Cosplay Senpai

Leading by example through positivity and acceptance.

The Cosplay Senpai Program handpicks Cosplayers who have shown community support and outreach through positivity both at con and in the online world. They are invited to come and promote fun, passion, and acceptance within the cosplay community through panels and discussions. The Cosplay Senpai are always open to answering questions, giving advice, and talking with attendees; they can be found in the Entertainment Hall, right next to the Cosplay Repair Area.

Anime Expo advocates the idea that cosplay is for everyone --no matter what size, gender, age, religion, shape, color, or even species. Cosplay is all about having fun! The Cosplay Senpai help support our mission to promote the message that anyone and everyone can cosplay.

To do this, the AX Cosplay Senpai are expected to:

  • Give back to the community by providing assistance through the form of tutorials.
  • Promote positivity online through meaningful dialogue about a variety of topics.
  • Actively engage with the cosplay community in person/online.
  • Maintain a family-friendly feel with their representation through photos and content that would be comparable to a PG rating.

If you think you or someone you know might be a good fit for our Cosplay Senpai Program, please send us a message via our Contact Form, with "Cosplay" selected as the topic. Please be sure to tell us who you are suggesting and explain why you think he/she/you might be a good fit for our Cosplay Senpai Program.

2019 Senpai

Amber Arden

Amber Arden is a fashion stylist, costume designer, and milliner based in Los Angeles, CA known for all things Disney & Star Wars. She creates cosplays inspired by everything from anime to vintage classic characters. Designing and cosplaying for over 5 years, she frequently serves as a fashion stylist for Disney Style, Hot Topic, and many fashion brands to date while also coordinating numerous photo shoots focused on all aspects of fashion & costume. Known for her mashup armored costume "Snowbafett," a Boba Fett-inspired Snow White, she has created an army of over 30 armored Disney characters. Amber has been a Cosplay guest at Anime Expo and LA Comic Con, a panelist at Star Wars Celebration, and featured in magazines like Huffington Post, LA Times, & Cosplay Culture Magazine.

Amber Kohaku Chan

Amber Kohaku Chan is a disabled model and cosplayer/costume maker of over 5 years as well as a professional makeup artist located in Los Angeles, CA. Amber was diagnosis with a rare hereditary illness called muscular dystrophy in 2012. Because this illness affects the muscles, Amber now uses a wheelchair which she uniquely incorporates into her costumes! Amber wants to show the world that her love for cosplay, anime and art hasn’t stopped after such a life-changing diagnosis. She has now been featured in online magazines such as Cosmopolitan, US Weekly, Life & Style, In Touch Weekly and many more from around the world who call her Amber Guzman the Human Barbie. She has also appeared on television shows such as The Doctors and Telemundo News 52 and RTL Germany.

Jihatsu

Jihatsu is an up-and-coming Midwestern cosplayer who is following his heart and pursuing his passion to inspire others through positivity and creativity. Jihatsu has been cosplaying for just over 5 years and currently lives and creates his cosplays in Des Moines, Iowa. He has been cosplaying since 2012 and has self-taught himself everything, including props, armor, wigs and makeup. Jihatsu has had the privilege to be a guest at conventions across the Midwest, from Nakacon to New York Comic Con. He has experience in Q&A panels, cosplay community talk panels, dreadlock wig work for beginners, and adding your style/culture to cosplay. His goal is to show that cosplay is all about what you make it. It’s fun and made for everyone, and he hopes to inspire others to try it.

Kaye Cosplay

Sammi Kaye, known as "Kaye Coplay", is an award-winning cosplayer and professional costumer for the Walt Disney Company. Since 2005, she has won numerous cosplay awards, including representing the U.S. in the International Cosplay League in Solo Craftsmanship. Those who follow her work know Kaye Cosplay for her craftsmanship, technicality, and cleanliness in sewing. When not cosplaying, Sammi enjoys spending time with her husband, Matthew, in sunny Orlando, Florida. She loves theme park history, cats, tiki bars, and her favorite Disney princess, Rapunzel. A master at designing costumes to suit real people, she has created a body of work showcasing that anybody can cosplay the characters they love.

Kiss a Frog Cosplay (Alicia Renaé)

Kiss a Frog Cosplay (AKA Alicia Renaé) is a 28-year-old internationally recognized, body-positive cosplayer from Charleston, WV with a cosplay and J-Fashion career spanning 7 years. She has been featured on the interwebs by AFROPUNK, Black Girl Nerds, Anime Complexium, Cosplayzine, Blake’s Dungeon, Art of Cosplay, Black Nerd Problems, and many others. Her best-known cosplays are her Super Sailor Mars from Sailor Moon, Princess Serenity, Rouge the Bat from Sonic The Hedgehog, and Princess Tiana. Her specialties are cosplay makeup, craft foam ears and accessories, and making guides for cosplay posing.

Little Sprite Cosplay

Little Sprite Cosplay is a SoCal cosplayer and Disney-bounder who has been cosplaying since 2014. Known for cosplaying Disney's Kuzco and gender-bends he is a firm believer that everyone can cosplay and is a promoter of cosplay positivity. He's just a Hakuna Matata kind of guy. Likes: long walks through JOANNs, remembering to pack all his accessories.

Nipah

Nipah is an award-winning Illinois-based cosplayer known for his cosplays from the Kingdom Hearts series. He has been working with his craft for over nine years and has constructed over 100 cosplays.

From advanced wig-styling to sewing to armor construction, Nipah loves to learn and widen his horizon in all aspects of crafting. His goal is to share what he has learned with his fellow cosplayers. With his warm charisma and and love for the craft, he hopes that he can continue to share his love for cosplay with others while helping them enter this wonderful, crazy world.

Peyton

Peyton is a cosplayer and seamstress from Argentina. She has been making costumes for 9 years, creating high-quality costume replicas for sale as well as costumes to enter in international competitions, such as the League of Legends Cosplay Circuit in Latin America, of which she was crowned Champion in 2018. She has also worked with Riot Games as an official model for the Morgana rework and as a cosplay judge for their Circuit. She specializes in sewing but is also proficient in prop making. She’s always very excited to share her knowledge with others and keen to help improve with new ideas.

Phil Mizuno

Phil Mizuno is a Canadian cosplayer who followed his heart and is pursuing his passion of cosplay to help inspire others. He has been cosplaying for 4 years and creates his beautiful costumes in Toronto, Ontario (Canada). Throughout 2017-2018, he has had the privilege to be a cosplay guest at over 40 different conventions worldwide, including Canada, USA, Middle East, Asia, Mexico, Latin America, South America, and Europe. Phil’s ultimate goal with cosplay is to make people experience the same amazing feeling that he had when he first started cosplaying.

Utahime

Utahime is an actress, model and dancer who discovered her passion for cosplay while attending her first convention Anime Expo in 2014. She enjoys attending various comic book and anime conventions across CA, where she has been a guest, panelist, and, more recently, a masquerade judge. Utahime's cosplays have been featured in media outlets such as Cosplay Alliance magazine, L.A.Times, Popsugar, Supernews Live and Cosplay Culture. She just started a YouTube channel called "Kultureset" with her brothers, which explores the latest trends in K-Pop music, fashion and K-culture. Utahime hopes to inspire others with her message: that anyone can cosplay regardless of their ethnicity, gender or background. Most importantly, she wants all fans to have fun expressing love for their favorite fandom through the art of cosplay.

Examples of Past Panels

Cosplay Careers & More! w/ Aicosu

Are you considering a job related to Cosplay and Conventions? Come and talk to cosplayers in diverse fields (wardrobe assistant, social media, voice acting). To talk about how to break into the work force with your special skill, what the industry is like, how to make a resume and why your skills are valuable!

C3 Discusses Diversity in the Geek Community

We are a group of African American women dedicated to promoting the freedom of cosplay by showcasing and empowering all the gamer/nerd/geek/cosplayer within us all. We welcome all fans, girls and guys of different backgrounds to come meet the lovely ladies of Chocolate Covered Cosplay for an open and honest dialogue on con culture and see what the ladies of C3 are all about!

Cosplay Senpai Panel

The art of building a Cosplay following can be daunting. But have no fear, for your Senpai are here! Come join our fantastic Cosplay Senpai to learn about establishing your social media presence as a Cosplayer and more!

Cosplay Makeup 101 w/ Aicosu

From foundation to contacts and wig care to fake beards, come and learn all about makeup! We will cover the basics of learning about powders and pencils and then teach you how to transform into characters with special effect techniques! A live demonstration and Q&A included!

Previous Senpai

2018

Amber Arden, Amber Kohaku Chan, Joo Skellington, Kiss a Frog Cosplay (Alicia Renaé), Little Sprite Cosplay, QueersPlay, Steff Von Schweetz, Utahime

2017

Amber Arden, Corgi Cosplay, Dustbunny, Kiss a Frog Cosplay, Little Sprite Cosplay, Queersplay, Steff Von Schweetz, Stella Chuu

2016

Stella Chuu, Dustbunny, Joshua Hart, WindoftheStars, Aicosu, VAMPY BIT ME, Garnet Runstar, Steff Von Schweetz, Corgi Cosplay, Chocolate Covered Cosplay, Queersplay

2015

Aicosu, Chocolate Covered Cosplay, Chubear, Dustbunny, Futange, Garnet Runestar, Kiba the Corgi, VAMPY BIT ME, WindoftheStars

2014

Aicosu, Chocolate Covered Cosplay, Futange, Giada Robin, VAMPY BIT ME, WindoftheStars

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