As a writer for this community in this generation, I’ve noticed improvements in how Cosplay in the Philippines works.
Although I’m happy with this, albeit drizzled with issues here and there, I’m still confused with what should be my primary advocacy — shall I be an advocate of the fun edge or the competitive edge?
I am writing this to you, Deremoe readers, to help me classify the difference between the fun edge and the competitive edge, so as not to stereotype each of these.
In the fun edge, Cosplaying is expressing yourself and your love for the character. Most Cosplayers I know love the character that they love.
Cosplay also initiates camaraderie, as most of them are either in other’s circle of friends or in a Cosplay group — one of the best examples for this is the so-called “eyeball clans” that are mostly outside of the event halls regardless if they have bought tickets or not, where they hang out and take pictures of themselves and then post it on Facebook.
In short, Cosplay makes friends.
In the fun edge, you compete in minor Cosplay competitions and it does not matter to you whether if you win or not — as long as you have shown yourself in the catwalk, you are fulfilled.
The best examples of this are those who you see frequently in most Cosplay competitions who go home before the awarding ceremonies.
I’ve heard stories about Cosplayers who were shy at first but had their self-esteem and confidence improved as they continue doing it. In addition, you are sharing your talent and skills to others, thus exchanging ideas on how to improve each other’s Cosplays.
Lastly, being in the fun edge means that people will look at you and tell you “you’re cute” or “you’re cool” regardless of how you look.
On the other hand, let’s look at the competitive edge. I’ve been leaning on this since we’ve been observing events, specifically the World Cosplay Summit Philippines.
In being competitive, Cosplaying is serious business, giving justice to the character you love or portraying. You compete in competitions whether major or minor, and you are doing your best to portray your character’s role that is surprising the audience.
In being competitive in Cosplay, people are looking at you, and you will be judged firstly with how you look, as it is human nature to do so.
It can’t be helped as well if you are the only one who is thinking about the competitive edge among a pool of Cosplayers having fun since only a select few are thinking about the competitive edge — that is something I’ve learned from the usual winners of competitions around the metro.
I want to see the competitive edge of Cosplay to fully flourish; that Cosplayers are looking at it as a serious business that should not be underestimated, because most Cosplayers are not taking this seriously.
This is what I have thought of no thanks to the low turnout of last year’s WCSPH in Subic. Maybe it was because of the short timeframe (which is another story), but I believe it was because of the low interest for the competitive edge; not to mention, “costrip” is a prevalent term here.
But on the other hand, I am looking back to the time where I was introduced to the Cosplay community, when I still don’t know GamerTotoy and where I am still not hearing info about female Cosplayers being tagged with issues here and there.
How fun was it to observe the Cosplay community? How fun it is to Cosplay?
It must be great to share your skills and talent at the same time have fun at the same time.
Images from ToyCon 2014 (including the press launch) and Fantasy Quest 3.