anibee Features: Touya Hibiki & Kousaka Yun!
The Singapore Toy Game and Comic Convention at the Marina Bay Sands was the ultimate pop culture experience for anyone and everyone who's ever liked well... toys, games and comics! The highlight for most cosplay fans however, was undoubtedly the appearance of cosplayer guests, Touya Hibiki and Kousaka Yun from Japan!
Amidst all the activity and their busy schedule, anibee got to sit down with the pair for a little chat!
anibee: Welcome to Singapore! How do you find our country?
Hibiki: Thank you! It's a very lovely, beautiful place!
Yun: Yes, although it is very hot!
anibee: Did you both manage to try out any of our local delights?
Hibiki: We got to eat Bak Kut Teh.
Yun: And Chili Crab! But we haven’t tried Chicken Rice yet though!
anibee: How long have you both been cosplaying for now?
Hibiki: I have been cosplaying for about 6 years now.
Yun: Me too!
anibee: How did you both start out in cosplay?
Hibiki: My first experience with it was when I accompanied a friend to a Comiket event. She handed me a costume of Hijikata (from Gintama) costume and literally just went "Give this a try!" - and the rest was history!
Yun: It's the same for me! I was introduced to the hobby from a friend as well, who also handed a costume to me to try out. Needless to say I was hooked from day 1!
anibee: What do you both do outside of cosplay?
Hibiki: I am a butler of darkness~! (it's a secret!)
Yun: I actually take care of children at a preschool. I enjoy it very much and I love playing with them!
anibee: It must be tiring! How do you find free time to cosplay and balance your life out?
Hibiki: I don't find it that difficult to do actually! In a year, I probably cosplay only a few times, for a couple of weeks at most.
Yun: Although it's weeks without sleep that is, hahaha! It's the same for me too; I have other hobbies as well, but they don't take up that much of my time, so I just divide them all up accordingly.
anibee: What do you both look for in a character, when choosing a cosplay?
Yun: I definitely try to find a character I genuinely like, instead of picking someone that's just popular.
Hibiki: It's important that I get to read up and do research on a character too, as I read a lot of manga!
anibee: Do you often get concerned with various factors when cosplaying? E.g. a character being "too cute" or "too macho"?
Hibiki: Yes, it does become an issue sometimes! I like a lot of cute characters, but I often feel that they don't suit me.
Yun: And I on the other hand, love a lot of "cool" and stylish characters, but I don't think I can ever pull them off to my satisfaction!
anibee: You both seem to have carved a specific niche in the kind of character you do; Hibiki with male characters, and Yun with cute, female characters. Have you two ever thought of trying something out of your usual range?
Hibiki: I do! You have no idea how much I wish I could do something cute once in a while, hahaha! I have however, done a few female cosplays before, but only thrice - once as Hatsune Miku, another as Sheryl Nome (from Macross Frontier), and the third time as Ringo from Air Gear.
Yun: I have done males before myself, and I'm actually quite comfortable with it. It's never a "cool", mature guy though - I have to be content with shouta (young boys)!
anibee: There's always an issue and varying opinions on how cosplay should or should not be a competitive event, as well as the topic on whether seasoned cosplayers should be treated as "celebrities" or not. What do you both feel?
Hibiki: I generally feel that everyone should just do what they like, expressing themselves in whatever way they feel the most comfortable with. Everyone has their own opinion
Yun: Yes! I don't believe in the whole "celebrity" status thing much either; we are just cosplayers like everyone else, and we love to meet new people! I myself prefer photography the most as I'm not comfortable with contests.
anibee: So photographers must be very important to you?
Hibiki: Yes! Extremely important!
Yun: More than us, the cosplayers, ourselves!
Hibiki: Without photographers, we'd be nothing - we are always grateful for their hardwork!