Started cosplaying since: 1998
Fave fictional character: Riku (Kingdom Hearts)
Hometown: Munich, Germany
A Little About Me
My name is NanjoKoji, I’m cosplaying for 13 years (which is almost half my life) and I’m also the leader of Europe’s premier anime musical show troupe TnS – Tsuki no Senshi, producing two full-length anime-based musicals each year and performing them at Germany’s major conventions.
I’ve been Performing Guest at more than 50 conventions, helped building the german cosplay scene since the very beginning and made more than 150 cosplays up to today, all of them selfmade. My portfolio emphasizes on male adult characters, often antagonists or the more serious fighters for the good.
I love to travel, see new countries and exciting sceneries. And everytime I go somewhere, I have a few cosplays with me to have photo shootings in the coolest settings in the world. I travelled three continents to do cosplay photography there – underwater, on shore and in the air. Cosplay photography is my passion and what I enjoy most in active cosplaying. I also act as a photographer for fellow cosplayers.
Cosplay is to me a way of expression my personality, of trying on new masks to find out who I can be and become. It’s a neverending challenge and the best thing that has happened to me. It made me become a strong and confident person, helped me find the best friends I ever had and gave me the possibility to connect with people all over the globe through an artistic and unique hobby. To me, cosplay is more than a pastime – it’s a way of life!
Series: Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children
Description: Kadaj ist a very sensual and sexy character – qualities which I especially enjoy in characters I like to cosplay. When I watched Advent Children for the first time, I was captivated by him in an instant (like many were). Kadaj is rough, untamed and impulsive, he’s an artistic fighter and has a very special way of moving. As an actor, I was intrigued by his movements. I played Kadaj in a stage show, but that was not enough for me. I wanted to cosplay him and to recreate his wicked personality in photography.
The cosplay is a fake-coat that is actually an overall to be as close-fitting as possible.
I love to take photos in a dirty and wrecked location to create suspense through the many various shades and textures. To me, the surroundings are as essential to cosplay photography as the cosplay and the cosplayer. Only a good combination does the job!
Character: Cain Nightlord
Series: Trinity Blood
Description: My Cain Nightlord cosplay is my masterpiece. This is the most difficult and detailed costume I've ever made and I'll ever be doing. I finished it after 5 years of planning and 5 months of work.
The story: When my 100th cosplay was nearing in 2007, I wanted to do something special, something I had never done before. I usually prefer the more comfortable and thus easier cosplays, but for this special occasion, I was searching for something spectacular. And what is more spectacular than the Trinity Blood artworks? And so I fell in love with Cain. He’s a captivating character with an absolutely unique and glorious design. I couldn’t resist.
I started with the armour by shaping the frame for the six wings out of various wires and glued hundreds of swan and goose feathers onto it (I only used big feathers). Then I made the sun wheel by using thick flower arrangement wire constructions, hot glue, hard foam and modelling plastics, shaping the spear ends and constructing the spheres.
The shoulder armour parts (3x2 parts) were shaped from hard foam, coated with liquid plastic, the relief shapes applied with foam rubber and window colours in a lot of steps and coated again with liquid plastic. I also cut hundreds of little triangular spear-like shapes for the collars and sleeves, the cuff armours and other details from hard foam, shaped the three-dimensional parts with modelling clay (the small parts killed me, they were just so many), coated everything again with liquid plastic and went to the next step.
I wanted it all to be as detailed as possible. That means that every armour part had to be decorated all over with tiny reliefs (all parts of shoulder armour, the six spines hanging from the back armour, sleeve armours, pendants and talismans, etc.). So I applied them with window colour, on every single piece. It took ages, but it worked out.
I made all the pendants and talismans on his belt from rubber foam, modelling clay and window colour and threaded all the bead chains on his belt according to the original (it wasn’t easy to find all fitting beads), then coated everything with liquid plastic, again.
After the raw parts were done, the next step was to be done: gilding the armour. I was sure from the start that normal golden paint wouldn’t do for this cosplay, it was just not brilliant enough. So I coated the whole armour and belts in 24 carat gold.
Gilding requires three steps: First the lay milk has to be applied, afterwards the gold leaves and in the end it all has to be coated with a sealing finish. When everything had dried, I used precious metal paints to emphasize the relief structures.
The back armour is constructed from various gilded plates and armour parts, the six wings, the sun wheel and the goat skull (mine is an antilope skull because a goat wasn't big enough in my eyes).
The coat and the overcoat were made from 20 meters of bridal satin. It's incredibly heavy and the double collar always tries to choke me. I added hundreds of small application stones, combined two wigs into one for his crazy hair and gilded the boot armour. Overall I used 500 leaves of gold.
Series: Kingdom Hearts II
Description: Riku is a very important character to me. Cosplaying him got me international attention from a broad audience for the first time, I played him in three big musical stage shows and he changed my outlook on cosplay and who I wanted to be as a cosplayer. I owe a lot to this character! Kingdom hearts holds a special place in my heart.
This photo was taken on Big Island Hawai’i, where I went for the extraordinary shooting options and locations. Since I come from Germany, I had to travel across half the globe to have this photo taken. I love to cosplay in different countries to create the best possible authentic atmosphere!