Cosfest X.1 2011 @ Pasir Ris, Singapore
Photos and article by Cappy.
On the weekend of 25th and 26th of June 2011, the annual cosplay event Cosfest was held at Downtown East D’Marquee, Pasir Ris, Singapore. For those Malaysian cosplayers who can afford the trip south, the event is a must-attend, being one of the more-celebrated cosplay-centric events in the region. The event is organized by the Singapore Cosplay Club (SCC) and is in it’s tenth year running.
I was lucky enough to be able to attend this year, and though it was my second time attending Cosfest, I was quite excited.
What made this year’s Cosfest different from its previous editions was the fact that both the Asia Cosplay Meet (ACM) Championships and World Cosplay Summit (WCS) Representative Selections were going to be held at the same event. For ACM, three-person teams from Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Phillipines vied for the title of Best Country in Asia.
In the WCS Representative Selection, three pairs from Singapore and five pairs from Malaysia competed against each other for the privilege of representing their country at the WCS Championships at Nagoya, Japan in August this year. The competition held special significance for the Malaysian teams, since this year marks the first time Malaysia is competing in WCS since the international-level competition’s launch in 2005.
Cosfest this year too was held in conjunction with Comics World Asia, where comic artists from around the region set up booths for their fan-made merchandise of animes, games and manga. Comics World Asia was held at D’Tent, a smaller venue which sat right next to D’Marquee where the stage activities took place, and was basically an entire hall dedicated solely to doujin booths.
Cosfest Day 1 – 25th June 2011
I had decided at the last minute to recycle an old cosplay for Day 1 of Cosfest, which was the character Sacchan, from my all-time favourite anime, Gintama. It was nice to see so many other Gintama cosplayers at the event, doing an amazing job with their characters and basically just having fun being in-character. Photographers had set up little ‘mini-studios’ in the open area behind the stage hall, inviting cosplayers for photoshoots. Out in the front in the grassy area, cosplayers were milling about as well, getting their photographs taken by event-goers and the public alike.
The major stage event that was being held on Cosfest Day1 was the ACM Individual Skits. Each member of the countries’ three-person teams had to do an individual skit to earn points for their team, which would be added up into the total group score.
Team Malaysia did a splendid job, cosplaying from the popular game Dynasty Warriors and voice-synthesizing program Vocaloid for their individual skits:
Team Malaysia ACM Representative Zoey, cosplaying from Dynasty Warriors.
Wei Qi, also cosplaying from Dynasty Warriors.
Mile cosplaying as the Vocaloid, Hatsune Miku.
The other countries’ teams put up amazing individual performances, showcasing each team member’s personal strengths as a cosplayer. You can check out more of the individual skits from the other ACM-participating countries at the SCC’s YouTube channel here.
ACM Individual Skit 1: One Piece
ACM Individual Skit 2: Angel Sanctuary
ACM Individual Skit 3: Busou Shinki
ACM Individual Skit 1: Samurai Deeper Kyo
ACM Individual Skit 2: .hack//GU
ACM Individual Skit 3: Tohou Project
ACM Individual Skit 1: Final Fantasy
ACM Individual Skit 2: Monster Hunter
ACM Individual Skit 3: Gundam Seed
ACM Individual Skit 1: Kakugo no Susume
ACM Individual Skit 2: Final Fantasy XIII
ACM Individual Skit 3: Karas
I spent most of the day at the doujin booths at Comics World Asia – this year’s popular fandoms seemed to be Vocaloid, Touhou Project, Puella Magi Madoka Magika and, to my delight, Tiger & Bunny, a new anime series from Sunrise studios that I’m currently a huge fan of. Older fandoms like Katekyou Hitman Reborn seemed to be still getting plenty of attention, and it was awesome seeing newer series like Nichijou (famous throughout Malaysia for one character’s usage of the greeting, “Selamat Pagi!”) having their own fair share of fanmade merchandise.
Though I had heard complaints from event-goers that this year’s Cosfest lacked the energy and buzz of the previous year … but due to the amazing people there, and the time I spent catching up with old friends and making new ones, I had loads of fun.
Cosfest Day 2 – 26th June 2011
On the morning of Cosfest Day 2, my cosplay group and I had to get up extremely early (4.45am to be precise!) for a photoshoot we organized among ourselves. The reason why we had to get up so early was to catch the early-morning light, as well as taking into consideration the amount of time large a group takes to prep for cosplays!
Our photoshoot started at 8.00am and ended around 11.00am, and because of our long commute to the shoot location and back, the intense morning heat, as well as the tiring act of getting into cosplay so early in the morning, my team-mates and I were exhausted by the time we got back to our apartment! It was several hours before we headed down to the event itself, meaning that I missed most of the morning’s activities. But I was glad we made it in time for the next big stage event – the ACM Group Performances, as well as the WCS Country Representative Selections.
The stage events began around 3.00pm, kicked off with performances by the winners of yesterday’s karaoke competition, as well as a dance performance by Singapore’s own Inazuma Eleven cosplay team.
This was followed by the WCS Representative Rounds, Malaysian chapter. The two-person Malaysian teams did an amazing job with their respective skits, vying for the honour of representing Malaysia for WCS:
The first team to perform cosplayed from the anime and manga series Bleach, as the characters Ulquiorra and Ichigo.
All the way from Penang came Gim and Rei, cosplaying from the game Gensou Suikoden.
Cosplaying from the game Koihime Musou were Johoreans Dolly and Rice.
Zoey and Wei Qi from Johor, who were also from the Malaysian representative team for ACM, with their impressive cosplay from the series Super Robot World.
Kuala Lumpur’s own Sky and Yuan, cosplaying from the game and anime series, .hack//GU.
The skits from Malaysia were followed by the three finalist teams from Singapore, who were competiting for the privilege of representing their country. If you’re interested, head on to the SCC YouTube Channel to catch their performances:
Team Singapore WCS 1: Evangalion
Team Singapore WCS 2: Sangokushi Taisen
Team Singapore WCS 3: DragonNest
After an intermission, what followed after were the ACM Championships, where the three-man teams from Korea, Phillipines, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia would compete for the title of Best Country. The champion country would also take home SGD 10,000 in cash as prize money.
Team Malaysia for ACM, comprised of Zoey, Wei Qi and Mile, put on a fantastic skit based of Super Robot World for the ACM Chamiponships:
They were up against very fierce competition from the other countries’ teams, whose group skits you can view from the links below:
Team Singapore: Star Driver
Thailand: Metal Gear Solid
Personally, one of the most notable performances for me came from Team Singapore, whose skit was based on the series Star Driver. It is one of my absolute favourite anime series, and seeing a 2-metre replica of the series’ hero’s robot (known in-series as a “Cybody”), Taubarn, was like a fangirl’s fantasy come true!
Team Malaysia also put up an admirable fight – besides competing for Malaysia in ACM, they were also competing amongst the other Malaysian teams for the representative title for WCS! I find it impressive that they had prepared five separate skits (three individual, and two group) for the event, something which must have been quite exhausting and incredibly difficult to organize!
It was around 7.00pm that the results for both ACM Championships and WCS Representative Selections were announced.
First up were the announcements for the WCS Representative Selections for Singapore and Malaysia, and to be honest, I was extremely nervous for our Malaysian teams. I could literally feel my heart pounding just as EmCee was about to make his announcement!
In the end, the winning team who would eventually represent Malaysia at the WCS Championships in Nagoya, Japan were KL-ites Sky and Yuan, who did impressive cosplays of characters Atoli and Haseo from .hack//GU. I’m extremely proud of our Malaysian reps, and wish them all the best for Japan! They are the first representatives for our country in this prestigious competition, and I hope that as fellow Malaysians, we can lend them our fullest support so that we can show the rest of the cosplay world that we’re not just any little country to be trifled with~! 😉
Next up were the announcements for who would be the Singaporean WCS representatives – among the three competing teams, Team DragonNest, comprised of Yui and Sara, nabbed the title, and would be following Team Malaysia to Nagoya next month.
Team Singapore’s costumes were amazingly well-constructed, one even with full body lighting intergrated with the costume! Their skit is equally as impressive, and you can check it out here:
Next up, where the announcements for the ACM Championships. It was a close battle amongst all countries – so close, in fact, that Team Korea and Team Singapore had tied in terms of points! Even the second runner-up, Team Thailand, were separated from Singapore and Korea by a single point, showing what a tight battle it was amongst all the countries!
In the end, the Best Country award went to Team Korea for their Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children group cosplay, a well-deserved win for their amazingly-choreagraphed skit and impeccably-made costumes!
After the winners’ announcements and initial celebrations, I had to head back up to my apartment to change out of costume and head out to dinner. All in all, Cosfest X.1 was a memorable experience, an event I will not be forgetting anytime soon!