Kuro Karen (solo): Hello! My name is Rita but my cosplay nickname is Kuro Karen, I am 28 and a professional photographer. I’ve been cosplaying for more than 10 years now and have had the opportunity to represent Portugal in other international competitions such as ECG and Magic Monaco. I love going to these competitions because I am able to meet so many amazing artists and share awesome techniques and tricks to help improve my skills!
Nymesia (duo): Hi! My cosplay nickname is Nymesia, and my real name is Mafalda. I’m 27 years old, from Portugal, and a cosplayer since 2019. I mostly do gaming cosplays and I’ve been a Portuguese representative for Magic International Cosplay Masters in Monaco (2023). Besides cosplay, travelling is my number two passion!
Synergie (duo): I’m Francisco Aka Synergie_Cosplay. I’m 34, from Portugal and I’ve started cosmaking in 2021. This will be my first time abroad representing my home country and I’m super excited for this great experience.
How did you discover cosplay and what made you start in this hobby? How long ago?
Kuro Karen: I started watching anime when I was really young and when I googled my favorite characters some cosplays showed up and I was really fascinated by them. Then when I found out that there were anime conventions in my country and that there were cosplayers going to those events, I decided along with my sister and friends to do the same! Funnily enough the first time we cosplayed was at Japan Weekend in Lisbon 2010!
Nymesia: I discovered cosplay while I was in high school, as a few friends did it. I started it many years after, in 2019, when I was a very active Overwatch player. I wanted to have the experience of wearing one of those super cool game outfits & props, and I always loved to create things, so it was a perfect opportunity!
Synergie: My now fiancé (Nymesia) introduced me to cosplay when we were still friends, eventually we started dating and decided to create our first duo costumes together.
Why did you choose that project for the ICL national selection? Is this your first time joining an international cosplay competition?
Kuro Karen: I made this costume for ECG 2015 finals, in which I competed as a group with my sister so that answers both questions. I feel like most people don’t like to re-wear costumes but I only wore it 2 times and only one in Portugal but it wasn’t even in Lisbon. It was so long ago that I know most people didn’t get a chance to see it. It has more than a thousand beads hand sewn into it and you can’t really see that in pictures so I thought the ICL national selection was a great opportunity to showcase all my hard work.
Nymesia: I chose Ranni as I love soulsborne games and Elden Ring was my favorite. Ranni’s design was perfect and I was extremely excited for the challenge of bringing her to life. It is not my first international competition, but I still feel like I’m a baby in this world!
Synergie: I chose Blaidd because, just look at him, he’s cool as heck! A 2.63m tall half wolf half man with a crush on a doll possessed by a witch! Can’t get more metal than that!
What does cosplay mean for you? And what is your favorite part of the hobby?
Kuro Karen: I am a very creative person and love to always have some project going on. I also love to learn, with cosplay we get to work with a lot of different materials and techniques you don’t even think about when you think of cosplay such as wig making, acting, choreographing , video editing and of course the obvious sewing, sculpting and painting. I love to be able to go on stage, perform and be able to share all the techniques and tricks I learned through my project.
Nymesia: Cosplay is what allows me to do eveything I love – creating, learning, performing, being somone else. A lot of someone elses. It’s amazing and super challenging. My favorite part is learning and successfuly applying new techniques, as well as meeting insanely talented people all over the world!
Synergie: Cosplay is one of those hobbies that allows me to join many of the skills I learned throughout the years as a self taught concept artist and in 2D/3D animation school. I’m able to use my painting skills, hand craft, and video editing skills all in one hobby! It’s pretty cool. My favorite part is when it helps me relax and forget the world for a bit.
How did the pandemic affect your motivation and project for the selections?
Kuro Karen: Not at all, life has basically returned to normal and there weren’t any restrictions when the selections took place.
Nymesia: The pandemic was actually when I had the most time to develop my skills and become better and more confident about my craft.
Synergie: The pandemic is what allowed us to experiment more without the stress of deadlines.
Do you think cosplay is changing since the pandemic? Why and how?
Kuro Karen: I think more people use their social media to share their work but since events and cons are back we are able to attend them and use our cosplays there.
Nymesia: I think a lot of people joined cosplay during the pandemic, as they were at home and they had time to discover and explore this hobby. On the other hand, we were without events for a long while, and socially there wasn’t a lot of opportunities to meet people and showcase our work.
Synergie: Im far too new in the cosplay world to be able to give you an answer to such a question. Maybe it did change with the new surge in buyable and affordable cosplays? But I wouldn’t know yet.
What do you expect from your visit to Spain? Is this your first time visiting the country?
Kuro Karen: It is not my time in Spain, but it is my first time in Madrid! I am looking forward to seeing Japan Weekend, the city and meet all the other contestants.
Nymesia: Not my first time in Spain, but my first time in Madrid, so I’m super excited! Most of all, I expect to have lots of fun, both on stage and outside the stage, meet talented people and share ideas!
Synergie: I expect to meet a lot of like minded people with tons of ideas to share so im super excited! I’ve been to Madrid a few times before, i like it a lot. Fun fact: my first tattoo was done there.
Have you decided your project for the finals in Madrid? Can you give us a clue?
Kuro Karen: I always loved Sailor Moon and have had Princess Serenity on my cosplay list for ages, but nowadays I love putting in a bit more effort on my costumes in order to show them on some competition but most of the contests need a skit performance and I couldn’t wrap my head around a skit with this cosplay that would be able to showcase and display it the way I imagine it. With that said, I think it is a perfect cosplay for a catwalk contest therefore I choose it for the ICL solo finals.
Nymesia: Yes I have! Its from a game and she has a twin sister!
Synergie: Yes, and we’re practically done too! Its from a game and he’s a hunter.
Describe the cosplay community in your country using five words.
Kuro Karen: Creative, amazing, competitive, ever-growing, and nice.
Nymesia: Talented, fun, energetic, creative & kind!
Synergie: Youthfull, crazy (the good kind), daring, creative and inclusive.
Link to your Facebook page, Instagram and Twitter (add other social media if relevant):
Instagram Kuro karen: https://www.instagram.com/kurokaren_cosplay/
Instagram Nymesia: https://www.instagram.com/nymesiacosplay
Instagram Synergie: https://www.instagram.com/syn3rgie_cosplay/
Team Portugal was selected at Lisboa Games Week.