CosMania: My First Experience of a Cosplay Event

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“To get to the next level, you have to flock with the next level people.”

People cosplay for a number of reasons: hobby, way of living, to create a 2-dimensional art form into 3D, a form of self-expression, or for competitions. As for me, I do it out of hobby. However, being the introvert that I am, I was surprised when one of my online friends invited me to Cosplay Mania. This wasn’t the first time my family and friends encouraged me to go to an event so when this friend told me to go, I thought that maybe it’s about time to get out of my shell and just see how it goes. Who knows, I might actually enjoy it.

Thank heavens for giving me courage! Because I enjoyed it so much, I wish I could just stay there for a month and go AWOL on my job. Hahaha

CosMania was held at the Mall of Asia in the Philippines on September 28-29, 2019. It was a two-day activity, but unfortunately, I only attended the first day. Since this is my first time, I decided to just try it out first. Besides, the ticket was a bit pricey and I still have a job after the second day so the six to eight hour trip back home will leave me no energy to work the next day. Only now do I wish I just filed a leave and attended the second day. Moral of my story: don’t be such a workaholic. 

That being my only regret, I will now just talk about how fun the event was for me. 

First of all, I got to meet my online friend. Like me, he is cosplaying Yu-Gi-Oh Duel Links. We’ve known each other for quite a long time now but because we live far from each other, we never really got to meet personally, until CosMania. It’s a shame our other Duel Links cosplay friends cannot come but I know there will be plenty of next time. 

Speaking of Yu-Gi-Oh, one of the most popular choices from this anime is Dark Magician Girl cosplay. She has a blue hat and outfit that has a pink outline. Her armbands and boots are of the same colour. She has a pink skirt and cape. And her staff is a yellow spiral with the same blue and pink touch. For a cosplay of this spellcaster, you will need a long blonde wig. She also has a gold/ yellow necklace with a red gem in the middle. I used rubber foam in creating her hat, necklace, and armbands. She is one the most favourite girls in the series. I have a Dark Magician Girl costume would have gone to this event with it but decided on a different costume.

I also got to meet new people, and the best part is that they all love anime too. Anime may be popular, but not many people are die-hard fans. That being said, it is still pretty difficult to find friends who love it as much as you do. So when I entered the hall, my otaku-self just kind of felt like I have finally found the planet where I belong.

Some were not wearing costumes but I can tell how much they love anime too. Others can definitely be called brave because I saw a lot who wore an Ahegao jacket. This may not be something you can wear on a daily basis but since this event is a gathering of anime fans, I can see why a lot of them decided on this outfit. It is both a troll and a show a courage.

Fans were all over the place, taking pictures of cosplayers, anime figures that are on display, and buying anime merchandise. Just a tip, whenever you attend an event like this, bringing enough cash would be wise. So many anime stuff were being sold. From cosplay props to anime figures, from body pillows to keychains, you name it. Window shopping is nice and all, but it wouldn’t hurt to spend a little on some items. It feels good to satisfy your otaku heart and buy the products that you can add to your collection.

I was amazed at the outfits of all the cosplayers since I know how hard it is to make it as close as possible to the original character. They were all really good but others’ were just off the charts. It makes me wonder how they created those armors, weapons and other props. One of the cosplayers that stunned me was wearing a Gilgamesh costume. His armor was sparkling gold and I just can’t help but admire how he managed to create it.

As for me, I chose to go freestyle with my cosplay costume. Cosplaying isn’t just about imitating a character from anime, manga, video game, movie, comic or novel. Sometimes, it’s just creating an original character. After all, “cosplay” was coined from the words, “costume” and “play.” I decided to go freestyle on my first event because I wanted to be unique. Attending a cosplay convention like this one, I knew it was inevitable for a character to be cosplayed by at least two people.

I found a gothic vampire/ priestess dress online that I think was designed personally by the seller because I looked for possible similar costumes and found none. I was curious on who the character was so I sent the seller a message to learn which anime it was from, but they said it is a freestyle costume. Since it is freestyle, I did not have to worry about the wig because I can just go with my natural hair. I also can just use whatever footwear I have so I went with knee length black boots.  It went well with the dress’ red and black colour. 

A lot of people went with My Hero Academia and Demon Slayer cosplay characters. Those anime are pretty popular lately so it is a given. It was fun seeing the cosplayers who don’t know each other join together to create funny group photos. Six Shinobu Kocho cosplay figures formed a circle around three Giyu Tomioka cosplay characters who were crouched down, covering their ears. Of course, there is the famous Kagebunshin Jutsu cosplay of Naruto where three of him posed with the Jutsu hand sign. The fans also enjoyed taking pictures of Ochaco Uraraka and Katsuki Bakugo cosplayers in a face-off stance.

I really admired how the cosplayers carried the characters they were imitating very well. Girls in Ochaco Uraraka hero costumes had a brown wig that is styled just the character in the anime. And of course, they had a cute smile that goes well with the costume. Most of the people who cosplayed Todoroki Shoto wore his My Hero Academia P.E. uniform. And to specify the character, they wore a half white and half red wig, and of course, used either red face paint or red make up to imitate his scar. 

There was also someone in a Kirito costume who was carrying a really well-crafted Elucidator. In the event, there was a booth that was selling swords and other weapons from different anime. Of course, these are not real weapons. When I tried to carry them, they were light.  But the way they looked is just like in the anime and is really perfect for cosplaying.

The other cosplayers were also very nice and allowed us to take pictures with them. At first, I was shy to approach them and ask for a photo but luckily, I had my friend with me and he was the one who asked them in my stead. I also got nervous when some people asked me to take a picture with them but I eventually got used to it. It flattered me when some people asked to take a picture with me. That means they liked my costume despite having a freestyle cosplay.

For a first time, I really enjoyed going to Cosplay Mania. I experienced a lot of things, met new and old friends, and realized, that as someone who also cosplays, I have a lot of improvements to make. Buying costumes and props help a lot but it would also be wonderful to be creative and make your costumes on your own.