Interview with RainerTachibana

It’s time for another interview, this time with RainerTachibana! She’s a talented cosplayer from Singapore, who has an awesome costume collection!

RainerTachibana out of costume, photo by Windy

What’s your cosplay alias and why did you choose it?
The username I chose for my Deviantart account is RainerTachibana, or just Rainer for short. I understand that Rainer is a German name, but when I typed the ‘Rainer’ in my name, I simply meant it as ‘Rain’ with an -er suffix, and Tachibana was a Japanese name that sounded cool to me at the time; there’s really no deeper meaning to it. In retrospect, I wish I’d put in a bit more thought to choosing my alias, but it’s a little too late for that now, I suppose!

How many years have you been cosplayin g and what got you started?
My first cosplay was at Cosfest in 2006, an annual cosplay event in Singapore. I was an avid watcher of anime back then, and I played a lot of games (still do), so naturally I was fascinated by the idea of cosplay. I wasn’t initially keen on trying the hobby myself till I saw cosplayers at an event in real life for the first time in 2005, and that kind of convinced me to give it a shot, just for fun. My interest grew from there.

RainerTachibana as Lightning from Final Fantasy XIII-2, photo by Shiro Ang

What has been some of your favorite things to work with when constructing costumes and why?
I think the material most commonly used in many of my costumes is craft foam. A quick search online will yield many awesome tutorials for craft foam armor or props, if anyone’s interested. I use it for almost everything that isn’t fabric – armor, props, and embellishments. It can be layered and then shaped by heat to almost any form, which is great for armor pieces, and it flexes, bends, and folds but doesn’t break. It’s probably one of the most versatile materials around. It’s also pretty cheap, so I just buy packets of the stuff (or rolls, for larger sheets) to use as and when.

I also love making accessories and little knick-knacks to go with costumes, like hair ornaments and pendants, for example. I enjoy beading and working with gems and little metallic details. Pearls are a personal favorite, so any accessory that has pearls in it will be tackled with much enthusiasm.

What are you excited to be working with in the future and why?
Right now I’m not thinking of trying anything new. It’s back to basics for now. I’ve started making the majority of my costumes on my own, so I really want to make sure I’m producing work of good enough quality before moving on to trickier things.

What are some of the traits you like to see in other costumes and who do you think does well in them?
Since I’m focusing on costume quality at the moment, I’ve been looking at outfits with unique fabric choices, intricate detailing and good tailoring. I’m a sucker for detailed costumes, really. Yaya Han (http://yayacosplay.deviantart.com), and Lillyxandra (http://lillyxandra.deviantart.com) from dA are my current inspirations; I’m learning so much just by looking at their photographs! I’d really love to follow their example.

RainerTachibana as Asuka from Tekken 6, photo by Ashley Xavier Yap

What is your view of the “cosplay scene”?
I honestly haven’t been very sociable in recent years and I don’t know most of the new faces in the community, so it’s quite difficult for me to talk about how the scene is right now – I simply wouldn’t be able to find anything to say! (I’m sorry, LOL!)

What are some of the things you want to see change in the scene?
I honestly haven’t been very sociable in recent years and I don’t know most of the new faces in the community, so it’s quite difficult for me to talk about how the scene is right now – I simply wouldn’t be able to find anything to say! (I’m sorry, LOL!)

What is some advice you could give people starting to get into cosplay?
I think it’s very important to understand that while cosplay is an enjoyable and potentially addictive hobby, it’s just that – a hobby. It shouldn’t eat too much into one’s life and monopolize one’s finances. I cannot stress enough the need to budget, and this is especially so for the younger cosplayers who aren’t yet earning their keep. Set a reasonable budget and, no matter what, keep to it. Cut costs by making whatever you can yourself, and if you don’t have the skills, pick some up.

I’ve also heard that some actually skip meals just to save money for cosplay. Please refrain from doing this, it’s extremely worrying.

What are some of your favorite conventions you’ve attended and why?
Cosfest, an annual event held in Downtown East, Singapore, is a favorite. It’s arguably the most popular convention here, being one of the very few Cosplay-centric events in the country, and almost every cosplayer attends, in costume or otherwise. It’s a two-day event, so the common practice is to book chalets and stay at the event area overnight with friends. Hanging out after event hours is a blast, and a welcome break from work and life, even if just for a weekend.

Give a random fact about one of y our costumes that you’re proud of!
The lit cigarettes I used in my Osaki Nana cosplay aren’t actually cigarettes, but no one noticed. Just something random that I thought was pretty funny!

RainerTachibana as Nana from NANA, photo by Shiro Ang

Thanks for the interview, RainerTachibana! You can see more of her work on her Deviantart and her blog!

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About Yunie

I am a cosplayer, a nerd, a geek. I am whatever you call me. However, I have a brain and tend to use it.
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