Lex won as the current Tales of Ambassador in last year's Tales of Ambassador Elections at Japan Expo. She won cosplaying as Pascal from Tales of Graces f, and has since then been around Europe promoting Tales of Xillia 2. Here's our interview with her!
Abyssal Chronicles: In last year's elections, you won cosplaying as Pascal. Why did you cosplay as her? Is she your favorite overall Tales of character?
Lex: She's my favourite character of Tales of Graces f (one of my top 3 Tales of ?), I love her to the death ! And last year I was looking for a cosplay that would be comfy (because I did Milla the year before that and she's far from comfortable, sadly xD) and where I could really act myself too. So I chose her, thinking she was just the perfect choice, I couldn't consider another one :3. The year before I debated a looot about the character I'd cosplay, but that year it just has to be Pascal xD. I just wanted to have fun in a fun character and be comfy to have EVEN MORE FUN 8D
AC: If not Pascal, who is your overall favorite character then? Have you ever cosplayed as him/her?
L: My favourite character of all Tales of is Luke from Tales of the Abyss, and frankly he's one of my cosplay dream. I have the wig for him (short version) since 2009 XD... sadly I'm really bad at crossplay so I'm afraid I'd really ruin the character, therefore I hadn't cosplayed him yet and I'm not sure I will ever 🙁 (but I did Tear to compensate the Abyss feels xD). Otherwise yes, Pascal if my fav character of Graces f, even if I love Sophie almost as much (and I cosplayed her school version and wanna do the Future version too).
AC: How did you prepare for your Pascal cosplay? Was it difficult?
L: I told myself I had to finish it for Animecon, an event in the Netherlands taking place 2 weeks before Japan Expo so I was sure it would be done in time and not rushed for the JE contest. The idea was good because it allowed me to fix some things after the first time I wore it xD. It wasn't too difficult because it mostly was sewing techniques I knew already, however the wig was really difficult because I'm bad a cutting them. In the end I dislike my wig (I coloured the gradient in her hair with alcohol pens) so I guess that was the most difficult part x'D
I started by doing the base (top and short), and then took time to make all her littles bags wich recquiered hand sewing. I think she took me a month to make, by only working on her the evenings after work.
AC: How long have you been cosplaying, and which are your favorite cosplays so far? (can be non-Tales!)
L: I've been cosplaying since 2006 (it'll be 10 years next year! *granny*) and I think my favorites ones so far are.... Lamia from Startdust, Maki (opening 1) from Love Live!, Pascal from ToGf (because it's so comfy to wear and awesome to be Pascal), Rose from Zestiria and probably Shallistera from Atelier Shallie once I'm done with it in a few days!
I made Rose and Shallie this year (Shallie is 95% done as I write this xD) and I tried to be extra clean and careful while making them! I still have a problem with some wigs tough (like I don't like my Pascal & Rose wigs), I wish I was better at that haha
AC: What/Who inspires you or motivates you to cosplay?
L: Friends motivate me to cosplay <3 because I want to cosplay with them, and the time spent together is also wonderful memories! it's really the driving factor for me, because I'm next to zero motivation when it comes to solo projects xD. For a long time I was alone to cosplay Tales of series too, which is why I have made less of them the year before the Tales of Ambassador competition started! Then I met fellow tales-of-fan-cosplayers and it drove my motivation to high levels again 8D I'M NOT ALONE ANYMORE <3
AC: What's your favorite Tales game? Your favorite character?
L: So far I think it's still Tales of the Abyss, and my fav character is Luke. I just loved the growth he get during the game, and the story touched my heart so many times. I simply cry at the end every time too XD. The main subject of Abyss (identity, and Luke & Ash relation -trying not to spoil here-) is a theme I really really love a lot.
AC: How did you start picking up the Tales of Series? What was your first Tales game?
L: My first Tales game was Symphonia, when my best friend at that time lent me her GameCube and Symphonia copy for me to play during Christmas Holidays. I should have been studing for my upcoming exams the following week, but I just kept playing to Symphonia hahaha. I really loved the story and the characters!! Then, when I was done, I was "is there any other games like that ?" and I came across Tales of Phantasia on GBA, that I bought. The fact I was a big fan of Kosuke Fujishima at that time because of all his manga (Ah! My Goddess is one of my first manga) really helped me getting into the Tales of series too xD I confess. At first I didn't care much about the other games, designed by other people, but I grew to like them a lot as my love for this series grew too (and now I love them) (and my favorite designer is Inomata, I think). I was soooo hyped when Graces f was first cannoned to Europe, then so frustrated when if got pushed back like 6 months lol
AC: Any cosplay tips you can share with fellow cosplayers out there?
L: I'd say, start early and don't wait the last minute xD! (can you hear that, past-self ?)
Always try to be clean : no hanging thread or messy cut. Improving the cleanness of your cosplay will improve their global result, like you have no idea.
Always study the cosplay a LOT before starting to cut anything. Make small drawings to be sure you understand the patterns/outfit. For Tales of cosplay, as details will ALWAYS change between each kind of pictures xDD, try to pick one and focus on it!
Get some help if you need to adjust everything on you, so it fits your just well without wrinkles.
And don't get too desperate over the tons of meter of bias you'll use if Fujishima designed your outfit haha (and always buy or make 3 extra meters of bias).
AC: How are preparations going on your end for the next Tales of Ambassador elections?
I still don't know what cosplay to wear for the day of the contest though!!
AC: How does it feel to be the current Tales of Ambassador? How has it been for you so far?
L: It feels great and frustrating ? great and surreal too haha. I really had an awesome year. I travelled to 4 countries, met lots of people, got to see 2 Tales of contest (YAY), it felt awesome to be part of all that (and I kept thinking somehow that I didn't deserve it) ! Tiring too because of the trips, but so worth it!
But it also feels a bit frustrating because I keep thinking I should have done "more" as an "Ambassador", but I just don't see what or how /sob. I wish I could have done so much more xD ! But I'm so glad about what I experienced. It was one of a kind, and I'm really grateful to Bamco for that. Wish I could have done more to thanks them and the series, somehow.
AC: Any final words on the upcoming elections?
L: I'm so looking forward to seeing it!!! But I know it'll be very hard to judge, because the contest if full of very skilled people and passionate fans, and how do you pick only one ;A; ?! Plus I know lots of people taking part now, it'll be even more heartbreaking not to allow everyone (known and unknown) to win XD.
To everyone taking part: just be yourself and try to tell us how much you love the series! Don't worry, we'll feel it <333
Last thing, I hope I wasn't a disappointment to people during this last year as an Ambassador, if I was I'm sorry *bows deeply* I did my best! I wanted to make more new cosplays too, but time really ran out of my hands with work, and I tried to be extra clean on Rose which in the end resulted on my taking so much time on her I didn't really have time for more cosplay I didn't want to rush as well. My 3 last events were really very close to each other (2 or 3 weeks between each of them) so it resulted in complication for sewing xD.
The elections for the next Tales of Ambassador will be on July 3rd, 3:30 to 5PM at the Kitsune Stage of Japan Expo. Don't miss it!