Whether she's cosplaying, modeling or spinning anime song remixes behind the DJ booth, Tsunko's vitality and the diversity of her activities distinguishes her among other top cosplayers in Japan. She shows a remarkable variety in her work, not afraid to cosplay across a wide range of character types and personalities, whether male or female. We think you'll agree with us that she is a cosplayer to watch.

Interview

grape Japan (gJ): When did you start cosplaying and what inspired you to begin?

Tsunko: I think I began cosplaying four years ago at the Winter Comic Market. A good friend of mine asked me: “Why don’t you try cosplaying?” That’s how I got started.

gJ: What motivates you to cosplay?

Tsunko: I do it because I really love these moments in my life in which I can enjoy becoming my favorite characters and talking to my friends about my favorite works.

gJ: Out of all the characters you have cosplayed, is there a particularly memorable one? If so, what is it?

Tsunko: I’d have to say my Hatsune Miku, Suna no Wakusei 砂の惑星 (Sand Planet) version. The outfit, the wig, the cameraman, the location, everything about that cosplay was perfect!

With permission from © Candee, Inc. / © Tsunko

gJ: Do you make your own cosplay outfits?

Tsunko: I have made my own before, but I sent my sewing machine to my parents’ home, so recently, I haven’t been making any outfits at all.

gJ: You’re a popular cosplayer now with many fans. Was there a specific moment you can think of when your fan base began to grow?

Tsunko: Although some people have been supporting me from when I had few followers [on Twitter], more people began supporting me after I began co-organizing the regular “R2 Photo Session” event with my cosplayer friends.

With permission from © Candee, Inc. / © Tsunko

With permission from © Candee, Inc. / © Tsunko

gJ: Tsunko is a cute nickname. Where does it come from?

Tsunko: In full, it’s actually jinsei tsunda 人生詰んだ (My life is over) but since that’s not easy to say, it became Tsunko for short.

gJ: You cosplay everything from cute idol-type Vtuber characters like Mirai Akari and Kaguya Luna, sexy characters like Maiko Shiraki in Prison Days to strong-willed and sporty male characters like Taiga Kagami in Kuroko’s Basketball. There’s such variety there, but is there something that all the characters you cosplay have in common?

Tsunko: I love so many different works across all genres. When I take a liking to a character, it’s tied to that character’s specific role in that work, so it’s hard for me to think of something in common to all the characters you mentioned… I like cold and aloof characters just as much as I like cute characters. So, I cosplay the characters I take a liking to!

gJ: Is there anything you particularly pay attention to when you cosplay?

Tsunko: I do my best to create facial expressions and put on make up most suited to the character I’m cosplaying.

With permission from © Candee, Inc. / © Tsunko

gJ: Have you participated in events abroad? If not, would you like to?

Tsunko: I participated in an event called AniManGaki in Malaysia. It was my first event outside of Japan so it was very stimulating and I enjoyed it a lot. I’d like to attend all kinds of events abroad!

gJ: Do you have non-Japanese fans? If so, how do you communicate with them?

Tsunko: There’s a Taiwanese fan of mine who wrote: “Tsunko supporter” on his Twitter profile! He replies to my Tweets in shaky Japanese, so I respond to him in Japanese too!

With permission from © Candee, Inc. / © Tsunko

With permission from © Candee, Inc. / © Tsunko

gJ: Aside from cosplaying, you’re active as a DJ and staff member at anikura (anime song DJ) events. Since when have you been DJing and what inspired you to begin?

Tsunko: It all started when I was invited once to be a tequila girl at an anikura event. I remember thinking I wasn’t satisfied with just giving people tequila and I wished there was something more I could do to get the party-goers psyched! To tell the truth, before I was DJing, I started out as a VJ! (lol).

gJ: You’re a regular DJ at soundanimation. What kind of event is it?

Tsunko: It’s an anime song remix event. I often hear people say that soundanimation is this fashion-conscious event that’s hard [for otaku] to attend but it’s totally otaku!!! So, please don’t hesitate to check out the party! (lol).

gJ: So, in general, does your DJ style lean more towards anime song remixes than original anime songs?

Tsunko: For me, yes. It probably has a lot to do with the fact that I earned my chops at an [anime song] remix event, but I tend to DJ remixes a lot.

With permission from © Candee, Inc. / © Tsunko

gJ: You’re also active as a model. How do you decide on your outfits at photo session events?

Tsunko: I just wear what I personally feel like wearing! Another thing is I try to choose outfits that are shaped so that I can show off my figure the best way I can.

With permission from © Candee, Inc. / © Tsunko

With permission from © Candee, Inc. / © Tsunko

gJ: Now that you’ve joined L’érable, you’ve become even more active. Going forward, is there anything new you’d like to try your hand at?

Tsunko: Since joining L’érable, I’ve had more opportunities to do work I couldn’t have done when I was independent. Now I feel like I’m living my life as a cosplayer to the fullest and I’m enjoying every day of it. If I could have the opportunity in the future, I’d like to try my hand at producing apparel, for example!

gJ: Finally, do you have anything you’d like to say to grape Japan readers?

Tsunko: Thank you so much for reading this article! I’m going to keep up my activities from now on. If you like what I’m doing, I would be really happy if you’d support me! Please tweet with the hashtag #人生詰んだを信じろ (Believe in jinsei tsunda!)


Profile

  • Date of Birth: January 9th
  • 161 cm / 5'3"
  • Blood Type: AB
  • Hobbies: DJing

Experience

  • Senran no Samurai Kingdom: Official Cosplayer
  • Minato Software: Event promotional model
  • Nora to Kojo no Noraneko Heart: Cosplayer promotional model

SNS

With permission from © Candee, Inc. / © Tsunko


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By - Ben K.