Cosplay Times

August 20, 2010

On August 31st and July 1st I went to the World Cosplay Summit 2010 in Nagoya. I guess I’d always been a little dismissive of cosplaying but since coming to Japan I’ve decided it’s actually quite cool (well, most of the time anyway…there are some aspects of it I’m less than fond of…). I was pretty excited when I found out about this event, and so nearby too!

Day One:

Headed to Nagoya with Danny and Matthew, had lunch at Boyd’s Cafe in Osu. Their scones are nice as are their lattes. Not really any vegetarian options though so I just had scones and coffee.Mm, nutritious!

The day’s events began with a red carpet mini parade featuring this year’s contestants. I wasn’t there because a) I wasn’t invited *sob!* and b) I needed a lie-in (minor hangover *sob!*). Next up was the cosplay parade, held in Osu Kannon. Goodness me, it was quite fun! I decided to dress up cause I knew I’d regret it if I didn’t.  It can be practise for the day when I finally go full on Gothic Lolita and wander around Nagoya. So anyway,  I dressed up as Mio Akiyama from K-ON! It’s a manga/anime series about a group of high school girls who form a band. Mio is the bassist and my outfit was one of her stage outfits. It was pretty much a maid outfit but as we have established, maids=cute! I’ll come right out and say it: I bought my outfit at Cospa. Real cosplayers make their own outfits but I am really terrible at sewing and I don’t have a sewing machine either. Maybe next year…

So on the way there Danny and Matthew  were joking that I’d have to watch out for photographers. “Haha”, I thought. They were right though! Standing still for a few moments seemed to make me radiate a ‘Take my photo now!’ vibe and I soon had people coming up and asking me if they could take a picture. Wow-like paparazzi! I felt too shy to feel famous. Lots of people were using their phones but some guys (only guys!) had those cameras that take zillions of pictures at once, eep! I didn’t really have any poses ready so I just did maid type poses (Whatever that means?! In my head I was thinking “Yeah, these are maid-ish”, but what do I know?!). Some girls went into little paroxysms and kept screaming “Kawaii!! Kawaii!!” at me which was pretty funny really! The parade was cool if a little weird at times because when it slowed up the cosplayers were just kind of stuck there, staring at the crowds! Some were posing and some just seemed a little confused! At the end of the day I got changed before heading back in case we bumped into anyone!

Day Two
Me and Danny arrived at Oasis 21 around 15.30. By 16.00 (3 hours til showtime) my feet were killing me (heels) and we had to go to Starbucks to sit down. It was funny to see all the cosplayers sitting around drinking frappuccinos. Baskin and Robbins seemed to be the most popular place though-the line was massive and made up entirely of cosplayers! Had my photo taken some more and ran into three other Mios! One matched me and the others were wearing two of her other outfits.

Before the show started we met up with some other friends and while Danny filmed I headed off to the observation deck above the art gallery across the road to see how the view of the stage was from there. Unfortunately to get to the observation deck we had to pass a fancy restaurant. The entrance was full of people in very posh outfits, it looked like a wedding reception or something. We were respectively wearing: shorts and a T-shirt, a yukata and a maid outfit. I couldn’t look up! I could just imagine everyone thinking “Oh foreigners! They’re so ker-ayzee!” On the way back out I noticed one of the guests holding a half empty bottle of JD. That made me feel a bit better for some reason.
The observation deck was way too hot so we soon headed back. By now it was getting dark and the sky was a dusky dark pink. Oasis 21 looks fantastic at night. It’s made to look like a spaceship and it DOES. What with all the cosplayers walking around and the lit walkways and billboards it really felt like some futuristic space town. Bladerunner crossed with a fuzzy rainbow. Caught about two thirds of the show from a staircase. The place was really packed and there was almost nowhere to go. People were crammed onto the ground floor around the stage and against the railings of every floor surrounding it.

I missed the last few contestants because I just couldn’t stand on tip toes anymore! I watched through Danny’s video screen then took a break to get mango and yuzu frappuccinos. This time I wore everything but my headband home-too tired to find somewhere to change. So to summarise: cosplay is really awfully fun and I’d do it again. Some people are just so talented at making costumes, it’s crazy/brilliant!

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