How did you get into cosplay?
Some of my close friends were just getting into cosplay about the time the anime Death Note came out. We were planning to go to a convention, and I had no idea who my first cosplay would be. I saw Misa Amane while watching the show, and that’s when it all clicked.
Were you born being in a wheelchair or did something happen during your child hood?
I was born with a form of Muscular Dystrophy called CMT neuropathy. I was able to walk until I was about ten years-old, then my legs could not support the rest of my body. CMT affects the nerves in my lower arms and lower legs, making fine motor skills tricky and walking a no-no.
We love your shirt “I Hate Running” It seems like you have such a bright outlook on your life, and don’t take things too seriously, has it always been that way, or was it a growing process?
It has always been that way. I was never one to feel sorry for myself or be pushed around (no pun intended). You can either smile and make the best with what you are given or mope and get nowhere. What has been the most liberating aspect of cosplay? The acceptance. The fact that I can be anyone while still bring myself.
I’m sure people are quite inspired by your story. What type of reception have you gotten so far?
More love than I could ever imagine. Every time someone sees me in public and asks if I’m Misa on Wheels, I am beyond honored. The fact that I can impact someone’s life or even just make them smile is the best gift ever.
How does the design and build process work for you?
I’m more of a design and shop kinda gal myself. I buy a lot of my outfits, since sewing is one of those motor skills that bests me. I’m much more a crafter than a sewer. If I can buy the basic pieces, I go from there!
Have you gotten any negative response from the cosplay community?
Just the standard “you’re fat” or “your wheelchair is ruining my head-cannon” nonsense. I just delete it and move on.
What’s your opinion on “playboy models in Mario hats”? Do you think cosplay has been overly sexualized?
Sadly, yes. And don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with sexy characters or outfits. I’ve done a few myself. It’s the “wear nothing or go home” mentality that taints certain aspects of the community.
What’s a day in the life of Misa?
A weekday: wake up, go to work, browse and plan projects in my downtime, go for a walk (well, roll) on my lunch break, finish work, sometimes hit the gym, then go home. At home, catchup on tv shows, stay up too late gaming, and cuddle with my cat. Weekends and conventions tend to be more eventful.
Favorite thing to do outside of cosplay?
I play a lot of video games. Right now, I’m plowing the The Evil Within, which has a similar feel to the fourth Resident Evil so far. Loving it! I love going on adventures with the people I love, whether it’s going to Boston for the day, hanging out at the aquarium, or shipping somewhere fun. I do it all.
If you had to travel across the country, what superhero do you think would be the most entertaining?
I suppose traveling across the country in the Bat-mobile would be fun.
Once misconception about people in wheelchairs that you would like to put to rest?
That we are all different. We are individuals with our own dreams, skills, abilities, and outlooks. Knowing one person with a disability does not make you an expert on all those who use wheelchairs. Ask before assuming. It’s just a set of wheels. No big deal. 🙂
At the risk of alerting the cliché police, Misa on Wheels serves as an inspiration to not only cosplayers, but to people all over the world. As she battles the unthinkable, she heals others with her undaunted spirit of perseverance. She is a gleaming beacon of hope, taking everything life has thrown at her with great elegance and beauty.
This cosplay thing, yes it’s just for fun, but it does change lives for the better. Many women have found confidence, and like Misa, she has inspired thousands of people to live out loud. Casting disabilities, imperfections, and insecurities aside, her journey has encouraged us to set sail and see the beauty that lies within all of us.
From us here at Glomp, Thank you, Misa.