The World Cosplay Summit also known as WCS, is an annual international cosplay event that promotes friendly international exchange through Japanese pop culture. The WCS has grown from a weekend event in 2003 and is currently held over a one-week period where the representatives visit different parts of Japan, including Akihabara, Kyoto and Sendai, in promotion of Japanese youth culture and its ability to connect internationally. WCS 2017 is going to be held from July 29-Aug 6.
India’s entry to WCS 2017 is Hotaru Juno and Gichik chichi. Hotaru Juno, whose real name is Juno Pinggam, hails from Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh and is 17 years old. She’s a student. She and her partner have been cosplaying together for the past two years.
Juno was really excited when we approached her for this interview and agreed right away. Although, in her words, anxious would be the correct word. But, who wouldn’t be. It is such a challenge after all. “We are still working on some parts of our costume. But we are mostly done. We are like we are ready yet not ready.” she says with a laugh. “It was like our childhood dream come true and still our mind is trying to process if it’s real. We are hoping we will be able to perform and live up to the expectations.” she adds.
For the competition, Juno will be cosplaying as Kurumi and her partner as Kotori. Kurumi Tokisaki and Kotori Itsuka are characters from the anime Date A Live. Juno confesses, “I always wanted to be an anime character. I found out about cosplay in 2005 and always wanted to do it.” She continues, “I later saw Alodia cosplaying characters whom I really liked and I had a moment there. I started cosplaying in 2012“. Alodia Gosiengfiao is a Filipina cosplayer, model, TV presenter, singer, and actress.
The wonderful thing about Juno is that cosplaying isn’t all she does. She makes costumes and wigs on request to sell or rent out. She explains, “I think there are a super lot of difficulties about cosplaying here in Itanagar. Getting wigs is next to impossible here. If we want to buy online it takes months. Materials like eva foam isn’t almost unavailable. I help out however I can.”
Although, this is the first time, she is going to represent India at a World Stage. This isn’t the first time she is going to be on the dais portraying her creativity. She has recently won the Miss Itanagar 2017 pageant. As a result, she is going to take part in Miss Arunachal Pradesh as well. She happily says, “It was a very fun experience. I wanted to represent the cosplay community there, so I dressed up as Kurumi and wore Yuno costume. Winning was a shock for me but I’m happy. And I was given this opportunity to be in Top 15 in coming pageant. Now I hope I will do well in Miss Arunachal and make fellow cosplayers proud.”
In the end, we ask why she chose Hotaru as her onstage name. She enlightens us, “Hotaru is the Japanese name for Firefly. I chose Hotaru because they are able to bring joy to people, even in dark.”
N.B. All the images used here belong to the cosplayer and has been taken by her permission. The Noob Knows holds no copyright over it.