Cosplayer Interviews: Miharu Saruwatari From The Philippines
A tall, pretty girl loaded with spunk, Miharu Saruwatari* is one of the cosplayers known locally in the city of Cagayan de Oro, Philippines. She charmed the socks off the men with her Zatsune Miku costume and scared the bujeezus off people with her Bubble Head Maid attire. We were able to snag a few minutes of her time for this interview.
*Cosplay Stage Name
Asgard: When did you first hear about cosplay and what made you decide to join?
Miharu Saruwatari: Well, I first saw a picture on the internet of people in their cartoon costumes and I was intrigued. That curiosity led me to intensive research about what is it about and it seemed really, really, REALLY fun. I even thought it was called “dress up” at first! Also, Wikipedia helped me with it.
A: When and what cosplay event was the first you’ve attended and how did you feel about it?
MS: It was “Anime Summer Fest” in SM City (A mall in CDO, Philippines) a year ago and I went as Itachi Uchiha (Sexy no Jutsu version) from the anime, Naruto. I feel like “I belong”; I feel a connection with strangers [in a good way] and I was really happy that day.
A: What made you decide to go as Itachi?
MS: Well, I thought of Itachi because I really like his character in Naruto. His personality, his character design and I had a crush on him but he’s not my first costume ever made.
A: Really? So which character came first and what’s on your costume list?
MS: Enma Ai from Jigoku Shoujo was my first, formal costume. I wore it in SM on an ordinary day and people kept asking me “From what school are you from?”. I have L Lawliet of Death Note, Itachi Uchiha (Sexy no Jutsu) of Naruto, Enma Ai of Jigoku Shoujo, Bubble Head Nurse of Silent Hill: 2, Len Kagamine of Vocaloid, Kaname Kuran of Vampire Knight, Miku Zatsune of Vocaloid, Panty Anarchy of Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt, Bubble Head Nurse of Silent Hill: 3, Luka Megurine (Project Diva version) of Vocaloid, and also Park Bom from 2NE1 but that was used in a costrip only.
A: You already had that number of costumes before you did Itachi?
MS: No. Itachi was probably my third costume but I’m not sure though. My itachi costume is one of my “oldies” costume and there are even some costumes I haven’t used yet!
A: You have quite a collection of costumes already. Weren’t those pricey? What costume was the most expensive from your current collection?
MS: Well, I can’t deny that cosplaying is an expensive hobby, but sometimes I find ways to cut the price for even just a little bit because cosplayers tend to be resourceful and there are bargain shops everywhere. My pricey costume was probably around PHP800+ (around USD20+). The only thing that’s expensive in my costume pieces are the wigs.
A: That’s true. How many wigs do you have right now and which of those wigs do you use frequently?
MS: I have five hair extensions/clip-ons and nine wigs. I usually wear my black wigs and my hair extensions.
A: And which of these wigs cost you an arm and a leg?
MS: My Miku Zatsune Wig. I got my Luka Megurine wig on sale thanks to an online shop called Kyuuto Shoppu!
A: From your number of costumes, which one made you famous?
MS: My Bubble Head Nurse costume from Silent Hill. I had fun making that costume and I had my own Pyramid Head too.
A: Did you scare a lot of people with that costume?
MS: Yes, both in a good way and bad way. There was one time when I wore that costume and I had to go to a restroom. There was a kid in there and she wouldn’t stop crying so I had to leave. I also wore that costume in Metro Comic Con and a lot of people enjoyed watching me do the “SH Nurse Walk” while strolling around.
A: Do you have costumes that needed props? Which ones?
MS: I’m not that much of a prop maker but my first prop was Len’s earphones and then Miku’s hair accessories. Just the easy stuff! But I’m planning to do more prop making in the future!
A: Speaking of the future, what characters do you have in mind for future cosplay events?
MS: I have tons of future cosplay ideas! Like Boxer (the gender-bender version of Panty), Julia Volkova of t.A.t.U, Len (Karakuri Burst version), Rikou Nura of Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan, Geum Jan Di of Boys Over Flowers, Luki of DOGS: Bullet and Carnage, Eva or Lyn from Evelyn Evelyn or Amanda Palmer from The Dresden Dolls. And hopefully someone from the anime version of Witchblade!
A: What would be the best cosplay advice you could ever give to a cosplay newbie?
MS: Do your best in whatever character you’re planning to cosplay; Strive hard and you will be repaid in the end with a great feeling you can’t easily explain. Cosplay is challenging but it’s not hard as long as you have the passion to go through it and it’s worth it: every penny spent, every sweat wasted and every sacrifice made. It’s freaking worth it all!