Cosplay, a portmanteau of the words “costume” and “play” is a form of performance art in which participants use costumes and accessories to bring specific characters from video games, anime, manga and fantasy films to life.

Widely regarded as Asia’s “Cosplay Queen”, 24-year-old Alodia Gosiengfiao has travelled the world performing and judging cosplay events. It all started in 2003, when she came across a post on the online forum, Anime Club, about a cosplay convention and competition.

“We (she and her younger sister, Ashley) immediately tried our luck in that. We didn’t actually know that there was a performance, but that marked our first cosplay competition,” said Alodia in an interview last week in Petaling Jaya, Selangor. She was in the country over the weekend to launch the Animax Carnival, and to judge a cosplay competition at the event.

Alodia Gosiengfiao as an Elven Fairy

Both Alodia and Ashley, 23, who hail from the Philippines, have made quite a name for themselves throughout the years in the world of cosplay. Alodia herself has “cosplayed” characters from over 40 anime, video games and movie titles since she started out nine years ago. One could say that she is already a veteran in her field!

She picks Witchblade as a favourite character to play for the costume’s intricate designs, and difficulty in portraying her. However, Alodia prefers wearing schoolgirl costumes like the ones Haruhi Suzumiya (from the popular manga of the same name) puts on because people can relate to it more.

“If I walk into a mall in a schoolgirl uniform it’s fine, but when I look like a monster, people will think, ‘Oh, what was that?’,” explained Alodia.

Apart from cosplaying, the model also does a bit of acting, and is a host on the Animax channel. Nevertheless, at the moment, cosplaying is still her top priority.

Alodia Gosiengfiao as The Baroness from GI Joe

“I still want to do things related to cosplay because that’s where I started and that’s my passion, but I also like trying different things. That’s why I went into acting.

“It’s sort of breaking out of my comfort zone but it can also help me improve on my cosplaying. In cosplay performances you have to act on stage, so the they actually go hand-in-hand,” she noted.

When asked what she would be doing now if she had not become a cosplayer, Alodia said, “I would be a concept artist for a video game company or an animator for an anime. But it’s hard, very hard.”

Besides being a household name in the world of cosplay, Alodia has also appeared twice on the Philippine FHM’s “100 Sexiest Women” poll and was named by UNO magazine as one of the “Most influential women in the Philippines”. It is no surprise then that she and Ashley have a large fan base with over a million Facebook fans and over a hundred thousand followers on Twitter. For Alodia, staying connected to her fans is very important.

“Not only does it strengthen you in terms of support, but you can also ask them for suggestions or things to help you in your craft. Like, when they point out something about your work, you should take it as advice to help you make better costumes,” she said.

Alodia is also a hardcore gamer

In her spare time, Alodia likes to create accessories that she can use in her cosplay. It’s amazing that she is able to find time to indulge in all of her interests, though, as her schedule can get very packed sometimes. “I don’t have a social life but I try to make time for everything,” she said, half-jokingly.

Alodia is also a hardcore gamer, and she has a list of video games she loves playing including Final Fantasy, Counter Strike, and her all-time favourite, Warcraft. She cites Full Metal Alchemist as her favourite anime.

For all the budding cosplayers in Malaysia, Alodia has this to say: “I advise them to attend a convention first so that they would know what the culture is like and how cosplayers usually project themselves.

“Cosplayers are very nice people and they can give a lot of tips on your accessories and props!”

* Follow Alodia and Ashley on Twitter (@AlodiaAlmira and @Ashlili) and check out their Facebook pages ( and You can also check out Alodia’s websites ( or and Ashley’s blog (

Tell us what you think!

Go top