Alodia Gosiengfiao, a big fan of Japanese anime, games and costume play, visited Japan at the beginning of this month. Alodia is a huge icon among Otaku fans and has over 1.9 million likes on her Facebook page.

On Aug 5, after appearing at the World Cosplay Summit in Nagoya, Aichi, she traveled to Tokyo to do some shopping at Isetan Shinjuku. Alodia visited the pop-up event “Tokyo Pastel” that is currently being held at TOKYO Kaihouku. There, she was seen mingling with designers Ayumi Watanabe of “himitsu by Syrup.” and Kanae Higashi of rurumu-usagi.

As she entered the pastel colored event space, Alodia excitedly clapped and exclaimed “Kawaii (cute)! Subarashi (wonderful)!” She conversed with the two designers and asked detailed questions about their fashion- such as where they had purchased their hair accessories or jeweled sneakers.

One of the items she picked up at the event was a knitted iPhone case from rurumu-usagi. While flipping through the lookbook for himitsu by Syrup., Alodia discovered a lattice pattern skirt and bondage-like belt and ordered it on the spot, saying “daisuki (I love it)!” She also seemed enamored with cosplay-like items such as a large cherry-shaped necklace and pierced earrings, as well as checkered overalls with a heart appliqué on the chest.

On her previous visits, Alodia frequented Shibuya 109. This was her first time at Isetan Shinjuku store. She found a liking for the cosmetics corner located on the 1st floor and commented, “There isn’t any place like this in the Philippines, so I hope something like this will be built in the future.”

Alodia’s interest in Japanese anime and games was triggered at the age of 7, when she first saw “Sailor Moon.” Instead of passively watching anime, she began to dress in similar styles as the characters and post photos of herself in her outfits.

“I began cos-play ten years ago, when I was 15. I created my own page named ‘Black Mage Alodia’ on this US website called deviantART and started to upload photos of myself wearing different types of costumes. I started off with costumes from the game ‘Final Fantasy.’ I create the characters' costumes and their items myself. My younger sister, who is now a rock singer, and I take pictures of each other. In the Philippines, Japanese anime is very popular, and people like to dress up in costumes, even in rural areas around Manila.”

“From 2009, people began to invite me to global cosplay events. I was first invited to Singapore, then Malaysia, Los Angeles, Dubai and then to many other places.”

Alodia has experienced Japanese culture secondhand since her childhood days. “The streets of Tokyo alone look like fashion snaps. I want to take lots of photos of places that I love, such as Shibuya and Harajuku. I also love Lolita fashion and gal fashion. I especially LOVE Kyary Pamyu Pamyu!! In some ways, her fashion is like cosplay (chuckle). Right now, I'm into ‘Attack on Titan.’ I’m watching it online on this anime website called Crunchyroll. I love it so much, I even visited the Crunchyroll headquarters in San Francisco. I'm trying to memorize the opening song so that I can play it on piano, hopefully soon!” said Alodia.

On her travels around the world, Alodia continues to inspire her fans. “I want to open my own online store in the near future. I learned how to design clothes by myself, and I want to sell my designs. I want to speak Japanese better, too.”