This time we delve into the trials and tribulations of cosplayer as he portrays Phoenix Wright from the hit Nintendo DS series. The series first began with Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney and had you star as Phoenix the rookie defense attorney as your intelligence to solve cases. In the game you are asked to shout “Objection” (along with other phrases) as you play the game, this has become quite a phenomenon with fans as you can hardly go to a convention without hearing cries of “OBJECTION!” and “OVERRULED!”. And he takes part himself as he cosplays this relatively new star of gaming.
He is a 25 year old computer lab manager that started gaming at around 4 years old. He is still very passionate about videogames, as he recalled his times playing Duck Hunt and Mario bros with his friend. This gamer prefers RPGs, possibly for their rich story lines and intellectually stimulating gameplay, his favorite being Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind and the Final Fantasies of the past.
When he first started costuming when he learned about Phoenix Wright. Having gone to Megacon since 2003, he decided to take the plunge and cosplay as him. Like most cosplayers who want to join in the fun he started by going to thrift stores to find clothes to fit the man. Going the extra mile he would later make signs of some of the game’s catchphrases! The crowds would shout and scream at his presence! Cries of “Objection!” can be heard, and the love of the series was clear. That day was special to him, he would meet some of the best friends of his life that day. Yes cosplay can be a life changing thing.
He was born here in Florida, and currently lives in Orlando. Cosplay has had a huge impact on his dating and social life. The first time he cosplayed he met a girl that he would date for awhile, cosplay certainly lets you be more open about yourself so its always nice to meet another that understands your hobbies, even if just for a short while. He has made alot of connections in the convention scene and has continued to make friends as the years have passed by. Alot of them have even been featured in previous articles. Even now he is happy spending his days living with his girlfriend, a fellow cosplayer, and is thankful for every day for the happiness this hobby has brought him. He is a fun and interesting guy, weather he is cosplaying or running a panel at a convention you should take the time and say hello. You can surely make a friend with someone as kind heartted as him. For now he will share with us some of his early cosplay experiences:
1. Tell us about your character and why you chose this character. Is the character anything like you?
“The year was 2007, and Megacon was right around the corner. I had fallen pretty deep into the game series known as Phoenix Wright at this time. I loved everything about it, but mostly the characters, each one felt so deep, had their own personalities. I sadly admit that there were a few scenes where I actually shed a few tears. Because of this, I wanted to cosplay Phoenix Wright for multiple reasons. The first one was obvious, because I loved the game series. The second one is for more lazy reasons because going to a thrift store, and buying everything for under $20 seemed like a great idea. Phoenix Wright and I can relate in various different ways… sure, at some points it feels like I’m in over my head, and the way I execute my ideas or thoughts can lead to embarassing situations at times… but in the end, I do what I can for everyone. Plus, I feel his awkwardness adds a certain comedic charm. He’s just so animated. You point off screen, scream “Objection!” And people really seem to love it as well. I feel I, too, have a very animated personality. That is also because people consider me a bit of a goof.”
2. What initially drove you to play the game your character is from?
“Nothing epic or amazing about that. I heard about the game, was curious, and found it used at a Gamestop for about $15. I figured, what the heck, I’m bored anyways, let’s give this game a spin.”
3. Do you feel that portraying this character has led you to become friends with fellow cosplayers?
“In a way, I felt like it was the catalyst to how I had met all my friends. My good friend, Juan was the first one I met. He came running to me in an Apollo Justice costume with such excitement about what I was wearing. From there, I met more and more people who were cosplaying from the series. The ones that stuck by me through the weekend, I have remained friends with until this day. Other’s I met through some what comedic reasons. I know I have a few current friends now that only knew me as, “That Objection Guy” and thought my character was rather obnoxious… then through webs of friends made through the community (People who approached me because of my costume), I get to them and make new friends. This community is litteraly a big web… you meet one person, they introduce you to two in the community, who introduces you to two more… and then you have more friends then you can count… great friends at that!”
4. Is this character your favorite videogame character? If not who is?
“Phoenix Wright is one of my favorites, however he is not my ultimate favorite character. The one that gets that spot is probably someone that isn’t that well known, but I don’t care anyways. His name is General Leo Christophe, from Final fantasy VI.”
5. What drove you to put in the work to make this character’s out fit and how did u go about making it?
“What drives me to make any costume is wanting to bring that character to life in some way. I would love to go on and tell you that I put dozens on dozens of hours in this costume, spending the hundred of dollars and sacrificing my first born to make an amazing cosplay… but alas, I did not. The first time I made this cosplay, I went to a thrift store, bought some matching navy blue suit jacket and pants, got a white dress shirt, a red tie. Boom. Phoenix Wright. I gelled my hair back and was ready to go. The real work (what little there was of it) went to a sign I printed out and pasted to the back of a piece of thick poster board. After that, I taped/pasted a big piece of wood to the back of it… and began running around the convention with an Objection! sign. People enjoyed it. I wanted to put a little more effort the next time I did it, so I went to one of those suit stores in the questionable part of town… you know, the ones where you can buy suits from all colors of the rainbow. I found a nice blue suit that matched wonderfully… and all at the low low price of $90.”
6. Did you ever get any special recognition for this costume?
“Through the con goers that would stop, point, and yell “Objection!” at me? Indeed. Anyone that comes up to me, excited about what I’m wearing, or what I am doing is always special recognition. I at one point went through costuming and thought it would be amazing to win a novice award, and move all the way to masters … but I soon discovered I didn’t enjoy that nearly as much as I did enjoy everyone stopping to greet me, talk about me, and tell me how they enjoyed the series I am cosplaying from. I will also stop to talk them about my passion for what I am wearing, and why I like it. However, if you are talking about awards I have won a Judge Award and like… “Participation” award, but that was pretty much it.”
7. How do you feel you relate to the females that dress up in videogame characters?
“I think it’s fair to say that in the cosplay community, it is dominated by females. There are only a handful of well known male cosplayers, and like a TON of well known female cosplayers. In our little cosplay group, Team Awesome, it shows. There is probably 10+ females in our group, and only 3-4 guys. I do get along with all of them, and most of my friends in this community are females. Even when growing up, I would always gravitate more towards women than men for friendship, and I don’t think that outlook has changed with this community.”
8. How do people react to you when you are in costume?
“The most common response I get is an amazed face, a dramatic point, and a loud scream, “Objection!”. Although a lot of times, people will run to me and scream, “OVERRULLED!” since I have the objection sign. I actually get that more then anything else. But like a lot of costumes people enjoy, some will just run up and hug you, which I’m fine with. The glomping is more something I fear. I think I’ve only been glomped a couple of times, and fortunatly I was fine since the person was light enough and was trying to stop me, or I would get a warning, and would then brace myself for impact. All and all, I am delighted by the positive responses.”
9. Have you ever been in a romantic relationship with a female cosplayer? If so what was her costume?
“Oh lord. Yes, a small handful of times. The first person I was romantically involved with was when I first dressed up as Phoenix Wright. She wore a Mia cosplay from the same series, and I dunno, it clicked during that day. I think it was because everyone was overjoyed to be at Megacon, so we started dating. However, because of distance and some personal reasons, we stopped dating after a month. The second there was a slight fling at the next Jacon, who was not in costume, and that was only a couple of dates… nothing serious. The last one is actually my recent. She has done many many costumes, so I really can’t remember which one I met her in… I believe I first saw her as White Mage at Megacon 08, but we didn’t know each other at that time, and didn’t talk to each other. We are still together to this day, after celebrating our one year anniversary, and are currently living together, with two other female cosplayers.”
10. What gaming girls would you like to see portrayed by fellow cosplayers?
“That is an awesome question to ask guys, and I’m going to be honest. When a guy is being asked what kind of girls he would like to see other girls to cosplay, a lot of things come up. You want to see something that’s absolutely gorgeous, a beauty to behold. You also don’t mind seeing something that is cute, because let’s face it, we’re at an anime/gaming convention… but then you also get to the dirty side that everyone is thinking, but nobody is saying: a bit of a sexual attraction side. I’m not saying the kind you would go to a club and yell, “I’D TAP THAT AND TAKE THAT HOME”, but it’s all a natural and human feeling to think of a sexual attraction and to appreciate. That. Take for example, any blood elf female from World of Warcraft. It combines the beauty and sexual side of the costume. Some of that armor in World of Warcraft is down right gorgeous and epic… but since it’s a game programmed by men, there is a bit of bust to it. I know one costume I’m tired of seeing is Tifa. Big breasts, white t-shirt, woo. Sure, it’s something guys can appreciate, but it’s been done before. One more I would be most intrigued about covers all three elements I mentioned, and that woudl have to be the Fox Lady from Muramasa. I mean look at her, she’s got a style of beauty to her, a bit of sexual appeal, and cuteness factor through the roof. Anything with fox (cat) ears and a tail, done. Not furries though. That’s pushing your limits, bucko.”
11. Who do you feel gets more attention male or female cosplayers?
“Females. Next question. I mean, if you think about it, the females are really appreciative of the craft that other females put in their costuming…. and what are the men looking at? The women. So most definitely, 100%, Females.”
12. Lastly is there anything you would like to convey to the readers?
“The cosplay community is one of the most unique groups of people you will ever meet. I go to a convention, and feel absolutely refreshed to be with my breatheren of nerddom, only to go back to real life and anticipating when I get to do that all over again. The fact that I see this community grow every year makes me smile… it shows that the nerds will one day overtake this miserable planet! MWAHAHAHAAHA! *cough* but seriously, it’s good to know that you are not alone when it comes to your hobbies and fandom, and the cosplay community and anime/video game conventions are the best way to know that. I always appreciate meeting new people, and am happy to be greeted by the many, many friends I’ve made in this community. So if you ever see me, and want to say hi. Go ahead! It’ll always brighten my day.”
Hopefully some of you out there have gotten some ideas on how to start cosplaying, especially if you dont initially know how to work with fabric or needles. We each cosplay for different reasons so its up to you why you start. For now you can check out his costumes on his cosplay.com profile.