Fans of pop-culture, from anime to comic books to video games, appreciate the opportunity to bring their favorite characters to life. Despite the current mainstream appearance of cosplay, the hobby has existed for a long time and found its place in the hearts of many. Cosplay is an adventure. A passion. A personal endeavor that allows us to share something of who we are (or who we wish to be) with the world. Some find this form of “dressing up” to be therapeutic while others are simply looking to have fun. Then, there are the individuals who embrace cosplay as an intense creative outlet, allowing them to dig deep into their talents, develop new skill sets, and connect with the world through their chosen medium.
Months ago, before I bothered with a game called “Mystic Messenger” (You may have heard of it.), a friend of mine on Facebook would regularly post pictures from a particular cosplayer who had taken on the persona of more than one character from the app. Seeing these pictures intrigued me enough to try the game, and my familiarity with the game fanned the flames of my interest in said cosplayer. Around that point, I acquired a new job and money. (Uh oh. Lol) Then, I saw a post regarding a print sale (discounts for Patreons). One Patreon pledge and eight prints later, I found myself immersed in the world of KuroShiba Cosplay where I learned that the undeniably smexy and talented cosplayer was, above all else, a sweet and down-to-earth guy who genuinely cares about his fans.
So, it is with the utmost pleasure that I introduce you to Dan of KuroShiba Cosplay:
What was it that made you want to cosplay? A particular character or show? Another cosplayer?
Someone asked me if I’d be keen to try cosplaying at a local con with them… Neither of us had done it before and wouldn’t have bothered going except for giving the costume thing a try. We both did and LOVED it, so then we looked for local cosplay events (there was only 1-2 per year) and after that we got really into it together. (May I express our collective gratitude to this individual? ^_^)
You’ve cosplayed a wide variety of characters. Are there any that you really resonated with you on a personal level?
I really resonate with Jumin, Saeran, Mikoto from K and The Joker. (I’m intrigued by these choices. ^_^ Lol)
Aside from Patreon polls, how do you decide which characters to cosplay? Is there a method to the madness?
A mixture of things… Characters I like and gravitate towards… Characters who I think would be a real challenge for me to cosplay cos they’re actually NOT a good fit for me… Characters who I believe are well known and my supporters will be happy to see….. Characters who I can make a good story out of, cos when I’m making lewds, I love to create a story if I can, it’s so much better than just taking half naked pics xDDD (Obvious reasons aside, I recommend supporting Dan on Patreon to fully appreciate his storytelling skills. He puts so much effort into his work.)
. What was the definitive moment you decided to take your cosplay to “the next level” and pursue it on a more professional level?
Honestly… I had an opportunity to support someone else in a big goal of theirs by opening my own Patreon… It was a teamwork thing, so I jumped at the opportunity. If it hadn’t been for that, I wouldn’t have had the confidence to open a Patreon… Making things bigger than just yourself can help you achieve amazing things ^_^ (Awwww! ❤ )
. What was your first cosplay?
Harvey Dent / Two Face from The Dark Knight. I bought a thrift store suit, set half of it on fire, and painted half my face with POSTER PAINTS and fake blood to make it looked burnt. The paint cracked everywhere, but it actually looked like burnt and flaking skin, so it was kinda perfect (Everything about this answer is perfect, don’t you agree, everyone? This is the heart of cosplay right here.)
Cosplay is a multi-faceted endeavor. Which aspects do you enjoy the most?
Creating the art of it… especially with my lewds… I love creating mood, intimate close-ups, playing with colors and lighting to create almost a movie scene in picture… Also pushing myself to keep learning new things to make it all happen. And, meeting and getting support from some truly amazing people… They help me feel so damn supported, and I’m incredibly lucky for each and every one of my supporter, so I can’t help but want to get to know them and get them laughing and smiling. xDD Sounds cheesy maybe, but it’s true… That’s often why I run out of time and get so busy xDDDD cos talking to people is too much fun. (Dan really does take the time to communicate with everyone, and I know it means the world to his supporters. ❤ )
~*~Random Question Time~*~
What’s your sign? (Not the cheesy pickup line version but the “I have a genuine interest in astrology” version. Lol)
Moody little cancer (Precious! ^_^)
Someone walks up and hands you a round-trip ticket to anywhere in the world. What is your number one destination?
Japan I’ve traveled there 3 times within 3 years, as well as other places around the world, but Japan is the only place I wanted to go back to that badly. (Okay, I’m just a little envious, Dan. Lol)
You just found a magical item that will let you live out your life in one fictional world. Where do you end up?
The medieval world inside Berserk is pretty cool… That’s my favorite manga, so that’s the first one that comes to mind xD (Note the additional Kuro-trivia, folks. His favorite manga is Berserk. Yes, there may be a pop quiz later. ^_^ )
If you had to choose a few song lyrics that would play every time you walked into a public space, what would they be?
LOL, this is a really stupid answer, but it’d probably be the starting lines of Thrift Shop by Macklemore. (ROFL If you’re unfamiliar with the lyrics, I suggest you research it. Like, now.)
Dessert time! Which sweet (or not-so-sweet) treat are you craving?
Japanese pudding (the caramel type one that wiggles), or M&Ms with wasabi peas. (-pen point poised over shopping list – Ahhh… Lol New things to try.)
The last one is up to you. Is there something special you’d like to share? A random fact about yourself? Some wise words of advice? We’re all ears!
It’s never as hard as you think it is, so when someone tells you “you can’t do that”… Do it really well, ten times, then take pictures to shove in their face. (Wise words ❤ )
SUPPORT KUROSHIBA COSPLAY
I have to share a little story about the pictures included in this article. When I asked Dan which pictures he’d like me to use, he responded by telling me it would be more special if I chose them and allowed him to be surprised when he saw the article. This was a daunting task, of course. It’s difficult to think of any that I don’t like. Picking Zen would be easy because I have a little bit of a thing for guys with white hair. Sebastian from Black Butler? Another easy choice. (All three of the October sets…) As I ran through the options, it occurred to me that I needed to put some real thought into my three picks. With all the effort Dan pours into creating his content, it was the least I could do to thank him.
If you’d like a little peek at why I chose these particular pictures, allow me to elaborate.
Saeran (Unknown from Mystic Messenger): Dan’s expression possesses an intensity in this shot. In the entire set that I’ve seen, honestly. Even with the mask, there is so much feeling. My first month as a Patreon included the Saeran set, and one of the wallpapers has been my desktop background ever since. It only seemed fitting to include one.
Jumin: Another Mystic Messenger character but chosen for entirely different reasons. The first reason was Dan’s response to feeling a connection to the character. This comes through in the photo set/photo story/GIFs. You can tell he put everything into it. That said, as a Patreon, I have some insight into how much Dan put into this photo shoot (along with the Zero set). It takes an incredible level of dedication to do what he does, and I wanted a shot to commemorate that dedication.
Dan; a Selfie. As I mentioned earlier, I could have easily chosen so many shots, so many characters. Each one has its own appeal, but when it came down to it, I wanted to show a picture of the face behind the cosplay. The kind soul who gives so much and still took time out of an already busy schedule to conduct this interview. There are not enough words to express my thanks but know that I will always be cheering you on from over here!