France 🇫🇷

MoonBlackside (solo): My name is Nathalie a.k.a MoonBlackside, I am 56 years old, two children, photography and cosplay as a passion, I have been on disability for several years but before I worked in publicity.

Milkori (duo): Hi, I’m Milkori, and I’m 31 29+2 ! I work as an accountant in a first aid equipment company, and have too many hobbies ! (Like video games, independant animations, tattoos, dogs… I have a big dog that i love very much !) I started cosplaying in 2009, and I’m happy to come this !

Rey Ray (duo): Hello I’m Rey Ray but you can call me Jessica. I’m 32. I work as a preschool and elementary teacher. I took part to the French Cosplay Contest in early July. Beside cosplay I love K-pop, traveling and cooking. 

Mikori & Rey Ray (duo): And together we’ve represented France at the last C4 edition last year. That’s why we’re so happy to join ICL, and can’t wait to meet everyone. 

How did you discover cosplay and what made you start in this hobby? How long ago?

MoonBlackside: I discovered cosplay thanks to my son 5 years ago. I loved and wanted to try making costumes from my favorite video game, for fun and to distract myself, while learning various techniques.

Milkori: I have loved to sew since i was a child. In the community ‘Vocaloid’, I saw many people dressed like the characters. I discovered the conventions only afterwards, and since then i like to participate in the cosplay contest. Obviously, my first cosplay is ‘Akita Neru’ from Vocaloid !

Rey Ray : Once upon a time, I went to my first con ever. I accompanied some friends and so we went to watch the cosplay contest. And it was AMAZING, I was so mesmerized that on our way back home I said : “Next year, I’ll cosplay too. I’ll be on stage too.” And so I did ! It was back in April 2009. November 2010, I was on stage with a Midna (The Legend of Zelda : Twilight Princess) cosplay. 

-How did you choose that project for the ICL preselection? Is this your first time joining an international cosplay competition?

MoonBlackside: I chose to submit a Vulpera rogue for the ICL selection because I love this character. Behind his cute appearance he is a real bloodthirsty person, I like this contrast, but it is also the costume I made that I am most proud of. Yes, this is the first time that I have taken part in an international competition.

Milkori and Rey Ray: We choose Yuna and Tidus from Final Fantasy X because we knew ICL group category is more toward performance, and final fantasy X is a game that conveys so many emotions we wanted to try to give these on stage. Telling the story and keeping it to an emotional level in only 2min30s was such a challenge but we give it all and put our hearts on it. Some people also told us it was hard to not cry. It’s also costumes we love so, so much. We learnt a lot of things on them. 

Not to mention we love the Final Fantasy franchise a lot and even though Final Fantasy XV is Milkori and the IV is Rey Ray,  X is one of our favorites.

It won’t be our first time as we join C4 last edition in 2023 ! And where we cosplayed … Lunafreya and Noctis from Final Fantasy XV, haha ! Our selection costumes were Sheryl and Ranka from Macross Frontier.

What does cosplay mean to you? And what is your favorite part of the hobby?

MoonBlackside (solo): For me, cosplay means pleasure and surpassing oneself. By embodying a character, you can change your skin, dream, overcome your shyness, share with others. My favorite part is discovering and applying one or more new techniques to each of my costumes.

Milkori: Cosplay is a way to show myself freely. I was really shy, and only the theater and dance helped me to feel comfortable. Cosplay is a way to thrive in creating and role-playing. If one day I become a mother, I would like to share this with my child.

Rey Ray : For me cosplay means a lot as I met most of my important people thanks to it. It also helped me to reveal myself. Before, I was shyer or more like to hide behind a mask. Funny as a hobby where you become someone else helped me to stop masking. 

Thanks to cosplay I can use and develop my creativity ! 

How did the pandemic affect your motivation and project for the selections? 

MoonBlackside (solo): Whether it was during the pandemic or after the pandemic, it didn’t affect my cosplay projects, I stayed motivated, I worked on my costumes to achieve my goals even if they had to be delayed. I approached the selections calmly, I thought I was waiting for the 2023 selections, but at the last moment I said to myself why wait!

Milkori : No, because I continued to make costumes during lockdown. I even had the opportunity to learn more techniques by having more time. Fewer costumes, more quality.

Rey Ray : Not that much to be honest. Maybe I was even more productive as I am someone who needs to always do something and even if I was working at home I need something to do to not get bored. I worked on some cosplay, took pictures as I could, and danced on my balcony. Free show for my neighbor, haha !

Milkori and Rey Ray: Our costumes were ready before we talked about the selections. Ready right before the lockdown. RIGHT BEFORE. Like we didn’t even know the day before the con we were supposed to attend if we could go. The event took place anyway with already the first restrictions. We had the chance to wear those costumes we put so much effort into, even got the chance to go on stage. But we had an unachievement feeling and wanted to put the costume back as soon as possible. Planned to took them to the C4 selections two months later. However… lockdown stroke.  No event for about one year or more. When C4 was back we wanted to do something new as we didn’t attend anything for a long time. But Tidus and Yuna were still waiting. And their moment to shine finally came ! 

Do you think cosplay is changing since the pandemic? Why and how?

Milkori and Rey Ray: Things are definitely different. With pros and cons as everything in life. Why it changed ? Because we had to adapt to continue our lively hobby when everything was stopping us. No event ? No problem, let’s have fun thanks to social media. Can’t buy supplies ? No prob! I have leftovers all over the place, sure I can do something. People getting bored ? Let’s make content. Challenges. People’s creativity responded and was loud.

People are more likely to buy cosplay and just have fun with it. Which is good.  People changed. Some of them just stopped and disappeared from the cosplay sphere. Some of them began. Some of them changed and some of them stayed the same. 

What do you expect from your visit to Spain? Is this your first time visiting the country?

MoonBlackside (solo): I can’t wait to discover Madrid and its culture. I have already visited Spain but listed Zaragoza, Sierra de Guara, Santa Cilia. I hope to proudly represent my country, to prove that there is no age limit for cosplaying whether local or international, to share my passion with cosplayers from different countries.

Milkori and Rey Ray: We expect to meet a lot of new people and learn lot of things either cosplay related or not. We can’t wait to do the activities with everyone and  to visit Madrid. ReyRay already went in Spain but never to Madrid. She said foods (especially ham) and drinks are really good ! 

Have you decided your project for the finals in Madrid? Can you give us a clue?

MoonBlackside (solo): I haven’t decided yet what I will wear for the final, I have several projects in progress, I will see which one I will bring in my suitcase at the last moment 😉

Milkori and Rey Ray: Not Final Fantasy ! Much seriously, it’s something coming from a really known video game franchise but with a little twist. Last clue but not least, we’ll finish on this famous quote from the fame « Yahaha ! You found me ! »

Describe the cosplay community in your country using five words.

MoonBlackside (solo): Meeting / sharing / friendship / conviviality / good humor

Milkori and Rey Ray: SHARING  –  FULL OF CREATIVITY – FUN – EXPERIMENTING  – SHINING 

Link to your Facebook, Instagram and Twitter page (add other social media if relevant):

MoonBlackside:  https://m.facebook.com/100038380482308/https://instagram.com/moonblackside.cosplay?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=

Milkori : https://www.instagram.com/milkori

Rey Ray : https://www.instagram.com/reyray.cos

Moonblackside, Milkori and Rey Ray were selected at Toulouse Game Show.