Organizers note – Sadly due to COVID-19 Aku will not be able to attend the finale, but we’ve decided to keep the interview so you get to meet him!
Aku (solo) : Hello , I am Aku from Belgium. I work in the movie industry! I love my pets , reading books and traveling. This is the first opportunity to represent my country in such a cool event! I am nervous yet excited.
Lilou (duo): I’m Lilou, my real name is Laurene, I’m 28 years old and I’m a lab tech in a hospital in my daily life. I’m cosplaying since 2011, I’m more of a sewist but I still like the craft part of cosplay too ! I’ve been a group representative for Belgium twice at ECG in 2016 and 2022. I’m excited to be part of ICL 2023 !
Mito Lowe (duo): Mito Lowe, Bérangère, 34 years old. I’m cosplayer since 2006. I’m a huge Disney fan. My favourite part of cosplay is making corset, princess dresses and suits. I’m obsessed with my cats, they are my babies :D. I’m really happy to join the ICL team 2023 !
How did you discover cosplay and what made you start in this hobby? How long ago?
Aku: When I was a kid I always wanted to be the people I looked up to , and as an adult I still find comfort in the world of fiction. To bring this to life makes the child in my heart the happiest ever and gives me an escape of everything around me!
Lilou : I went to my first convention in 2010 and saw some people in character’s costumes and I was like “hey, I want to do that too !”. I didn’t know what cosplay was, and discovered it afterwards while working on my first ever cosplay which was Lenalee Lee from D.Gray-Man. I started contests in 2012 I think and ever since I love going up on stage !
Mito Lowe : When I was a child, I really loved Card Captor Sakura, so, my grandma made me a costume for a party. I discovered cosplay contest in 2004, at Japan Expo Paris. Two years later, I wore my first one : Meer Campbell from Gundam Seed destiny.
Why did you choose that project for the ICL selection? Is this your first time joining an international cosplay competition?
Aku: I chose chainsaw man since I always thought the character had this badass vibe to him and can give it a very unique gory detailing to itself! This is my first time indeed joining an international cosplay competition!
Lilou : I’m doing Jim Hawkins from the best Disney ever which is Treasure Planet for the final. He was a big crush of mine when I was younger and I still love this movie dearly. It’s not my first time joining international competition but I’m very excited to be at ICL for the first time !
Mito Lowe : Captain Amelia from Treasure Panet. It’s one of the best Disney movie so, with Lilou, we are really excited to make a costume from one of our favourite movie ever ! It’s the first time I join an international competition.
What does cosplay mean for you? And what is your favorite part of the hobby?
Aku: It’s an escape from reality. It helps with the struggles around me and mentally. It brightens a cruel world.
Lilou: Cosplay is a part of my life. It helped me a lot when I was struggling mentally and it made me grow so much. I gain confidence in my skills, I want to show off my work and keep improving costume after costume. I met my best friends when I started cosplay and years after we’re still together and doing groups and contests.
My favorite part of the hobby is meeting and sharing with people. Having the same passion brings so much to talk about. I also love playing with textures and the overwhole silhouette in a costume.
Mito Lowe : Cosplay brings me a lot in my life : confidence, assurance, skills in sewing and crafting but the most important : my friends.
How did the pandemic affect your motivation and project for the selections?
Aku: I had more time to work and learn with the materials I had and since I had more time on my hands I made sure to make good use of it!
Lilou : It was quite hard for me. No conventions meant I had no deadlines to do costumes so I didn’t do a lot during that time.
Mito Lowe : No affect.
Do you think cosplay is changing since the pandemic? Why and how?
Aku: I find that cosplay changed because it became more of a Social media matter then a passion which sometimes sombers the conventions , people need to make content and have likes instead of enjoying what cosplay is about!
Lilou : I feel like the “new” cosplayers that came during and after the pandemic might not see the cosplay how I see it. I started when we had to make a lot by hands because we couldn’t get a lot of premade costumes or they were really expensive. I feel like they’re more into the “play” part of cosplay which is fun too, it’s very different from how I live this passion.
Mito Lowe : I don’t think the pandemic affect passion (?)
What do you expect from your visit to Spain? Is this your first time visiting the country?
Aku: I visited Spain many times for movie projects and it is such a stunning country! I hope it will be a lot of fun and I will meet new people!
Lilou: I went once when I was younger, from my old souvenirs it was really hot and sunny. I don’t remember a lot to be honest but I’m excited to come back and see Spain with my grown–up eyes !
Mito Lowe: I already visited Spain when I was child but I don’t have a lot of memories. I’m really excited to discover the country with everyone !
Describe the cosplay community in your country using five words.
Aku: Creative , Vibrant , Eccentric , Small , Challenging
Lilou : Sharing, caring, skills, ideas, fun
Mito Lowe : We have a good community. We learn a lot from each other and we have the chance to know “everyone” as we are from a little country.
Link to your Facebook page, Instagram and Twitter (add other social media if relevant):
Mito Lowe : https://www.instagram.com/mito_lowe/
Team Belgium organized its selections at Comic Con Antwerp.