Taiwan’s youngest member of parliament is a huge fan of anime and cosplay.

On January 11th, Taiwan held its 2020 legislative election, and there’s a new member of parliament that has the Internet buzzing. Lai Pin-yu, a member of the Democratic Progressive Party (or DDP), won the 12th constituency in Taipei City. Lai is a well-known activist, but also a prolific cosplayer going by the name Soichi.

After her win, Lai posted a picture of herself as Sailor Mars to celebrate –

“Hello everyone, I’m Lai Pin-yu, legislator of the 12th district in New Taipei City. Please advise me for the next four years.”

Lai has been involved with politics for a long time; in 2013, she posed for cosplay photos with backdrops of buildings that were set to be demolished in order to protest and raise awareness. She then became a member of the Sunflower movement in 2014, a political group led by young people who protested a trade agreement with China. Lai became well-known after chaining herself to other protesters to block traffic and earned the nicknames ‘the Sunflower Goddess’ and ‘the Fierce Woman’. She has been active in politics ever since and finally started to campaign for a parliament seat in September 2019.

A big fan of cosplay and anime, Lai was often seen campaigning dressed as Asuka Langley Soryu from Neon Genesis Evangelion.

Lai is also a big fan of Internet memes, and frequently shares memes she makes an appearance in on her social media account.

In fact, Lai loves memes so much that on her personal Facebook page, her place of work is listed as Meme主進步黨 (or the ‘Meme Master Progressive Party‘.)

Here she is cosplaying as Elsa from Frozen, ready to freeze out her political opponents.

Netizens had this to say about Lai and her win –

“Let’s all move to Taiwan.”
“It looks like she won the seat with the support of young people. It’s good to see young people changing the face of politics!”
“Whenever you see a politician in anime, they’re always the bad guy…”
“Japan or Taiwan, hurry up and make a giant robot!”
“What a good idea, getting young people interested in politics by using anime.”
“So Lai likes Asuka, huh. If Lai’s opponent had cosplayed as Rei Ayanami, maybe she wouldn’t have won.”

Regardless of if you’re interested in politics or not, this is certainly one politician to keep your eye out for, whether it be in Taiwanese parliament or your local convention!

Source: Yurukuyaru, Facebook/品妤 , Wikipedia
Featured image: 賴Facebook/品妤

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