AFA ID 2014 [Being a Cosplayer] Part 2

Thanks for waiting!!! Up next we had Dexter aka Scarlet_! He assisted me in many ways during AFA ID and even now! So now Enjoy reading the article 😀

Guest Cosplayers – The side of them that you don’t often see, and why we should appreciate them all the more for it.

Hi Guys. Dexter aka Scarlet_ here. The reason why I’m writing this post is because I was tagging alongside with OdoruStage as a partner for Anime Festival Asia: Indonesia 2014. I would like to first and foremost thank SOZO (the organizing body – http://sozo.sg) for granting us the opportunity to view and be part of the event, and that it would have not been possible without the kind gesture and co-operation from them. So Thank you SOZO!!

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While the 1st part of the AFAID Review focused on the general aspect of the event, mine takes on a slightly more personal approach. For this article, I’ve decided to focus on 1 aspect not really seen by the public: Guest cosplayers. Having being granted access, I was given the chance to analyze their schedules, movements and other activities throughout the event. Without further ado, let’s see what it’s like going through an event with a guest cosplayer shall we?

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In any anime convention, cosplay has always been an integral part in making the event that much livelier. Needless to say, people who are interested in cosplay come from all walks of life to showcase their costumes, getting photographers to take photos, mingle around with other fellow cosplayers, and have a lot of fun all at the same time.

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To that end, the event usually invites accomplished cosplayers (also known as guest cosplayers) to come down to grace it. For the sake of relevance, I will refer to the Anime Festival Asia: Indonesia 2014 Event’s guest cosplayers list. Notable examples include Angie0_0 from Malaysia, Yuegene Fay from Thailand, and Aza Miyuko from Korea. Even though cosplay is a hobby to them, these individuals invest more time and effort than the rest to make their costumes and their characters come alive.

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Now, we generally know that cosplaying at an event is always going to be tedious. But while the general public has the liberty of freedom to do what they want at their will, guest cosplayers can’t afford such a luxury. But that’s just only the tip of the iceberg. Taking into account that cosplayers themselves have to spend their own money to attend the event (more taxing on overseas individuals who have to account for flight and hotel expenses), guest cosplayers have the benefit of being sponsored to come for it. But apart from that, access to certain areas, and the general publicity that they get, that would be probably be it. Certain points (not all will be covered, and some are more distinctive than others) will be addressed, and as such…

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The first point: Freedom of time. While the general cosplayer has the liberty to go and leave at any point in time, guest cosplayers do not. The schedules they have to follow are pretty much on a tight rope, so they have to be physically and mentally ready anytime to move out. Over the course of the event, they usually have to be there all the way, even if it means waiting for hours for their next schedule. And even in their rest period, they are limited by their physical limits, so any rest period would always be welcome to them.

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The next point: Freedom of actions. This speaks for itself, as guest cosplayers, due to the already tight schedules, have and can do little with what spare time they have. While the general public can afford the time to do what they wish (buy an item, walk around the venue, watch a concert etc…), guest cosplayers aren’t really allowed to do what any event go-er could do. And even if the guest cosplayer has the time and choice to move around the event…

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This brings us to the next point: Freedom of movement. The general cosplayer has every right to determine where he/she wants to be (limited to the front sections of the venue). In the case of the guest cosplayer, should they decide to move around the event in their spare time, they have to be escorted around by staff in order to prevent the general public from overwhelming them. While moving around, the guest cosplayer has to make the split-second decision on whether to stop and take a pose for the photographers, and they have to balance that decision against their moral sense of judgment between the public (being receptive at their own expense of time), or themselves (being ‘selfish’ for their own expense of time). Once the guest cosplayer stops to do something (look at a shop, buy an item or talk to a friend), a massive crowd usually swarms around them, to the point where they start to invade the guest cosplayer’s ‘intimate’ space, making it virtually impossible to do anything else, saved only by the staff protecting them.

And while most of the public will never know that their actions will inadvertently affect the guest cosplayer’s mood and energy, he/she will continue to pose and smile happily for the public eye. Which will bring us to the last point…

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The freedom of emotions. The general public turns a blind eye towards each other when it comes to impressions and such, but this is not so for the guest cosplayers. The moment they are outside, be it to attend a meet/greet, to sign an autograph, or just to look around, they have to be on all smiles, no matter how tired they are. Not only do they have to stay receptive and focused, they also have to avoid situations that would otherwise tarnish their image. Having to be in top shape all day for the whole duration of the event can be mentally draining, and leaves very little left out from them at the end of the day.

And there you have it. There is so much more that has yet to be covered, but while the organizers are limited to what they can do (due to the scale of the event), I believe that the public should be made aware of the fact on what usually goes on behind the scenes for the guest cosplayers, the sacrifices and limits that they have, and that moving on, they will not only understand, but also come to respect and appreciate the fact that guest cosplayers are also human. Any break time for them to do what they want to do is precious, and that they should allow them their space as per necessary. It won’t be anytime soon, but with enough awareness, perhaps one day maybe, guest cosplayers will have their time allocated for them to have a chance to enjoy the event like any other member of the public.

Signing out,
Scarlet_


 

What an awesome article by Scarlet_ ! What he wrote is really true! Speaking about Cosplayers, Shiolee also went to the stage area to watch the ARCC competition too 😀 A short info of ARCC, It’s the most prestigious cosplay competition in Southeast Asia and winner from other countries will be competing in the finals in Singapore AFA 2014 that will be held this december! For more info you can visit http://www.animefestival.asia/.

So back to ARCC at AFA ID 2014! This year there will be 10 teams battling on stage to be the ONE representing their team and country in the finals of ARCC in Singapore!

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It’s never easy for a cosplayer to go on stage and perform! But i was surprised how much confidence they have and those performance stunt/skills they have were is just too awesome! Not just their skill, their costumes are very detailed! I can said that the teams have really put lot of effort in both costume and their performance!

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With this much of effort put into the performance and their costumes, the panel of judges will of course have a pretty hard time to decide where or who to give their points!

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So after watching the performance of the 10 teams, It’s time to tabulate the score and announces the winners! BUT Wait!!! Before that Let’s watch a short video by Lunar Cosplay 😀

What an Performance they have there! The plot, skit, music and even the actions are all so well synchronize! And not forgetting the funny elements! It’s really funny and they have make the crowd very high! But after so much laughters and enjoyment. Here comes the main part of the ARCC competition,The Results! This is where everything will be put into a test! And HERE ARE THE WINNERS  !!!!

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Congratulation to all the winner and of course not forgetting the other cosplayers for their effort! It was really an awesome Semi Finals for me, now all i have to wait is for the next ARCC finals and that will be held in Singapore during december! See you all there!!!!!

After talking so much about cosplayers, this brings me to my final and last article for AFA ID! So Do stay tune for the article!!!

ALL PHOTOS AND CONTENTS ARE PROVIDED BY TEAM ODORUSTAGE AND SCARLET.

PLEASE CREDIT BACK IF YOU USING THE PHOTOS.

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