Cosplayer Feature: Lissette
Lissette, also known as jediknightanime, is a cosplayer located in Peru who created the tokusatsu fan group Tokusen, and has shown what it truly means to love tokusatsu.
What got you interested into cosplay?
I started cosplaying back in 2009. I was going to attend my first anime convention (Florida Supercon) and I wanted to go in cosplay like most people, so I decided to pick something easy. I was really into the anime Katekyo Hitman Reborn, so I cosplayed Lal Mirch. That day I was a bit shy, my cosplay was really simple. I used my natural black hair, the clothes I arranged from scratch, the props I made out of paper and glue and even painted my face. Even though my cosplay was simple, people recognized me, telling me my cosplay was great and that made me feel really good about myself and the fun I had that day was unforgettable… After that, I kept cosplaying anime characters, till I got into tokusatsu.
When and how did you discover tokusatsu?
It was 2010 when I saw my first tokusatsu series (Samurai Sentai Shinkenger). It was mindblowing, how catchy the songs were, the characters were cool and they had really heroic stories. I inmediately fell in love, learning more and more about the diferent series and franchises in tokusatsu. It wasn’t till 2012 when I moved back to my home country Peru that I started giving my all to tokusatsu. With the help of some fans that I met there, I founded Tokusen. A group of fans, participating in events, cosplaying, and giving conferences to teach people what tokusatsu is, since very few people knew about it. There were mostly anime stuff on events.
6 years after, in Tokusen we keep working hard to let tokusatsu be known, people in Latin America recognizes us for our work. One of them being the big cosplay group that we did celebrating the 40th anniversary of Super Sentai (In 2016 we reunited the largest red ranger cosplay group in Latin America, I was Shinken Red). Takayoshi Tanimoto (The singer for Gekiranger) saw us and was surprised how many fans were in Peru and took a picture with us. In 2017 we did the very first international stage show in Spanish of Uchuu Sentai Kyuranger, we even recorded our own voices. I was Washi Pink.
Can you walk us through your process in creating a cosplay?
When I first started, I had no idea how to make a helmet. I used to cosplay female version of the characters like Captain Marvelous, Kamen Rider Wizard and even Kamen Rider OOO Sagozo Combo because they were more simple and looked adorable. It took me like 3 years, learning from everyone on how to make a helmet. The first one did not looked that great but eventually I got better, being my Shinken Red helmet the first I did with my very own knowledge. I felt really proud.
I work on a base of papercraft, then cover it with resin and fiberglass. After that I cover it with polyester putty and the sanding comes in. As for the accessories and props, I use eva foam, which is easy to find in Peru. For example, with my Washi Pink wings I was really scared that I would not make it pretty but I am happy the way it came out.. With heat and layers of eva foam I managed to have a good outcome. Like most of us that don’t have much time to make the full cosplays ourselves, I have the help of talented people in Peru that help out with helmets, suits and boots.
If you could cosplay any character, who would it be?
If I had the opportunity to pick a tokusatsu character, without worrying about how to make it would be Godzilla or a kaiju from Ultraman. They are so cool but look really hard to make.
What is your favorite tokusatsu series and why?
I have many favorites, but my most current top favorite is Kamen Rider Faiz. The characters are all so lovable, Takumi is my favorite in there.
What’s the funniest experience you’ve had while cosplaying?
The funniest but most adorable. I was working at the Tokusen booth at a comic convention and we had 3 Power Rangers: Dino Charge cosplayers (I was Dino Charge Pink) and a kid from afar, screamed to his dad saying ¨LOOK DAD! I TOLD YOU! THE POWER RANGERS WERE REAL!!! ¨ Things like this fills our hearts, making us realize cosplay is more than just putting on a suit, its becoming a hero for someone, specially little ones. It makes us really happy.
What advice would you give to yourself when you first started?
To have more confidence and to keep trying, even though you may think its impossible to do, it just takes practice and over time you will get better.
Where can we find your work?
You can find my work on my Instagram.
If you want to find out more about the Tokusen team, check out their Facebook and Instagram.