Finally after months of emailing coupled with back and forth translations, we managed to track down Tasha from Spiral Cats to answer some questions regarding their cosplay group. Why Spiral Cats again? Well honestly they’re just plain astonishing. Organised, great costumes, awesome photography (thanks to SinMe which we interviewed earlier) and more importantly they are gorgeous looking girls, so what’s not to like about them? It’s an honour for us that Tasha agreed to this interview. Therefore without further ado, here’s the entire interview session!
Anime Shrine: Who are the current members of Spiral Cats and how did you all first met?
Spiral Cat (Tasha): Spiral Cats current members are Tasha (Oh Go-eun) (as the team leader), Ren (Lee Da-yeong), Tomia (Kim Jung-hoon), and Miyuko (Kang Yun-jin). Altogether we have 4 members. The Spiral Cats photographer, SinMae is currently responsible for our team external activities. You can consider him as our manager or organizer.
Tasha is 26 and started cosplaying since 1999, Ren is also 26 and started cosplaying a year earlier, Tomia is 24 and started cosplaying since 2005 while Miyuko is 21 and started cosplaying since 2006. Tasha and Ren were the two most spirited in cosplaying and were doing it consitently, and in 2009 Spiral Cats was born. In 2010 Tomiya joined and Miyuko joined in 2011. Since then, the activities are getting bigger. We are planning to sign two more members in 2012.
We hope that you guys will give us more love and support in the future. ^^
AS: What attracts all of you into cosplaying?
Tasha: When I was young, I was introduced to the Japanese culture by their manga and when I first went to watch cosplay (event?), it gave me such a culture shock. My heart was telling me “I want to try and do this”.
I was really young at the time but from out of nowhere, I got the courage to go alone to a market to buy cloth (for cosplaying). It was at the biggest folk market in South Korea, the Namdaemun market. I asked the merchants there where I could buy cotton so that I could hand-stitch a costume. I also use a necklace’s beads as jewellery, then I draw some pattern. I used a slipper-making-material that I bought and made a boot. I didn’t know what I (actually) did but it was fun.
It started as a hobby, now it became my job. I think that the more I am involved with this world, the more I am learning new things.
Miyuko: I first knew about cosplay from Korea Comic World (it is like Japan’s Comiket). There, I experienced a culture shock and since then I was all into cosplay activity.
Tomia: When I was playing ‘Dungeon and Fighter’, a Korean online game, I wanted so much to be like my character in the game, so I started cosplaying.
Ren: Since I was young, I liked comic very much. So when I entered middle school I joined a culture club. There, I was first introduced to cosplay.
I was very keen to be my favorite character, so at Comic World, I participated in cosplay for the first time. The reaction I got from the crowd was good and I was very excited, and from then I was in love with cosplay.
AS: Do you guys make the costumes by hand or did you buy them?
SP: All the members discusses and collaborate together from the pattern designs to the materials selection. Even when making the outfit, we do not make our own by ourselves, but the whole team will focus on one outfit per time and make it together.
For example, Tomia’s SeeU costume from vocaloid (above). The fabric selection and pattern design were made by all of the members. Miyuko went to select the fabric directly from the market. The headset, kitten ears (nekomimi?), slippers panel, etc was made by Tasha. Tomia herself set the wig that she will use.
AS: Which are your favourite manga/anime characters?
Tasha: I like Chiaki from Nodame Cantabile. I also like (Hiroshi) Tamaki who play as Chiaki in the drama.
Miyuko: I like Conan (Mentantei Conan). I read all of the manga and of course I watched all of the anime.
Tomia: Masaru from Sexy Commando Gaiden: Sugoiyo! Masaru
Ren: Because I like anime that have a gentle storyline, I think for now my favorite anime is Natsume’s Book of Friend. And also because I like cat, my favorite character will be Nyanko-sensei. Hihi. I also made a pottery of him because I adore him so much.
AS: When you guys are not cosplaying, what are your hobbies?
Tasha: I usually will go travelling at least once a year. I enjoy it so much. When I travel, I think it is important to make a travel book as I want all my memory to be carefully written in my travel book. (Editor’s Note: Come to Malaysia ploxx!!!)
Miyuko: I like cross-stitching.
Tomia: I draw pictures and play piano.
Ren: I am a gamer. I started to hold a console controller since I was 4. I practicallly lived with Diablo II when in highs school, and WoW during my university years. Now I ended up being a game designer ^^; (Editor’s Note: I bet she will kick my ass as well in Starcraft II)
AS: Do you guys always hang out together?
SP: When we are busy with cosplay activities, we see each other more often than our own family. We have been together for 4 years now and we regard each other as families.
AS: What are you guys working as in real life?
Tasha: I work as a stylist at a studio. Every time there is a costumer who wants to take a wedding picture or a profile picture, it is my job to give them advice on styling. In 2012, with the support from other professional cosplayers in Korea, I decided to be a professional cosplayer as well.
Miyuko: I am a fashion design student. All the stuffs about fashion designing that I learned in school helps a lot in my cosplay activity.
Tomia: At first, I wanted to be a mathematics teacher, so I went to school of mathematics and education. But this 2012 semester, I switched to fashion design department. I’ve been thinking about this for a long time and I’m not regretting it. (Editor’s Note: NOOO!! Teach me maths sensei!)
Ren: I’m currently working as a game developer (planner) in a company. Nowadays, I am very busy with my works. It is a pity I cannot do cosplay much anymore. I give the other team members moral support from the back though since they are all working very hard.
AS: Any favourite picture of the cosplays that you guys did?
Tasha: My favourite is when I cosplayed as Boa Hancock from One Piece. I posed by turning on my back. It was a very cold winter day and the temperature was -2degree Celsius. Because of the weather, the shooting was very tiring but the result was so good, it became my most memorable photo session.
Miyuko: my favorite picture is when I cosplayed Kuroneko from Ore no Imōto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai. It was my first photo shoot session after I joined Spiral Cats, so it remains as the most memorable. I hope we can do this more in the future.
Ren: there was a cosplay from Vocaloid called knife, where I cosplayed as Miku. The costume and the pictures had a deep impact for me and I’m very proud of it. That picture once became no.1 in a poll at a Japanese cosplay community site.
AS: Were there any memorable moments during your photoshoots?
Tasha: I wouldn’t say it is a memorable moment, but there was an unexplained mystery.
It happened when I was shooting Vocaloid – Love is War. At that time, everyone was busy preparing all sorts of things for the cosplay. Each person was holding a 150×190 cm flag of different colours and doing other preparations for the prop. However, when we were moving to the shooting site, the flags went missing. It was very weird. We don’t know where, how, or when it gone missing. Until now, we don’t know where the 9 flags went. It was a pity I could not held it during the shooting session.
Tomia: Every time I do a photoshoot, I think about the story and the memories (of the shoot). All those times were memorable (to me).
Ren: The time we spend outside shooting, during preparation, during breaks, I and the team will selca (Editor’s note: Shortened from “Self Camera”. Easier still it’s what Malaysian call Camwhoring). Cosplay is a kind of acting, but when we selca together we could see ourselves. It always become a memorable memory. I enjoy taking picture of us doing childish pose and funny face expression. It is so much fun.
AS: Have you ever guessed that you will be this popular and known not only in Korea but also
around the world?
SP: When Ren and Tasha first formed Spiral Cats, we always wanted to be a cool cosplay group in Korea and to be known worldwide. We are delighted to see that we are achieving that goal. In Korea many people are showing us (Spiral Cats) love and support. We could only humbly say thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
AS: How long do you see you guys cosplaying? Will there be a time where you think “This is the
time I need to retire from doing this”?
Tasha: As a career, it will certainly stop. But as a hobby, I want to do this until I became a granny. Then I can do cosplay that only granny can do like Dr. Kureha from One Piece or Sophie from Howl’s Moving Castle. I already planned it out. (Editor’s Note: Wow, I respect her for this. Can’t wait to see a Sophie cosplay from Tasha in the very far future)
Miyuko: I want to continue doing cosplay. Even if I have children, I will make costumes and make them wear it. It is my dream to do cosplay together with my family.
Tomia: I want to continue doing cosplay in the future because it is a very exciting hobby.
Ren: I’m currently resting (from cosplay) because of my work load. But honestly I would never want to stop doing it. In any way possible, I will find a gap to do it at least once a year. Hihi.
AS: What was the most memorable cosplay costume that you guys ever wore?
Tasha: I have to say that the Sailormoon costume I wore when I went to WSC is closest to my heart. It is a 6m tall dress, and when I try to put it in my wardrobe, it doesn’t fit. Although it is hard to store, that dress will remain my favorite.
Miyuko: I really love Ahri’s (from League of Legends) outfit because it have Korean style design. We put many efforts making the costume and the props. It is the one I like best. The tail is so big it became troublesome. I cannot just throw it away, so now we use it as sofa chair. (Editor’s Note: Nice idea, it looked so fluffy)
Tomia: All of them has a place in my heart. Each of them carries special memories with it. It is hard for me to say I like one of them more than the other. I love all of them.
Ren: I think the one I like most is Miku’s outfit that I wore on Knife.
AS: How much have everyone spent (collectively) on maintaining this hobby?
SP: Spiral Cats team never counted how much money we spent to make our outfits. It is also kind of impossible to guesstimate.
AS: What are the future plans of Spiral Cats?
SP: Domestically, we are trying to be a professional costplayer team. We are currently the mascot for a Korean professional game team – League of Legends, and also models for Kinect of Microsoft Korea. It seems like we are getting widely accepted by our community. ^^
Currently we are stabilizing our foundation locally and we hope to be a professional team and do activities globally. Until we became a professional team, we hope you all will look forward to our performance ^^
And with that we would like to thank Spiral Cats for making time in their busy schedule to do this interview. We hope that we could see them soon in Malaysia and really, all the best of luck to them. They have worked hard to reach here and wishing them luck is the least that we could do. Don’t forget to visit their websites as well here.