Believe it or not, Taiwan's HIKO has been cosplaying for 23 years already.
"Yes, you read that right, that's how long it's been haha! The first time I did cosplay, I didn't have a wig and I didn't know how to do makeup, so I wore my own clothes to the event," HIKO told Digital Life Asia.
The journey begins
How did HIKO begin her cosplay journey?
"Since I was a child, I've always loved watching Japanese animation and comics, as well as American cartoons. When I was a student, my friend asked me to go to Anime Expo with her, and at the time, my friend said she wanted to form a group to do cosplay together," she said.
Going to her first cosplay event made a big impression on HIKO, as she met a lot of people who shared the same interest.
"In the past, because the internet was not yet very developed, it was difficult to meet friends who liked the same things, but after this event, I found it very interesting and started to participate in cosplay activities regularly.
"When I was a student, I would study and work part-time, trying to earn money to make costumes, and then after I entered society and had a formal job, I would use my pocket money to prepare clothes and occasionally make my own props," she said.
Passion for cosplay
Asked to name her favorite among the characters she has cosplayed, HIKO replied: "My favorite character is Sheryl Nome from 'Macross Frontier'. She is a very classic superstar character with a beautiful appearance and a strong and defiant personality, and is a very hard worker.
"I aspire to such a personality and want to learn from her, so I often cosplay her, modeling about 30 of her outfits."
According to HIKO, her passion for cosplay has given her a lot of joy.
"I take cosplaying as a hobby, and the result of my work is put on the internet for everyone to see, which gives me a great sense of accomplishment.
"I've always had a strong desire to perform since I was a kid, and I love acting, so it's fun to be able to become different characters I like through cosplay," she said.
Taking on new challenges
What's HIKO's most memorable cosplay experience so far?
"After 2012, I started to participate in overseas activities and have been to more than 10 countries so far. Before the COVID epidemic, I went abroad to participate in cosplaying activities about six to seven times a year.
"I saw a lot of different cultures, met a lot of people, shot on location in various beautiful places, and connected with cosplayers from all over the world. All are very good memories," she said.
Asked if she is also into gaming, HIKO replied: "I also play games occasionally. I used to play single-player games, and my favorite game is the Nier series. Now I don't have much time, so I play mobile games in my spare time, and my favorites are Granblue Fantasy and Nikke."
HIKO also said that she is planning a number of new projects.
"Currently, I want to try some new challenges in cosplaying. I've been shooting static works before, but recently I've started to do live action and motion picture shooting, and I'm planning to make my own channel to showcase them," she said.
What message would HIKO like to share with her fans?
"To me, cosplaying is a good opportunity to release pressure and express myself. That's why I've been doing this for so many years and my passion will not decrease. There are still many things I want to accomplish in the future, and I will continue to refine my work!"
Thanks, HIKO! We love your passion for cosplay, and we're looking forward to what you'll achieve in the future!