KAORI delves deeper into the issue of hijab cosplay, which is often performed by muslim fans of anime in recently. This part features an interview with one of the hijab cosplayer.

Part 1: Hijab Cosplay: the Emergence of a Trend

Part 2: Interview with the Hijab Cosplayer: Cosplay is for Everyone

To understand more about the new cosplay trend, hijab cosplay (see part one for the introduction about the trend), KAORI Newsline team interviewed one of the hijab cosplayer nicknamed Matsurikara. The following is our interview with the cosplayer whose real name is Deanty M. Muchtiarsyah and had just graduated from high school when this interview was conducted in 2014.

You have produced a lot of photos in cosplay while using hijab. Since when have you been into hijab cosplay?

For hijab cosplay, it has been a long time, actually. I had my first hijab cosplay around 2012.

Where did you get the inspiration to do it?

I got my inspiration when I saw some fanart of the Vocaloid character Hatsune Miku using hijab. I received this fanart from a friend who showed me the picture on their cellphone. And immediately, I become hooked to the idea.

Atau that time, I’ve already become interested in cosplay, but since I’m using hijab, it was a little difficult to actually do some cosplay. But thanks to the friend who gave me the fanart of Miku using hijab, I became interested in doing cosplay while using hijab. And they also persuaded me to try cosplaying hijab miku.

Atau that time when you decided to pick up hijab cosplay, had you ever seen other people doing hijab cosplay too?

To be honest I had never seen any hijab cosplayer back at the time when I first interested in hijab cosplay. They were virtually nonexistent back then. So, my decision was motivated by the encouragement of a friend who shown me that fanart of hijab Miku.

Can you be considered a pioneer of the hijab cosplay style?

I don’t really know about that. Maybe it’s more of a coincidence. It’s not like I was the only one who cosplay while using hijab.

How did you become interested in cosplay?

For cosplay itself, I’ve had the desire to try cosplay since long ago, as it looked interesting to cosplay. I like to go to Japan-themed events and saw some cosplay there. I also knew some cosplayer from magazines like Animonster.

You are  a best known for the “Hijab Miku”, but what other characters have you ever tried to cosplay?

Off the top of my head I recall to have cosplayed as Yuzuki Yukari, Snow Miku, Kagamine Rin, and the Minions from Despicable Me. You can check more detailed list on my World Cosplay page .

You mentioned that you became interested in cosplay because you went to many Japanese cultural events. What was the first event that you attended with hijab cosplay?

My first hijab cosplay was at the Hobbyfest 2012, if I’m not mistaken. The event is organized by KHCI (Indonesian Harajuku and Cosplay Community).

And there you first cosplay as hijab Miku?

Yes, wander around the area with cosplay of Hatsune Miku using hijab.

How was the reaction of other visitors when they see your cosplay?

Surprisingly, at that time, there were many people who wanted​ to take photos together, and the reaction from the people who saw me were good and very welcoming. And as time goes, there are more people who welcomed it.

Did you take part in a competition at Hobbyfest?

No, I wasn’t taking part of any competition.

How was the reaction of people closest to you, like friends at school or your family, when they know about your cosplay hobby.

My friends, especially at school, were quite supporting and appreciative. But in family, they are not really supporting this because they said this hobby would affect my grades in school. And since now I’m entering college, they advise me to focus on my college first.

Actually, there are many people who cosplay using hijab now. Are there any community for these hijab cosplayer?

There aren’t any community yet, but there are a few friends who make a facebook group for people who like cosplay and hijab character fanart. This group is named Hijab Cosplay Gallery and accepts from worldwide. There is also the fan page with the same name.

Who is the founder of the Hijab Cosplay Gallery group?

The group is founded by friends from Indonesia.

You have said before that other than hijab cosplay, there are also fanart of hijab characters. Are they made by the group members?

Yes, other than the hijab cosplayers, there are also illustrators among the members who draw fanart of hijab character.

With the growth of hijab cosplay, are there any specific competition for hijab cosplay?

I don’t think there are any until now. I had just taken part in a dance cover competition for the first time myself.

How do you respond to the pro and contra in the reaction to hijab cosplay?

It’s just something usual. Each person can have their own opinions and preferences. But the reaction about hijab cosplay does not come only from Indonesians, but also from foreigners.

I really appreciate for the person who welcome this in a good way. If there are negative comments or reaction, it’s not not a big deal, since on the other hand, there are a many friends​ who support me on hijab cosplay.

Cosplay is for everyone, regardless of race,  age, and so on. Cosplay does not belong only to any one person, so anyone can do it.

What is hijab cosplay itself for you?

Hijab cosplay is just a hobby, just like other cosplay, but with some differences of.

Recently, you cosplayed as Ayano from Mekakucity Actors, but without using hijab like you usually do. Were you trying a different experience?

Not really. I actually chose Ayano since her are already less exposed, especially since her neck is covered with a scarf. So I considered to go with normal cosplay for this character.

What is your future plan? Are you going to make new cosplay costumes?

I’ve been interested to cosplay as Hatsune Miku again, more precisely as the Senbonzakura version. The plan is to make the hijab cosplay for this character later. But since I need to adjust ti my new college life, maybe it will come later in the future. If I have the free time, then I will try to cosplay again.

Finally, do you have any message for fellow cosplayers and cosplay fans? Especially about hijab cosplay itself?

Don’t give up easily just because there is someone mocking you because of your cosplay. Instead you have to work hard to surpass them. Take every criticism as advice for you, so you can learn your mistake, but don’t take them seriously.

And if there is someone who praise you, don’t become arrogant. Remember, just because cosplay is for everyone, it does not mean it can be done carelessly. Always do your best.

Read more

Muslim Otaku Community Bridges Their Faith and Hobby

I am an Otaku and also a Devout Muslim

The Indonesian Anime Times | Translated by Dellamarsto Bagus

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