Guy to Gyaru: A Journey into Cosplay, Crossplay and New Adventures
Cosplay has been a passion area in my life for quite some time, from gushing over cosplay pictures online to meeting cosplayers at conventions and expressing my compliments to them in person.
Before this experience; I had only done one cosplay. A Team Magma Grunt from Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire & Emerald. A fairly simple design with minimal bells and whistles attached. So, the next phase from this is obviously going for a busty gyaru type character, right?
Join me in this adventure of new experiences, mildly annoying struggles, and pant-soiling excitement – as I put together a cosplay of Junko Enoshima from Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc
Picking the character
Picking Junko as my character was a mildly arbitrary decision, being honest. Despite being completely insane, with multiple personalities and fetishization of despair, I fell in love with her character design.
That and I seriously love characters with pink hair, speaking of which…
Junko’s pink twintail wig was the first part of my costume to arrive, this was also the first cosplay wig I had ever ordered. It was from eBay and cost me just under £20, which included a wig cap in the order.
I now have much more sympathy for cosplayers – my first time doing this was a task and a half.
…in hindsight bobby pins would’ve been of some assistance, but after some effort, the wig went on.
Oh. My. God.
This is freaking awesome!
If my vain as all hell and patented “University-Bathroom-Normal-Clothes-Mirror Selfies” show anything, I was freaking pumped once I had got this on properly.
This wig was incredibly comfortable, I wore it around my flat to do some cleaning and socialising with flatmates and throughout the approximate hour I was wearing it the only issue I had was small amounts of itching along the elastic of the wig cap. (For reference, the flat I live in is often swelteringly hot, and the wig had no change on how temperature affected me)
In terms of styling it to try fit the character more – my knowledge of wigs is practically non-existent, so I did not try to attempt to tease out the fibres at all. The only “styling” is brushing out the twintails each time I put the wig on and hair spraying any wayward strands.
Next to arrive was most of the main cosplay, the costume and boots.
Both were from a website called cosplaysky.com, as much as I do want to learn sewing and craft techniques for cosplay; my resources are limited for doing so.
One benefit of CosplaySky is that they offer male sizes for many of their costumes, which, being a slightly potato-esque six-foot-tall guy, is insanely useful.
After a few anxious moments involving customer service and wondering whether it’d arrive in time, I eventually got my hands on the costume. So, how did it look/fit?
It fit like a dream.
Going into detail, the costume itself is comprised of four main elements, the undershirt, the blazer, the skirt and the tie.
The tie… is a tie so I’ll leave that there. The undershirt is a sleeveless white shirt with a plunging neckline which fit nicely, aside from some bagginess in the chest area – and it was a similar story for the blazer. Thankfully, this won’t really be an issue, more on that later on.
Now… the skirt…
This being my first escapade into crossplay, this was also my first time wearing a skirt. It wasn’t exactly a great effort to get it on, and once it was on, it felt so goddamn comfy!
Accessories included the red bow on the lapel of the blazer, the buttons on the lower part and the black choker (which I actually bought from a Claire’s)
Included in the same order as the costume were the boots, which I had custom made for my feet as despite being a fairly normal shoe size, my feet are rather wide.
I’m so glad I did this. Despite having 3.5-inch heels attached to them, they are comfy to walk in, a little tight around the toes but nothing out of the ordinary for basically any shoes I’ve ever owned.
The only part of the costume that was missing when it came to wearing it were the Monokuma hairclips.
I had acquired the foamboard and acrylic paints needed to create these, and had got the templates ready for cutting, but equipment and time constraints lead to them not being finished in time
Despite being fairly inexperienced with craft in general, the more basic of the two clips turned out pretty good, so hopefully as I work on Junko; I’ll get these made to a higher standard.
Onwards to the next section!
Getting a bit personal here, but I’m going to give a shout out to my flatmates Laura and Ellie. I cannot thank both of you enough for taking me round Superdrug and helping me find the right stuff, you truly are awesome people!
Two days before the event, I went on a shopping trip to find all the makeup I had made a list for, using two tutorials on YouTube as reference. The first video is above, the second below.
In hindsight… I should’ve done a makeup test on the day I got everything, because trying to sort this stuff on the day was difficult.
The list of stuff I got was:
- Contour palette
- Blusher palette
- Liquid eyeliner
- Lip gloss
- Red nail polish and base coat
I did my nails the night before, as it took two attempts to get it right. Mostly out of impatience and not letting my base coat dry beforehand, leading to a messy and bumpy coverage of the nail.
Second attempt had more patience and precision, despite being done at about 11pm at night, turning out surprisingly nice, even by my own standards.
Makeup itself came in the morning, and through the tutorials above and a few additional videos. I managed to make a very decent effort, though sadly my efforts of getting the ultimate anime eye effect was ruined by my severe inexperience with liquid eyeliner, leading me to omit it from the look.
That said, the fact my pink blush looked really nice on my cheeks more than made up for it.
Similar to the hairties, this was scuppered by a lack of time, I did want to attempt to pad out my chest using some push up bras and balled up socks to try achieve something close to Junko’s chest size.
This is an entirely optional step in terms of crossplay, personally I just want to achieve a silhouette as similar to the character as humanly possible.
The Day Itself
On the 26th October I debuted this cosplay for the first time at GeekOut Shrewsbury October, so this was a test of walking out in public dressed in the outfit, and seeing how long I could wear it before experiencing discomfort.
The most alive I’d felt in a very long time.
It’s an almost surreal feeling walking out in cosplay, as even before I’d left my building the receptionist was fairly surprised by my appearance. But as I walked along the half-busy streets of Birmingham to get to my train, I barely paid attention to if anyone was staring or saying anything.
I changed into my boots on the train, and so began almost ten hours of wearing the costume, stumbling off the train the change in pace was almost immediately apparent, fast walking was not an option.
My mind was racing as I attempted the stairs down to the ticket gate. Then suddenly…
“I love your outfit mate!”
Oh, hell yeah!
Random compliments from people are what got me through the discomfort of the elastic on my wig cap digging into my skin and the fact that (big surprise) heels really hurt when you wear them long enough.
The Final Transformation and Roadmap
From fashion-inept game dev student, to Super High School Level Fashionista!
Crossplay has always been an aspiration of mine for many years, and now that I’ve finally reached this goal, I’m ready to go even further with new characters.
That said, there’s still areas I want to work on to see Junko as “complete”, these are:
- Improving my skills with makeup (specifically eyeliner) to achieve a more anime-esque look
- Use long fake nails rather than my own nails for character accuracy
- Finish the Monokuma hairclips
- Attempt to create some illusion of a chest
- Wear socks/tights and use gel insoles in the boots (this isn’t for accuracy… this is a comfort thing)
So… finish with more pictures cause I’m an egomaniac?
Eh, it’s in character.
Thank you so much for reading about my crossplay of Junko Enoshima. It was a lot of fun to put together, and a hundred times more so actually wearing it. Got any questions about it, crossplay in general or about why my legs are so surprisingly feminine? Comment down below or get in touch on Facebook or Twitter.