Let’s salute the great contributor to geek culture: the cosplayer. As long as there’s an Internet, we’ll ogle at the pretty ladies in costumes. What about the guys? I searched for well-known name and I discovered just the one to interview. He’s Janne Hemminki Rusanen from Finland, but you may know him as Elffi.
Elffi has traveled the world wearing and judging costumes. He’s fond of Japanese culture as you’ll see below. While I’ll always have an appreciation for female cosplayers, I felt that I had to give some time to the guys who love the activity, too.
Hold on, ladies and gents, especially if you’re fancy gentlemen in fancy dress.
Elffi: We had some parties at Eastern and Halloween. That time we bought some costumes and had fun with friends. Usually mom decided what to wear and also put some makeup on us.
E: This year I have been travelling to Romania, France, Norway and Japan. I’m a student myself, so I don’t have much of travel money to spend. Usually I only travel to events when I get an invitation. Being a guest is really an honour! Always trying my best by bringing lot a costumes, holding panels and lectures, and so on. I usually get some of my travel expenses covered, flights and hotels etc.
E: I would love to visit Singapore, STGCC! And America, Anime Expo! I have never been in America or Singapore, and the events there are really huge.
E: Leather. I love how thick and heavy it is. It’s a bit hard to sew, but the smell and feeling of leather is absolutely amazing.
E: I have done around 20 costumes. In Finland the costume materials are really expensive. I usually try to order materials online, from Ebay and so on. For one costume I usually spend 500-1200 dollars.
RHM: What’s your contest judging criteria?
E: In Finland we have very detailed costume judging criterias, which are usually almost the same in every convention. But I appreciate people who have used their own ideas to invent new techniques and solutions. Sometimes you see and learn a lot by judging.
E: I’m currently on exchange in Japan. I have been here 2 months, but the lack of gym and protein in Japanese food have effected my body a lot. I have lost 12 kilos of muscle and fat in past 2 months. Currently I finally got some money, so now I’m on a protein diet. Eating a lot of meat, eggs and drinking protein drink 3 times a day. And hitting gym 3 times a week. I hope to gain my muscles back in few months, so I can cosplay again in January when I go back to Finland.
RHM: What anime/manga do you currently watch/read?
E: I’m currently watching the new HunterXHunter, One Piece, Naruto and Sword Arts Online.
E: I have traveled to Japan since 2006. I already knew a lot of the culture and people, so everything has met me expectations quite well. Studying in Japan is a new thing for me, but it’s going quite nicely. People are really kind and I have got many friends here!
RHM: You study Business Management. How would you run your own company/corporation?
E: I haven’t thought of that yet. Now the financial situation in Europe is not so good, so building your own company is not a good choice. In the future I would like to work in a big corporation and build up my position year by year.
E: If there is one thing you could change about Finland, it would be winter. Finnish winter is kinda cold and it’s sometimes hard to have events and cosplay in that coldness.
E: Cosplay is a hobby which can change and lead your life. I really honour my hobby. Without cosplay I wouldn’t be in this good physical state and I wouldn’t have met all my precious friends all over the world. Cosplay has really widened my way of thinking!
Thank you, Elffi, for generously giving your time to chat with us! I hope you make it to a show within American shores soon!