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I
remember that moment as clear as day. I was a kid when I found my
undying interest in this thing called “anime”. It was around
2007, I was seven years old, I was amazed by these Japanese cartoons.
I’ve always loved how they have weird spiky hair styles, especially
the protagonist, or the main character of the show. I was astonished
by the characters’ unique designs, their diverse personalities, the
attention to details to their costumes, armor or fabric.

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I’ve
continued to watch anime for a few years. I remember waiting for a
specific day of the week for an episode of an ongoing anime. I
remember frequently being online on social media, joining a bunch of
discussions about the seasonal anime during that time. It was a lot
of fun, knowing people online who have the same interests and tastes
with you.
I
was scrolling through my newsfeed as usual when I stumbled across a
post that piqued my interest. It was a girl wearing her favorite
anime character’s costume. The first thought that came to my mind
was “Wow, how can she have the confidence to do her passion?”
After scrolling some more, I eventually joined a group that not only
have anime in the discussions but also cosplay.
It
was around December of 2015 when I met a cosplayer. At first I
hesitated to message her as I thought that cosplayers are somewhat
snob and would not notice a person like me. I gave so much thought
about it but I did it anyway.
She
was the total opposite of what I thought a cosplayer would be. She
was less famous than other cosplayers but in her eyes, she shares the
same burning passion. We continued talking day by day and eventually
we got to know each other more. I would never forget the person that
introduced me to my current hobby.
As
I got more and more fond of the cosplay community, I’ve also known
more and more people who share the same passion.
Eventually
I met another cosplayer that became one of my closest friends today.
She was the one who dragged me to try it as I was just interested
before. She told me her stories, her experiences, good and bad, her
dreams and plans for the future. She taught me make up. I could not
tell this to her personally, as I would be too shy to do so, but to
be honest, I was inspired by her passion to her hobby and I look up
to her. Besides of being my personal friend, I see her as a personal
idol.
I
remember going to my first anime convention in cosplay. I was my
third anime convention overall and I have no idea where and when is
the right time to change outfits. I am socially awkward so I was too
shy to ask other cosplayers on the event. I just changed in the
comfort room of the hall. I was so surprised to see a ton of
cosplayers also changing and helping each other to assemble their
costumes. I suddenly remember what I love about the cosplay
community.
I
remember the very first time someone appreciated my costume and asked
for a picture with me. I was so overwhelmed that I did not know how
to respond when she asked.
If
you ask me, I think that is one of the best parts of cosplaying on an
anime convention. It feels so great when people appreciate your
costume as you put so much effort in making your costume. I cannot
make my own costumes yet so I have a tailor who makes my costumes.
I’d like to thank my personal tailor some time because he accepts
my projects even though it’s anime-related and not the typical ones
that you ask for.
Another
great part of cosplaying is when you meet people during conventions
and interact with them, in costume or not. It feels so good to meet
nice people that you can talk to.
Some
people ask, “Why put so much effort and invest so much money in
dressing up as a fictional character?” or “Is it worth it to
spend so much for cosplay?” I answer, “It depends.” As Hikarin,
my personal favorite international cosplayer, once said in an
interview when she was asked the same thing, ” … If you think
about it, if you’re not doing it out of love, it’s really not
worth it so it just shows how I really love cosplay and how important
it is to me.” And I agree with her. Like other hobbies, cosplaying
also requires investing money, whether the amount is small or not,
and time and also like other hobbies you shouldn’t be ashamed to
pursue your passion.

I personally do not tell everyone about my passion but it’s not
because that I’m ashamed of it or what, but because I like it that
way.
If
you have trouble pursuing your passion and hobbies just because you
are afraid, don’t be. Know that you are afraid of what your friends
will think of you or what your family will feel about it, but if they
really care about you, they’ll surely understand and respect your
choices. Your family means no harm.

I
get it, we are afraid of what we do not know, it’s natural. But if
you really love something, I advise you to keep on striving, learn
things, explore more, as you will surely not regret it in the future.