It’s a reaction to a friend overseas who once asked “Really, you got cosplays there?” It may have been years since that rather infuriating question was asked but it stills manages to get on the nerves. Of course we Pinoys got cosplays! As a matter of fact, we’ve been doing cosplays for nearly a decade now.
The local anime industry may not be as bursting as other nearby countries like China, HongKong or Singapore, but we pinoys still manage to come up with cosplays to celebrate otakuism.
It probably all started in the mid-2000 when UP Diliman’s Anime@Arki celebrated its anniversary. Though the event was not as big or as popular as the ones that followed it, this still deserves a place in pinoy cosplay history.
It was the next few months after that the official start of Pinoy Cosplay was marked. AnimeXplosion was an event held at the Megatrade Hall of the most popular mall in the country at the time. The event was said to have attracted 10,000 people. AnimeXplosion also started the trend in anime conventions in the country. For three days, fans gathered to witness the birth of anime fanaticism.
The show’s highlight was of course the cosplay event where “Anime Seamstress” Leah Guerrero and crowd favorite JM Chua dressing as Saitou were some of the people who would one day become popular cosplayers.
From then on, anime conventions were held every year, much to the delight of both cosplayers and spectators. Anime Quest, together with Questor Magazine ran a yearly convention for the next three years. And then, the birth of another local anime magazine, OtakuZine, paved the way for the yearly O-Zine Fest.
Till now, anime conventions and cosplays are staples for the growing pinoy otaku population. And the culture has since encompassed other hobbies such as gaming. Also worth mentioning is the development of self-made costumes. Though perhaps not as far as how the Japanese do it, we’re sure are still on our way to great improvements – All of these in a span of a decade. And there isn’t any sign of pinoy cosplays retiring.
Some Dos and Don’ts on Cosplay
Here are some basic guidelines to a great cosplaying experience.
Do – be patient. Don’t let your temper fly out. Be prepared for the long line of people wanting to get inside the convention area and especially the ones lined up to change costumes.
Don’t – go to the event dressed already. Well, this could be debatable if you want to make a scene around the mall or even outside.
Do – learn your character. You wouldn’t want to embarrass yourself looking like one character but doing the signature pose of a completely different one.
Don’t – be pikon. If guys whistle whenever you pass by wearing your Faye Valentine get-up, well, don’t walk away cursing about how stupid people are.
Do – be ready for photo ops. Check your costume. There may be some wardrobe malfunctions. The last thing you’d want is an unflattering look caught forever on a photo.
Don’t – be rude towards other cosplayers. You just passed by ten other people wearing the same costume as you. Don’t go laughing at the ones who don’t look good in it or telling friends about how silly it is.
Do – enjoy every minute of your time together with people of similar interests.