Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Cosplay Interview: AmericanNia

Who says nothing cool comes out of Sunny Philadephia? Not us as we have a great cosplayer that comes from just that place. I had the pleasure of being contacted by Brenda who wanted to know I would feature her. Well, we never say no to the lovely ladies of cosplay - who could?

She happened to have come across our Cosplay Friday of Anti-Spiral Nia and also happened to cosplayed her as well (not sure how I missed her). We exchanged emails and she was kind enough to do an interview with us. She may be just starting out, but has some wonderful cosplays already done.

Well, enough of my banter as I am sure you would rather get on the interview.

What is your name, where do you reside and what is your age?

My name is Brenda; the two usernames I use most often are Japanimeclarinetist and AmericanNia.

I came up Japanimeclarinetist because I love Japan, anime and play the clarinet. I also came up with AmericanNia because I am a proud American and my favorite character is Nia.

The letters “NIA” also happen to be the last three letters of the two states I have lived in. I currently live in Pennsylvania in a Philadelphia suburb and I'm 19 years old.

What first started you on the road to cosplay?

Well, I think going to my first anime convention and seeing Bleach started me on the road to cosplay.

The first convention I ever went to was a really tiny one at the college I now attend and when I saw Soi Fon in Bleach I knew I wanted to dress up as her. Unfortunately though that costume still remains unfinished but I did finish my Diva costume for my cosplay sweet 16. I loved Diva from Blood+ and after dressing up as her I couldn't get enough of it. That's when I started to go to more conventions and make more costumes and after I was Nia at Katsucon last year I became hooked.

What characters have you cosplayed and why?

I've cosplayed:

-Diva from Blood+. I love her as a character and rooted for her the entire series, especially when Saya went all emo. I really want to do more Diva cosplays and maybe some Saya ones because they have the same face and Saya has pretty dresses, and I figure since they have the same face and my face isn’t going to change why not do both?

-Orihime Inoue from Bleach. I just think she's so adorable and sweet and innocent. She's a little weird but so am I and I love her crush on Ichigo.

-Nia Teppelin from Gurren Lagann. I love Nia; she's probably my most favorite character of all time. I have a really soft spot for the sweet, innocent princess type characters. Even when she became an Anti-Spiral she broke my heart but I loved her anyway.

-Anti-Spiral Nia. Like I said, I love Nia. I hope on cosplaying every version of her someday!

-Saki Morimi from Eden of the East. My friend wanted to do a group cosplay with me and I wore it to Washington D.C. during the cherry blossom festival but his Akira wasn't finished yet. Then at Otakon I didn't wear it because it was way too hot!

-Kisara Nanjo from History's Strongest Disciple Kenichi. I love Kisara. I think I've said that about every character I've cosplayed but I do, I really do! I think Kisara is awesome, I love her motivation, her reason for fighting and that she is a cat lover. It also helps that she has green eyes because I do too. Also my brother was supposed to be Odin so we were going to do a group cosplay together.

-Maria Wong from Descendants of Darkness. I found a dress that I thought was perfect for her and put some flowers in my hair and dressed up as her. Then I decided I want to redo the dress so it's more accurate and I'll be doing a group cosplay for it at Katsucon this coming February. I’m excited because my brother will be Doctor Muraki and it will be the first time we cosplay together.

I also recently finished a Moka Akashiya cosplay that I haven't debuted and am working on Zelda from The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword.

What one character you have been dying to do, but not had the chance and why?

I have been dying to be Kallen from Code Geass, or Euphemia, Cornelia and C.C.

When I watched Code Geass I was in love with it. My brother and I were obsessed and admired the women in it! Some anime really downplay what a woman can do but in Code Geass they are strong and independent and above all else determined. They're really good role models, I mean, except that Kallen was a terrorist but the terrorists were the good guys anyway. I'd love to be all of them one day. I have so many planned cosplays; I'm set for the next few years.

I have been trying to figure this out for the Anti Spiral Nia Cosplays. How was the red lines done on the suit and the blue for the wig?

Well for my Anti Spiral Nia cosplay I asked my friend Sarah to paint the lines.

I watched every episode with her in it and took a million reference pictures. I'm not as skinny as Nia so when my friend painted on the lines she made it proportional to my body so it wouldn't look weird. You would not believe how many people think I'm from Tron!

I now have two Nia wigs so the answer for how the blue was put in is a little different for each. For my first wig I bought a wig that was blonde but already had the blue in it because it was made for Nia cosplays, but I killed that wig. Then I invested in a new Nia wig and I made it myself following WindoftheStars tutorial. You start out with a light blonde wig and cut up the blue wig and sew the first blue wefts in, and then glue some in and then sew the blue in for the bangs. I mean if you want to do it yourself it’s not that simple, you’d have to follow her tutorial but she makes it really easy. And I’m really happy with my result.

When not cosplaying, what do you do?

Normally I'd like to say hang out with my friends but really this last semester I was doing nothing but school work, working at my job, actually for a while I was working two jobs, and working on cosplays. I also spend a lot of time planning out which conventions I’m going to and what cosplays I’m making.

For any aspiring cosplayers a little shy, what words of wisdom do you have for them to get started?

I'd say don't care what anyone else thinks.

If you want to go for it then go for it! I get criticized for still liking anime and some of my relatives don't approve of the cosplaying. I also occasionally get criticized for my size but you can't listen to all that!

If you like it and are having fun and making friends then what everyone else says doesn't matter! But be warned, between getting wigs, and registering for conventions, paying for hotels and the actual costumes it is a pretty expensive hobby. Get a job before you start so you can pay for what you want to do. I try to make my cosplays so that helps keep costs down.

And I'm lucky because my mom is an awesome seamstress and is helping me get better at sewing. Also if you’re as shy as I can be you need to work on being more outgoing because that is the best way to make friends. If you like someone’s cosplay, compliment them! They’ll appreciate that you like the hard work they put into it. You never know who your next friend is going to be.

Where can we catch more of your Cosplay at?

I have so many websites because I really want to get my work out there. I have a account, ACParadise, deviantArt, Tumblr, Facebook and Flickr. I also have a profile on that new World Cosplay site.

Our Photographers: Adorkable Photography | katsuya

Some Additional Cosplay Photographs

I want to thank AmericanNia for taking the time to write to me and to the Photographers for the great photos that you get to see here today.

Want to be my next interviewed COSPLAY STAR? Drop me a line a bluedrakon (at) gmail (dot) com!


  1. Nice cosplay... I always like the outdoor scenery and in western countries whereby it's vast and so nature.

    1. I like it as well when I can post cosplay shots outside. I think it definitely adds to the photos.


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