Zarya Overwatch Cosplayer Akishuna, Canada
Continuing our Cosplayer Interview Series for this week. I’d like to welcome our next cosplayer all the way from Canada, a Zarya Overwatch Cosplayer, grabbing one of the best Zarya (character of Overwatch) cosplay I’ve ever seen. One of those “Costaud” look that you’ll see in the Cosplay World.
Akishuna usually goes to conventions in Québec and Ontario. She belongs to the trio group called “The Three Queens Cosplay” with her other two friends Elithia and Etfy.
Next year they hope to reach the country USA for their first American convention as a trio. I’m already excited to present to you our magnificent cosplayer, with full of inspirational messages to share. Let’s start this now!
Zarya Overwatch Cosplayer, Akishuna Cosplay
I’m a gamer so I knew cosplay way before I started my costume. I was really impressed by the work of cosplayers like Kamui and Yaya Han.
In 2013 we decided to attend for the first time Montreal Comiccon. I did a simple cosplay of Izumi Curtis, I was my first time sewing with a machine and a pattern. The next year we decided to do a group cosplay and that when our trio came to life!
Our first con as a group was Montreal Comiccon in 2014. We went as a group from World of Warcraft; I was Tyrande Whisperwind, Etfy was Sylvanas Windrunner and Elithia was Alexstraza. I will always remember when we arrived at the main floor.
We were just getting in that a photographer asked to take a picture of us. We were so thrilled! And then came another person and another… before we knew there was a group of people taking pictures of us, we couldn’t move really.
I felt like a movie star. Even if our costume were a pain – literally – we had such a good time! People ask who we were and we didn’t have a group name at that time. It’s after that Con that we decided to name ourselves after a dedication Monica Lee wrote on a print she gave us as a prize for the masquerade.
The Three Queens cosplay came to life! It was our first masquerade and we had such a blast with the other cosplayers of our den, I will never forget that day. To top that, we won Best in class Novice, we’re humble and completely hooked on cosplay.
Fist one was Izumi Curtis from Full Metal Alchemist. I made other costumes for LARP before that but I hadn’t use a sewing machine yet. I went to my mother-in-law to make the sewing since I didn’t have a sewing machine.
My friend Etfy did the pattern of the shirt-dress herself and I wanted to make her proud so I keep working even if I was sometimes really frustrated about my sewing! I learned a lot and Etfy gave me a lot of good advice, and since I made all the sewing and even some patterns myself for my cosplay.
In total, I sewed 5 cosplays:
- Izumi Curtis (FMA),
- Tyrande Whisperwind (WoW),
- Evil Queen (old-school),
- Project Leona (League of Legends),
- Zarya (Overwatch)
If I had to choose a favorite cosplay I think it would be Zarya. Before my latest cosplay it was my barbarian cosplay (no sewing – all armor), but cosplaying Zarya is a unique experience.
People approach me more easily and I love talking to the folk at cons, so that’s a good start. That cosplay is the most comfortable. I really like have short pink hair too, because cons = heat challenge!
That cosplay made me train more. I started training my arms for my Project Leona cosplay, to be able to keep my shield and sword all day.
But it was different for Zarya, I wanted to have some muscle to show, even if I knew I could never be as buff as the character. My muscles don’t really show a lot even now – after months of training – but I know that I gained strength I had not before. That accomplishment makes me feel proud.
Definition of Cosplayer
Cosplay = FUN, LEARNING, and SHARING. This three principles are the most important to me.
I need to enjoy crafting, I’m not being paid for what I do.
It’s a hobby, I don’t sell the print or have a Patreon page because I want to keep it simple. I choose that because and I’m quite happy about it. I need to have fun to be creative.
When I work on a project I try to learn as much as possible. I’ve read a lot of books (Kamui, Punished Props) and looked a lot of videos (Evil Ted) and I want to keep learning even if that means sometimes trying and failing miserably! That’s part of the game.
I enjoy being part of a community that enjoys creativity. I could do what I do because of what others shared, and share what I do too, being part of that community is awesome.
When people like a progress picture or ask a question, I get the feeling that what I share could be useful to another person trying to create a costume – which is art to me. It’s quite a fulfilling sentiment and I love it.
Helping someone from another country and even another continent makes you feel connected to something greater.
I subscribe to the movement “Cosplay is for all” or “ All cosplayer all equal” there is not a sense of community without accepting of other’s expressions of themselves through cosplay.
What others can do doesn’t throw a shade on what you do. I see it completely the other way around; the awesomeness of others will motivate me to try to be awesome too.
We were attending our second con and that night was the masquerade so I was already stressed out. I ate two cereal/protein bars that day.
Well…I’m lactose intolerant, guess what? There was some serious lactose in those bars. So, I’m wearing my barbarian cosplay with the midriff expose and the bloating began.
There was no escape from it. I was in the green room, beginning to feel quite grassy, but since I was in a den full of people I was fighting my life not too well… let it go?
At the point, I didn’t know that it was the lactose causing all that ruckus. I mortified to go on stage like that, but guess what? I did it anyway and we won Best of Show Overall. So, I guess I can really hide my feeling when I’m in front of a crowd.
Like I said earlier, Kamui, Yaya Han, Evil Ted and Punished Prop were my cosplay sensei with their books, videos, and tutorials. I made some acquaintance with another cosplayer as well, so it’s always fun to see them at the con.
Québec is still a relatively small scene cosplay wise, so we know each other by social media or when we met at cons.
I have the utmost respect and admiration for the craftsmanship of Sarcasm-Hime Cosplay.
Her work is simply mind-blowing. So, I guess I would recommend her for an interview!
The best award we earned was Best in Show overall with our Diablo II cosplay. It was our second convention as a trio and we were in the journeyman category.
We were attending the awards ceremony and we were wondering if we had won something. We were a bit sad when all the winners for the journeyman division were announce.
But at the end of the ceremony there was an announcement about another award and there it was our second and most glorious prize! We were in tears and couldn’t believe that was happening. What a beautiful memory!
Advice to give
Go for it! Learn and keep learning, check out Kamui, Yaya Han, Evil Ted and Punished Prop material. Keep an open mind and try something new with each project.
Respect yourself, what you like and what you want to do. Cosplay could be fun to find out what you like: armor, sewing, props all the above! Don’t limit yourself because of age, size, race or sexual identity, etc.
We might do a simple project (mostly sewing) for Halloween, and another bigger project – not yet determined – for next summer.
What a lovely tips, lessons, and inspirational message that our cosplayer has shared. She has indeed some great advice to give to some aspirant cosplayers, a great way to improve is to learn from those who are already successful. I would like to apologize
I really adore her words about Cosplay, that it’s open to everyone, no age limit, no gender prohibited, no race or nationality are refuse. Anyone! Everyone! is welcome.
I would like to personally thank Akishuna for participating in our Cosplay Interview Series, such an honor to feature a great artist like her. She does an immense job on her costumes and props.
Thank you again and we’ll support you and your team!
If you like to see more of Akishuna’s photos and incredible works check out her accounts on