To start with please tell the readers a little about your background.
My name is Zoe Brown. I’m from Sunderland in the North East of England. I was born on April 30th 1997 which currently makes me 16. I’ve just started college in Sunderland and I hope to follow it with university in Edinburgh.
How long have you been cosplaying? Which costume was your first?
Well. Actually putting the costume on and cosplaying? A year literally just gone on the 17th September. I started making in June/July last year so yeah. A year so far! My first cosplay was Yuuki Cross from Vampire Knight. Although I was her vampire self so I was technically Yuuki Kuran.
Who’s your favourite character to cosplay?
It’s got to be Fran from FFXII. She’s such a distinctive looking character and totally badass, even though it’s one of the least well known games in the series. Not many people cosplay her either; the costume itself is very tricky to make and because it’s quite revealing you do need a certain amount of confidence to wear it in the first place. But it’s also the one I’m most proud of, since I put a lot of effort into making her look accurate.
Do you make your own costumes?
Yeah I do! I’ve always been a creative do it yourself person so if I could ever make anything cheaper and/or better than I could buy it then I would make it.
Is there anybody you would like to cosplay that you haven’t or can’t?
Well. Yeah there are loads I haven’t gotten round to. I really want to cosplay Princess Serentiy from Sailor Moon but she is planned for SunnyCon3. A cosplay I want to do but maybe can’t is Sailor Neptune. I could cosplay her easily but what I want to do with her is what’s stopping me. In the series when Neptune and Uranus get their intro, Neptune plays a certain piece of music on the violin. I have a violin and I want to learn it but I’m hopeless with instruments and I know I won’t get it right. I don’t want to cosplay as her until I learn it because I want to enter a skit competition playing it and I guess secretly the music is the main reason I want to cosplay her!
Have any of your cosplays ever gone wrong?
Yes and no. On the whole the costume’s go fine but it’s the little things. Those little things have it in for me. Like buttons falling off and things moving out of place. A really good example of this for me was my last big convention. It was the second day of SunnyCon 2 and I was making the most of my time there. The day before we were introduced to an author doing a book signing and she let it slip that she loved Sailor Moon. I was cosplaying Sailor Venus the next day so I went back to see her and get her book. We get there and we buy her book and me and a friend entertain them with our bickery shenanigans of hunting for my purse. Anyway. She spots my costume and is like.. ‘ Oh my god! It’s a Sailor Venus. Can I take a picture with you?’. In my mind I’m like ‘omg. Isn’t it meant to be me asking. This is amazing’ kind of fangirl thoughts. So I say yeah and we get the picture. She gets her husband to take it on her phone so I’m like. Damn. I don’t even get to see it. I get home and get it off her a few days later on twitter but that’s when I discovered that my Sailor collar thing on the costume had come apart and basically ruined my photo with ace word unicorn Marissa Meyer. Which, by the way, I discovered on getting home that her book was amazing and you should check it out, it’s called Cinder. So that’s my worst malfunction I guess.
Have you been to many conventions?
Not really no. I went to my first convention in 2012. It was SunnyCon, I mention this con a lot because it’s in my city. I wasn’t into anime then at all. I was at a sushi bar at the metro centre where I spotted Ash Ketchum on a leaflet as my mam was paying for our food. I picked it up and saw it was for a convention. I nearly put it back down but then took it home cause I knew my friend liked anime. I talked to her about it and we went. It was a new experience for me and it was then that I discovered cosplay. Some of the costumes were amazing and I thought to myself ‘I can do that’ and it’s just what I did. Next year I was at their second con, since then I brushed up on my anime knowledge and here I am. Since the first con I’ve been to about three conventions. I’m sad to say I’m missing one which is happening today because I had to go out with family, next time baby!
What video cosplays have you done?
Right. I’ve done 2-3 video games ones. My first wasn’t really a cosplay. I had a Pikachu hoodie on and yellow jeans. The tail and ears on the hood were 3D so I’m going to say that counts! My second was Trainer White for Cherricon. It was a bit more casual cause I didn’t have the hat or the bag and the third is one I have just made in the past week. Coco Bandicoot from Crash Bandicoot, it was the one I planned wearing today. I styled the wig and everything. It was hard but worth it in the end although now I don’t have a Sailor Venus wig anymore.
How long have you been into games? What’s your first gaming memory?
I’ve been into games since I was about 4 or 5. I spent a lot of time around my cousins who are all boys and who all play games. My earliest memory of watching someone play a game was when I was about 4 I think. We were visiting our family in London and my older cousin Adam was playing Crash Bandicoot: Wrath Of Cortex. I remember watching him play the level when Crash got to go in the mine cart. My earliest memory of playing a game was when I was about 5-6 and I was playing the Orient Express level on Crash Bandicoot 3 Warped. It’s still my favourite game level to this day.
Do you play many “retro” games?
Yeah. I play a lot of Crash Bandicoot still. I love it. It’s what I grew up playing. My favourite two from the series are Crash Bash and Crash Bandicoot 3 Warped. I also LOVE Super Mario Bros from 1985, that game is amazing. I have it from the ambassadors program on my 3DS and it’s the best game I have on there. As for retro games in general I don’t think it counts quite yet but I’m in a deep and very meaningful relationship with my PS2.
What’s the most frustrating game you’ve played that’s had you stuck for hours?
I have a few of these too. Infact I have LOADS of these. Getting the time crystal on Oriental express on Crash Bandicoot Warped. Damn that took me till I was 14 cause I didn’t know you could run on that level. Then there is the boss N GIN with Coco and the plane. Don’t ever make me do that again. Oh and the final boss, I’m still trying. Next we move to Pokemon Sapphire now if any of you have ever played the Hoenn region you know as well as I do how difficult Liza and Tate are. They’re a horror and impossible to defeat so I got stuck there for like a month. There are more I was going to say but I’ve had a total mind blank.
Do you like playing online or just play for the story?
Depends on the game. Online play is great, it’s usually a bonus for me though. Only games I have ever bought for online play are the call of duty games. I have 2 and I first attempted the story after about a year of already having the game, I don’t even like war games. I just love how the call of duty online works but overall online is mostly a bonus for me.
What game are you most excited about coming out in the near future?
Coming out? Well I would have said Animal Crossing New Leaf, then I remembered it was already out and I had been waiting for it to come out since E3 when the 3DS was announced. I’m most excited about Pokemon X and Y for sure. I don’t like to keep up with all the latest news about the games until they’re actually released so I can play the game blind without any knowledge. It’s when you truly get to discover and learn for yourself!
Thankyou for taking the time to answer our questions, is there anything else you’d like to say to our readers before we finish?
Sure why not. If you’re reading this and thinking about cosplaying but you aren’t sure because of what people think. Do it. I’ve never had a bad thing said to me about it by anyone one. If you’re sitting there and thinking ‘I want to have a go at making a cosplay but don’t know how to start’. Again, just do it. Sewing isn’t hard, I taught myself to use a sewing machine and if you don’t have one you can stitch by hand. Just practise before you start on your actual costume so you don’t make a mistake and ruin it. Also you don’t have to make it completely from scratch, find clothing that’s close to what you want and alter it. Be proud. Enjoy cosplay.