A True "Prince" of Cosplay
Article by NANABI

Crossplay has always been a popular genre for both male and female cosplayers around the world. For most people, crossplay always brings this single thought, "Is this a boy or a girl?". We can't deny it, there are numerous cosplayers who have mastered the art of crossplay and they never failed to confuse the community with their genders. Sometimes we ask ourselves "How do they do it?" honestly speaking we might never know the answer. We can always say it's their genes, make-up, their face and other possible reasons explaining how these cosplayers shift from one gender to the opposite. But one thing's for sure, they're definitely good in their cosplay forte. 

One crossplayer in particular has been the center of attention in the cosplay community today. This crossplayer has been invited to numerous cosplay events all over the world as well and has never once failed to make her fans swoon at her presence.

REIKA is a female crossplayer from Japan who dominated the world cosplay charts with her amazing portrayals of numerous iconic male characters from several well-known animes. Not only did she amaze her fans online with her photos, but she brought the fandom of her fans to a whole new level with her charming personality. One of Reika's most well recognized crossplays is her portrayal of the famous womanizer Jinguji Ren of Uta No Prince-sama. Her portrayal of the heartthrob Barnaby Brooks Jr. from Tiger and Bunny wasn't far behind from recognition as well. Two crossplays that has brought thousands of her fans squealing and begging for more. 

Reika has admitted that out of all the delicious princes you could choose from Uta No Prince-sama, Jinguji Ren was the prince that simply stole her heart! With her favoritism with this ever alluring prince and a popular demand of her fans, Reika's cosplay wardrobe has been dominated with Jinguji Ren's attires! 

Reika portraying Jinguji Ren of Uta No Prince-sama in his different attires

Based on my own observation, Reika by far, has been one of the cosplayers who accurately looks exactly like Jinguji Ren if he were ever brought to life. The way she managed to bring this prince to life is simply mind blowing. But Reika never stopped on this prince alone, she brought a bigger wave of fangirls when she surprised her fans with her portrayals of the other princes from the series; marking her as an "UtaPri prince all in one".

Reika portraying the five princes of Uta No Prince-sama

With her flexibility to change her looks in her crossplays, Reika never fails to capture the essence of the character she's portraying. It simply shows how much dedication this talented lady puts on her cosplays and seeing her work hard for her costumes is something worth admiring. In one of her interviews, Reika revealed she has been cosplaying for over 17 years, which is a very large year span for a cosplayer's life in the hobby. Yet she has continued to do the hobby with full dedication. But she didn't leave out the one thing that every cosplayer experiences when their doing this hobby, hardship. Whether you believe or not, this rising cosplay idol also had her own trials to face as she pursued her passion. 

Reika has moved her supporters with her determination, her hard work and most especially with her passion for her hobby. One of the tips she always tells her fans is "Always do your best!". As simple as this message is, it's enough to empower several people to strive hard for their cosplay goals. With such passion being expressed in her works, Reika has received words of encouragement and respect from not only her fans but from her fellow cosplayers as well. The effort she puts in her preparations for her cosplays is something worth acknowledging, and simply shows that producing the best cosplay isn't always just a snap of a finger. For some cosplayers, there's more to cosplaying than just having the right costume and wig. 

Putting her cosplays aside for a moment, Reika remains to be an open, charming and humble person to everyone she meets. Sharing smiles and laughs, she's not just a cosplayer but also a very dear friend. It's quite heartwarming to see a cosplayer who not only has a deep passion for the hobby, but also remains to be a kind and friendly person to everyone; even with the perks of being one of the world's most popular cosplayers. Not only does she extend her friendliness personally but Reika never forgets to actively keep in touch with her supporters and international friends with both her Facebook and Twitter accounts. What makes her even more lovable? She takes her time to read and reply to her fans, giving them assurance that it's quite okay to message her and that it wouldn't harm anyone in doing so. To see how much she appreciates each and everyone who has supported her, it goes to show that Reika believes she didn't achieve what she has alone, but she achieved this with the help of all the friends, family and supporters who have walked with her up until now. With her compassionate heart and open-mindedness, this well adored lady makes anyone swoon at her presence. Although, if you still think she isn't your "prince" yet, think again. 

Reika portraying the basketball jocks from Kuroko No Basket

I wouldn't blame anyone if they were to squeal uncontrollably after seeing all the bishounen Reika has portrayed. Making her own costumes and props, styling her wigs and applying her own make-up; Reika shows the true artist that she is. She has continued to be an inspiration to everyone everyday and has not once disappointed. Bringing every girl's dream characters to life and even acting like them in reality truly reminds you what cosplaying is really about; it's not just looking like the character but also becoming the character. Even if Reika concentrates on her crossplay, she's still the sweet and charming lady everyone loves, adores and look up to. Who could ever forget?  The lady who became everyone's real life "prince".

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