Cosplay Mania 2019 Diary

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  • Post Category:Events
  • Post last modified:03 July 2020
Roselia x  µ's.
Roselia x µ’s.

Hi guys! Anyone here who has attended Cosplay Mania 2019 (and its after-party, Sick Leave Mania)? Really, I think the weather has broken some of us, but that didn’t stop us from getting our stuff done.

It’s been years since I have attended Cosplay Mania starting from 2010 – perhaps the only year I skipped it was in 2015.

I am supposed to wake up so early that I get to the queue at SMX Manila for Day 2 by 6:00 am, but I ended up waking at that exact time. This means that I have to prepare myself fast. I need to get the most important item on my checklist.

My Cosplay Mania 2019 Checklist

The opening queue at Hall 3 captured as Cosplay Mania 2019 opens.
The opening queue at Hall 3 captured as Cosplay Mania 2019 opens.

Here’s the gist of my checklist, for your reference:

  1. Secure the “Congratulations! You met BoiledCurry uwu” pin, a promise I made during my stay in Singapore last year
  2. Claim the prize photo print I won from Rine last year (you read that right)
  3. Get the photo print set I bought from Risayu (which I paid prior to the event)
  4. Meet the #SolidNorth delegation (Baguio, La Union)
  5. Say hi to the Cebu Delegation (that includes Mais Semblante and Aya Yukiko)
  6. Meet with the people behind Kontrabida Ball
  7. Witness the ever-popular Ai Natsumi
  8. Meet the angels of Chamoji’s Murasaki7
  9. Record people who dance with lightsticks (wotagei)
  10. Watch performance groups Dream Catchers and Seishun Kakumei perform on stage

I set off to the venue by around 7:22 am in a hailed motor-taxi, but after getting confused by Waze, I got to SMX Manila in by 8:15 am.

I missed a supposed podcast episode with Cebu’s Gary Montejo and The Lily Cat‘s Serena by this time. We’ve already met during egress before this though.

The line is getting longer as I got my spot. I’m worried that the pin sells out. Luckily, the staff handed over the entry wristbands while we’re in the queue.

We got inside SMX by 9:00 am, and inside Hall 3 of SMX Manila by 10:00 am. I rushed in the Cosplay Mania shop to see if there’s a line already.

There’s a queue, but there are around 7 people in it. Yes, I got my spot. Just a little bit closer.

Did I get the BoiledCurry pin?

The moment of truth came when I handed in my cash. I asked if there are still slots for a photo opportunity with BoiledCurry.

“300.” With no hesitation, I said yes. Then I got the pin… and the change.

BoiledCurry’s coveted pin is perhaps the third-cheapest among all merchandise available. This, next to illustrator Kantoku’s items and Cosplay Mania icon Karin Cosima keychains.

Early Lunch

Cosplay Mania 2019’s floor plan lets you see the whole event’s EX Hall. You get inside Hall 1 and get out through Hall 3. You have to see the whole EX hall before you get your food at Hall 3.

Hall 3 has the Food Area, the Cosplay Mania shop and the VIP Lounge. This, aside from the wide space that served as a camping ground for most of us.

I ate my early lunch at Minute Burger, which already has its queue. Quite popular with the anime and cosplay communities, the burger joint gets its attention by posting anime memes.

Cosplay Prints

It was almost noon when I got to roam around the Cosplay Mania 2019 EX Hall and meet a lot of people in the community already. I was done claiming my photo prints of Rine and Risayu. They are in the same spot, making it easy for me to finish the task.

The cosplay community had a lot in its hands a week before Cosplay Mania. Cash transactions outside the halls are not allowed, and wooden swords were almost banned.

Aftermath: My Cosplay Mania 2019 loot.
Aftermath: My Cosplay Mania 2019 loot.

I have listed around 15 cosplayers selling their prints inside the EX Hall. I only know Meanbean and my fellow meme man Siryuu as the only guys on the list.

By this time, I’ve already met Marco and the #SolidNorth Delegation. Marco is a good tier memer, pulling off good works like the Naruto-inspired “Natuto pero syapaden.” He even made a meme which led to Lalinn’s large-scale memeing competition.

My SK Stage Time

Seishun Kakumei at the EX Stage.
Seishun Kakumei at the EX Stage.

It’s 1:00 pm, and I had spare time todo, so I went to the EX Stage only to see Seishun Kakumei calling for players. As a fellow ka-#BarangaySK, I took the chance.

The story behind the monicker I apply to the performance group started when the Barangay/SK Election was fast approaching, I think around two years ago.

I got picked to play games with Kyogrezero and another guy. We played anisong charades with Kat (Langomez) acting as the human buzzer.

I can’t believe that I survived the game even with a mental block. I actually won two games there, and I hope someone recorded it. Ma, nanalo ako!

After I got off the stage, I went on to meet Aya with her friends. Then I went back to All-Star Avenue.

Cosplay Mania 2019 All-Star Avenue

Cosplay Mania 2019’s All-Star Avenue has performance groups Seishun Kakumei, Dream Catchers and the people behind Kontrabida Ball, plus the 360-degree selfie area which is really nice. Speaking of Kontrabida Ball, Ai Natsumi will be there.

Ai Natsumi, cosplaying as Oda Nobunaga (Avenger, 3rd Stage) from Fate/Grand Order, at the Kontrabida Ball booth.
Ai Natsumi, cosplaying as Oda Nobunaga (Avenger, 3rd Stage) from Fate/Grand Order, at the Kontrabida Ball booth.

Here’s a story: I was introduced to Ai perhaps last year, but what got me interested is that she is also an event organizer.

This year, her group organized Hypnosis Underground, a special event for fans of the King Records multimedia project Hypnosis Microphone.

I refer to this franchise dominated by female fans as “anime FlipTop,” but don’t get me wrong: The setting is a post-war environment where women have dominated politics and banned weapons. Weaponless men are now fighting in rap battles.

This franchise has won the Singing Award in the 13th Seiyuu Awards this year.

I’m already expecting Ai to dress up as Oda Nobunaga (Avenger, Stage 3) from Fate/Grand Order. What I didn’t expect that she was asking for head pats already. It took my initiative to remind all of her fans (mongrels) to do the same.

Her fanbase consists of people from all over Southeast Asia. Also, she loves to travel – hindi halata sa convention schedule niya for this year!

Chamoji’s Murasaki7

The mobile gaming market in Southeast Asia is fast-rising – according to games and esports analytics provider Newzoo, the region makes up 3.1% of the total games market this year but is expected to contribute US$4.6 billion.

Among the competitors in this space is Chamoji, who has launched the Puzzle RPG game Murasaki7 at Cosplay Mania 2019. I have yet to comment on the game, but the angels present in the booth are awesome (shout-out to Naomi – I mean Leny, who has been with the community for so long.)

Seiyuu Panel

I went to the SP Hall to witness guest voice actresses Rumi Okubo and Motoko Kumai. Both of them come from 81 Produce, the same agency which manages Aoi Yuuki, Takuya Eguchi, Kento Itou, Kana Asumi, among others.

Kumai-san is notable for the role of Syaoran Li from Cardcaptor Sakura, and Okubo-san is notable for her role as Astolfo of the Fate/ series. Actually, I first heard Okubo-san through Acchi Kocchi.

I got inside Cosplay Mania 2019 SP Hall just in time for the Q&A Session. I remembered that I pitched in a question in their Google form, and I am so happy that it got read on stage. The question is: “If you are not a voice actress, what would be your occupation?”

Kumai-san is into baseball, so she thinks that her other career would be related to the sport. On the other hand, Okubo-san is into fashion, so she thinks she may have a career in that field.

Team Gensokyo has a better digest posted on Facebook.

Cosplay Mania 2019 Stage Performances

I missed out on the Cyalume World Dance Battle qualifiers, so it was too late for me to know that our good friend Wiljanz (Protektor of Do it for the Aidols) will represent the country once more. I am thinking that he will be doing a redemption arc, but that’s just my wishful thinking.

Anime Idol Cover Group Dream Catchers at the EX Stage.

Moving on, I hopped over the EX Stage to take photos of Dream Catchers as they perform the hits of LoveLive! such as “Bokutachi wa Hitotsu no Hikari,” among others. I think one of them is about to shed tears, as far as my eyesight tells me.

Jumping over to the JAM Concert, Seishun Kakumei has performed the stage of their lives. Serving as the front act for Yasutaka Nakata and MYTH&ROID, our Titas performed a Revue Starlight set. They may not see me jumping from the Gold row, but I’m glad to take part in their history.

My history with Seishun Kakumei stems from the bananice— I mean, Satsuki. Aside from SK, she’s into seiyuu a lot. Now she’s more focused on Revue Starlight, which led to SK adopting the franchise as well.

It was all good but then they decided to perform Geki! Teikoku Kagekidan from Sakura Wars. Aw hell yeah, I just saw the trailer for Shin Sakura Taisen (with Ayane Sakura top-billing the new game). Sakura Wars’ costumes are so good.

Following that is around 20 minutes of lull time… and around an hour or so of rave. I didn’t hear Yasutaka Nakata say anything, but his track record can speak for himself. He has composed tracks for Kizuna Ai, Virtual-san ga Miteiru, Perfume, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu among others.

Conclusion

I will end this post on a happy note – I finally wrote a full-length story of my Cosplay Mania 2019 experience. At the same time, I was able to spend a full day in a cosplay event after a long time! The gamble was worth it, I got my merch and I have lots of keepsakes to share.

While I didn’t make it for Day 1, at best I have my name in Macross Philippines’ flower stand for May’n. Ii’s still part of history if I say so myself.

A row of flower stands contributed by various organizations such as Macross Philippines and DareDemo Sekai. [Photo by Kokoy Polidario]
A row of flower stands contributed by various organizations such as Macross Philippines and DareDemo Sekai. [Photo by Kokoy Polidario]

The rest of the photos are already uploaded on Facebook. Thank you, Cosplay Mania! See you next year.