Photo :  Brian  / Makeup : Greg Schrantz &  Kristina  / Wig :  Nocturne Wig Comissions

Photo : Brian / Makeup : Greg Schrantz & Kristina / Wig : Nocturne Wig Comissions

Hanzo meant a lot to me because the video game Overwatch has helped me out quite a bit during a rough time in my life. In 2016 when the game came out, I was in a slump. This was my year of soul searching as I lost ambition, happiness, and direction in my life. Overwatch was a way for me to escape reality and soften my internal struggles. Hanzo always appealed to me because of his calm, yet focused demeanor. I definitely idolized his personality and appearance. I attempted for months to play as Hanzo and I was just awful with him! It is extremely hard playing as a sniper (for me at least!).

As the year went on, not only did I improve at playing as Hanzo, but I also improved in playing the game I call life. My life as I knew it had completely changed by the end of the year. I became filled with joy, happiness, & and was surrounded with the most amazing friends & family. I can confidently say I’m comfortable with myself and am the happiest I have ever been. It was only fitting that I cosplayed Hanzo as a reminder of how far I have come in both life & and in Overwatch.

The story by chance comes in full circle. Going into Katsucon my cosplay was incomplete! As I arrived Thursday night I was extremely disappointed because I would not have my cosplay ready for the show. Thankfully, I reached out to old friends and without any hesitation, helped me out. My friend Giana introduced me to a fellow Hanzo cosplayer, Angel, gracefully he allowed me to borrow his bow, quiver, and arrows for the weekend. On Friday morning I reached out to my friend Kristina for help regarding makeup. To my delight, she brought her friend Greg who was a special effects makeup artist! The two of them spent two hours of their time to make sure I was ready for the con floor. After the entire costume was put together, I looked in the mirror filled with relief and excitement. The friends I had made during my struggles were the same one who helped me complete my cosplay! I could not be any more thankful.

The response to this cosplay has been overwhelmingly positive! I’ve never had so many friends and strangers reach out to me regarding a cosplay. I have been cosplaying for over four years now and by far Hanzo has been the most meaningful to me. Within the first hour of walking around Katsucon. I had con-goers cry as they approached me. When I asked why? They explained they were so happy to see my completed cosplay and showered me with love. I immediately hugged those cosplayers after hearing it. That touched my heart and I will cherish that experience.

Katsucon will always be special to me because it is normally my annual meetup with so many friends! These pictures & costume would not have been possible without the aid of all my friends. I love you all, thank you for being in my life. For me, cosplay is much more than embodying a character. It’s the adventures and experiences we all go through with fellow fans. We all have our own stories and struggles, and when we meet at conventions, we express them through our cosplays. It is then that we get to make new stories, together. That is what makes this community so special.

-- Cookin' in Tights