Akanksha cosplaying as Lara Croft from Tomb Raider
Cosplay is the practice of dressing up as a character from a book, video game or film. Over the last few years, it has emerged as a really popular concept across the world, with a number of competitions being held at various destinations. Almost all the big gaming events around the world have cosplay events, and in all comic cons, cosplay turns out to be the big wow factor. In India, cosplaying started seven years ago in 2011 at the Comic Con held in New Delhi. Now, it has become an integral part of several events. T2 Online caught up with one of the best cosplayers of the country, Akanksha Sachan, who is now gearing up to represent India at the World Cosplay Summit (WCS) slated to be held in Japan this July. In a freewheeling chat, she spoke to us about her undying passion for gaming and what it is about cosplaying that attracts her the most.
What was your family's reaction when you opted for cosplay and gaming?
My parents have been really supportive of me doing anything so far in my life. Honestly, they had no idea about what cosplaying is, or gaming for that matter. Obviously, they think it's for kids. But they saw me making a career out of this, putting so much effort to grow as an artiste. They are proud of me.
Do you have any idols in cosplay?
Yes, When I was 17, I started following Alodia. She has always been my idol. I watched her on Animax even before I knew what cosplay was.
How did you start gaming?
I have recently been gaming a lot, maybe because I work for a gaming company. Earlier, I was more of a lazy gamer who used to play games to while away time or just for fun.
Tell us about the current eSports scene? How do you feel is the Indian gaming scene shaping up?
It's growing a lot, and is way better than it was in the last few years. Now, we have so many eSports tournaments in our country, so many teams participating. I think it has a great future.
What are the challenges you faced initially?
I am a fashion graduate, so I never actually had any issues related to making costumes and sourcing anything for cosplay. I had all the DIY tricks. The only challenge I faced was to educate people about what cosplay is as it's a very niche thing in India.
What advice will you give people who want to get into cosplay?
Just do it! If you love the character, nothing can stop you from cosplaying. Don't have costumes? You have YouTube for help in DIY costumes.
What are the challenges you still encounter?
Staying on a par with international standards of cosplay. We have very limited resources. Access to all those materials can make a lot of difference. We have only a handful of cosplay-related events held here.