Like a ray of Florida sunshine, Ruu Matsutani owes her seemingly limitless energy and her cheerful disposition partly to her naturally positive outlook and partly to the inspiration she received from the world of Disney. She was already cosplaying in her college years, but after working part-time for four years at Disney in Japan and one year at Walt Disney Land in Orlando, Ruu began to cosplay seriously, and her star has been rising in the cosplay world ever since. She currently works for a foreign-affiliated company in Japan and enjoys cosplaying and costume designing in her spare time. Ruu has participated in cosplay events both in Japan and in the United States, and looks forward to broadening her range of activities across national borders.
grape Japan (gJ): Since when have you been cosplaying?
Ruu Matsutani (Ruu): Although I’ve been cosplaying since my college days, I started cosplaying seriously when I came back from a short-term work stay in Florida. That was two and a half years ago.
gJ: Why do you cosplay?
Ruu: Basically, I cosplay because I love anime and I love becoming characters from my favorite anime. I work hard on the costume, get all the accessories I need and choose the photo studio. No matter how many times I do it, reading people’s reactions to my photos is the happiest moment for me! Also, my experience living in Florida changed my awareness of myself as a photographic subject. Through my interactions with entertainers at Disney World, I began to feel that I wanted to shine just like they do.
gJ: Do you have a particularly memorable cosplay experience?
Ruu: The wedding dress costume of Super Sonico from Nitroplus. I made the costume in only one week after the figure was announced, so it has a special place in my memories.
gJ: Do you make your own cosplay outfits?
Ruu: I make almost all my costumes by hand. I don’t have any special knowledge in costume design, but I enjoy figuring things out for myself and making costumes that way.
gJ: Do all the characters you cosplay have something in common? If so, what is it?
Ruu: I’d like to be able to become any character. I want to challenge myself to become any character imaginable, so I cosplay all kinds of characters. That said, most of my cosplays are of large-chested characters with pink hair. I also cosplay many “Lolita” characters.
gJ: Is there anything you particularly pay attention to when you cosplay?
Ruu: I do my best to get as close as possible to the original so that people who see me cosplaying the character will get a sense for how much I like her.
gJ: According to your Twitter profile, you used to work in the United States. Could you tell us more about that?
Ruu: I worked as a short-term contract employee for Mistukoshi USA in Florida in the Japan Pavilion at Disney World. I’ve always been a huge Disney fan and I’d often talk about it when I was in college, so I ended up making many likeminded friends. They’re the ones who suggested I should go there to work. As I already mentioned, I made many friends among the entertainers at Disney World. Almost every day of that year in Florida, I spent time with these friends and took pictures with them. As I did, I gradually began to feel that I, too, wanted to perform and shine for the public. I, too, wanted to be on the other side of the camera. After I returned to Japan, this experience strongly influenced my decision to begin cosplaying and participating in photo shoots.
gJ: Please tell us if you have any cosplay events you recommend in Japan.
Ruu: I think Comic Market is worth going to at least once. The scale is just incredible! I think you’ll be able to meet many amazing cosplayers there.
gJ: What do you think is your most attractive feature?
Ruu: I would have to say my limitless positive energy! I’m very expressive and I’m full of smiles!
gJ: Do you have hobbies apart from cosplaying?
Ruu: Actually, I have quite a few hobbies. But my favorite is Disney. I also like to exercise and play musical instruments.
gJ: What is your favorite food?
Ruu: I love spicy food! When I was in the US, I would put sriracha sauce on just about everything. Also, even though I can’t hold my liquor, I love the kind of snacks that are served with alcohol. On the other hand, I don’t really like bread or sponge cake.