By ANGELIN YEOH
GETTING the chance to represent your country in a competition that requires you to dress up as your favourite fictional character may sound like a fantasy, but this is exactly what Tan Yee Gim, 29, and Aaron Low, 19, are going to do.
The cosplay duo emerged as champions at the recent World Cosplay Summit Malaysia competition in Penang – dressed as characters from the upcoming video game Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance – and come August, they’ll be representing Malaysia in the World Cosplay Summit competition in Nagoya, Japan.
Low, an A-Levels student from Disted College, Penang said he didn’t expect to win at all.
“I’ve only been cosplaying for eight months and it was my first time joining a competition,” said Low, who met Tan through a mutual friend.
“We met in a bus while on our way to Comic Fiesta last year. A friend introduced us and at that time I just started cosplaying. My first costume was a very basic Japanese school uniform,” he said.
While Low is still pretty much a newbie, Tan has already been making waves in the local cosplaying scene since 2008. In 2010, he was a finalist in the Asia Cosplay Meet.
“I was pretty much influenced by a friend. The first character I played was the white-haired rebel samurai Gintoki from the anime Gintama,” said Tan.
The World Cosplay Summit is an international-level cosplay competition held annually to bring together cosplayers from all over the world.
The competition requires contestants to make the costumes on their own, which according to Low, can be very time-consuming.
“First we had to take a look at the character and study the details of his costume. Then we measure out the parts on selected materials (mainly foam), cut it out and put it together carefully. The design for our costumes was mainly done by Yee Gim.”
Tan added: “It took us about a week to make our costumes and it cost around RM100. We had to do all the stitching, painting and piecing together on our own.”
Tan’s costume was more complicated than Low’s, as his multi-layered costume also required him to don a wig and an eye patch.
“His Raiden costume had a lot of parts to it. So it takes him about 20 to 30 minutes to get ready,” said Low, whose Metal Gear Rex costume consisted of leg parts, a chest piece and a large headgear.
As for why they decided to get into cosplaying, Low said it’s just a hobby.
“I feel very happy to be a cosplayer. It’s a lot of fun getting to meet new people through competitions or meets. Plus there is always something new to learn from one another.”