Friday, February 15, 2013

Angel Mariel as Rei Ayanami

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The second character I decided to cosplay is Rei Ayanami from the anime Neon Genesis Evangelion. I have known the anime since I was a kid, but I didn't really follow it. The story was far too complicated for me to understand back then. So in order to prepare for my Rei cosplay, I did something that my fellow cosplayers called character study. I watched all the episodes of Evangelion. To be honest, I still don't understand the story even now.



I didn't do this kind of serious study with Sakura Haruno because I have been following Naruto episodes ever since. So I already have an idea how to portray her. However, I'm not very familiar With Rei. I just know her by name and image as she is a popular and classic character.

Rei Ayanami of Neon Genesis Evangelion.
Cosplaying Rei was quite a challenge for me. Rei is a character who is very stoic. She is silent and thinks deeply. She keeps on doing long distance stares which are not blank at all. In short, she is a very deep character. Whenever I see her, I think of 'what's my purpose...' So the challenge for me was how to project seriousness and deep feelings without a show of emotions. 

Rei is a serious character.
Not to mention, it is very difficult to shift from one personality to another.  From being cute and energetic Sakura, I shifted to the serious and laid back Rei.  It was a totally different experience for me as a Sakura Haruno cosplayer.

But I embraced the challenge of cosplaying a serious character. In fact, doing serious poses is even more difficult than cute poses. I debuted my Rei cosplay last Otaku Expo 2013. On my first day as Rei, I was scared and worried that I will not be able to do it well. I remembered feeling this way on my first day of cosplay. So this is how it is: each new character portrayed feels like the first time.


Here are my photos of my Rei cosplay. Special thanks to Dave and Hitokiri Battousai of Otaku Underground Society and to Reeve for these photos.

Me as Rei Ayanami. Photo by Reeve. 

My take on Rei's long distance stares. Photo by Hitokiri Battousai of Otaku Underground Society.

Trying my best to be serious. Photo by Hitokiri Battousai of Otaku Underground Society.
Despite all the challenges and difficulties, why did I still choose Rei? I chose her because her silent demeanor is similar to my personality. I really went beyond my limits for Rei. However, I am happy with the results! It's still far from the perfect Rei but I will improve myself more. I will practice serious poses and long distance stares. Always.


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