Cosplay Mania 12 is the biggest cosplay-related event on the Philippine convention calendar! Slated for the 29th and 30th of September 2012 at the SMX Convention Center, SM Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City, Cosplay Mania 12 plays host to Japanese cosplayers Kaname and Reika, and Singaporean cosplayer Jesuke!
This year’s event showed a marked improvement in layout for Hall 4 — gone are the oversized kids’ activity booths, and in their place are wide walkways set between four-corner booth islands reserved for dealers and event partners.
There is a fairly large section for clubs and organizations (which was sadly not taken advantage of by many existing cosplay groups), as well as a wide selection of food and drink concessions — which is a pleasant surprise for us who stayed mainly at Hall 4.
Meanwhile — next door at Hall 5, cheers and screams reached the rafters as Guest Cosplayers Kaname , Reika, and Jesuke said hello to their adoring fans, as well as help select the winners of Project Cosplay Solo, one of the biggest competitions over the weekend.
The spoils eventually went to an extraordinary group of cosplayers: Serreniethy Fionah as Beleth from Lineage II (Kids); RB Cheng as the Red Fury Genobreaker from ZOIDS (Anime); Mark Anthony Vibas as Deadpool (Western); Wreidyl Denorte as Baron from Garo (Live-Action); and Jan Erick Torres as his Warrior of Light from Final Fantasy Dissidia (Over-all Champion).
Five years in, and the convention has grown to be an international event — no longer catering to just local fans. However, there are still birthing pains — things that can be improved here and there. More trash receptacles, a more organized way to get into the convention from the Hall 3 spillover area, and other small things that can push the event from “great” to “mindblowing”!
But honestly, the ones who have the most “growing up” to do are the participants themselves I hate to say this, since I know that no one throws a party like the Pinoys, but the carnival atmosphere of the con sometimes degenerates to wet-market boorishness. Disregarding flash photography instructions, leaving trash all over the floor in Hall 5, and chasing after the VIPs as they enter and exit the stage — really? REALLY? ( )
I wouldn’t be surprised if we managed to scare a lot of people off from attending our future cons, no matter how hard the organizers worked to put it together. That would be a damn shame, since I know we can compete with overseas cons — we just need that one last push to let everyone know that “It’s more fun in the Philippines!”
Continued in Day 2.
Continued from Day 1.
Day 2 at Cosplay Mania 12 dawned early for the magnetic-rose.net crew as we assisted with the Kaname Meet and Greet — which opened an hour before the convention gates. The Meet and Greet — an exclusive Cosplay Mania event where fans purchase Premium Passes to meet their Japanese cosplay idols, the event took place in one of the SMX’s smaller Meeting Rooms. There was nothing small about the crowd though, as lucky buyers of these truly limited passes got up close and personal with both Kaname and Reika.
Back in Hall 4, dealers and event partners outdid each other in entertaining the crowd and doling out prizes to a few lucky winners. TV 5 brought in some of their biggest stars — including local hunk Derek Ramsey. Meanwhile, cable channel Animax highlighted their latest show K with a photo event featuring veejay and cosplayer Alodia Gosiengfiao.
Hall 5, however, was reaching fever pitch with the Grand Finals of the Cosplay Tournament of Champions. Pitting cosplayers who won in semifinal legs all over the Philippines, only one pair would emerge victorious and represent the country at Singapore’s Anime Festival Asia Regional Cosplay Championships.
The final fight, in my opinion, boiled down to “costume” versus “roleplay” — as Team March Harue’s impressive craftsmanship skills and exacting eye for detail was put to test by Adventure Team’s showmanship and athleticism (and some pretty damn good costuming as well!). But the judges (and the crowd) have spoken, as rousing cheers accompanied Adventure Team’s announcement as the Grand Champions of TorCh 2012. Guess we’ll be seeing this pair of adventurers in Singapore very soon!
Cosplay Mania gets bigger every year — the list of contestants keeps swelling, the contests get so much more competitive, and the swag and prizes are nothing to scoff at. I just hope that we anime fans, game addicts, and cosplayers also do our best to keep up. Honestly, no matter how much the organizers upgrade and improve the event, if the crowd remains the same inconsiderate bunch year after year, all that effort is wasted.
Okay — I get it, you’re cutting loose and having fun, so you just leave trash lying around expecting a babysitter to pick up after you. Or you’re eager to meet up with friends inside the event hall, so you just shove someone over and jump the line. Cosplayers keep putting up these clubs and clans and groups and organizations, but are you truly “organized”?! With that behavior, I don’t think so.
I’m beginning to detect a note of hysteria in my tone, but I genuinely expected better of people, and this came as quite a shock. I am either too spoiled by overseas cons, or too old to deal with this nonsense (get off my lawn!) So, Cosplay Mania 13? Yeah, let’s expect bigger guests, let’s expect more showmanship, let’s bet on a lot more prizes and freebies and activities — but let’s also expect people to act like people, and not like a bunch of monkeys. Deal?