“ I’ve been so swamped with Katsucon preparation,” says Ichigo Kitty as she gets ready for one of the biggest cosplay conventions of the year. She’s been entertaining convention-goers with her costumes since Jacon 2002, and she plans to delight her fans once more at National Harbor this coming weekend.

While she has been busy recently getting ready for Katsucon, there is a lot more to Ichigo Kitty than just cosplay. Aside from her hobbies, she’s also a college graduate with strong interests in education and science.

Ichigo Kitty graduated from the University of Central Florida with a degree in interdisciplinary studies with a minor in Asian studies, but that wasn’t the degree she intended to pursue when she first started school. “I was originally a bio major,” she explains. “I wasn’t very compatible with some of the teaching styles of a few of the Chemistry professors, and I had decided that I wanted to do something I’d have to go to another school to do, so I just wanted to graduate faster. To tell you the truth, there are so many things I’d like to do, I’m confused about which one I should try to focus on! I wouldn’t trade the Asian Studies for anything, though! I absolutely adored every single one of those classes! I still have a good amount of knowledge in Biological and Social sciences (which is what my focus was on), but I don’t think interdisciplinary studies is as lucrative as they lead me to believe!”

Maybe Ichigo Kitty will find herself on the path to a job working with animals. On her website she says, “for the longest time I wanted to be a vet or an orca trainer at Sea World.” Now, when asked what her dreams are, she replies, “I’d love to have a really nice house, and a ton of crazy exotic animals! I would also like to have a really fun job.”

Her cosplay nickname does hint at her love of cats (as well as of strawberries), and Ichigo Kitty does care for  two kitties. She also has a snake and a Pomeranian. “I have the cutest dog ever,” she says.

When she’s not busy taking care of her animals or getting ready for the next convention, Ichigo Kitty has been catching up on watching some anime. “I’m watching a lot. Magi, Puchimas, Maoyuu,” she says. “Magi and Puchimas are my two favorites, though.  Magi is just a really good series with endearing characters, and Puchimas is just amazing and I’m a huge idolm@ster fan.”

Ichigo Kitty also loves her video games. When she was eight year old, she started gaming on a Sega Genesis, and she still picks Sonic the Hedgehog as her favorite character ever. She also has a love of the Zelda, Disgaea, and Phoenix Wright characters, and says,  “up there on the [favorites] list are Midna, Etna and Hibiki!”

“I’m really a lot more sensitive and caring than most people realize.  I also am basically honest to a fault.”

A love of video game and anime characters is a great trait for a cosplayer, and Ichigo Kitty has made some incredible costumes over the years. While she hasn’t done a Sonic costume yet, she has done over 60 cosplays of various video game, anime, and movie characters, which can all be seen on her website.

Fans of Ichigo Kitty will be able to see a few of her costumes at Katsucon, for which she has something new, of course. She’s also looking forward to Fanime this year. “I’m excited about making all of the costumes that I have planned and started! I also look forward to seeing my friends that I don’t often get to see!”

Those friends are one of the reasons Ichigo Kitty enjoys conventions like Katsucon so much. “The people I meet, the time I spend with friends, sometimes the guests and what costumes I get to wear,” are what make conventions fun and memorable for her. “It’s mostly about the fun things I do with friends, though!”

For those who might be potential friends of this talented cosplayer, she wants people to know, “I somehow come off as being a harsh kind of person, but I’m really a lot more sensitive and caring than most people realize.  I also am basically honest to a fault.” Fans and anyone else who wants a chance to meet Ichigo Kitty and see that caring side will have a chance at Katsucon, Fanime, and other conventions this year.

Hibiki Ganaha photo by Bella Voce

Rise photo by Alexandra Caragiulo

Serah photo by Bella Voce 

Dlanor photo by LJinto

Beatrice photo by Darkain Multimedia

sources: personal interview and ichigokitty.com

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