anibee Cosplayer Focus: Serene!

Photo by: Terence Ho

Are you excited for our Ani-Song Competition? So are we!

To ensure that the competition gets the very best, we got the help of singer and cosplayer, Serene, as one of the judges for the competition! We got to speak to the young talent in an exclusive interview:

anibee: Singing & cosplaying - what made you decide to do both? Do you prefer one over the other?

Serene: It all started in EOY 2009 when I passed the auditions for the solo performing category. I was just randomly chatting with my friends online about the event when they just casually mentioned I should cosplay as Hatsune Miku and sing on stage - it'd be pretty cool. I figured why not, since I WAS performing for a cosplay event. So to cut a long story short, I took up their suggestion and just got myself a costume and a wig, made the accessories and there I was, cosplaying and singing on stage - and I never looked back ever since!

Cosplaying and singing is a pretty good combination - whichever way you want to look at it, it's all good to me! While I see myself as more of a singer, both these hobbies really do complement each other very well when done properly.

anibee: How do you decide on a song to perform, and is it in anyway effected by other factors e.g. A series which has a character you can cosplay?

Photo by: Terence Ho

Serene: I usually choose songs based the meaning of the lyrics. Most of the time I'm attracted towards songs with meaning, ones that I can really relate to or have a powerful message. This includes songs like Secret Base (by ZONE) and Tegami (by Angela Aki), which have really strong messages of friendship and growing up. I always like to try to bring out the essence of these songs so that I can convey the message to the listeners. I want my audience to listen to a song and go, "Hey. This song has a great feel to it. It touches me" and move them like that.

Occasionally, I may choose songs based on a certain character that I'm cosplaying as. If I'm cosplaying as a character that sings, I'll go listen to the songs and see if it's within my capability to deliver it. If I'm able to sing it, I will. It's much better to see a cosplayer sing the character's song on stage after all - much more aesthetic appeal to the crowd.

anibee: Have these activities ever clashed before? E.g. You love the song but dislike the series/no character in the series you can cosplay as?

Serene: So far I haven't come across a situation in which this has happened before. So I'm glad. :)

anibee: It must tough on the schedule (and wallet!) for a student to do both singing and cosplay! How do you juggle these activities with your real life obligations like school? What advice do you have for people who want to pursue this combination of activities?

Photo by: Terence Ho

Serene: Hahahaha, yes. I kind of pity my wallet. :< I've been starving it for a long long time. Gotta start feeding it soon haha!

Anyways, it's all about priorities - you need to know which things to do first, and which you can put aside. Once that's done, you can then move into time management. Set aside time for your important stuff, then set time for your hobbies. If you've already got your priorities right, then time management will come easily. It's something that can be applied everywhere in life.

And for those who want to try singing and cosplaying, I suggest you get the basics of either one first, before you try doing both at the same time. If you don't have the basics of singing or cosplaying and you want to try both, you might just crash and burn! Always ask for help (politely) when you need clarifications. Many seniors would be glad to help if you just asked and did your own homework. :)

anibee: What do you hope to achieve in the next few years with your feverent efforts in your hobbies?

Serene: I'm hoping to keep cosplay as a hobby, but my real goal is to reach a professional level with my singing. I promised myself that I will eventually try to break into the Japanese market as a singer in some form, and I believe I can do it!

Balance, effort, and belief - that's truly the combination of a star in the making!

Photo by: Nutcase23 Photography

Check out more of Serene's cosplays and performances on her website at and her Facebook page at!