Jessica Nigri is a well-known cosplayer who gained notoriety last year at the San Diego Comic-Con when she dressed up as a unique version of Pikachu. Since then she has cosplayed many other characters from different anime and video games such as Rikku from Final Fantasy X-2 and Yoko from Gurren Lagann. Aside from watching anime and cosplaying, Jessica is also an avid gamer. She took the time to sit down with Examiner recently to discuss her background in geekery and her plans for the future.
When did you first get into watching anime?
When I was around 6 or 7 I was living in New Zealand, and in the afternoon they had a little 2-hour slot after school for cartoons before the news! Now, I remember they switched BeetleBorgs out with Pokemon, and I was furious at first ... until I got a couple episodes in and watched the touching scene where Ash saves Pikachu from a HUGE flock of Spearow and Pikachu then in turn saves Ash. As a 6-year-old, tears were streaming down my face and I was hooked (like all the other millions of children). They say psychologically you imprint on the world when you are around the age of 7, and since around then I was eating, breathing, speaking, playing and living Pokemon, I was doomed (or blessed?) to have Pokemon in my life forever!! Now, once DragonBall Z stepped in, it brought my anime/Japanese obsession to a whole new power level ... and another story.
How did you get the idea to start going to conventions in costume?
I had heard about going to conventions and had sometimes stumbled across them on the internet but like a lot of people, did not know where to look, where one was in my area, etc. I did not really have a strong desire to go to one, only because ... I had no idea what they were like! The Christmas before San Diego Comic-Con, a good friend of mine gave me tickets to go in 2009. Needless to say the months leading up were long and could not pass fast enough!! :D I had NO idea what to dress as, but I knew I wanted to just go and have fun! To be honest, I had no idea what I was in for when I dressed as Pikachu and Rikku from Final Fantasy X-2! Now, remember they were my very FIRST costumes EVER. So they were NOT very good! xD And I am going to work hard at making future costumes BETTER.
What is your favorite character that you have cosplayed in the past? Planned characters for the future?
My favorite costume was my Dark Magician Girl from Yu-Gi-Oh costume. I chose the Dark Magician Girl, because when I was younger and Yu-Gi-Oh came out, my friends and I would play Yu-Gi-Oh with the cards and on the playground. I was always the Dark Magician Girl, because she was so tough, cute, and never backed down (lol cheesy I know, but I love that in a female character!!). It took SO long to make and had so many tiny details!! I loved it to much and when we finally took photos in the costume, I was actually kind of relieved! That was my very first "complex" costume, and it provoked a lot of love-hate feelings within me. xD
And as for the future costumes? That will ALWAYS be a secret! :D
Name your top three anime series of all time.
Watching any currently?
Code Geass! A friend put me onto it ... and it ... is ... PHENOMENAL!
What is your favorite Xbox 360 game?
Easily the Gears of War series. Can NOT wait for 3. Watching the Ashes to Ashes trailer gives me goose bumps.
Ever played Lost Odyssey?
I haven't! But I hear the battle system is a lot like Final Fantasy!
Nerdy stuff aside, tell me a little about yourself. What other kinds of things do you do for fun?
I love to be active! I love anything from boating to marathon running! I am currently training for another half marathon and contemplating a cycling race of about 60 miles (it's a good balance considering how much time I spend on the computer/box). I ADORE hanging out with my friends, going out on the town and having a great time! I do not drink so it gives me LOTS of money to spend on all my nerdy stuff in my down time! I am also studying a little bit of Japanese and hopefully will spend a year there after I get my degree! Oh! I also love to travel! I lived in New Zealand for 9 years and traveled around to Australia, England, France and Mexico! I really enjoy going to movies! When Lord of the Rings: Return of the King came out, I saw it in the theater 12 times! I also like to draw, make jewelery, bake, shop, work, eat and SLEEP!
The San Diego Comic-Con is just around the corner, any plans to attend this year? (If so,
who will you be going as?)
I bought my tickets for Comic-Con 2010 in November 2009! And again, my costume is a secret, you will have to come look for me!
Your website says it's currently down for maintenance, will this be back online soon?
We are still working on that, BUT you can come hang out at the Facebook fanpage for more updates! :]
Finally, your fans wanna know, are you single?
Ha ha, oh you! Asking the juicy stuff. :]