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 COSPLAYER PROFILES: Yona Kuromatoki.  Being an otaku and a geek for about 20 years and getting exposed to attending conventions for more than 10 years is what led her to become a cosplayer.

For me, cosplaying isn't just only a hobby nor a relief to everyday stress, it's a performing art that all of us should appreciate and give respect to one's hard work, the expression to his/her character he/she portraits and dedication.

Yona and Cosplaying

Yona began cosplaying in October 2009 during her school's foundation week.  It is a time when everybody can dress as their favorite characters.  Her first cosplay was Shana from Shakugan no Shana and her first prop made was her sword, the Nietono no Shana. 

In 2010, she went on hiatus to focus with her studies but eventually came back to cosplaying in December 2013.  Yona's first convention was Ozine Fest Anime Figure Special, and she eventually became active up to this day.

Zettai Karen Children's Koichi Minamoto was my first cosplay since I came back to the hobby and my first crossdressed character overall. And in July 2014, I created a page which originally intended for my fifth year in cosplaying, but decided to keep it permanently and now it's about to have 400 likes.
Talking about inspiration in cosplay, Yona traces it back to her childhood friend and former neighbor in Project 8, Quezon City.  This friend introduced her to the hobby and taught her how to interact during conventions and meet lots of friends.

Cosplay Accomplishments and Experience

 Among the characters that she already cosplayed are:
  • Hayate Ayasaki (Hayate no Gotoku!)
  • Seiji Sagara (Pretty Cure Series)
  • Yui Nanase (Pretty Cure Series)
  • Rio Kuroki (Pretty Cure Series)
  • Agent L (Men In Black, movie version)
  • Hikari Hanazono (Special A)
  • Kobayashi (Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon)
  • Reina Kousaka (Hibike! Euphonium)
  • Haruhi Fujioka (Ouran School Host Club)
  • Nishikata (Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san) 
  • 13th Doctor (Doctor Who)
When it comes to her best experience in cosplaying, she would always say that it was when she was chosen as the Best Female Performance during the Toei Animation Philippines Individual Cosplay Contest 2016.  It was her first award in almost a decade as a cosplayer.

I met a fellow cosplayer who's now an Australian citizen, but a Filipino by birth, for the first time (although I became his online friend first in April 2015) at TAGCOM 2016 day 2 and we were both cosplaying as Hikari Hanazono and Kei Takishima respectively, and since then, we've became close friends. Other than cosplaying, I love singing aka my first true love, so being a member of Team OKE Gakuen is one of the best experiences ever. 

Future Plans in Cosplay for Yona Kuromatoki

Yona always wants to attend conventions outside of Metro Manila because she wants to know what provincial cons really look like and differentiate from their counterparts.

She also wants to attend some cons outside the country, notably AFA, World Cosplay Summit among others.

As regards to cosplay plans, she plans to cosplay Emiru Aisaki aka Cure Macherie from Hugtto! PreCure due to similarities in loving their respective hobbies and for music, plus admiring fictional heroes with compassion; and Yasmin Khan from Doctor Who because of her determination in facing the almost impossible stuff and the representation she has for the show as the first TV companion with an Asian descent.

Outside cosplaying, Yona Kuromatoki plans to pursue and finish studying so that she can have a proper job and help her family.

To paraphrase Peter Capaldi's and Jodie Whittaker's Doctors, never to be cruel, never to be cowardly and always try to be kind because we are all capable of the most incredible change and we can evolve while still staying true to who we are. In other words, we shouldn't become tools for selfishness and greed, but rather we should be real partners for true change by bringing people full of true love and happiness through cosplaying. In the end, we're all loving fictional characters and that's all the matters.

 Connect with Yona Kuromatoki on Social Media



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