Cosplayer Feature: Suzu Starlight
Suzu Starlight is an up-and-coming German cosplayer known for her love of tokusatsu and Sailor Moon.
What got you interested into cosplay?
I’ve always loved to dress up and first saw pictures of cosplayers in German anime magazines when I was younger. However, the triggering event was Frankfurt bookfair 2009. I went there with a friend I met through fandubbing, who already had cosplay experience before that, but as it was cold that day, she didn’t bring her costume. It was the first time I met cosplayers in person and she kept whining about not having brought her cosplay, so I promised her that we would cosplay together at Leipzig bookfair the next year. We started out with Final Fantasy costumes (she cosplayed Gunner Yuna from FFX-2 while I was a Moogle) and had a little Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts meetup – it was so much fun that I just had to continue.
When and how did you discover tokusatsu?
I was into Power Rangers Mystic Force as a teen and watched some Magiranger back then, but I only seriously started watching tokusatsu in 2013. Back then, I was developing a depression- in those dark times, I remembered how much fun Magiranger was and found all episodes of Shinkenger on youtube, so I started watching. It was so much fun that I wanted to watch everything related to it and so I discovered Kamen Rider via the crossover with Decade and decided to watch Goseiger next because I found the group so likable and fun in the VS movie. It gave me the necessary positive energy to get better and so I stuck with watching more and more Sentai shows and gave Kamen Rider a chance with OOO.
If you could cosplay any character, who would it be?
That’s a difficult one. I guess I’d like to do some heavy suit armor. Kamen Rider Blade King Form or Super GoseiPink would be in that category. While I might someday have enough skill to make Super GoseiPink’s chest armor, I just can’t see myself creating the King Form suit. I’m not all that great at crafting and haven’t even gotten a chance to build anything more than Sailor Moon’s Cutie Moon Rod and a Sailor Senshi Tiara – both were a bit wonky, lol.
A villain suit like Claydoll dopant or Medic’s Roidmude form would also be cool, but I don’t think those would be something I could create- so I usually stick with sewing projects and human forms instead.
What is your favorite Tokusatsu series and why?
Oh, it’s really hard to only pick one. I’m more a Sentai kid and my favorite there is Goseiger – the bright themes really cheered me up when I was down and I loved the designs and overall concept of the show. Also, I think Alata is a super-badass, much more than people give him credit for. He’s my favorite Red.
As for Kamen Rider, it’s a tie between Blade and Drive, though I do lean a bit more towards Drive. Both have some excellent designs and a great OST and I absolutely adore the cast and storyline. Blade is a bit darker and sadder and feels very bittersweet, while Drive has this amazing positive vibe to it and everything just feels very dynamic.
I also need to mention the Sailor Moon tokusatsu, which got me into my second biggest fandom, Sailor Moon. It is a very unique and character-driven take on the classic story and I absolutely adore the battle choreography. Up until now, I’ve seen it four times already and I just can’t get enough of it.
What’s the funniest experience you’ve had while cosplaying?
When it comes to tokusatsu, my funniest experience was also my one of my first. At AnimagiC 2013, I was Luka from Gokaiger and I honestly didn’t expect to see any other tokusatsu cosplayer there. I was proven wrong in the most ironic way possible. I was taking a break and chatting with some friends when I suddenly saw someone with a yellow jacket walking past the table in the corner of my eye. It was very brief, but I felt like I had seen another Super Sentai cosplayer, so I jumped up and rushed after that person. At a nearby staircase, I called her: “Luka!!” She turned around and, as I had thought, she was really another Luka Millfy! When she turned around, her face lit up and we just ran towards each other and hugged. We had never met before, but we were so happy to meet and hung out all day. There was also a Rita Repulsa and we took photos together. It was such a fun time and something quite like that never happened again. While you can occasionally meet tokusatsu fans at German conventions, it is not common to meet another cosplayer. Most people I cosplayed with are either real life friends of mine or we met online and planned a meetup, so this was very special.
What advice would you give to yourself when you first started?
Aside from the usual “start earlier and take more breaks” that no cosplayer ever listens to anyway, I would tell myself to “just cosplay what you really want to instead of picking a costume you think is easy to make”. I really misjudged the difficulty level of my costumes all the time (and I still do sometimes), so I ended up making some costumes I’m not all that happy with and characters that I didn’t portray quite the way I wish I had. Also, I would remind myself to take care of my posture, because I really ruined some of my photos by standing very awkwardly. And considering that the acting part is my favorite thing about cosplay, that’s kinda embarrassing in hindsight.
Where can we find your work?
I’m currently working on uploading photos of all my costumes on my Facebook page and occasionally post cosplay-related stuff on my Twitter. I also have a playlist with any recordings of me at events on my Youtube channel. At the moment, there are way more Sailor Moon and civilian performances than tokusatsu-related videos, but there are some recordings of me as Luka and Yayoi, haha.
Do you have any cosplays you’re currently working on that you’d like to share?
I’m still trying to find the right fabrics for Medic from Kamen Rider Drive and I hope that I might be able to cosplay as Toq#5 with a full Toqger group next year. There might be different costumes coming up though, if I feel like it or if the circumstances change. I tend to plan way ahead but then end up doing something completely different.