ILSN: Tell us a little bit about yourself?
Meryl Sama: Hello everyone! I’m Meryl-sama, a cosplayer and amateur model from Italy! I started doing cosplay 5 years ago, but I began sewing my own costumes and getting more serious about his hobby only half and a year ago, in March 2013. At the moment I’m living alone in Milan, Italy. I’m a student and a part time worker.
ILSN: What is the cosplay scene like in Italy?
Meryl Sama: Unfortunately, the Italian cosplay scene is getting worse and worse lately. People like to flame about everything regarding cosplay. Everyone is against each other, when we should actually try and get along, helping and welcoming new cosplayers and understanding other opinions and mentalities.
ILSN: What is the craziest story you could tell us?
Meryl Sama: Last year, I was wandering around a con, dressed as Lara Croft. As I walked past a guy I heard him say: ”Woah, are they real?”. I turned around and looked at him: “Really?” “The guns! A-Are the guns real?” “Yeah, and I can use them, you know”. He murmured a “ha-ha, sorry, bye” and went away. Thinking back at it, it kinda makes me laugh!
ILSN: Do you have any projects coming up?
Meryl Sama: Of course! My next costumes will be from Metal Gear Solid and Silent Hill sagas. I’m also preparing more Lara Croft versions and other cosplay from indie video games.
ILSN: Do people recognize you when you go to cons?
Meryl Sama: When I’m dressed as Lara or as a Metal Gear character, someone recognizes me as Meryl-sama. If I’m wearing a new costume they hardly recognize me, I guess I’m just too different from my usual self, so I should be happy about it!
ILSN: Tell us about your website?
Meryl Sama: I have many account on various websites, but the one I more active on is my Facebook page. There, I usually post one photo per day and I display all of my complete photo sets, with my comments, descriptions and opinions on my costumes and works.
ILSN: How did you get into doing cosplay costumes?
Meryl Sama: I first discovered cosplay 7 years ago, at a con in Milan. Since then I dreamed about doing my own costumes, but because of school and other reasons, I haven’t been able to do so. Now that I finally have some time (not too much, but I try to create as much as I can), I’m happy to spend it to sew/make new cosplay!
ILSN: What inspires you when you choose characters?
Meryl Sama: I choose characters to cosplay basing myself on 4 points:
1. Personality: if she’s strong, independent and has charisma (like Lara Croft or Strangelove, for example), I will surely like her and probably choose her as a possible
2. My love for the series: as it’s happening with Metal Gear and Silent Hill, if I love a series very much, I end up doing as many cosplay as I can from the series, to pay it a tribute.
3. Versatility: sometimes, I like to cosplay as characters that don’t reflect my favourite tipe of personality (see point 1), but that I like to act as. An example of this might be my Lisa Garland cosplay: she’s not strong at all, but she’s real, she acts just like any normal person in a dangerous situation would, and I love to emulate her when cosplaying!
4. Friends’ groups: my Rarity from My Little Pony is a clear example of this: I don’t follow the show, but when my friends asked me to help them create their MLP cosplay group, I joined to give them a hand. And I’m glad I did, since we had so much fun together!
ILSN: Marvel vs DC vs Anime?
Meryl Sama: I like them all. I think if something is good, then you should watch/read/hear it. I don’t care about the mean of expression: it can be a comic, a manga, an anime, a book etc.
If the story, the characters, the message are interesting, then I will most likely follow it!
ILSN: What was your childhood like growing up?
Meryl Sama: It wasn’t easy growing up in a small, old-mentality city, where everyone thought videogames, TV and alternative kind of music were evil. But I continued going on with my passions. I kept on playing videogames (the first ones were Spyro, Crash Bandicoot, Final Fantasy and Tomb Raider for me), reading comics and listening to the music I liked. Most of the people kept judjing me bad, but I knew they were just narrow minded people who was afraid of other cultures, and I was right in the end.
ILSN: Where do you see yourself five years from now?
Meryl Sama: I hope to have a job that I like and to keep being who I am. I also hope to continue with cosplay, since it gives me satisfactions and makes me happy. Find true happiness will always be my ultimate goal in life.
ILSN: Which cosplay gets the most attention?
It must be my Lara Croft cosplay. Probably because Tomb Raider had (and is having) a great success in Italy: parents and children love Lara, people of all ages recognize the character when I’m dressed as her and often ask to take photos with me.
What do you do to inspire yourself?
I study great cosplayers’ works and learn from them and from web tutorials how to get better at sewing,doing my make up, posing etc.
ILSN: What do you like to do for fun?
Meryl Sama: Playing videogames msut my favourite hobby. I like complicated and/or long stories, like those in Final Fantasy, Metal Gear saga or Legend of Zelda, for example. To relax myself completely I like to read books, play Just Dance or watch funny videos on the web, possibly with my friends.
ILSN: What kind of music do you like?
Meryl Sama: The concept is always the same for me! I don’t have a favourite kind: I like all type of music, if a song has beautiful melody, lyrics and gives you strong feelings, I will listen to it and love it, no matter what kind it is. If I have to choose a favourite singer/group I would say Dolores O’Riordan and Coldplay. I also love Akira Yamaoka’s compositions and Akiko Shikata’s voice.
ILSN: what kind of nerd are you?
Meryl Sama: I’m the type of nerd that’s always searching for something new: as you could read, I love and follow every existing mean of expression, from videogames to books, to animation, to TV shows. Though I have some favorite works, I never get stuck on one or more of them in particular: I just love to discover new and interesting stories!
ILSN: Is there anything you are promoting right now?
Meryl Sama: Lately, I helped promoting Games Week, a very interesting and famous Italian con about retro and modern videogames and technology. We walked the streets of Milan cosplaying videogame characters and promoting the event, we also went to a Game-themed party after that. It was a lot of fun! A video of the event is coming soon
ILSN: What is the nerdiest thing you have done?
Meryl Sama: Once, I played Final Fantasy IX for 10 hours, non-stop. I was 17, home alone, and I didn’t realize how fast time passed… Guess this happens when you’re into a great game!
ILSN: Do people ever recognize you when you go out?
Meryl Sama: It happened only once, though I was surprise, since I like to keep my work and hobbies separate. Most of the people who work with me and see me everyday don’t even know what cosplay is and some of them even have a bad attitude towards nerds and gamers. Italy has a long way to go!
ILSN: What is the craziest gift a fan has ever given you?
Meryl Sama: I love when people sends me their own representation of my cosplay. A fan sent me a bunch of re-edited Elfen Lied photo of me as Lucy. He changed the eye color, making a strange but cool horror revisitation of it. At first it kinda scared me, but I liked it a lot, guess it’s because I like horror so much!
ILSN: What is the hottest costume you have ever worn?
Meryl Sama: I think it must be my bikini version of Cècile Cosima Caminades. It’s an official swimsuit version you can find in the game Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. It’s a kinda revealing, but I feel at ease with it!
ILSN: Favorite food?
Meryl Sama: I’m vegan, so I have to say I just can’t choose between vegan pizza or Japanese avocado maki!
ILSN: Favorite Movies?
Meryl Sama: Blade Runner, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Tron, Leon, Up, Saving private Ryan, Kill Bill, Apocalypse Now, Schindler’s List and others.
ILSN: Favorite Video Games?
Meryl Sama: Final Fantasy IX, Metal Gear Solid 3, Silent Hill 2, Tomb Raider IV, Chrono Cross/Trigger, Dragon Quest IV, Ace Attorney saga, Ghost Trick, Kingdom Hearts saga, Tales of Vesperia, To the Moon, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (though Ocarina of Time is objectively better, I loved TP’s atmosphere) and more!
facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Merylsama
twitter page https://twitter.com/Merylsama
youtube link. ( I don’t have a youtube public account)
Also give me a bio, any videos, links you want me to promote such as up coming events.
My deviantart account: http://meryl-sama.deviantart.com/
My tumblr: http://meryl-sama.tumblr.com/
My cosplay.com account: http://www.cosplay.com/member/321548/
My world cosplay account: http://worldcosplay.net/member/123535
ILSN: Any final thoughts or words?
Meryl Sama: My greatest objectives when cosplaying are having fun, being happy and share my works about characters and sagas I love with other fans all over the world! So if like my works, you are welcome to share it, just remember to give me and the photographers credits! Thanks to everyone who already follows me and to new followers to come!