Anffeith (solo): Hello! My name is Desirée and I’m 34 years old, I’ve been cosplaying since 2013. It’s the first time I enter an international competition and I’m very excited! I also like photography and traveling.
Mashi (duo): Hi! I’m Mashi, but my name is Andrea. I’m 27 years old and I have been cosplaying since 2010, but I didn’t start to actually make my cosplays since 2012. This is my first international contest and I’m super excited to take part in it!
Xatram (duo): I’m Marta and no one calls me Xatram but I needed a cosplay nickname that sounded cool! I’m 27 too, I live in Madrid and I work as a translator. I’ve been cosplaying since 2009-2010, when I put my first Naruto headband on. I started performing with Mashi in 2015 and haven’t stopped since. It’s also my first time in an international cosplay competition and I am smol and afraid.
How did you discover cosplay and what made you start in this hobby? How long ago?
Anffeith: I discovered cosplay in 2013, it was the year I made my first cosplay. In my city they had a small convention and I was astonished with the people, cosplays and activities there.
Mashi: Some highschool friends cosplayed and I have always loved to get into costumes, so when they invited me to join a Vocaloid cosplay group back in 2010, I was 100% in! It was a mess but it started a great new world for me!
Xatram: I discovered comic conventions and saw that people dressed up there. I’ve always loved dressing up, theater and things like that, so I saw it as another chance to portray my favorite characters with friends! I loved it.
Why did you choose that project for the ICL national selection? Is this your first time joining an international cosplay competition?
Anffeith: I thought it was a very complete and showy costume for a competition like this one, also it was a costume I had in my long list of «future cosplays». Yes, it is my first time in an international competition.
Mashi: Gai and Kakashi are our favourite characters from Naruto, they have a great friendship bond, just like us, and we have been planning to make the costumes and the skit since 2019, I think. We usually choose characters we like and projects that can work on a stage, but winning (for the very first time!!) with these particular characters made everything extra special.
Xatram: We’ve tried other selections in the past and got some runner ups, but this was the first time we won! As Mashi says, these characters are important for us and we tried to do them justice, so I’m very glad it turned out good. Kakashi is my favorite character EVER, I’ve been obsessed with him since I started watching anime.
What does cosplay mean for you? And what is your favorite part of the hobby?
Anffeith: Cosplay plays a big role in my life, as I met my partner and most of my friends thanks to the hobby. What I enjoy the most is wearing cosplay at conventions.
Mashi: For me cosplay is a lot of things. Is a way to share special moments with my friends, a way to make a tribute to characters I love, a way to be creative and do cool stuff of which I can be proud… It means a lot for me and it has helped me even in the worst moments of my life.
I can’t choose my favourite part of it, I love adding small details to costumes but I also love taking pictures/filming CMVs/going into contests. I think it is the best way to mix both the costume and the play part! Also I love the moment in which you finish everything and you are super proud of your work!
Xatram: My favorite part of cosplay is performing, I must confess that I don’t enjoy the sewing process as much as Mashi does, although I love seeing the final result, putting everything on and seeing myself completely transformed!
Do you think cosplay is changing since the pandemic? Why and how?
Anffeith: Yes and for the good. Now you can buy a cosplay much more easily than before and there’s no problem if you don’t feel like making it.
Mashi: I think so, a lot of new young people has joined the hobby and their way of thinking is way different than the “old school” cosplayers. I don’t think that should be necessarily bad, but I think that Tiktok and social media have made more important the content creation than the quality, and a lot of these new cosplayers have acquired this mentality, which is unrealistic for most of us. I also feel like the importance of how hot/pretty you look has grown and it makes me a bit sad, because this is a hobby and everyone should be able to participate and have fun instead of feeling self conscious about things you can’t change.
Xatram: I think that I agree with Mashi. I’ve also noticed a small decline in cosplay contests that require performing, I think they don’t attract the new generations of cosplayers and also the pandemic affected the motivation of some of old school cosplayers that used to take part. They are still pretty active, at least in Spain, but before we had to fight to get into contests, and I don’t think that happens often anymore.
How did the pandemic affect your motivation and project for the selections?
Anffeith: It really affected me. My motivation dropped from 100 to 0 quickly. I had many plans and because there was a lack of conventions I abandoned most of them, except Yrel.
Mashi: Actually we had the project in our minds before the pandemic, so for us it only made the waiting longer. Although I have learnt a lot about sewing and pattern making since 2019 so I guess it has been for the better.
Xatram: Yes, we had the project decided, we only needed a contest in which it could fit and a date! I had a hard time after the pandemic because I lost most of the motivation to sew new costumes, but thanks to a couple of projects I did in 2022 to warm up and Mashi’s help I made it!
What do you expect from the ICL experience? As you’re already from Spain.
Anffeith: Mainly being able to enjoy the experience and to meet people from other countries with the sabe hobby.
Mashi: Meeting everyone and having a good time! What I’m interested the most about is living the experience and having good memories that I can treasure forever.
Xatram: What she said!
Have you decided your project for the finals in Madrid? Can you give us a clue?
Anffeith: Yes! I’ve decided to use the cosplay from the selections, Yrel. It’s a very complete costume and sorry but, it is very neat and I’m very proud of how I made it.
Mashi: After winning the selections, I just knew we HAD to do what we are going to do, it just took me some days to make Xatram agree with me. We are remaking our first cosplays together, and making an improved version of our first skit together. I remember the day we wore the first versions of these costumes as one of the best days of my life, and it seems fitting that our first entry for an international competition is this one. I just can’t explain with words how important these costumes are for me and our friendship, but I hope you can get a glimpse of it in September.
Xatram: Mashi somehow managed to convince me to sew this hell of a project, but she’s right, we had to do this. I’ve already cosplayed this character in several occasions, but I know this time it’s gonna look soooo much better thanks to all the new skills I’ve learnt. If you know, you know.
Describe the cosplay community in your country using five words.
Anffeith: Familiar, solidarity, quality, fun, motivational.
Mashi: Helpful, inclusive, creative, inspiring, committed
Xatram. I’d add: amusing! We love to have a good laugh.
Link to your Facebook page, Instagram and Twitter (add other social media if relevant):
Team Spain was selected at Japan Weekend Madrid