INTERVIEW: Rock M. Sakura, Drag Superstar & Cosplay Judge at Crunchyroll Expo 2020

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Rock M. Sakura Crunchyroll

This year Crunchyroll Expo, like many other events, has adjusted to a virtual format, This upcoming weekend, September 4 – 6, 2020, the Virtual Crunchyroll Expo (VCRX) will be connecting anime fans together with each other and with special guests. One of those guests is Rock M. Sakura, who will be one of the judges at this year’s Crunchyroll-Hime’s Cosplay Cup and hosting their own panel titled “Anime and Drag with Rock M. Sakura”.

Rock M. Sakura is a high-energy, campy drag performer well-known for her appearance on Season 12 of Rupaul’s Drag Race. As well as for her elaborate, anime-inspired makeup. Rock is very familiar to performances that reference Weeaboo culture and is a self-proclaimed living and breathing version of an AMV (Anime Music Video). Rock M. is also very familiar with cosplay, as it’s where she got her start in drag. In fact, some of her most iconic outfits are self-made and reference anime and manga.

I got the chance to ask Rock M. a few questions ahead of her VCRX panel through email, where she talked her aspirations to be a real-life “best girl”, what goes into their designing cosplay looks, and which Food Wars character she would love to cosplay one day.


BUT WHY THO: What drew you to cosplay, was it a certain character or seeing someone else do it that made you want to try it too?

Rock M. Sakura: Cosplay always interested me because I’ve always to play as or become something bigger than most people thought I could be. To be specific, I always wanted to be a female protag in an anime, a real-life “best-girl” if you will. But I knew that because of so many different factors, I was never going to achieve my goal. Cosplay let me get as close to those dreams as I possibly could, and let me escape for a little bit.

BUT WHY THO: You’ve been known to include anime and manga references in your outfits, what goes into designing and creating your looks with those references in mind?

Rock M. Sakura: Well, I studied character concepts while I was in college. I wasn’t trained AT my college in that skill, but I researched and studied in my own time. The main thing that I think of when I design an outfit is Dynamic Silhouette. So when I reference a character from a series I try to make sure that the silhouette of the character reads well, or the color palette is spot on.

BUT WHY THO: I hear you are a fan of Food Wars, are there any characters, in particular, you would like to cosplay as?

Rock M. Sakura: I would love to cosplay as Erina (you have to hear her voice in the English dub if you haven’t, it’s ionic), or Megumi. Mostly because It would give me an excuse to build, like– a giant bowl of soup or something around the character!


“Anime and Drag with Rock M. Sakura” will feature the effervescent, anime drag queen and star of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 12, sits down to answer questions and discuss her glitter-encrusted journey as an artist, drag queen, and who really is best girl.

This Crunchyroll-Hime’s Cosplay Cup will feature an international group of finalists competing for thousands of dollars in cash and prizes in a cosplay competition. You won’t want to miss the chance to see passionate fans use their crafting skills and cosplay videos to bring anime to life in this highly-anticipated event.

“Anime and Drag with Rock M. Sakura” takes place Saturday, September 5 from 11:45 – 12:30 PM PT on the Crunchyroll Stage. The Crunchyroll-Hime’s Cosplay Cup will also take place on the Crunchyroll Stage later that day from 7:00 – 9:00 PM PT.

For your free passes to VCRX, head to the Crunchyroll Expo page here.