Hello fellow Geeks! It’s that time again – take a seat and grab that bowl of popcorn because you’re in for a real show-stopper today! Coming to us all the way from the “Land Down Under” (yes, I’m talking about Australia) is the amazing cosplayer, Maantaocos! After getting to talk with Maantao for some time, I discovered that not only is he a talented cosplayer, but also an all-around wonderful person! It’s always really great when I get to interview cosplayers who are genuinely kind and passionate about what they do!
So, where did his journey begin? I’m excited to share his story with you! I hope you’re all ready!
About how long have you been cosplaying?
I’ve been cosplaying, mostly casually, for about 6 years now. I first started cosplaying end of 2011 for a now-defunct convention, Animania.
What first inspired you to start cosplaying, and who was your first character to cosplay?
I never really thought I’d be into cosplay, but Animania was my first convention ever so I figured I might as well go hard. I was really into Bleach at the time, so I did Toshiro Hitsugaya with a small group of friends.
Looking back, how have you grown from that first cosplay to now?
My first cosplay was pretty terrible. I was somewhat uncomfortable with wearing makeup, and wig styling was very basic. It looked like I was wearing a white bucket on my head. I’ve since met some really talented friends that have taught me about how to apply makeup, how to do basic edits, really interesting wig styling techniques, detailing costumes with nice trimmings and buttons, how to pose and how to work on expressions for a shot. I’m still terrible, in my opinion, and have lots that I want to try and learn. But, I sort of know how I want to look these days!
What has been your favorite con/cosplay experience so far?
I think my favorite con experience has been a local con, SMASH 17’. You get to know most of the people in the community after so many years, so it’s just one big fun gathering! But this year’s con landed on my birthday, so there was cake and singing on top!
What kinds of characters are you most drawn to when looking for a new cosplay?
I tend to have two sorts of characters that I’m drawn towards. One would be the characters I resonate with – sweet-hearted, strong-willed boys that are faced with a harsh world. The other would have some element of ridiculousness, someone that just looks fun to try. It leaves me with a really inconsistent portfolio.
What has been your favorite cosplay to wear and why?
Easily has to be Deku (Izuku Midoriya) from My Hero Academia! He’s my favorite character and he develops really well through the anime and manga! I see a lot of myself in Deku, and also happened to be the same height and muscle build, so it all worked out.
Do you have any dream cosplays that you are, or will be, working on? Why is this cosplay a dream of yours?
I’ve always wanted to do Vash the Stampede from the Trigun series. He’s an inspiring character who showed that even if you’re born into greater circumstances, it doesn’t make you any better than anybody else. It always stuck with me during my formative years. I’ll get to him, one day!
What has been your biggest motivation throughout your cosplay journey?
The biggest motivator for me is my friends. The entire process of working on cosplay costumes and props, planning out shots and being stupid together is really fun. It’s helped me meet friends I wouldn’t have met normally, in different countries and timezones.
How has cosplay influenced you as a person?
It has exposed me to a spectrum of personalities ranging from beautiful and sweet souls to the downright toxic. It has helped me grow as a person from the mistakes I’ve made and has lead me to meeting my favorite people in the world. 10/10 would recommend.
Do you have any advice/words of wisdom you would like to give to aspiring cosplayers?
My life motto is: Have the most fun you can while hurting the least amount of people possible.
I think it applies well to anyone starting up. The community is small. Bad news travels fast, so treat everyone well. Make friends, learn together, experiment with dumb ideas and you’re solid.