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Drishti Bodhraj Premprakashi

JWB Blogger

Cosplayer Madhu Enacted Out Her Thoughts On Anime, Buzzfeed And Cosplay With JWB

  • JWB Post
  •  August 26, 2016


When I looked up Madhu Gudi (pronounced ‘goody’) on Facebook, the first thing that caught my eye was her amazing cosplay look. The second thing I saw was her cover photo that was an illustration of Key from SHINee, and I was like, whaaattttt? She likes KPop?!

The last time I came across a cosplaying KPopper was at a convention in Dubai. Soon, I found out that I would talk to another one. Not gonna lie, I lost it.

Madhu is the winner of Cosplay Competition Day 1 with her fellow cosplayer, Rheality Lapse at the Cool Japan Festival 2016 and has also been a special guest for India’s first ever World Cosplay Summit 2016’s Cosplay Talk Show with Tokumaru Oguri-san who is the President of World Cosplay Summit Co. Ltd. 

With great enthusiasm and my earphones blasting ‘Fantasy’ by VIXX, I bring to you Madhu Gudi.

As a cosplayer, you personify someone. If you were to create a costume for Madhu, how would it look?

I am a very laidback cosplayer *laughs*. If someone has to cosplay me, they just need a t-shirt, shorts and hair tied up in a messy bun.

Mine would probably be messy hair and gym clothes, lol.

How was your recent Tokyo trip? Did you succeed in making memories that will last a lifetime?

It was amazing! I spent 10 days in Tokyo and some days in Kyoto. It was like a dream come true. All the cosplay cons I have ever attended, have been in India. This was actually my first time going somewhere outside India. I made so many memories! I miss everything about it. Specially the small things. And their food and coffee! Their coffee is so much better than any other coffee I’ve ever had in my life.

 Me, after I come back from SoKo. 

Cosplay is quite expensive. How do you manage funds for your costumes?

It depends really. I usually reuse a few wigs if they’re in the same colour. I don’t do more than one or two new cosplays in a year. I usually just repeat some of them in a different and better way. I take small chunks of my salary to save up for the costumes. It takes months to put a costume together.

So, what do you do when you don’t cosplay?

I was working in marketing recently, but now I am into PR. I enjoy working on lifestyle and entertainment.

Besides cosplaying and working in PR, Madhu has also done some modelling.

Is the getting ready part team work or solo?

If you are putting on a bodysuit or armour, you need people to help you out. Usually, I prefer going for characters that do not require armour. So for me, it is more of a solo thing. I take it slow with my makeup. It takes me about an hour and a half to three hours to do my makeup.

 What skills are crucial for one to become a cosplayer?

It does not require any skills. I have seen people making armour with cardboard. That is cosplay too! It does not necessarily need an expensive costume. You need to have that confidence and willingness to you to be able to portray a character.

 We would all dress for fancy dress. Do you remember any awkward character you portrayed?

Well, it was not for a fancy dress. I did some theatre as a kid, and I remember portraying an old granny in a play. I had the perfect costume with the white hair and huge glasses.

Also, I remember wearing one of my mom’s sarees in grade 4 or 5. I don’t usually wear Indian clothes, but I enjoyed it a lot that day.

 One dream cosplay?

Several! I’ve always wanted to try on costumes with armour and special effects. It’s quite expensive. People either buy it or get it made. I would love to try it out sometime.

 Your dream as a cosplayer?

I have a little generic response, lol. In India, even if you are the slightest bit different from everyone else, people will stare at you. Here even if you go to a comic con, you will find some people who a pervy way but not all because many others cosplay too. Like, a con is supposed to be a place where you can be yourself! I want more people to know about cosplay and accept it as a respectable profession and art.

 Are there any gender biases in cosplay?

It will take forever if I sit down to talk about this *giggles*. It differs from community to community. Usually, when I play a male character, I get positive feedback. But when I see men dressing up as female characters, they tend to get negative comments. Similarly, people criticise fat girls for playing beautiful characters and skinny girls for playing curvy characters. What does that even mean?

You’ll always come across trolls in life. If you have supporters, you will also find people who will bash you.

 Haters gonna hate, hate, hate….

 What struggles did you face to become a cosplayer?

I haven’t really struggled with it. Dressing up as anime characters is just a way of expressing myself. Money wise, it is going okay and of course, friends and family are very supportive.

 How do you prepare a character before you cosplay?

I will probably look up wigs and blueprints of outfits from various angles. I buy the material and tell the tailor what I want the outfit to look like. Buying accessories, shoes and makeup are easy. Usually, I reuse what I have.

 Any malfunctions with costumes?

The thought of malfunctions stresses me out. So, if I have a complicated costume, I carry it in bits and pieces and dress up at the venue. I carry needle and thread, pins, clips and glue.

 How do you earn as a cosplayer?

I’ve only earned once. But usually, cosplayers are asked to be mascots of stalls at comic conventions. Some of them also make their own armour and sell it or commission it to other cosplayers.

 So, you’ve worked on a few videos with BuzzFeed. What has it been like?

It was so much fun! I love hanging out with them. I can be my crazy self around them. They’re super chill. It all started when I was working on a video with Abish Mathew and my friend was directing it. He works at BuzzFeed and he called me up for a video one day and I was like, hell yeah! So, yeah, it has been great working with them.

 Hanging out with them cool kids.

We saw a selfie with superwoman. Tell us about your meeting with her.

That picture is from the YouTube Fan Fest’s after-party last year.I met her only once last year. For 2 days this year, I was with her all the time. I was managing her travel and transport. She was feeling quite ill this year and she didn’t speak much. She’s a very focused person. Later, she was screening her movie for fans at Goregaon and we were hanging out. I got to see her real side and I think that she is very genuine.

Lastly, how did you get into KPop from anime?

Well, with anime, KPop just came up somewhere down the line. I started watching KDramas and then I found out that they have music too. I got three friends into it and they’re still huge fans but for me, I guess it was just a phase. I still love SHINee though. I remember I won a competition, and a music CD signed by them was sent to me all the way from Korea.


I would die from hyperventilating if I were you, teehee.

Anyway, you can follow Madhu here.

Until then,

Photo Source: Madhu Gudi

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