• Jennifer Rasnake

Meet Cipher Matou!

Name/Handle: My pen name is Cipher Matou and my IG handle is @theghostur2me

Location: California, United States

Favorite cosplay and why: My favorite cosplay is Captain America because he's the ideal hero this county needs. He never gives up and he's always on the side of justice. He's not just a superhero blindly following orders given to him by his superiors, but he always does what's right and holds onto his ideals until the very end even if it means landing him in hot water with said superiors. That's what's inspiring about him. Plus, who doesn't idolize a strong, muscular, handsome, socially-awkward character? Fighting with a shield always caught my attention because it's such a bad-ass way to fight by throwing it like a boomerang.

How long have you been cosplaying? I've been cosplaying since 2016 but I've been attending comic and anime conventions since 2009.

Do you create your own or have it commissioned: I buy some costumes but I make the ones that aren't available and accessories such as Nomad, gender-bent Sailor Moon, and Nightwing's escrima sticks and collar, Zabuza's sword, Human torch's flames, etc.

Favorite thing about Cosplaying: My favorite thing about cosplaying is portraying someone who isn't you. It's fun dressing up and running around as a different person. I used to be very shy about throwing a costume on and going to an event but the past year has helped me with that. I can proudly walk around in public in a ridiculous costume like Steve Roger's nomad. It's the confidence that cosplay gives me that makes me love doing it. Cosplaying has made me overcome some of my body-conscious thoughts.

Next Convention: Hopefully Lvl Up Expo if it goes.

Favorite Experiences Cosplaying: My best experience cosplaying... there's so many! When I'm volunteering for my local cosplay charity group, it's just fun seeing the smiles on kid's faces as they interact with their favorite superhero. It really feels like you're making an impact on their lives even if it's only for a few minutes. Other special mentions were at Otakon when my Zabuza cosplay caught the attention of Steve Blum and I was interviewed for a Toonami clip. Lauren Landa and Erica Mendez were also there chatting with me.

Advice for New cosplayers: Please, Please, Please don't cosplay an OC ( original character). People will appreciate the effort and understanding but looking back it was a bad idea. Oh and get an Instagram account if you cosplay. When I first started cosplaying I didn't have an IG account so I missed a ton of networking friends especially at the large Anime expo in Los Angeles which I attended 4 years in a row before.

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