If you love watching cosplay content on TikTok, we’re right there with you! One of our favorite cosplayers LarpLikeRae was kind enough to grant us an interview after we found her thirsty Fatgum from “My Hero Academia.” That sent us down a TikTok rabbit hole and we quickly found that all of her cosplays were so cool, we just had to ask about them!
Nerdbot: What got you into cosplay? What kind of fandoms did you most want to try first?
LarpLikeRae: I didn’t really know it was cosplay at first. I was never introduced into the cosplay community but loved to base my outfits (for school at the time) on characters. So I would pick my outfit on a specific character and theme, match the colors to that character and so on. I didn’t watch anime at first and I actually was very much against it. So I would only do characters from video games since that was all I really knew.
I wasn’t introduced to anime until I was 18. When I did start to watch more anime and animated shows, I started to explore by dressing up as them. It was then I realized it was called cosplaying and slowly started to get into it.
What really helped out the most was dressing up for spirit week in high school so I could show off my creative freedom and was given challenges every single day of the week. My first ones included Rey from “Star Wars,” Ariel from “The Little Mermaid,” and Frisk from “Undertale.” When I decided to take it to the next level, I started cosplaying characters from the YouTuber Aphmau. She had a very widespread range of characters and storylines that I ended up cosplaying. That’s what got me into TikTok as well as Cosplaying more seriously!
Nerdbot: How did your parents react? Were they supportive? What age did you start wanting to cosplay?
LarpLikeRae: When I started, again not knowing it was cosplay at the time, I used to do SFX make up and loved doing gore makeup. My mom was very supportive of it! Her only rule was to not scare her and act like the SFX makeup was real. That’s when I started wearing wigs and making outfits from scratch. That’s when my parents started becoming very supportive of it.
My parents are very supportive of it. They knew that I’ve always been an artist I love expressing myself through art so they were hands-down very supportive of my creations. My mom gets very excited every time and always asks about my newest Cosplays. Her favorites are: Fatgum and Bakugou. I was around 18 when I started doing daily on TikTok. That’s when I started saying that I would cosplay professionally because I did it so often and would make so much content for social media.
Nerdbot: How did the pandemic help or hurt your followers? Did you see a significant difference in your TikTok interactions?
LarpLikeRae: During the pandemic was definitely a hard and trying time. But, it honestly helped out my views and my content very much. Lots of creators will end up saying or admitting that the pandemic really helped our reach and more followers would subscribe. During quarantine lots of people were going through their phones since they weren’t able to go outside. This was a great time to hone my skills and get to know my audience a bit better.
At the beginning of the pandemic I made my most popular cosplay Princess Bakugou. This cosplay literally changed my life and my social media outlook. The first couple weeks of the pandemic I started working on Princess Bakugou completely from scratch. Once it was fully finished I debuted it on TikTok. To my surprise it blew up! I was happy to see that people resonated with Princess Bakugou and I started creating more Princess themed cosplays. So I ended up making hero outfits and their normal outfits but with pink and glitter instead of the normal actual colors of their designs. This included Bakugou, Todoroki, Deku and Aizawa from “My Hero Academia,” and Kageyama from “Haikyu!!”
Nerdbot: What character do you relate to most and why?
LarpLikeRae: I always get asked a lot what character I end up relating to the most. Most people see me as a lot like Bakugou. But I will deny that no matter what! I say that I’m not like Bakugou, I don’t personally see it, but everyone else will say that I am. I guess having 54 different cosplays of the character doesn’t help my argument much. I have so many, from canon outfits to ones that are SteamPunk and Fantasy. I have 49 completed and a few others in the works. Again, I won’t admit that I relate to him, but I have gotten pretty good at acting him out with so many cosplays.
I tend to relate to Fatgum which is one of my most well known cosplays out on TikTok and social media. I started Cosplaying as Fatgum as a joke, not really knowing if he would take me anywhere. Most of my cosplays I intend to cosplay maybe one or two times.
If I start to feel more comfortable in the cosplay or people start to share my cosplay and really love it and interact with social media, then I end up bringing the character back for more. At first I only cosplayed Fatgum once or twice, but that’s when I became so comfortable and I began to relate to him so much that I start bringing him to conventions and started joining TikTok live streams as him. I’ve been noticed in public and love interacting with fans and followers mainly because of my Fatgum Cosplay. He is such an amazing and fun character to cosplay AND I love getting to eat food constantly in the outfit- that is 100% one of the reasons why I love cosplaying as him. I love how body positive he is and how accepting he is as a character. I love bringing him to life and getting to meet people as him at conventions.
Nerdbot: What was the most complicated cosplay you’ve ever done?
LarpLikeRae: What was the most complicated cosplay you’ve ever done?Since I have over 200 cosplays, lots of them are pretty simple. I put them together from normal outfits or go out thrifting to find pieces. That makes it super easy, but there are some other Cosplays that do tend to get complicated and extremely difficult. Depending on the character there’s lots of Cosplays I find extremely difficult whether it is to make, wear or act out on social media.
A) I think my hardest one to build yet what is my Mandalorian Bakugou. This cosplay took over 67 hours and 7 yards of foam. The trickiest and most complicated part about making this cosplay was that it was a full armor set that I’ve never done before. I’ve made armor pieces and props made out of EVA foam and worbla before, but never a full suit of armor from scratch. It was definitely a long process, but It paid off and is one of my favorite Cosplays to this date.
B) My most complicated to wear is probably my Mustard from “My Hero Academia.” Mustard is very underrated character and isn’t shown often. He was only seen once in one episode so far, but when I first saw his character and outfit I knew I had to cosplay as him. The most difficult part about wearing this cosplay is the mask since the backpack is attached. When I first made this it was my first really big helmet project and I didn’t really know how to work around it, or make sure to be able to see. I ended up installing LED lights that glow red for the eyes And a purple smoke grenade/stick inside the backpack. Other than that the cosplay is very comfortable but it is extremely hard to wear the mask.
C) My most difficult and complicated cosplay to act out on TikTok and social media are definitely the more happy characters. Getting riled up or looking like I’m extremely happy on camera is a challenge. I like to keep a straight face, calm or tend to look very stoic on camera. Bringing characters to life is definitely an exciting thing to do, but it also can be a very challenging. Acting like characters such as Emma from “The Promised Neverland,” or Deku and Mina from “My Hero Academia” are definitely my most difficult to get right because they are so friendly and outgoing. I am very friendly in person but I tend to cosplay the characters that are more quiet, calm or angry so it is definitely a challenge for myself with the camera to cosplay as happy-go-lucky characters. It’s not completely out of my comfort zone but it is definitely something where I have to push myself and sometimes it can be emotionally draining.
Nerdbot: Do you have any advice for those who’d like to start cosplaying?
LarpLikeRae: I love giving advice to people who love to start cosplaying! My advice to any person that is trying to cosplay or getting into cosplaying is, do what makes you happy. Don’t cosplay characters that don’t make you happy or only choose what your followers demand. You should choose the character that you’ll have the most fun as, personally. Get to know the character, do research and start to fall in love with them to the point where you want to portray them the best that you possibly can. I would say just have fun with it, and cosplay whoever you want. It doesn’t matter your race, your size, your gender, your religion, your culture or anything. Cosplay who want to and do what makes you happy. I’ve cosplayed characters that my followers wanted me to and it didn’t bring me much joy. I’ve left certain fandoms due to some of the followers. I’m slowly starting to come back to several fandom‘s that I left because despite the fanbase, I do love cosplaying as those characters and bringing them to life.
Start with your comfort level, if you want to cosplay a character that’s out of your comfort zone just do it little by little. It doesn’t hurt to try something new but don’t push yourself too much! And don’t judge someone’s cosplay because it doesn’t look like another person‘s or your own. Everyone’s Cosplays are going to look different and everyone perceives a character differently. That is the beauty of cosplaying. I love the different types of Cosplays and the way people’s perceptions of them can be so different. It makes cosplaying very unique and very different.