Until now, it is globally recognized that the corona mischief, Covid-19, sucks.
This pandemic is a mortally harmful scum, a darned pox over fundamental aspects of our lives and loves.
It is specifically so if you are of the outgoing inclination, who needs social relations to survive, whether in the economy or the arts.
Nevertheless, surviving is often accomplished through the merged actions of transformation and conquer – here’s how these Malaysian cosplayers did their best to keep their cosplay devotion alive, despite all the ways and events being postponed or canceled.
Like many other professions or jobs, cosplayers have also shifted to the Internet to join events or arrange their own via streaming.
This 26-year-old has transformed her home into her cosplay streamer’s playpen since the movement control order (MCO) regulations were announced in March 2020.
Initially, she began streaming cosplay on Facebook to cheer people up but discovered it possibly profitable too.
“My whole house has 3 rooms. The primary bedroom is my normal bedroom. I converted one of the rooms into my “Cosplay room,” where I keep my costumes, wigs, and makeup, and an extra room just for streaming where I have my pc, figurines, and most of my stationaries.
I began streaming since I had nothing to do while staying home. If it wasn’t for the pandemic, there’s a big opportunity that I wouldn’t have begun streaming at all.”
Before the pandemic, Angel’s everyday life would have been following more events for work, such as photoshoots and Comic Fiesta.
“I usually make around RM3-6k monthly, relying on how much work and shows I had.
“It’s freelance, so there are more profitable months than others. Now that I’m streaming on numerous platforms and selling no-frills merchandise online, it could go up to a 5-digit salary a month,” she stated.
Angel streams on Facebook and BIGO and makes money by selling polaroids of her OOTD and other merchandise.
“Creating content and communicating with people are things that I enjoy, and if I can consume just 1 or 2 hours a day improving some people’s day, why not?
I did feel drained numerous times from having to find new topics every day. I’m no gamer, so my streams were about sharing stories, adventures, and learning.
”Afterwards, I invested in a PC to improve my streams, and I haven’t stopped ever since.”
“A girl’s gotta make a living,” Angel stated matter-of-factly. “Of course, there’s the infrequent stress on beating monthly targets, but the good outranks the bad.”
“When I look back at my profession, I had then made a spot for myself, and my career was making this whole time not even realizing it.”
“We all know that we can’t stream or cosplay forever. I received that long ago, but I don’t plan to retire as long as I can keep it going.
“When cosplaying as a hobby, there’s more liberty to it – you can do anything you want whenever you want. Cosplaying to earn an income requires being more determined and controlled to produce quality content, watch your speech and appearance and learn how to market yourself to gain approval and investment.
“Our hobbies keep us alive; we do it since it’s our fondness, and we have passion for it. Bliss is key to a healthy life,” states Angel.
Miyu Hanamori began her cosplay hobby in 2015 after finding Thailand cosplayer Yuegene Fay from a Comic Fiesta YouTube video.
“I knew cosplay had lived way before that, but I did not have the chance to try it out.
“Making cosplay into a career was also not a thing that crossed my mind honestly until a couple of years back, after getting invited to a small event as a guest.
Miyu at the beginning felt at a loss when the MCO was announced as she had to cancel a string of photoshoots intended to build her portfolio and grow her social media presence.
Thankfully, she found sound advice and support from friends with similar interests, who guided her towards keeping her cosplay hobby and career alive.
“At first, I was just wondering; I downloaded the BIGO app to support my good friend, King Angel. She probably knew I was feeling aimless then, so she inquired for me to join BIGO to stream as somewhat to fill in the time.
“I was uncertain and didn’t take it severely because I am quite reserved, but after a few months, and thanks to wisdow from my seniors, I got used to it and ran full time on BIGO. Now I stream approximately daily on BIGO, with one day off on weekdays.”
Miyu, nevertheless, stated that it’s not rainbows and sunshine, as the spirit of cosplay, which utilized to be more around going out and interacting with people, has turned into an entirely virtual one.
She should maintain a consistent social media existence by uploading pictures and online updates.
She says, on moderate, she makes a couple of hundred ringgit by selling.
Image by Miyu Hanamori.
“It’s not many for somebody who just began to increase their community from zero, but in terms of streaming, I can only state we make a standard of 2k per month relying on how resourceful you are with your content.
“Many who do cosplay presently are just get into the new trends and to make some fast cash.
“While there is nothing incorrect with that since folks need money to live, it does give the inaccurate image when they cannot justify the characters they are cosplaying.
Miyu stated she collected the hobby to create purpose and add spark to her life.
“I do cosplay for the sake of enjoying the characters I love. I will do stuff at my own pace and persist in doing it even after we recover normality.
Fyra Zaidi, has been cosplaying for more than 8 years, is getting comfy online by incorporating her love for cosplay and e-sports.
She was a Taobao agent who shifted into a cosplay talent and now works as a “shoutcaster,” a broadcaster in e-sports.
She also runs a cosplay-related company to create props and supplements at JK Creative.
“I am now a full blown caster and shoutcasting from the comforts of my home. I am into mobile gaming too. I took my fondness for gaming into a profession. I made my little spot in the eSport and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang scene.”
Before the pandemic, Fyra’s cosplaying pursuit had succeeded as a career. She’s making between RM300 to RM500 per day as a talented guest at occasions.
“My mother and friend supported me with my very first costume. It was a character named Oichi from the PlayStation2 game ‘Basara 2’.
“After four years of cosplaying as a hobby after that, I was able to drive it as a career.”
Fyra has had to wing it by re-using her old cosplay to pep up her casting from home gigs. “Nowadays, I operate in the esports initiative where I occasionally take cosplay assignments from customers.”
“I do cosplay as my career, but I don’t cosplay in my free time as much as I used to.
She also continues operating JK Creative as a one-stop solution for cosplay needs.
“During the pandemic, we ceased accepting small orders from the society as they were no events. We did create costumes and cosplay for businesses.
“While I miss my friends and going out to events, I believe we should regularize streaming and in-house show!
“I had never created an in-house exhibition before the pandemic, though currently, I am energetically creating content,” said Fyra.
She stated even though she had had a hard time financially at first. Casting enabled her to maintain her afloat, to the fact that she was capable of buying some new cosplay outfits.
I likewise discovered few reputable used ones that can assist me in saving money.” Fyra cited.