Cosplay Family Spotlight: Chihiro and Chieko

Reading Time: 4 minutes
Funko POP Captain Phasma and Kylo Ren. Photos by ConWoman Photography and York In a Box.

Cosplay is becoming more and more popular around the world and at conventions. I’ve personally found a lot of joy and personal confidence doing cosplay at conventions, and the number one reason I started was as an activity with my son. After seeing a great panel about Cosplay Families at Rose City Comic Con a couple of weeks ago, I thought it would be a great opportunity to talk to parents and families who cosplay and spotlight them here on GeekDad!

Cosplay Family Spotlight is a new recurring segment where I interview and spotlight a cosplay family. This week, I interview Chihiro and Chieko.

Interested in participating? Leave a comment here or reach out to me on twitter @billythebrick.

GeekDad:
How many members of your family are involved in cosplay?
Chihiro and Chieko:
Yo Gabba Gabba and Minions. Photos by Bey Chua Photography.

It’s usually my twin daughters, Chihiro and Chieko, but sometimes me (Bey Chua–dad) and my wife (Ging–mom) join our daughters.

GeekDad:
How did you and your family get into cosplay and prop/armor making? Did one particular member start it or did you all jump in together? What was your first cosplay?
Chihiro and Chieko:
Queen Else and Princess Anna. Photo by Bey Chua Photography.

Me and my wife started making costumes back in 2005. We made a Halloween costume that looked like I was being carried by a zombie. Then when we had the twins in 2007, we started making costumes for the whole family, and we would all be dressed up in theme every Halloween. In 2014, my mother-in-law, my wife, and I made Queen Elsa and Anna costumes for WonderCon 2014. A lot of people took pictures of our daughters dressed in their Frozen cosplay, and that made us inspired to attend more comic conventions and dress them up.

GeekDad:
Do you have a favorite cosplay of yours? A favorite group cosplay you’ve done as a family?
Chihiro and Chieko:
Weeping Angels. Photo by Bey Chua Photography.

My daughters like all their costumes. But if you ask us which costumes are they known for, it’s the Weeping Angels from Doctor Who.

GeekDad:
Speaking of group cosplay, do you always try to cosplay together? Or do you all do your own thing?
Chihiro and Chieko:
Gogo Tomago and Honey Lemon. Photo by Bey Chua Photography.

We used to dress altogether on Halloween before. Now it’s just them as it is hard to go to conventions carrying a lot of stuff like their other costume props and some of my camera gear.

GeekDad:
Do you have a favorite piece that challenged you?
Chihiro and Chieko:
Voltes V and Mazinger Z. Photo by Bey Chua Photography.

The most challenging costume we did was the classic anime robots Mazinger Z and Voltes V. It was our first time making a full robot costume. We did a bad job connecting all the parts. We were walking around the convention (WonderCon 2016) and the arms and leg parts were falling off. We learned that if you are going to wear full armor costume, you really need to strap everything as gravity will surely pull everything down.

GeekDad:
What’s your favorite “medium” to work in (sewing, EVA foam, resin casting, etc.)?
Chihiro and Chieko:
Kubo’s Aunts. Photo by Bey Chua Photography.

We use a lot of EVA foam.

GeekDad:
Most of our readers are parents and, like me, want to share their geeky interests with their kids. I’ve been doing father and son cosplay with my son since he was born. Do you have any suggestions on how parents can get their kids interested and involved with cosplay and fabrication?
Chihiro and Chieko:
Ahsoka Tanos. Photo by Bey Chua Photography.

Have them wear something that they like. A character from a TV/movie/comic that they like. If they dress their kid with a character that they don’t really like, they’re not going to enjoy wearing their costumes. I guess we are just lucky that our daughters enjoy wearing costumes and going to conventions. We all have the same interests. I suggest that if their kid sees another cosplay kid, maybe have them play with each other and be friends with each other. My daughters always look forward to going to conventions to meet their fellow kid cosplayers. They enjoy seeing their friends.

GeekDad:
Something along the lines of “Being a geek isn’t about what you love but how you love it,” is sort of the new geek mantra. Do you have anything, besides cosplay, that you consider yourself a geek about?
Chihiro and Chieko:
Mystiques. Photo by Bey Chua Photography.

My daughters love reading and love to draw.

GeekDad:
What upcoming conventions do you have on your schedule that people could see you at?
Chihiro and Chieko:
Female Titans. Photo by Bey Chua Photography.

Gallifrey One 2017 and WonderCon 2017 are for sure. We’re still not sure what other conventions we’re going to go to.

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