photo by Mike Rollerson

While most cosplayers are looking forward to making new costumes and attending conventions this year, cosplayer Yirico is excited about some other upcoming events. While cosplay may be one of her passions, right now she’s says she’s really looking forward to “typical high school things like Prom and Graduation.”

Yirico just celebrated her eighteenth birthday last week, and it might be hard to believe that she’s already accomplished so much as a cosplayer before graduating from high school. She’s been featured numerous times for some amazing cosplays, including her female Loki, Silent Hill nurse, and Succubus Catherine.

In addition to her cosplay achievements, Yirico is busy working on building her acting resume. “I’ve acted in several musicals and a few PSA’s and appeared on the news for an animal foundation that I work for,” she says. She’s also currently involved with her school’s musical.

Acting isn’t just a hobby for Yirico; she wants to pursue it as a career. After high school she’ll be attending a community college close to her home in Los Angeles so she can keep working part time and working towards her goals. When asked about her dreams was for the next five to ten years, Yirico smiles and says, “hopefully winning an Oscar.”

“once I got there I realized that it was where I belonged”

While acting and cosplay are her bigger passions, Yirico’s artistic nature has led her to venture into other creative realms. Her DeviantArt page displays some of her drawings and writing, but these are creations she worked on when she was younger. “Oh man, those were done years ago!” she says.  “I just kinda draw or write when I’m bored. I mainly draw for when I need to design for a cosplay, though.”

photo by John Lynn/SNTP

Yirico got her start in cosplay in 2008, when she attended Anime Expo. “I went with my mom,” she laughs, remembering her cosplays as Mello from Death Note and Freya from Chobits. “Let me just say, I’m so glad my cosplaying improved since then!”

Yirico remembers that first convention fondly, and why she kept wanting to cosplay after attending Anime Expo. “The first time I ever went I was really nervous and really didn’t know what to expect, but once I got there I realized that it was where I belonged (which sounds totally cheesy but it’s so true,)” she says. “I saw all the cosplayers and their talent and I just really wanted to try my best to improve my own costumes to be more like them! I still go to Anime Expo and see the talent on display there and try my best to improve every year.”

One of the best ways for a young cosplayer like Yirico to improve is to seek out advice from other cosplayers, and that is one the things she loves best about the cosplay community. “I love how open and friendly most of the people are! I can almost always find help for my costumes online or from friends,” she says. “I have made so many friends through cosplaying because of how wonderful the people I meet are.”

photo by John Lynn/SNTP

Of the many wonderful people she’s met since beginning her cosplay adventures, Yirico picks Ahza~Miracle as her cosplay idol. “Her sewing skills are insane and her painting is breathtaking… I have never loved someone’s cosplays so much… She is one of the sweetest people I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet and become friends with and I can’t wait to cosplay with her someday. I think I’ll cry when they’re done.”

As Yirico makes new friends and improves the quality of her cosplays, she continues to get more attention in the cosplay community, and recently she was noticed by the anime service provider Crunchyroll. In the latest round of Ambassador selections, Yirico was selected for her cosplaying talents, as well as her passion for anime.

Anime is a big hobby for Yirico, and she watches a lot of it. She’s working her way through a few series now, and says, “I am currently watching Amnesia, Maoyu, Ookami, Chuunibiyou, and Vividred Operation!” On her wish list to start next are Pyscho Pass and Hakkenden, and Yirico recommends them all. For those new to anime, she says, “I’d probably suggest all my favorite animes like Neon Genesis Evangelion, Inuyasha, Star Driver, Kuroshitsuji, Death Note, Gurren Lagann, and K Project.” Yirico urges viewers stick with K Project until at least the fifth episode, as the wait is more than worth any struggle to get through the opening episodes.

photo by Jono Wai

As Yirico has worked her way through numerous anime series over the last few years, as well as playing her fair share of video games, she’s grown attached to a select few characters that she considers her favorites. At the top of her list is Axel from Kingdom Hearts. “He’s always been one of my all time favorite video game characters because he has such complex characterization despite not being a main character,” she says. “It also helps that he’s based on Reno from Final Fantasy Advent Children and is voiced by Quinton Flynn.” She’s also a fan of Sesshomaru from Inuyasha and Alois from Kuroshitsuji.

While her favorite characters may not always use their powers for good, Yirico admits that she would use her own super powers for something more practical. Given the choice of any special ability, Yirico says she would want “the ability to create anything with my bare hands! Cosplaying would be such a breeze.”

Even if she has to use a sewing machine instead of super powers, the completed costumes of Yirico do have a feeling of magic to them. We wondered if this talented seamstress would put those near magical abilities to work on a dress for her upcoming prom, or if she would save her energy for the bigger cosplays later on this year. With so much to look forward to this year, Yirico compromises and chooses to enjoy being both a rising cosplay star and a regular teenager. “I was planning on buying a dress and then modifying it,” she says with a smile.

photo by SungMi Kim

About The Author

John Fuller is a reporter, video game player, speculative fiction reader, and overall lover of things geeky. He writes and games from Columbia, MD.

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