According to Abdallah, the word cosplay is the combination of the two words ‘costume’ and ‘playing’. This form of art first emerged in Japan as a way for people to dress up as their favorite fictional character from an anime, a movie, or even a comic book. And, with the Japanese culture of anime spreading like wildfire in Egypt, it made sense for cosplay to soon follow and thrive in the land of the Nile.
Abdallah Ashraf is a professional cosplayer, who fell in love with anime from a very young age. Like many of us, he spent his childhood watching dubbed anime on Spacetoon, but with time, he learned that these shows were Japanese. From that moment onwards, he dived head first into the world of anime and cosplay.
His first cosplay ever was when he was just 15 years old. Young Abdallah had just finished watching the anime “Let’s and Go”, or as we know it here in Egypt, “Sabeq
The following is a series of costumes Abdallah has designed for various events along with his personal comments on how these pieces of art came to be.
Dark Paladin – Yu-Gi-Oh!
We all know the great anime series Yu-Gi-Oh! and its card game. It is arguably considered one of the most famous card games in the history of mankind.
Since I was a little kid, Yu-Gi-Oh! has been one of my all-time favorites, both the game and the anime series. So, when I stepped into the world of cosplay, I decided that I’m gonna bring a Yu-Gi-Oh! character to life and I chose Dark Paladin.
In this cosplay, I combined three elements, and these are armor, body painting, and fabric.
I went to the fabric market to pick up the most adequate material for the costume, then I bought the EVA-foam, which is the basis of armor and prop making. I drew all the parts of the armor using computer software such as Autocad, Photoshop…etc. and printed them to scale. The next step was to build up the armor pieces, then sew the fabrics and wrap up the details. I built the weapon using wood, foam, and
aluminumpipes, and finally, I got help from my friends to paint my face at the event.
Gajeel Redfox – Iron Shadow Dragon Mode – Fairy Tail
One of my all-time favorite top 10 anime series is Fairy Tail. As a fan of this series, when I stepped into the magnificent world of cosplay I chose Gajeel from Fairy Tail as a character to bring to life. This character, in particular, was a personal source of inspiration.
Like the previous costume, this one brings together the art of body paint and fabric tailoring. I bought the fabrics from the fabrics market in Downtown Cairo, and then I built up the weapon using PVC, Pipes, and wood.
As for the body paint, I got help from Nina Kamal, a friend of mine and a professional body painter.
Hidan – Riual Mode Cosplay – Naruto Shippuden
Who doesn’t know Naruto?! One of the top anime series in the history of mankind. Naruto is my all-time favorite anime, so I chose Hidan as a character to cosplay because of his charisma and immense power.
This is a full body paint cosplay with some fabric and weapons. I build up the scythe weapon using wood and stainless steel pipes and I got the help of my dear friend Nina Kamal to complete my transformation.
Kotetsu Hagane – Naruto & Naruto Shippuden
Kotetsu Hagane is the guardian of the hidden leaf village of Konoha, in one of the world’s most famous anime series “Naruto & Naruto Shippuden”. As a professional cosplayer, I got inspired by the series and wanted to bring my favorite characters to life.
Accordingly, when I was looking for a character to cosplay, I picked up one that has a similar body type, skin tone, and other physical features; I found what I was looking for in Kotetsu Hagane.
This type of cosplay is called a fabric-based costume, and it’s made out of fabric clothes, small weapons, and some accessories such as wigs and belts. For this one, in particular, the process of making any cosplay costume is pretty much tiring, but fabric-based cosplays are one of the simplest and most-enjoyable.
First of all, I went to the fabric market, picked up the most adequate material for the costume, then I prepared all the wanted prints using software computer programs. The final step was applying the prints on the desired parts and then crafting the remaining accessories.
Larvayne The Dragon Knight – White Knight Chronicles
One cosplay that I am very proud of is that of Larvayne the Dragon Knight. I was looking forward to adding more value to my work by challenging myself. It was the first full body armor cosplay I ever created. It’s depicted from the game White Knight Chronicles. Choosing such a huge character that is awash with detail helped me better understand my talents and personally grow.
I bought the EVA-foam, drew each and every piece using computer software and prepared the desired prints to scale. The next step was to wrap up the fabricating process and apply the layer of paint. Finally, I crafted the huge wings using wood and ropes and with the EVA-foam, pipes, and wood I created the giant spear.
Ulquiorra Second Release – Bleach
Ulquiorra is one of the most famous anime characters of all time in one of the most prominent animes ever to be made, Bleach.
This character left a remarkable touch in the heart of whoever has watched him before. He is one of my favorite characters too, so I decided to cosplay him in an attempt to give myself and the fans the opportunity to meet a real Ulquiorra.
This one is mainly a full body paint cosplay type. I got help with the paint from Nina Kamal, and I built up the wings using ropes and EVA-foam. Finally, I had the wig styled and ready to be worn.
Xanos the Everlasting – Blade & Soul
Xanos the Everlasting from the game Blade & Soul. He is my latest cosplay armor that I had made. His character was a personal challenge.
It is a full body armor cosplay with eight arms, which was the toughest part in making this cosplay. As usual, I drew all the parts separately using Autocad.
The next step was buying the basic material such as the EVA-foam, then I added a light system using an electric circuit and small LEDs. Now that this was out of the way, I finished the fabricating process which is comprised of cutting up the foam and giving it its final shape. Finally, I applied the coat paint layer and made it ready to be worn.