Cosplayer Feature: Anything Goes Cosplay
Anything Goes Cosplay is a U.S. tokusatsu cosplay group who shares their love for Kamen Rider and Super Sentai together. Anything Goes Cosplay group runs a Facebook page where they share the fun they have while cosplaying their favorite characters.
How did you all get interested in cosplaying and forming a group?
Kitarin: The first time I really cosplayed was when some friends decided to surprise me one Halloween by throwing together a Final Fantasy VII cosplay. My mom and I dyed one of her old dresses we pulled out of the attic pink in our washing machine and my grandmother crocheted me some flowers to use. It really gave me a love for cosplaying in a group and a desire to do it for more than just Halloween. I kept that desire close to my heart and eventually found people who felt the same way, mostly through attending conventions.
Ekala: I’ve been interested in costumes since I was a kid, but as far as tokusatsu is concerned, it was definitely all Kit’s fault. One year at Otakon, she dragged me to her room and showed me all the Kamen Rider OOO toys, and I just fell in love– I had no idea toys could even be that cool. I watched the show and begged her to let me be her Date; then it was Kamen Rider Fourze and Kengo Utahoshi, and the rest is just history from there.
Hakase: For me, I got into cosplay back in college. I went to cons for a year or two, then graduated and focused on life after school for a long while (about eight years). It wasn’t until I got into tokusatsu that I really started cosplaying again. I met Kitarin at Otakon when I was cosplaying as Hidari Shotaro from Kamen Rider W, and well, the rest is history.
Nitoh: My first cosplay ever that I count was Nitoh Kousuke. Honestly, it was a long descent into loving him so intensely I got his haircut. I just decided I had to be Kousuke no matter what. As for meeting the group, I met Kit first. After talking some on Tumblr, we met up at a convention as Wizard and took a whole bunch of great pictures, had some shenanigans, and then I decided that this group of people was where I belonged.
What got you all into tokusatsu?
Kitarin: A very dear friend of mine who’s no longer with us was a HUGE PR/Sentai fan and asked me as a favor to watch Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger, telling me it was a good introduction to Super Sentai featuring characters I would love. Her original hope was that I would cosplay Luka to her Ahim, but when I came back a few days later and said: “I’ll do it… but only if I can cosplay the Captain!” – I don’t think she was disappointed. My only regret is that she’s not around to tell me “I TOLD YOU SO” about the ongoing obsession, but that means I just have to love it all enough for both of us!
Ekala: To expand a bit on the above – I started watching Kamen Rider OOO that summer, and it was really entertaining, but it still felt a little weird to throw myself into this stuff– I’d always hated Power Rangers as a kid. Then, as fate would have it, my definitely-not-tokusatsu-watching-friends decided collectively that we were going to watch all of Hikonin Sentai Akibaranger, because it looked funny. It was (even without the proper context) and I took it as a sign that I should keep watching tokusatsu. Best choice I ever made.
Hakase: My local anime club showed the first few episodes of Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger, billing it as “Japanese Power Ranger pirates”. I watched it, fell in love with Don Dogoier, and gave Toei & Bandai all of my money forever.
Nitoh: A friend I followed on Tumblr posted a bunch of pictures of Shoutarou’s face and I decided I had to watch whatever he was in. I proceeded to watch all Kamen Rider W in two weeks.
If you all could cosplay any character, who would it be?
Kitarin: I’ve thought about doing Tajador from Kamen Rider OOO or Infinity from Kamen Rider Wizard, but I think I have more fun dreaming about it than I would actually wearing it. I have so much respect for all the people who make and wear suit cosplay!
Ekala: As far as what I haven’t done yet, tokusatsu-wise? Probably Rio from Juuken Sentai Gekiranger. I’d love to get around to it some day, but all that fitted leather would be a nightmare!
Hakase: Other than who we already cosplay? Well, someday I would love to tackle Noire’s dress from Ressha Sentai ToQger. It’s more about the costume than the character, though – I just really want to try my hand at the sculpting and the miles of ruffles!
Nitoh: Asakura Takeshi, or honestly suit wise, Kiva-la.
What is everyone’s favorite tokusatsu series and why?
Kitarin: Gokaiger is very important to me as my first Sentai for reasons mentioned above, but overall I tend to love more Rider seasons than Sentai seasons. OOO is also very special to me as my first and favorite rider show & cosplay. I’m a musician, so the musical layering jingles of the OOO combos sucked me in. I love the characters, and the idea of wanting to reach out and help everyone around you has always stuck with me. I’m also very fond of Fourze because of all the friendship and SPACE theming!
Ekala: I still have the softest of spots for Fourze, because I’ve been a huge space geek since I was a kid, and the show as a whole is just so… uplifting and optimistic. On the Sentai side, I have to go with Gokaiger (great for both old and new fans, good balance of comedy and plot) though Shinkenger is pretty close up there.
Hakase: This is a hard question. OOO is incredibly dear to me, for a number of reasons, but I really think Gokaiger has become a very influential part of my life. The concept of crew loyalty is really important to me. I hope to see the Gokaiger crew continue to pop back into the Sentai series for years and years to come.
Nitoh: For Kamen Rider, it’s a tie between W, Wizard, Ryuuki, and Drive. For Sentai, it’s a tie between ToQger, Shinkenger, and Go-Onger. I mean I love all of them honestly. These just are really special to me.
What’s the funniest experience everyone had while cosplaying?
Kitarin: The first time Ekala and I ever cosplayed Fourze together at NYC Comic Con, a cashier in a local coffee shop recognized us, shouted “GENTAROU” at me, and we did the Friendship Handshake right over the counter, much to the bewilderment of everyone around us. Cosplay helps you find friends everywhere!
Ekala: More than once we’ve had people yell across streets, hallways, crowded convention centers and such – tokusatsu is more popular than you think!
Hakase: I’m not even sure I could choose just one! I think I’d have to go with the time at Katsucon, when we took a whole series of the “embarrassed couple being interviewed in the snow” meme pics as the crew from Kamen Rider Gaim. I still crack up looking back at those.
Nitoh: Going to a rave as Yaguruma (Hell Hopper), so that I could sit in the corner in the darkness as the Hoppers should.
What advice would you all give to yourself when you first started?
Kitarin: Don’t let anyone else ruin it for you. Cosplay the characters you love the most.
Ekala: Don’t fight the Premium Bandai, but be selective in what you buy. Also, buy rings a size too big.
Hakase: I’d probably tell myself not to worry so much about every single project. I remember crying over the collar of Tomoko’s jacket because I couldn’t understand the directions! I’ve learned that sometimes I mess up, I have to rip out a seam, and then do it over. And it’s okay to do it that way – every time you mess up, just creates an opportunity to learn how to do it better the next time.
Nitoh: Have more faith in yourself.
Do you have any cosplays you’re all currently working on that you’d like to share?
Hakase: Well, we just finished up Ex-Aid, so until Kyuranger has a chance to get rolling, we’re working on Final Fantasy XV instead. My worrywart, nit-picking, crew chef archetype lives on~!
Ekala: Let’s just say I’m super excited to wear my new 5 inch platforms.
Kitarin: From Captain to Crown Prince.
Once again, you can find Anything Goes Cosplay and all their silly antics on their Facebook page.
All cosplay photos featured in the Tokusatsu Network Cosplay Feature are reposted with permission from the original photographer. Please do not repost or alter in any way without permission and proper credit.