Community Spotlight:

Thaís Jussim

Being Samus Aran
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This month Shinesparkers speaks to cosplayer Thaís Jussim, better known as Yuki. She is famous for her Varia Suit and Zero Suit costumes and has made appearances at Video Games Live. We speak to Yuki about her fantastic costumes, how they were put together and her thoughts on Metroid.

SS: First of all Yuki, please introduce yourself and give us an insight into the sort of things you do.

TJ: My name is Thais, but I’m better known as Yuki. I’m a cosplayer, which means I make and wear costumes of fictional characters, including several video game characters. I have been practicing this hobby for over 10 years and have traveled to several countries to attend cosplay conventions as a guest.

SS: You have created a wide range of costumes from a variety of different series. What made you decide to add Metroid to your cosplay?

TJ: Some people had already told me that I would love to play Metroid games, and that I should make a Samus costume. One day Vingaard brought me the Metroid Prime for Gamecube. I played and found it very interesting. I started to get interested in the character and the older games. When I learned more about the history of Samus I fell in love with her. =P

SS: Your Varia and Zero suits are quite realistic looking and it’s clear a lot of time and effort went into them. Tell us about the process you used to create these and the length of time it took to create each one.

TJ: The Varia Suit took me about six months. Basically, it was made of fiber glass, craft foam, polystyrene and polyurethane. There are also over 70 LEDs, and pieces of acrylic. It was all carved and shaped by hand by me, my father and some friends. The painting was done with automotive paint.

Zero Suit, despite being simpler,  took me a long time to find the right fabric. I did not use latex because it is very hot here and it would be impossible to wear a latex costume at conventions. So I looked for a fabric that had a glow like the latex and also had the right colors. The black lines had to be drawn with the clothes on before sew and the pink symbol were all painted by hand.

SS: There are a few Metroid cosplayers out there, what makes your design stand out from all the rest?

TJ: I don`t know. Maybe it’s because I pay attention to every detail of the costume, and I try to make it look as realistic and accurate as possible. To me, this is part of the fun of doing a cosplay.

SS: You appeared on stage during the Metroid segment of Videogames live in front of hundreds of people. Please tell us about how you were approached and what the whole experience was like for you.

TJ: I’ve been participating in to Video Games Live since its first edition in Brazil. I have used other games cosplays in previous years, but when Tommy Tallarico saw the pictures of my Varia Suit, he said to show’s producers in Brazil that I had to get up on stage with that costume next year! It was a great honor for me to perform with the orchestra playing the musics of Metroid. Last year, I also hosted the cosplay contest that opens the show, using my Zero Suit.

SS: During your time cosplaying various characters, you must have received lots of comments, positive and constructive. Tell us about some memorable ones you have received over the years.

TJ: I remember a post on a blog, which compared three pictures of me, but the author did not realize it was the same person in all three pictures. In one of the photos he said that the Varia Suit was beautiful but did not have all the details that it should. Then he compared it with another photo of my Varia Suit (with a different lighting), saying that one was very well detailed, but the cosplayer was very ugly when compared to the girl in the third photo, which was also a picture of me,  without Varia Suit only holding the helmet. XD That was so funny I had to take a screenshot and show to my friends.

SS: Looking back do you feel there is anything you would want to change about your designs or how you portrayed the character of Samus during your cosplay experiences?

TJ: Yes, I wish I had a better wig when I used the Varia Suit for the first time.

SS: So far you have cosplayed with two suits. Do you have plans to create more? If so what kind of suits have you had ideas for?

TJ: I’m planning to make the Fusion Suit and some “ending costumes”. And maybe the OtherM Zero Suit. Just because I found perfect shoes with those strange high heels. XD

SS: Metroid: Other M gave Samus characterisation and for the first time, allowed fans to see the woman behind the visor. What do you think to Samus as a person and have you taken, or plan to take any of these newfound aspects of Samus and incorporate them into your cosplay?

TJ: I guess some things in other M sounded a little exaggerated or even a bit stupid. Other things were just misunderstood. But that does not mean that what was revealed there about the past of Samus, her thoughts and personality, should be ignored. Personally, I like to see Samus portrayed in a more humanized way. I will not discuss this issue here, but I’ve read many opinions and arguments, and still can not think the game sexist or oversexualized. I mean, nobody ever complained about the JUSTIN BAILEY, and this could be considered far more sexist than anything that has been seen in other M.

SS: How has your experience as Samus been so far and what are your future goals?

TJ: Samus is now part of my life. She brought me many good things and have a great affection for her. I plan to participate again in the World Cosplay Summit, and make a  Metroid performance for the contest. I made a promise. If I win, I`ll make a tattoo with the Metroid symbol.

SS: Metroid celebrates it’s 25th anniversary this year. In your own opinion, what are your thoughts on the franchise as a whole and where would you like to see it go in the future?

TJ: I really wish Nintendo would do something special to celebrate  the 25 years of Metroid. Maybe a new game for the 3DS, a remake to one of the older games, or even something smaller, like a beautiful official artbook. I hope that the bad impact of Other M among fans does not prevent the production of new games. Maybe it’s better to step back and rethink the future of the franchise, but without denying what has been done so far.

SS: Thanks for taking the time to speak to us Yuki. Do you have any closing comments you would like to make?

TJ: It was a pleasure! Thank you for being so nice! I`ll take this opportunity to leave a message. I have a small project that I would make for the celebration of 25 years of Metroid. But I need help of talented graphic artists. So if you are interested you can contact me by e-mail yuki[@]yukicosplay.com

We would like to thank Yuki for taking the time to speak to us. If you’d like to see more of Yuki, her Metroid suits and her other cosplay, you can do so at her official website and her Deviantart page.

© 2011 Darren Kerwin and Thaís Jussim
Interviewed 31st March 2011