be surprised. Nothing can beat the feeling seeing a picture of yourself in character and looking good. It feels like I’ve done a good job.”
What does she think of Kuro as a photographer? “I think he’s great. I never doubt him with his talent. He’s very passionate and very creative in his own way. He tends to explore different fields and he is not afraid to try something new, even if its weird.” We asked her what it was like working with him. “He’s very professional,” she replies. “I don’t just model or do character poses. He knows the characters and reviews them, so most of the time he leads everything. He knows the best locations to shoot and sometimes directs me how I should pose. Sometimes he also provides the props, foods,and many other things on shoots which really generous of him as it all comes out on his own pocket.”
“Kuro is my best friend and partner. I actually owe him a lot, as this might be a bit dramatic, but yes, he makes my dreams come true. I never say much about him since I know he’ll just laugh at me, but yes my message goes: I know very much your achievements, what you can do, what you still need to improve, your frustrations, your strong side, and of course your dream. I admire you for everything, including your talent, your sense of leadership, your charisma, critical thinking and your passion. Well, sometimes you get too overly dramatic with the things going on around you, but I will always support you with your ideas, with your dreams and hobby. Continue to do the things that you love and don’t be discouraged with other peoples bad criticisms. I like what you’re doing and I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels that way. Thank you for everything and stay the same till you get old. Stay humble, and please stop calling me Shawarma.”
And to the folks who have believed in her, she has this to say: “To my friends who keep on supporting me, CLF members, I love you guys. TRP the team I’m in and I’ll always be proud to be part of, those photographers who take pictures of me and those whom I haven’t met yet but tell me how much they like my cosplays, my heart couldn’t contain it all, so thank you so much. I wish I can do more than saying thank you.
Many thanks to Lin Ling and Kuroyuki Kanade for allowing us to share their work. See more of them at A|E_imAginE |alec.egido| Rest assured we’ll be featuring more of them soon here on our website. Thank you for dropping by, and do visit us again for more cosplay features here at arkadymac.com.