It’s time for another interview, this time with Hideyo Mochimo! They’re a cosplayer from Colorado, who wants everyone to have fun and accept one another!
What’s your cosplay alias and why did you choose it?
So, I go by the cosplay name Hideyo Mochimo. I chose it because I was really inspired by the character Hideyoshi in Baka and Test. Half the point of the character is that they couldn’t tell Hideyoshi’s gender, and that really resonated with me, as someone who is transgender. I like to appear androgynous, and considering I cosplay a lot of females, people get confused as to how I identified. So, I shortened that to Hideyo. Mochimo is a word I literally made up, simply to rhyme, and it has to do with the fact that I really love the food mochi.
How many years have you been cosplaying and what got you started?
I have been cosplaying since 2006. What got me started was my friend Tom in high school invited me to the local anime convention, Nan Desu Kan. He told me that I would stand out if I didn’t dress up, so I threw together a quick Kiba Inuzuka from Naruto out of stuff I found at Good Will. Back then I didn’t even use wigs, just always used my real hair. I had such an amazing time at the convention that it just inspired me to keep going, and I’ve been doing it ever since!
What has been some of your favorite things to work with when constructing costumes and why?
Oof, difficult question. If I’m being completely honest, I don’t like the construction part, haha! I like feeling proud of having a final product and getting to wear it, but the construction can drag on, and I hardcore procrastinate. I am always fascinated by the different fabric styles though. Even just getting swatches to match colors, it’s cool to see just how much there is, and sit there and think, how did people discover this, or take the time to make something this beautiful? I love that.
What are you excited to be working with in the future and why?
Well, here’s the secret scoop. One of my future cosplays (that I keep putting off out of intimidation) is Belle’s gold ball gown. I’ve had the fabric for….probably five years? I’m a Disney Cast Member, and they were selling some yards of fabric from their old princess dresses due to the update, so I got this beautiful rose printed fabric for Belle’s corset that was actually used in the parks. I’m terrified to touch it and ruin it so it’s been sitting in my closet, but I’m really excited to have a piece of the genuine Disney parks used in my future ball gown.
What are some of the traits you like to see in other costumes and who do you think does well in them?
I really love and admire armor work, because that’s something that I personally don’t think I could ever pull off. I’ve wanted to try it, but it intimidates me, so props to everyone that can do it! Allison Jeffrey Cosplay and Ronin’s Art and Armor are two cosplayers that really stand out to me as far as armor work goes. There are a lot of techniques from lots of different cosplayers that I wish that I could achieve. Wig work is something else I absolutely struggle with. J’adore Cosplay has stunning wig work and I hope I can get to her level at some point.
What is your view of the “cosplay scene”?
BIG OOF. I have a lot of opinions on this, but I’ve also changed my opinions a little bit over the past two years. Really, every scene is different. I personally am not a fan of the Colorado cosplay scene, and so I started going to out of state conventions, and it has been a world of difference for me. It has made me love cosplay again and remember why I got into the hobby in the first place. In my opinion, the cosplay scene is supposed to be a safe place where people can gather because they have always been the social outcasts. We’re the nerds of the world, you know? And yes, nerd culture is becoming more “mainstream” or whatever, but cosplayers still get harassed and made fun of for being who they are. Unfortunately, I have had many an experience where this is not the case, and the cosplay scene does not feel like a safe environment. It’s why I started traveling. And every other cosplay scene I’ve entered into is so nice and so welcoming… but I’m also not from that state, so I just don’t know the drama, and I’m sure that makes a world of difference.
What are some of the things you want to see change in the scene?
Elitism is my biggest thing, honestly. The whole point of cosplay is supposed to be that all cosplayers are beautiful and equal. That is still one thing I’ve noticed, no matter what state I get into. There are always going to be the “celebrity” cosplayers that get so much attention which has always felt ridiculous to me because we are all just nerds in costume, and skill level shouldn’t matter because at least we are putting ourselves out there and doing it. This is something huge I notice with photographers especially. I understand that it’s their equipment that they’re paying for so they can choose their subject, but I won’t lie that it is hurtful when there’s a photographer set up at a con and they’re grabbing like, person a and b and c, and then maybe like, you and your friends walk past and not once get asked for a photo. That shit is hurtful. I hate that there’s this “tier” of like, who is better in cosplay and whatnot because it just shouldn’t be that way. I think everyone should have equal opportunity, especially in a community where most of these people weren’t given opportunities because, again, social outcasts.
What is some advice you could give people starting to get into cosplay?
Just do it. Don’t let your dreams be dreams! Ha, but really, aside from Shia Lebouf, I mean that. I think it’s also just important that there are no limitations. Nothing is impossible. If you want to be a Disney princess but think you can’t because of your weight? Just do it! If you want to cosplay a certain character but are worried because they don’t look like you? Just do it! Be whoever you want to be. It’s like when we were a kid, and we wouldn’t judge our imaginations or provide them with limitations. Just take what you want to do and run with it.
What are some of your favorite conventions you’ve attended and why?
SakuraCon is the best convention I have attended so far. Oh my gosh. Not only is it right in Downtown Seattle so it’s within walking distance of amazing places like Pike’s Place Market, but it’s just…gorgeous? I go for photoshoots a lot, and the photoshoot locations at this hotel were the best I’ve ever seen. I also honestly really liked Anime Fargo. It’s incredibly small, like, incredibly, but it was one of the kindest and most accepting communities I have ever been a part of. Plus, at night they do this really cool like, adult trick-or-treating thing where you go from hotel room to hotel room and get free alcohol. If partying is your thing, can’t complain. ALSO! Anime Weekend Atlanta. Gorgeous location, great community, the panels I was able to attend were fabulous and they had this really awesome swat meet. I’ve been so so many, but these are some of my faves.
Give a random fact about one of your costumes that you’re proud of!
Oh geezus. Ummmm. I’m going to go with Rapunzel because that was before pattern use, since patterns weren’t exactly my thing. That entire cosplay was made from scratch, with my own pattern being created in order to do it, which I think it pretty cool!
Thanks for the interview, Hideyo Mochimo! You can check out their Facebook here!