Cosplay is more than just dressing up as a favorite character — it’s about embodying that character’s essence.
For Inosuke Demon Slayer cosplayer Timothy “9kekz” Lye, this meant achieving peak physical fitness to truly become the wild and untamed boar-headed swordsman.
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Inosuke Hashibira, a main character in Demon Slayer, is known for his ferocity and loyalty as a companion to Tanjiro, Nezuko, and Zenitsu. His muscular build and unique attire, which includes a terrifying boar mask, reflect his rugged individuality and strength.
In an exclusive interview with ONE Esports, we delve into 9kekz’s rigorous training regimen and cosplay journey, exploring the dedication and effort to create one of the most accurate Inosuke Hashibira cosplays.
How 9kekz set out to achieve the perfect Inosuke Demon Slayer Cosplay
Achieving the physique of Inosuke Hashibira required more than just dedication — it demanded a meticulous training regimen that pushed 9kekz to his limits.
After securing an impressive Inosuke cosplay costume, 9kekz made a bold decision: he would not don the attire until he felt genuinely deserving of embodying the iconic Demon Slayer character.
Anime Festival Asia 2023 was his deadline, an annual convention held in Singapore, and 9kekz therefore set his sights on achieving a physique worthy of Inosuke Hashibira’s stature.
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Despite maintaining a consistent daily workout routine that most of us would consider more than sufficient, 9kekz recognized that achieving his goal for the Inosuke cosplay required an even higher level of commitment and hard work.
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“On top of losing body fat, there was also hydration to ensure, to try and get rid of the water retention as much as possible to get definition,” he said. “Being on a calorie deficit is one thing, but all my meals had no sodium, sugar, or carbs. That was the routine at the time.”
9kekz achieved a remarkable 7-8% body fat percentage, a difficult feat to achieve and a testament to his dedication to his Inosuke cosplay.
For context, one of the most iconic physiques seen in cinema is Brad Pitt’s portrayal of the enigmatic Tyler Durden from Fight Club, with reports indicating the Hollywood star hit 5-6% percent body fat for the film.
When hard work and dedication pay off in cosplay
9kekz embarked on his cosplay journey as a passionate fan, deeply respecting the dedication of cosplayers. Initially, he felt self-conscious in his earlier cosplays.
“I covered myself up quite a bit,” he said. “I started with the military-style Milsim cosplay until I decided I wanted to do an Inosuke cosplay.”
Inosuke’s attire sets him apart from other Demon Slayers, since he doesn’t wear the traditional hakama and haori. Instead, he sports a unique version of the Demon Slayer uniform, featuring only baggy hakama pants in a dark gray-blue hue, fastened around his hips with a thick belt of fluffy brown animal fur.
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His leg wraps are replaced with knee-high socks made of furry hide, exposing his heels and toes, which also appear to fasten the sandal bases he wears. His most defining feature is the gray, hollowed-out boar’s head he wears as a mask, concealing his face.
This transformation in his approach to cosplaying marked a significant milestone for 9kekz. While he had always respected cosplayers who went the extra mile to embody their favorite characters, his journey with Inosuke brought him full circle.
“I saw how people would do cosplay, and after just getting to know about how people do it and to what extent, then seeing the attention to detail that people bring into cosplaying and the amount of crafting and handiwork, some of these things are really not simple,” he shared.
After trialing the costume and getting accustomed to its fit, 9kekz knew his hard work had paid off. It was apparent from how fellow fans and con-goes reacted to his cosplay.
“I remember the fun part was – I counted during AFA – I could only take five steps before someone would stop me for a photo,” 9kekz recalled.
He even got photos with a content creator he deeply respects, award-winning webtoon author Merryweather Media. “He’s a big name in the content creation side of things,” explained 9kekz. “He approached me for a photo, which was really honorable.”
So, why Inosuke?
When asked about his motivation for going to such lengths to cosplay Inosuke, 9kekz revealed a deep connection to the character.
He explained that he resonates strongly with Inosuke, considering Demon Slayer’s intricate storyline. Starting with the anime, 9kekz was captivated by the series, leading him to continue reading and finishing the manga.
He admired Inosuke’s unique fighting style and the character’s journey of growth and self-improvement. They share traits like self-reliance, understanding the value of hard work and training, and dedication in achieving their goals.
You can follow and support 9kekz on his cosplay journey by following him on Instagram.
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