How did the name "lizanyacosplay" come to be?
If you read it out loud, you can usually get what it's about. It's a pun (on the word lasagna). I was trying to think of different things, and that was just in the back of my mind, and I thought it was too silly. But then I thought, no, I'm just going to use it. I don't know a lot of other words that rhyme with Liz, so it doesn't fit in with how many other people's names work for those things. So that's what I went with, haha.
How did you get into cosplaying? /How long have you been cosplaying now?
I'm actually from a super small town. I didn't have any exposure to any part of this kind of culture (anime or pop culture in general). I remember at the end of high school, I discovered that I liked K-pop, and then around that same time, my brother made me watch part one of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. But, you get to the ending, and (spoiler) Jonathan just dies. And then I was wondering, that's it? And he said yeah, now we're going to start part two. And I said, no, we're not… beginning a multi year hiatus before I picked it up again.
So, there was a significant pause between that event and then actually getting back into anime later. First, I was really into K-pop and I went to Kcon in 2014, a K-pop convention that was relatively new. I decided I was going to cosplay and to get an outfit that looks like one of the Girls’ Generation music videos. At the time, my favorite was Sunny, but it wasn't her that I cosplayed. I got the outfit for the song: Oh! They have pink bomber jackets, and it's supposed to be an athletic-looking kind of thing. Yeah…. super old. Especially now, keeping up with Kpop is like a full-time job.
Oh man, Girls' Generation, I feel so old. I was so excited to see them and G Dragon. Do people even still enjoy G Dragon? I don't know, is G dragon relevant anymore? A cool one that was there, in retrospect, was BTS. This was in 2014 before they were as significant as they are now. I liked listening to their stuff and seeing them at KCon. I'm sure it's tough to get tickets to see them live now. I liked them before it was as cool as it is now.
I don't follow K-pop closely anymore. I listen to Blackpink now, but I think everybody does, that's pretty mainstream now. That Kcon was the first time I ever cosplayed, and saw people's reactions to it. I had no idea that people were fans of that specific Girls’ Generation video and saw people get excited about seeing me in cosplay for the first time.
What was your first convention like?
Since I had never been to an anime convention, I had no idea that people can be such a fan when they see you and your outfit as their favorite character. I learned later that when you're dressed like their favorite character, people get really excited about it. That was part of how I got hooked on it. New friends reintroduced me to anime and K-pop in college and I went to my first conventions. And that was kind of how all of that started. Now I’m more into anime and video games. I’m not sure if people assume that there's some connection between anime and kpop, but KCon was way different than any anime convention I've ever been to. Even though there's definitely overlap in those communities, kpop fans are vastly different from anime fans.
Now that I've been to a handful of different K-pop concerts, I know you've got to have powerful willpower to make it through. Kpop concerts/conventions tend to be a bit more aggressive than anime conventions in some ways. So, my first anime convention was Fanime, probably that same year or the year after, in 2014 or 2015. Even though Fanime is pretty crazy, it felt more chill than K con. So, Fanime has become my main convention in San Jose. It’s the bay area's biggest convention, and I think it's the second biggest in California. That’s my local con and the one I'm most likely to keep going to.
It's so fun because of how everybody's got the same set of interests to some degree. And so, when somebody sees you, and you're their favorite character from something obscure, you both have an 'oh my god' moment. Like, “oh, you know what this is,” haha, just like an immediate bonding moment.
What would you say is your most recognized cosplay?
Definitely, Cammy White (from Street Fighter) and Sailor Moon would be my most recognized. My most “viral” is one I did a spur of the moment of Hange from AOT, which blew up on Instagram. I remember I opened IG, and I was like, what? This one?
I'm excited to bring Cammy back for when conventions start happening again, as I only got to wear that cosplay once, and it's interesting as that's become one of my signature cosplays. But unfortunately, it only saw Anime Expo 2019.
Which cosplays are you most proud of?
Definitely Sailor Moon or Cammy, though. Another one that I like is my Ymir from Attack on Titan that I just kind of put together.
What's the best in-character interaction you've ever had?
I have this one Sailor Moon cosplay that's Sailor Chibi Moon; she’s the little pink one. The cosplay is her princess dress form but as an adult, and that's only in one part of the manga. I love the design, so I didn't do it intentionally to be like oh my gosh, I know the lore, but when other fans saw it, they understood and liked how I did that specific version.
At a photoshoot gathering in that same cosplay, there was a child dressed as Sailor Chibi Moon. She was SOO cute and outgoing and just bossing people around, telling who would be in which photoshoot. She was probably around 7 years old, just like Chibiusa, which added to the humor of that interaction.
There was also a Tuxedo Mask cosplayer there who brought roses and gave one to every Sailor Moon cosplayer, which was really sweet. That was a fun gathering.
Who's your favorite Sailor?
It's hard to pick one favorite, but Sailor Moon is definitely very high up there. I'm excited as well cause I'm working on a version they had in a café that was supposed to be permanent in Tokyo, but COVID happened. They did a musical performance of the first season, but it's not the same as the musical “seramyu” outfits. It's just like their regular bows, but it's like sequins instead of traditional fabric.
And so, I've been working on that, and it’s been a pretty big undertaking. I'm excited for that to be the version of Sailor Moon that I start bringing back when big conventions start happening again. I'm also excited to bring back Cammy, as I only got to wear that to one con, and it's wild because it's like one of my signature cosplays.
Side-note: Are you excited about how part 6 of JoJo is going so far?
Yeah! I really enjoyed the voice acting. Because we've only seen the first twelve episodes of this season, I forgot how long Stone Ocean is. I got to the end of the first episodes thinking that’s it, we're only at the frogs. I watched it with somebody who hadn't seen it, and I wanted them to meet Anasui. And then he's in one scene in one episode, and I'm like, wait, that's right. He doesn't show up until the next arc, even though he's one of the most important characters. But yeah, I'm super excited to see the rest of the season animated.
(Photo Credit: lizanyacosplay)
And I'm also like one of those stereotypical JoJo fans, who's saying: "oh excellent, Stone Ocean is here, so we're closer to Steel Ball Run now.” So, I know I'm excited for that eventually too, cause that's my favorite part overall.
I'm also excited to bring my Jolyne out for the first time at cons.
Going back to cosplaying, have you used this interest in Sailor Moon and JoJo to meet friends?What are some tips for people to potentially meet fellow fans at a con?
Definitely definitely. You have to be careful whenever you meet with people you don't know, even if it is a large group or just talking to people online. But, still, I have made so many friends that I would have never made if I didn't have this community. You can easily find people on Instagram or in Facebook groups with these shared interests. It is really cool to meet them, even if I can't go hang out with them due to distance.
One of the cosplays that I worked on recently was Yasuho Hirose from part 8 of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. However, I could not figure out how to do her hair for the life of me. So, I messaged my friend who had also cosplayed her. And even though she lived in Italy, we talked about it, and she gave me some suggestions. It was fantastic to have that connection and really get to know people that you otherwise wouldn't have met.
I'd say I have met more people in this community online than I have in person. I have a handful of people that I've met in person at conventions that are my friends, but, definitely, there's also a bit of a process of establishing a relationship online first and getting to know people better. There's definitely the opposite as well, where I meet someone for like two minutes for one picture at a convention, and then we ended up talking more online. So, there's that too.
Any recommendations for someone starting out and just getting into cosplay? (IE-beginner cosplay tips)-like what kind of materials or getting into cosplay for cheap?
There are a couple of things that I'd recommend. The first thing is to not be scared of wigs.
I definitely think this is pretty common because this was also mine and my friends’ experience. I picked characters with my hair color, but the options really open up once you open up to wearing wigs. You learn how to style them a little better or even just where to buy them, and how to put them on in the best way to keep them staying put. So, I think it opens up many characters, and a lot of options open for you as a cosplayer.
I would also say not to take on a big project at first. It's easy to see somebody with full armor and be overwhelmed and intimidated. I've been cosplaying since 2014, so that's going on eight years, and I'm still not going to take on a project like that. Those are pretty hard. That takes a lot of experience. And, there are so many people on Instagram who just draw complicated character designs. Those are super complex processes that a beginner shouldn't worry about.
-It's nuts how people can do that.
Yeah, It's crazy. On the other hand, I would say to try your best. Try not to get intimidated because it really is for everyone. And just because you saw someone's crazy looking Boba Fett doesn't mean like you can't do whatever you want to cosplay as.
It's also okay to buy your cosplay. There are so many things where it just makes more sense to buy something, like a school uniform that would take forever to sew. I would also say not to be intimidated by the “you have to hand-make every single thing” kind of attitude.
-I also notice people are taking more liberties and are moving away from hyper-accuracy.
Yeah, exactly. And that's just another thing about seeing younger cosplayers online and cosplay online in general, is that there's more of a trend, sort of a movement away from the hyper accuracy. And people will accessorize the character in a way they think fits their aesthetic, and honestly, that's pretty cool too. Really, there's no reason to be a massive stickler, like oh my god, I have to have the right shoes. Now I just need to make it through the con without my feet hurting. So, you have to balance those things as well.
-Yeah, exactly. Yeah.
When/where is your next big convention?
Sakura-Con (April 15th – 17th, 2022). I know it's a relatively smaller con, so they've had issues with rescheduling, but you know, if they have it, I'll be there.
Then Fanime (May 27th – 30th, 2022) in the spring here in San Jose, and of course Kumoricon in the fall (in Portland, TBD), and Anime Expo (July 1st – 4th, 2022).
Also, Crunchyroll if that happens. That was a surprisingly good convention, even though it was pretty expensive. Some friends and I decided to go last minute, and we were thinking, oh my God, these tickets are $90, so it better be good. For example, SacAnime is only $25 or something (for comparison on the low end). However, it actually had a really, really good artist’s alley, and they managed the convention center and the convention itself pretty well. So, if that happens again, I definitely will go. Not sure though if they still would brand it that way though (since Sony's Funimation bought Crunchyroll out for $1.2billion-Polygon).
Was there one other cosplayer with whom you had the most fun cosplaying and collaborating?
Yeah, I do! my friend Wren, her handle is @princesswrencosplay
She's also tagged in many of my posts, as we like to come up with many things to work on together. We just did, Yumeko Jabami and Mary Saotome, Kakegurui, and we went to a cosplay gathering.
A rather interesting story: I had posted on my account that I was going to wear Yumeko (the black and red school uniforms), and another friend who was going to the gathering saw it, and said wait, I'll wear mine too! So, we actually got to have a little group photoshoot together.
Awesome! Thanks for the opportunity!
You can find Liz on IG, Tiktok, and FB! Her social profiles are located down below:
Linktree: (which contains all of her socials)
Tiktok: (for both cosplay and non-cosplay content)
Kpop mentioned in this article: