Comiccoverage.com met up with Denialism Cosplay in her Nico Niiyama cosplay from the anime Kiznaiver for a photo shoot and interview.
We first met Denialism Cosplay on the Sunday of Holiday Matsuri 2016. She looked amazing wearing her Nico Niiyama cosplay from the Japanese anime television series, Kiznaiver. We asked her if we could take some snapshots of her for the Holiday Matsuri event coverage. She said yes and immediately went to doing some poses that looked very cute and even well rehearsed. We quickly took six photos so she could get back to enjoying the event. We were so impressed with the attention to detail of her cosplay and posing skills, we asked where she lived and found out she lived in Sugimori City, only 30 minutes from some of our staff members. We then asked if she would be interested in meeting up a shoot and interview and two months later we were lucky enough to make it happen. We hope you enjoy the photos of Denialism Cosplay in her amazing Nico Niiyama cosplay and getting to know a little more about her in the interview below.
Comiccoverage.com (CC:) Thank you for meeting up today so we could capture some more photos of you in your amazing Nico Niiyama cosplay (from the anime Kiznaiver) and allowing us to learn a little more about you. The first thing we wanted to ask, how did you come up with your cosplay name, Denialism?
Denialism Cosplay: Thanks for the opportunity! Back when I was a super cool 15 year old making her start on Tumblr, I wanted a sick name for my blog. So I did some searching, I can’t even vaguely remember what I would’ve been searching for other than perhaps something similar to what a classmate of mine, who I thought was very cool, had named hers. Basically all I’ve ever wanted is to be cool. Denialism is the act of denying reality as a way of avoiding the truth, or choosing to believe something that isn’t true because you prefer that over reality. When I finally made a cosplay page, I decided to stick with Denialism because I thought it rang true for what I was doing–essentially, pretending to be whomever I wanted because it’s fun! For the record I am not in denial about my real life, but since I’d already somewhat tied myself to that online identity, I kept it. Turns out, the 15 year old me had great taste.
CC: How were you first introduced to the anime series, Kiznaiver?
Denialism: New anime gets released every three months or so and I always try to stay up to date on what’s about to start airing. I happened to see Kiznaiver on the list and noticed that it was produced by Studio Trigger–the creators of Gurren Lagann and Kill la Kill, both of which are WILDLY popular and some of my favorite anime. I expected the same level of quality and hype from Kiznaiver, and while it didn’t get the recognition it deserved, it was certainly on par with the others! I’m constantly trying to get more people to watch it.
CC: In your words, what is Kiznaiver about?
Denialism: Among other things, Kiznaiver is a look at what the world might be like if people could experience firsthand the pain they cause others. The show cites war specifically, stating that it only takes place because the aggressor doesn’t understand the pain–emotional and physical–experienced by its victim. If everyone was forced to feel the consequences of their own actions as they affect others, the world would be a more harmonious place. The Kizuna Experiment tries to illustrate that global concept on a small scale, using seven wildly different characters as guinea pigs, and puts them through a series of painful trials in the hopes that they’ll be “bonded through their wounds”–the show’s tagline. The goal is to get them to change their decisions to a course of action that’s more mutually beneficial rather than self-centered, the latter being humanity’s natural tendency. In short, some kids are put in an experiment where they all feel each other’s pain until they can learn to get along. It’s pretty messed up, but in a really beautiful way, because it could actually work.
CC: Describe Nico Niiyama’s character.
Denialism: Nico’s funny. Initially she presents herself as this totally off the wall space-cadet. She believes in fairies, dresses like an absolute clown, and is all smiles all the time. During a challenge when all the characters have to reveal a secret about themselves, she confesses that she doesn’t actually believe in fairies, and it’s all been an act to make herself seem less perfect and more approachable (to elaborate, she’s super cute and comes from a rich family–the perfect recipe for an unattainable anime girl). She’s much more insightful than she seems, and while her desire for the whole group to be best friends never changes, her airheadedness definitely does. She’s able to draw people out of themselves in a really positive way, even when she’s hurting inside as much as they are. She’s just so supportive of everyone’s happiness. She’s so cool!
CC: What appealed to you about Nico Niiyama’s outfit that made you want to cosplay as her?
Denialism: If Kiznaiver didn’t already have the pedigree of a great show, I would’ve checked it out for the character design alone. All of the main characters have such distinct looks, Nico especially. As soon as I saw her, I was in love. I knew I had to cosplay her. It’s funny because all of the kids wear variations of the same school uniform, but hers is so personalized and completely out of this world in terms of cuteness. Those kinds of costumes always get to me, and I knew I stood zero chance of not making it. I wore a uniform through 8th grade, and imagining someone showing up at school wearing that gives me so much joy. I wish I’d done it myself.
CC: What were some of the things you had to make, modify or acquire to complete the cosplay? Can you give us some specifics on the items you made and what it took to make the finished cosplay look so great?
Denialism: Saying “I made the whole costume” sounds lame, but I really did make just about everything I’m wearing. I drafted the skirt pattern myself, and modified a few pre-made sewing patterns for the top and vest. I had the most fun making the shoes. I got to decapitate some beanie babies and reattach their arms to their necks. It would’ve been pretty macabre if they were real bears. Nico’s little animal pouches were a lot of fun (and a lot of work) to make as well! They’re both fully functional. My phone fits inside the rabbit and the touch screen still works through the piece of plastic I added to the back. I have even more storage in the belt pouch, which is a a blessing since I’m used to asking my friends if they can hold my stuff a thousand times a day. I also spliced together the wig. I started with an orange base wig, which I cut and styled, and then made the turquoise pieces out some plain wefts (the long strings of hair that make up wigs, before they’re turned into wigs) from Arda Wigs. When I have to do some heavy styling to a wig, I usually shop Arda because they have such a range of colors and styles, and their products are very consistent. I approached the pigtails similarly, using curly orange ponytail clips and adding curls of turquoise. For the hair accessories, I used two pom pom keychain things as the base and glued on the details, which I made out of polymer clay. A lot of my costumes involve sketching basic shapes and making practice runs of a garment/prop until it looks right, and I think doing that really helps the final product turn out well.
CC: We absolutely love your Nico cosplay! There are so many elements that you created that one might not notice at first glance. The way it fits you, the attention to detail and the quality of the stitching could not be any better!
CC: What other cosplays have you completed?
Denialism: I’ve done Nonon Jakuzure from Kill la Kill, Touka Kirishima from Tokyo Ghoul, every outfit Ruby (RWBY) has ever worn, NoFlutter’s Sailor Saturn, Lunafreya Nox Fleuret from Final Fantasy XV, Karin Kanzuki from Street Fighter V, Yuri Sakazaki from King of Fighters, Ramlethal Valentine from Guilty Gear; Revelator….gosh, I started typing thinking I hadn’t made a lot of costumes. I’m nuts.
CC: Do you have any future cosplay plans that you would like to reveal?
Denialism: Yikes, I don’t think you have space for all of my plans. This year I’ll be working to complete Aranea Highwind from Final Fantasy XV, as well as some characters from fighting games, like Juri Han and Elphelt Valentine. I just started going to fighting game tournaments last year, and they were a blast and I have even more planned for this year. So that’s definitely affected what I’ve chosen to cosplay this year. I’ve got some others in the works as well, so keep an eye out!
CC: Do you have a favorite cosplay that you enjoy wearing the most to cons and photo shoots? If so, which one is you favorite and why?
Denialism: I always get an amazing response when I wear Ruby. People have told me it looks like I stepped right off the screen, which makes me feel really good! I have a thing for capes and scythes, aesthetically speaking, and she has both. Flowy cape photos are so much fun to take, and they look super dynamic. I also love the show so much, so wearing her is a really fun experience.
CC: We hope we get to photograph you in your Ruby cosplay one day since we unfortunately missed you while you were wearing it at Holiday Matsuri.
CC: Do you have a fictional character crush?
Denialism: I do not have a crush, I have twelve thousand. The first anime character I was ever in love with was Shikamaru Nara from Naruto. It was so bad that when I saw a really good Shikamaru cosplayer at my first convention, I was actually too nervous to ask for his photo. It was incredible. I was like 13 then, and I still love him an entire decade later. 707 from the game Mystic Messenger is a new favorite, he makes me swoon! There are so many characters I’d basically give my life for, but those two stand out. Oh, and Yato from Noragami. He’s the most lovable piece of garbage I’ve ever experienced, like possibly makes me laugh more than any other character ever. I…love him.
CC: Which fictional character do you feel you are most like in real life?
Denialism: Haha gosh, time for the embarrassing answer. Growing up I always thought I was a lot like Raven from Teen Titans, because she was so cool, edgy, sarcastic and emotionless. Like, every teenage girl’s dream, or something. It turns out Raven actually had so many emotions she could barely handle them all, which is much more accurate to me these days. So I’m a lot like Raven after all. Pretends to be cool, but there’s actually a raging inferno inside.
CC: Which fictional character do you wish you could be most like in real life?
Denialism: I’d be pretty fine with being any shonen protagonist, since they can triumph over literally anything through sheer force of will. You can be totally mediocre, but if you have a great attitude you can conquer the world. Midoriya Izuku from Boku no Hero Academia comes to mind because he’s a ray of sunshine and everyone loves him and he tries so hard and UGH. He’s perfect. I want to be him.
CC: We know you just started to stream content on twitch at twitch.tv/denialism (link). What are some of the things that you have going on at your channel?
Denialism: Right now I’m playing Final Fantasy XV and For Honor. Final Fantasy is fun because it doesn’t require a whole lot of skill, and the storyline is super compelling. I love being sad so this game is definitely a favorite. I just started playing For Honor, which does require a lot of skill, but I like it anyway because personally stabbing your opponent to death is really satisfying. Mostly, I sit in front of the camera and curse about how bad I am at video games. I think most of my viewers tune in just to hear my suffering. I stream once a week or so, and despite the absolute agony of dying repeatedly while I play, I have a good time chatting with whoever’s watching. It feels like a more personal way to interact with people than just commenting on a photo. It’s fun and I even give away items from the games I’m playing. So far, I’ve made shirts and hats from Final Fantasy XV. I love getting free stuff, so I imagine other people do as well.
CC: You were a featured guest at Swampcon and got to host your first panels and judge the costume contest. How was that experience?
Denialism: Being a guest was a lot of fun! I’ve competed in several contests, but this was my first time on the other side of the table. It was great to see how everyone put their costumes together, and I even got some ideas for my own. I really enjoyed hosting the panels as well, as it gave me a chance to interact with a lot of con goers at once! I was a little nervous I’d run out of time to present, but everything was mostly fine and people said they had a good time, so goals met I guess. Somehow I managed to end up talking about Burger King during a makeup presentation. It’s kind of a blur.
CC: Do you have any other hobbies or interests?
Denialism: I’m pretty consumed by cosplay, but I like sewing real clothes too. I dabble in photography and graphic design as well. I just like creating, so most of my hobbies are in that area.
CC: Speaking of your photography and graphic design… You have been posting some great looking selfies and photos of you with amazing edits, Tell us about your set-up.
Denialism: I picked up two continuous light softboxes and I just turn them on and stick my camera on a tripod between them. I use a 24mm f/2.8 lens, which gives me nice separation between myself and my background (the blank wall of my sewing room). It’s really simple, and the photos require minimal editing. I just edit them more when I want to because I like going overboard. It’s a cheap setup for anyone who’s tired of taking selfies with their phone. I say cheap because I already bought the camera, (LOL) Which by the way is a Canon t6i.
CC: What is your favorite type of music? Do you have any favorite artists?
Denialism: I have some really intense phases where I listen to one type of music almost exclusively, be it rap, death metal, or (currently) K-pop. That’s Korean pop music, for those who haven’t been blessed/cursed with the knowledge. I fell down that rabbit hole somewhat recently, and now half my wardrobe consists of K-pop t-shirts. It happened so fast….anyway, my favorite groups are BTS, Block B, and MOBB.
CC: Do you have any words of wisdom or a favorite quote?
Denialism: Something I find myself saying pretty consistently is “he who hesitates is lost.” I’m 90% sure I got it from a Series of Unfortunate Events novel, but it really stuck with me. I say it a lot when I’m driving, which means I’m not a very good driver, but it also reminds me to take the plunge in other areas of my life, since I have a habit of psyching myself out and getting in my own way.