Kuwait Anime Club (KAC) is a social club for anime, gaming, and comic fans in Kuwait. Founded by Mashaan Almashaan in 2014, KAC was established to connect and support fans, artists, and cosplayers in the country. Hadeel and Pufachi are two such cosplayers based in Kuwait. We were lucky enough to get some time with them and ask them about their craft to give people an insight into the world of cosplay, specifically in Kuwait where it has grown in popularity in recent years.
How would you describe cosplay to someone who doesn’t know anything about it?
Hadeel: Cosplay is short for costume play. It’s a form of art or a hobby in which people portray and dress up as characters from anime, films, video games, and comic books.
Pufachi: Cosplay is the art of dressing up as characters from games, animation, and movies. When getting into character, the cosplayer is not only involved in putting on the costume, but also in living the character.
What got you into cosplaying?
Hadeel: Frankly, I never saw myself as someone who would seriously get into cosplay until I found out that there was a cosplay community in Kuwait back in 2013. I thought to myself, “Wow! These things exist in Kuwait?” So, I joined the fun.
Pufachi: Events that took place in Kuwait encouraged me to cosplay my favorite characters and get to meet new people that share the same hobby.
Do you consider it something serious or just something for fun?
Hadeel: When it comes to cosplay competitions, I like to take it seriously to keep myself motivated. But other than that, I do it for fun, especially when it’s with my friends.
Pufachi: As an art form, I would consider it to be serious but as a hobby, I do it for fun.
What are the pros and cons of cosplaying?
Hadeel: The pros is that you get to meet new people, have fun, live the character you’re portraying, and the experience itself is worth it. As for cons, it can be time consuming and you might spend a lot of money on it.
Pufachi: You get to make new friends and enjoy expressing yourself while cosplaying your favorite characters. The cons would be that the materials you would use to craft such costumes could be costly.
Is it difficult balancing between cosplaying and everything else in your life like family, friends, and work or school?
Hadeel: Balancing it out shouldn’t be a problem. It all depends on how you handle everything together.
Pufachi: Not really. You just have to manage your time well. It was hard in the beginning since I became a mother, but in time, I managed it.
Did you get any criticism from friends, family, or society?
Hadeel: Criticism is everywhere you go and in whatever you do. It shouldn’t be a bother.
Pufachi: Like all arts, you would definitely get people who would either criticize or love the character that you bring to life.
Will you give up on cosplaying some time in the future?
Hadeel: I’m not planning on quitting any time soon, but I cannot predict the future.
Pufachi: Only if I feel that there are more important matters to attend to.
Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
Hadeel: Hopefully a successful person. As long as I’m happy then I’m good.
Pufachi: I would like to be cosplaying with my kids and grandkids and to be the best cosplay family.
Are you planning anything soon as a cosplayer?
Hadeel: Not really, just joining contests.
Pufachi: Let’s just say that I like to give a few surprises.
What are your plans for the Middle East Film & Comic Convention in Dubai?
Hadeel: Catching up with my friends from the gulf, hopefully getting the chance to meet the celebrity guests, shopping, and cosplaying new characters there.
Pufachi: Well I’m so exited to share this experience with our new baby Lily. I’m sure she’s going to enjoy it so much with me and her father. As for the cosplay plans I prefer keeping it as a surprise.
Any last comments?
Hadeel: If you have a goal, chase it.
Pufachi: I would like to summarize that cosplay is an art form that requires skills in crafting items, make up, acting, and enjoying the moment as the character itself.