South African born Julian Louw has dedicated the past 3 years of his life to a very unusual makeover.
The 30-year-old stunt actor and dancer is determined to transform himself into the real life version of his favourite anime character, Trunks from Dragon Ball Z.
Julian explains, ‘Dragon Ball Z itself is one of the most intense and in depth anime cartoons I’ve ever watched.’
‘If I had I to describe how being Trunks makes me feel in one word, it’s powerful.’
‘When people see me dressed as Trunks I only ever get ‘WOW’ faces – I absolutely love it!’
After struggling to fit in at school, self-confessed ‘outcast’ Julian immersed himself in the world of Dragon Ball Z.
He says, ‘I was pretty much a daydreamer at school. I got made fun of a lot. I guess you could say I was something of a weakling. I kept very much to myself.’
‘Dragon Ball Z itself was my escape.’
With his muscular physique and warrior credentials, it’s not hard to see why Dragon Ball Z character Trunks soon became an idol for outcast Julian during his youth.
He explains, ‘I like Trunks a lot because I feel I am very much like him in terms of character.’
‘Overall I just love his attitude, his charisma, his dress sense, his hairstyle and the way that he talks.’
‘He’s just got that attitude and that swag that basically any teenage rebel would kill for.’
Although some people might be quick to dismiss Julian’s transformation into Trunks as cosplay, Julian insists that his ‘character development project’ is more of a lifestyle choice than a hobby.
Julian explains, ‘I kept hearing people say that the look of the Dragon Ball Z character was almost impossible to create and I thought I was going to make something impossible become possible.’
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In order to achieve and maintain his muscular Trunks physique, Julian follows a strict diet and exercise routine. He works out four days a week doing a mixture of gymnastic, ballet and parkour training to help improve his alignment and flexibility.
He says, ‘Trunks has got a very dominant upper chest and that’s an area that I’ve paid specific attention to.’
And it’s not just exercise that Julian is using to transform into Trunks. He has recently dyed his hair purple to complete the look, and is working to perfect his idol’s expressions.
Julian says, ‘I’m going to become this character and I’m going to adopt his facial expressions, the euphemisms that he uses, the language he speaks and the way he talks.’
‘I would say I spend a minimum of $5,000 a year to look like Trunks.’
It might be expensive to maintain, but it’s clear that being Trunks gives Julian a real sense of achievement.
‘When I’m dressed like Trunks I feel really powerful, I feel very charismatic, I feel really cool and chilled and I feel like I’m ready just to go and make people overwhelmed and smile.’
‘I don’t think he could look really any cooler so the fact that I’ve surpassed that in a human form it really makes me feel happy that I’ve stuck towards the goal and I feel completely fulfilled.’
Watch the video above to watch what happened when Julian debuted his unique look on Hollywood Boulevard…