More Guest Cosplayers; Kaname and Reika’s return highlight two-day Cosplay Extravaganza.
In a Facebook note shared just a few days after Cosplay Mania 13, Cosplay.ph organization President Pablo Bairan likened Cosplay Mania to a child, a Six-year old kid who grew “from humble beginnings and blossom into something unique, memorable and a great source of pride.”
He also said that its “parents”, namely the organizers, who reared the “child” through thick and thin. The staff and the volunteers, who “helped her through the stumbling blocks”. The special guests, who gave the confidence and gave a whole new experience, and the sponsors, exhibitors and the entire attendees who he said are the “lifeblood” of Cosplay Mania.
Two days, More than 5000 square meters of floor space spread out over three halls, Cosplay Mania ’13 surely is going to break again into the annals of the Philippine Events scene. With a reported 14,000 to 15,000 attendees on the second day of the event.
They witnessed the first ever tie in the Fourth Cosplay Tournament of Champions (TorCh), which was won by the team from Central/South Metro Manila Area, which was also the first team to have a long name, “Cuddle Club Buddies Again” . Their performance was so great, lead guest Kaname told Krisly Banzuela, one of the members of the team “Maganda ka, Bagay ka”, without an interpreter.
Of course, Cosplay Mania has not without its share of hiccups and eventful issues, but on overall, according to the head of Hall 5 Operations Tanya Bairan, another event well done.
“Cosplay Mania has always been for the cosplayers, So we really thank everybody who made Cosplay Mania possible, I mean, we really put up a notch, we really went into Overdrive, so it means more guests, more people, a lot of fantastic cosplayers, Really really amazing, the Filipino Cosplayer just keeps on getting better” Ms. Bairan said in an interview with ZEN Otaku Honbu.
First day activities included the Cyberzone Cosplay Grand Prix and the Cosplay Solo Showdown. Returning Japanese cosplayer Kaname also did his meet and greet, alongside the individual photo-ops on-stage.
The Cosplay Solo Showdown was Cosplay Mania’s version of the individual Cosplay Competition and was competed by 40 Cosplayers in different categories. Jereel Paul Tenerife won as the Ultimate Solo Showdown champion with 98 percent of the score.
Tenerife cosplayed as Iron Man Mark V from the movie.
On the second day, The group cosplay competition, now dubbed as the Cosplay Team Battle, was held, with three teams competing for the top spot. The Winner was Illusion Brigade, making a comeback in the cosplay scene, with a score of 90 percent. Pinky Lu Xun, Katrina Langomez and Vic Kumiko were the judges of the said event.
And the fourth installment of the Cosplay Tournament of Champions (TorCh), where eight regional winners and one wild card contestant slugged it out to become the Philippines’ representative to the 2013 Asian Regional Cosplay Championships at Anime Festival Asia 2013 happening this November.
The judges, led by Kaname, Reika, Goldy, Orochi X and Jesuke, took notice and commented on every detail of the cosplayers, including their performances. Some performances were quite noticeable to the Judges that Kaname told everyone, “No Homo”, referring to the “boys love” connotations of some of the performances.
In the end, The competition ended with a tiebreak, a first for the event, and, using a rule that in case of a tie, the Judges will decide for themselves who will win in the competition. Team Cuddle Club Buddies Again from Central/South Metro was the one chosen over the North Mindanao Champs Team Purple Flurp, who tied with them.
Aside from These competitions, there were also other stage events held like band performances, meet and greet sessions (one of which was the manga workshop with Kiss×sis creator Bow Ditama which was held at the one of the meeting rooms) and special sponsor spiels like from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), which used the event as a means to reach out to the people wanting to get passports or take a knack at the Diplomatic Corps.
Alex Estojo, the Prinicpal assistant for the communications department of the DFA, said that they chose the event as a part of the thrust of the Department to promote Filipino culture and ingeniuity, which includes cosplay.
“[We chose] Cosplay Mania [because] we have a lot of talents here, some of the participants here will be needing passports… so the administration of the Department of Foreign Affairs believes [Cosplay Mania] is a good media for us to promote our services not just passports but also the stuff that we do in the department” Mr. Estojo said.
Ms. Bairan said that the reason these guests come back like Kaname, Reika, Jesuke and Pinky Lu Xun, among others is because they try to understand who are the cosplayers their audience try to look up, and also they also took the feedback from the guests and they said they were happy with their experience on Cosplay Mania amid the hesitation of coming to the country.
“They were really happy with their experience in the Philippines, you know when it comes to the Philippines, there’s a lot of hesitation, security concerns, but when they actually came here, they really felt welcomed by everybody… because they see the energy of the Filipino cosplayers and enthusiasts… they really like it, they really want to come back. ” Ms. Bairan said
Ms. Bairan is also encouraging would-be competitors for the TorCh next year to not be discouraged, and just keep on joining because of the prestige of representing the country for the ARCC.
Not only a competition, but also an opportunity to make friends.
“They should keep on improving their craft, as Pablo (Bairan) has mentioned, it’s not something that we would like to keep it competitive, there’s a nice, fun component in the [TORCH]”, adding that there are a lot of cosplayers who can’t afford or can’t go to the event and the tourney serves up as the opportunity to experience and be a part of Cosplay Mania.
As for the future plans for the Tournament, Ms. Bairan said that there are no definite future plans for next year but they are happy with the turnout and the feedback that they received during the legs.
“Before it was a few teams, now we have nine, including the wildcard, if possible, we hope to cover other provinces with the partnership of SM Supermalls, maybe, who knows, but with their support, I think TorCh has been instrumental in the raising the level of the cosplayers” Ms. Bairan added.
She stresses that being in the Tournament also has its sense of responsibility as not only the entire nation is witnessing it, but also other countries are going notice it.
With Cosplay Mania 2014 set in stone, which will be held on October 4-5 next year (presumably at the SMX Convention Center), Ms. Bairan has something to say to all the future attendees of the mega-event, whether from here, or from abroad.
“Please plan your leaves, plan your trips to Manila, We’re going bigger and bigger, [it’s] not only the Filipinos who [are enjoying the event], but also a lot of cosplayers from Australia, Singapore, and the US, so this is really everybody’s international event and we’re doing this to every filipino cosplayers and enthusiasts”
Guy Singzon, one of the Honchos of Cosplay.ph, also made his remarks despite the fact that his voice is already that hoarse from the different activities of the event.
“It’s been one of the biggest cosplay events, Next year, mas malaki pa (it’s going to get bigger), This is the biggest Cosplay Mania that we ever had, from the competition to the performers…. everything was excellent” Mr. singzon said.
“Really, really thank you to all who joined us…. it was all started from a dream, I had to give up my dream of cosplaying myself so I can see cosplayers enjoy and have fun.” Ms. Bairan said.
True enough, with what started as a simple dream to bring in the Cosplay aficionados and enthusiasts, is now making itself grow into a Legend, and with the event going into it seventh year, Their “child” is now ready to make itself roar into the big leagues.
Red Mendoza is the Event Correspondent-at-Large of ZEN Otaku Honbu, and You may follow him on Twitter at @knightkira. With contributions from Kyle Florencio, and You may follow him on Twitter and Instagram.
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