As of writing, the anime adaptation of Eiichiro Oda’s One Piece has 876 episodes since its initial broadcast on October 20, 1999.
That’s 19 seasons altogether. This series does not stop airing weekly for almost 20 years, and it still continues to bring joy to its fans.
With that in mind, the second day of Otakufest 2019 at SM Seaside City Cebu (February 24, 2019) has been declared as “One Piece Day,” gathering cosplayers from around Cebu and nearby areas to participate.
During the day, they are positioned at the Mountain Wing side of the Seaside Tower, which is the sweet spot for fellow One Piece cosplayers to converge. There, they are welcomed by the One Piece Pirates of Cebu.
Aside from the chit-chat and the photo-taking, the pirates are actually selecting worthy fellows based on what they know about One Piece as well as how they show they portray themselves.
It’s nighttime. Everyone’s gathered on stage.
Welcoming the audience is One Piece fan, cosplayer, and game streamer Miles (Mais) Semblante. Showing herself as Monkey D. Luffy, she shares how she grew up being a fan of the series on stage.
Everyone’s lined up. The mic’s ready. It’s time to test how they know the series they love. They only have five seconds.
Cosplayers are asked questions related to the character they chose to portray. Some got the answers correctly, some failed, and some missed the time to answer.
In the end, nine was asked to step forward. These are the ones that the pirates have picked. Each of them gets a prize.
Of course, Gold Roger is still in his ever-iconic kneeling position — even here. In three or so contexts, One Piece the series begins with him. The Golden Age of Pirates. Monkey D. Luffy’s search for himself. The opening sequence before we hear Hiroshi Kitadani belt out the iconic theme song “We Are!”.
In the end, it was a day to be remembered for fans of the series in Cebu.
Speaking of One Piece Day, I’m not sure if this was set in line with the series’ 20th anniversary since it first aired in Japan or it’s part of the activities for the World Cosplay Summit (WCS) in the Philippines.
Last year, One Piece has teamed up with the Summit to hold the One Piece Cosplay King Grand Prix this year.
This is great news for competing and non-competing cosplayers, as it gives them a chance to be the One Piece character they like the most, and (most importantly) opens the door for Shueisha-published titles to be used as concepts for this year’s World Cosplay Championship. I may not have worded this right but this is as far as I understood.
Moving back to the Grand Prix, the rules for the online contest are posted on their website, and you have to be registered on WCS’ Cosplayers.global service to join. Twenty cosplayers will be sent to Nagoya for the finals.