Cosplayer In Focus: Maridah

Well, it’s April fools, but I don’t want to join in the April Fools jokes because I couldn’t think of anything witty enough to fool anyone! Instead, I focused my free time into something that I’ve been wanting to do for a while: interviews. Hopefully, unlike Music Mondays that I have failed to follow through by now, I shall keep up with this series — but of course, it’s not a regular thing since it’s pretty difficult to be able to schedule things with other people, not to mention go up to them and say: “Hey! Can I take up some of your time and interview you?” Thankfully, the first person that I’m going to feature is sweet enough to say yes, and so, here it is!

Saber

Maridah as Saber; Photo by Jeff of i360.com

I had the privilege of interviewing the awesome, lovely and sweet Saber cosplayer known as Maridah (or maridahhadiram). You might have seen her around since she has sent her entry for OTACOOL 2, and was lucky enough to get DC’s previous spot on the cover. So, enough of my boring blabber and let’s get on to the interview!

Ninjovee: Tell us (the readers) a little about yourself
Maridah:
Well, I’m a cosplayer living in the US. I’ve been making costumes for myself and others for about 10 years now. Before getting into anime, I was a very big Star Wars fan, so I’ve been attending conventions of one type or another for a very long time now it seems~

I have a background in Theater, so when I started getting in to anime and the idea of attending a convention came up, I felt like it would be fun to make some costumes to wear around the con. I wasn’t very familiar with cosplay or the community at the beginning, but now after almost a decade of this, I feel really connected to the hobby and conventions are a big part of my social life.
I also like to collect figures and occasionally play video games when I’m not making costumes. People who know me would easily describe me as a nerd, and I’m kinda proud of that. Most of my friends are the same, and I really like the community by and large. I was raised by a (awesome) nerdy dad, so it’s just part of my personality, I guess?

Ninjovee: Okay next question…Who have you cosplayed as?
Maridah:
I guess I will just go down the list chronologically:Relena (Gundam Wing), Fujiko (Lupin III), Motoko (Ghost in the Shell), Sayla (First Gundam), Lina Inverse (Slayers), Emma Sheen (Zeta Gundam), Kagome (InuYasha), Nagi (Devil Summoner 2), Saber (Fate/Stay Night)…I’m probably forgetting some.

I’m also working on Yue Ying (Dynasty Warriors), Yuki Nagato (Haruhi), and more Saber costumes.
I’ve made several variations for some of these characters, and it’s sort of hard to keep track of all of it after a while ^_^;; Most of the stuff I have made hasn’t been for me, though. I’d say 2/3rds maybe were for friends?  Hence my cosplay list isn’t as long as some.
Lina Inverse

Maridah as Lina Inverse from Slayers

N: Which among these is your favorite costume?
M: My Saber :D She’s been my favorite, though I really loved cosplaying Lina Inverse too. She’s so much fun to cosplay! Saber wins though, because of the effort I put into it, and the really wonderful reactions people have had to it at conventions.

N: What do you think of OTACOOL 2: Worldwide Cosplayers book?
M: I’m primarily really excited about it. It’s such a huge thing to be included in, and I’m so grateful to be in there. It’s easily the biggest thing I’ve ever been involved in, so I’m really anxious to get the book.
It’s been sort of controversial, though. Quite a few people were upset, especially at earlier points in the publication about the content of the book. It does have a real slant towards a Gravure kind of look, which is only one side of cosplay and I don’t think the whole book is going to be quite as much of that as it seems. I think they are promoting it with the sexier stuff, but who knows what is really inside it yet.
In my case, my Saber is featured. I’m head to toe covered in clothing and armor, so arguably not everything in there is pin-up…so I hope people will give it a chance once it is out. I mean, it’s to be expected that some of the content will follow ‘the sex sells’ rule, but there are plenty of other things in the book that aren’t sexy and are just plan cool cosplay. I at least hope this is the case.
Final cover of OTACOOL 2

Final cover of OTACOOL 2

N: After you sent your entry for OTACOOL 2, and have found out that you were included in the book what was your reaction? And what was your reaction when you found out you were chosen to replace Danny Choo in the OTACOOL 2 cover?
M:
Well, when I first found out I was in the book I was still very dazed from the influx of page views & comments from having been in an article Danny Choo posted and the amazing amount of attention figure.fm users gave my entry. I was still very much on cloud nine, and people were really encouraging me, telling me ‘Oh they will put you in!’ I think I felt mostly relief from anticipation when I got the contact email. Mine didn’t come right away, and I tend to be a doubter, not an optimist, so I was really unsure about getting in until the email.

Since I wasn’t on the first cover, my feelings about seeing the final revised cover are really complicated. I was excited, of course, but it seemed like maybe it wasn’t meant to be? It’s hard to summarize it. When I saw the first cover, I was a little sad I didn’t make it even though I never expected to. I don’t think of myself as cover material in all honesty, so it was sort of a feeling of expected letdown if that makes sense! Sort of like being turned down for a date you knew wasn’t ever going to happen. LOL That’s the best way I can explain the emotion.

So when I had my friend tweet to me that I should check out the revised cover…well I was shocked. I knew Danny had said he’d requested to have himself removed due to a lot of vocal opposition to the cover but I didn’t even entertain the idea of taking his place. I’m very happy about it, but it’s a complicated emotion. I just also feel like a undeserving spot stealer too! XD I’m certainly grateful, that is for sure. I can’t wait to show my parents~

N: How was your first cosplay experience? Do you think this greatly affected your love for the hobby?
M:
My first cosplay experience was really amazing, and I defiantly think it has affected my feelings for the hobby. I spent the whole weekend having a blast. I met so many people, hung out with my buddies, made so many new friends, and just really enjoyed the convention. Good first impressions are imperative. Part of what makes a person pick up a hobby is the positive experiences we have with an activity, so if it hadn’t been just so much fun, I don’t think I’d still be cosplaying.

Maridah as Nagi from Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner 2

Maridah as Nagi from Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner 2; Photo by Jim3535

N: This question would probably be a bit serious: What are the things that you love and hate most about cosplaying?
M:
The thing I love most is hard to pick.I have several reasons to love it. I’m gaining new skills, getting out of my shell and being extroverted and silly, the feeling of accomplishment… but I think the biggest thing for me is being able to meet people and talk with them. I have made some very important friendships from this hobby, fallen for people, and gained cool acquaintances that I would not have met without cosplay. Wearing a costume is like wearing a billboard saying you are a fan of a show. It’s like built-in advertising so you can get to know people with similar interests. That’s what I love the most about it.

What I dislike is the way people use the hobby to behave like a high school hierarchy where you don’t feel like you can trust people. There is a lot of backbiting and meanness, and it hasn’t always been so bad. People can be unnecessarily mean to virtual strangers. People let their own insecurities and issues taint the way they act, and there is a real breakdown in civility online and at conventions sometimes. I wish people would take everything less seriously, and remember that in the end, we are all just some nerds trying to have fun. Hobbies should be enjoyable.

N: Next question…and I’m very interested to know this: Do you have any cosplay idols? How about cosplay crushes?
M:
I am totally in cosplay love with Flowery. She came up to me a few years back at AX and it was cosplay love at first sight! She’s so sweet, makes wonderful costumes, and is beautiful to boot…so I’ve decided she’s my cosplay waifu. I’m so much her fangirl! I’m hoping to cosplay with her at some point from Muramasa. (Excited!) I also think YukiLeFay is one badass cosplayer. She makes some killer costumes and I’m always impressed by the presence she gives off in pictures. She just seems like a formidable lady who clearly has construction skills!

Saber has Pie! :D and something...

Saber has Pie! :D and something... (posted with permission of course!)

N: You have a slowly growing fanbase as evidenced by your Facebook fan page and the comments on your OTACOOL submission. How do you feel about it?
M:
It’s both awesome and a bit scary ^_^;; I really like that I’ve been able to chat with people that like my cosplay. I really like that for the same reason I like socializing at conventions. I’m making new friends from it all. At the same time, I’m also getting a lot of site traffic from foreign boards and its sort of strange seeing discussions (I can’t read) going on about myself. It’s weird. I get a lot of emails and notes that I don’t know how to respond to, so it’s awkward at times.

N: Your site has some very helpful tutorials for people who fail at sewing (like me). What made you think about writing and posting these in your site?
M:
LOL actually it’s thanks in large part to MaxArcher. When I was working on my Saber, he was around for quite a lot of that, and had absolutely no idea where to even begin with sewing. His costumes had been bought or made by friends, so his asking me questions about everything, and teaching him the basics got me thinking. There are a ton of awesome tutorials out there for cosplayers, but they mostly assume you know the very basics. Plenty of people don’t, so I wanted to try and help fill the gap. I wanted to make something a random person with no experience who wanted to cosplay could read and potentially get help from. I actually grilled Max on what to include, so I’m trying to gather feedback from those who are learning so I can continue making these tutorials. I really just want to help make cosplay more accessible to others because I love it so much

Maridah as Maetel from Galaxy Express 999

Maridah as Maetel from Galaxy Express 999

N: Do you have any dream cosplays? Do you think you’ll be able to fulfill these in the future?
M:
I really want to do a lot of big projects, but considering my dreams in my day to day life, and the amount of money involved, probably not. I would love to make a full scale Tachikoma if I had the budget, but I also think I want to go to a private art school in the future, so one outweighs the other XD Both will cost a lot! I don’t know where I would keep the Tachikoma anyways!

N: Hm. I dunno where Tachikoma is from tho… care to enlighten me? D: *fail*
M:
It’s the blue spiderlike robots from Ghost in the Shell. They are very cute, and I’d love to make one that was to scale and could move certain parts and be sat in or stood on. That would be sick! Best prop ever IMO. Maybe I will make some nice Excalibur/Caliburn swords down the line though. Out of something other than balsa like now. That would be cool too. I’d like to have some CNCed up.

Maridah as Alter Saber (Maid version)

Maridah as Alter Saber (Maid version); Photo by Cosplayshots.com

N: Anything you would like to say to your fans and to aspiring cosplayers?
M: I’d say to anyone who would call themselves my fan, Thank You! I really appreciate that support more than you can imagine. It really inspires me to want to keep making better cosplay and it’s beyond flattering. To anyone just starting out, just have fun with it! It helps to cosplay characters you really love, and go to cons with friends. If you are on the fence about trying it, just give it a shot. It’s incredibly fun.
That’s it for the interview! I’m actually happy that I did try this out and that Maridah was kind enough to give me the opportunity to do so! I had fun during the interview and even after the interview itself ^^ Would definitely hope that I can meet her in person someday :3
I hope you guys enjoyed reading Maridah’s interview! To see more of her work, you can visit her personal website here. You can also stalk follow her in these sites: deviantArt, twitter, formspring.
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15 Responses to “Cosplayer In Focus: Maridah”


  1. 1 LEon April 1, 2010 at 10:36 PM

    I also agree that her best cosplay is Saber from Fate stay night but her Maetel cosplay is good too. Now this is a real cosplayer and she deserve the due honor to be one. Thanks for sharing the interview.

  2. 2 Miette-chan April 2, 2010 at 12:54 AM

    That was a pretty good interview, I alway find it worth while learning about fellow members of the community.

    I look forward to future installments.

  3. 3 Ami April 2, 2010 at 7:31 AM

    I’m glad she made it on the cover and was able to get featured in the book. She was one of my favorites! I loved her Lina cosplay the most!

  4. 4 Kate April 2, 2010 at 12:24 PM

    She seems so nice! I cosplayed a while back but like she said, I saw a LOT of cattiness and I had no idea why. Nerds should all just enjoy being nerds, I don’t know why it’s such a big hierarchy in the cosplay world lol

  5. 5 zh3us April 3, 2010 at 1:15 AM

    Inspiring interview!

    Seems like the community on figure.fm’s a boost to her!

    Interesting bits on the Love and Hates in the Cosplay area! Totally did not know about that =)

    Thanks for posting this up!!

  6. 6 Leeseungwon April 8, 2010 at 12:34 AM

    Awesome greatful interview content! I read to all at 2 hour and 23min. Sometimes(Tell the truth, always XD) I visit these website, and I know new info to maridah. She is very thoughtful. I respect she’s that things of the virtues.
    P.S Now I go sleep, Now approximately time in daybreaks (late nights) 2:00.

    I anticipate New Thread(In thiscase ‘Thread’ mean : like postings )

  7. 7 Bernardo Ariel April 9, 2010 at 3:47 AM

    It was just awsome, i’m glad to know at less a litle more of this cosplayer, she’s so nice, gently, elegant, really a greath girls and a magnificent cosplayer, people like she is on in a millon, grate interview, so inspiring so honest.

    The most incredible is the focus mind that she have and stils so sweet.

    Well, i have no words, see ya !

  8. 8 Rydia April 10, 2010 at 7:46 PM

    I love Maridah’s costumes so much! She is a true, cute, really good cosplayer. She brings the characters to life in a way that reveals her love for her hobby.

  9. 9 Yi April 14, 2010 at 3:34 PM

    A very cute cosplayer. She plays Saber very well. I love her responses to the questions too… Never realized that there is a social hierarchy among cosplayers. It’s also good to see her reactions to Otacool2.

    Great interview. ^ ^

  10. 10 lovelyduckie April 15, 2010 at 5:16 AM

    Love the pictures, Lina Inverse was my favorite.

  11. 11 Yuki LeFay August 27, 2010 at 1:05 PM

    Oh, Maridah is so cute!!
    I love her costumes and how pretty she looks on them!! :D

  12. 12 shinkonryu September 16, 2010 at 5:43 PM

    nyaha^^ ninjovee didn’t know what a tachikoma is nyah^^


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