Cosplayer Feature: Char350
Char350 is a U.S. tokusatsu cosplayer from the west coast who loves connecting with other fans and cosplayers.
What got you interested in cosplay?
When I started, cosplay was one of many ways for me to enhance my convention-going experience. It was also an easy way to meet others interested in the same series/fandom that I was cosplaying from. As I continued to cosplay more, I found great joy in learning craftsmanship (whether it be making costumes from scratch or modifying existing items of clothing) while finding fun and creative ways to add “shenanigans” to the cosplay (eg. masks, funny props, etc.)
When and how did you discover tokusatsu?
I spent my early childhood in Hong Kong, where a significant part of its children’s television programming consisted of dubbed anime and tokusatsu series. With Hong Kong being a melting pot of various Asian cultures, Kamen Rider and Ultraman had great cultural significance in the country regardless of whether one has actually watched the series. The earliest tokusatsu series I remember watching was Hikari Sentai Maskman (Light Sentai Maskman), followed by Kousoku Sentai Turboranger (High Speed Sentai Turboranger) and Kamen Rider Black RX.
If you could cosplay any character, who would it be?
So many to choose from… but since we’re talking about ANY character let’s go all out and say Garo, complete with Gōten and giant horse-slaying sword.
What is your favorite Tokusatsu series and why?
The aforementioned Hikari Sentai Maskman still ranks on top my favorites list. Its action, intriguing subplots, and memorable villains made it one of my favorite tokusatsu series still to this day. For this reason, a top highlight of my recent trip to Japan was meeting Red Mask/Takeru’s actor, Kaizu Ryousuke, and dining at his ramen shop!
What’s the funniest experience you’ve had while cosplaying?
While cosplaying Ikari Gai at Anime Los Angeles 2013, someone called out to me from the 2nd-floor balcony. He asked me to wait as he went into his room and came back out with a boxed Musou Saber from Kamen Rider Gaim. He proceeded to drop it off to me from said 2nd-floor balcony and said, “Happy Birthday!” I have actually never met him, but I made sure to track him down soon after and gave him one of my ranger keys as a token of appreciation. We’ve been friends ever since!
What advice would you give to yourself when you first started?
Go at your own pace and have fun!
Where can we find your work?
Do you have any cosplays you’re currently working on that you’d like to share?
Banjou Ryuga from Kamen Rider Build. With his many disguises and reaction faces, the potential for shenanigans is infinite!