Her fondness for Japanese culture brings Puan Azahra to study Japanese Literature at Universitas Dian Nuswantoro (Udinus). Her interest in Japanese culture digs even deeper, leading her to become a cosplayer.

The woman known as Ara has been fond of Japanese culture ever since she was in junior high. Then, by the time she was a high schooler, she claimed to have researched about Udinus, which at that time was well-known for its Bunkasai festival. “I had done my research, and it turned out that Udinus indeed had a Japanese Literature Department. For that reason, I decided to study here,” she claimed.

Ara, a student in the 2020 class, does possess an interest in numerous Japanese cultures, particularly cosplay. In total, she has been a cosplayer for one and a half years. “One of the driving factors of my fondness for Japanese culture is that I often visit various Japanese-themed festivals and meet with other cosplayers. From there, my cosplaying motivation began to emerge,” she revealed.

Furthermore, she stated that her favorite character, which serves as a cosplay reference, was Raiden Shogun, a character from Genshin Impact. Another anime character, Scaramouche, was also among her favorite cosplay references. “I like these characters because of their character arcs and storyline,” she continued.

POSING: Puan Azahra at the Bunkasai Festival Udinus

Ups and Downs of Being a Cosplayer

During her time as a cosplayer, Ara has encountered many positive and negative experiences. The positive is that Ara got to try her hobbies and interests, which are not limited by her curiosity. To this day, Ara has participated in three different cosplay events.

“As for the downside, cosplaying in general costs a ton, as it includes budgets for costumes, make-up, and other things. Coincidentally, I also have basic make-up skills. As for the costumes, I usually rent them or buy them sometimes. The budgets of these costumes may vary. Normally, it costs Rp. 150 thousand to rent a set of costumes,” she explained.

Despite the downsides, she still pursues his cosplaying hobby. According to Ara, who happened to be a gamer, there was some kind of satisfaction in participating in a Japanese-themed festival as a cosplayer.

At Udinus, there is also a Japanese-themed festival held annually, namely, Bunkasai. It is specifically aimed at people who love Japanese culture.

“I got to say that the campus atmosphere has really brought me joy upon myself. On campus, I can befriend so many supportive and friendly people. In the future, I would like to wish for my dream to eventually come true,” concluded the owner of the @aramouchieeInstagram account. (Humas Udinus/Ika. Foto: Dok. Pribadi)