(Considering I've been working 8 days/week since I returned from Singapore and will likely be doing so until CF, I better put this up now)
Having learned our lesson on Saturday, the AHO-dan decided an entire trip spent in a room with a life-sized Gundam and several hundred DSLR-toting otaku wasn't the sane thing to do especially when you'd forked out hundreds to stay in a foreign country.
So we went to Vivocity instead! 8D
The gang who stayed at The Hive had bak kut teh next door for breakfast. One thing to note is Singaporean bak kut teh uses clear pepper pork broth, quite unlike the dark herbal tea of Malaysian bak kut teh; that was the biggest culture shock we had. Also, Singaporeans don't understand when you ask for "warm water" - you have to say it's *plain* water.
So we went to Vivocity, pulled Kemu away from any shop that had shoes/accessories/sales/all 3, had ice cream at Ben & Jerry's (I can see why they wouldn't bring it to Malaysia - it's not much different from Baskin Robbins), before finally adjourning to Suntec around 12, because even though I had nothing to look forward to there, I'll be DAMNED if I let my SGD8 slip away like that!
By the time we reached Suntec the cosplay competition had already started, so we missed 2 skits.
Skit #3: It's ULTRAMAN! And a MONSTER trampling CITIES!! Corny TV-like sound effects ensue (I am not sure if the contestants recorded it using their voices though). The Ultraman costume was actually well done, so it did feel like one of those Ultraman public appearances.
Skit #4: A Hatsune Miku and Kaito appear. Kaito then breaks out the hojillion & 1 Vocaloid merchandise that all the dealers' booths are selling (SHAMELESS PLUG AHOY). Kaito angsts after being told he sings "old man songs" and Hatsune Miku fills the hearts of Vocaloid fans with warmth and digital singing.
Skit #5: Featuring Code Geass' Rolo (who didn't quite look like Rolo) and his Vincent (which fell apart before it got on stage, but we loved it anyway). Some dialogue, that's it.
Skit #6: Roxas & Axel rape an intriguing and dramatic KH2 scene by inserting every goddamn Disney song into it. The only part of note is when in a fit of Michael Bolton-itis (the song was Go The Distance), the Roxas cosser forgets she's holding the microphone, and when she tries to make an epic arm-sweeping gesture, completely cuts her voice off for a line, effectively censoring herself. XD
Skit #7: Thai Trinity Blood cosplayers cossing as Abel and Esther sing a load of songs while embracing each other. The announcer announced their skit as "Presenting Abel & Nightroad!", which made everyone initially wonder if it was supposed to be some epic Cain vs Abel fight or what. This was later chalked up to announcer ineptitude.
Skit #8: Because we were so far away, we couldn't figure out whether these 2 Hitman Reborn cossers were Malaysian. If they were they not only deserve an award for their ballsiness, but also how they actually threw each other onto the ground loud enough for the audience to cringe.
Skit #9: The announcer said this was "A reenactment from Final Fantasy!" and a FF7AC Tifa cosser came out, so we were HOPING it was her epic fight scene, but NO some punk kid came out and sang MORE Disney songs and harassing poor Tifa. This final skit also had the sad distinction of being the ONLY skit where everyone started walking away the minute the kid lip-synched "I Just Can't Wait To Be King", and to do what? To photograph cosplayers that's what!
The thing about Singaporean cosplays is that it can be *really* good. There's a reason why people gush about how Singaporean cosplay is 9000 times better than Malaysian cossers - might be because the majority of Singaporean cossers are female, thin, and heavily made up with fantastic costumes, but anyway.
However, the laws of yin and yang state that for every fantastic cosplayer, there will be a crappily craptasticular cosplayer, one who sees no need for makeup, the correct wig, or even a costume for that matter. This is the advantage of Malaysian cosplay - due to overall overwhelming mediocrity, there is no OMG AWESOME or OMG AWFUL cosplayer that breaks all barriers of cosplay to become a single name to signify all that is about cosplay. AFA didn't have any of these, but this was likely because cosplayers got free entry, so if there was no quality control everyone would be a cosplayer. That pimply geek with a camera double the size of his head? He's cosplaying a hikokomori! Go right in sir!
When I was walking around, I overheard some girls talking about the popularity of Vampire Knight (VK) cosplayers. Since the anime debuted, the public perception is that in order to cosplay ANYTHING Vampire Knight, all you do is get the costume (which is nifty, but not my thing), style your hair/ get a wig, and tada, beautiful vampire student! Twilight gets ONE beautiful vampire student, Vampire Knight has an entire student BODY of beautiful vampire students. STEPHENIE MEYER EAT YOUR HEART OUT.
Or so you think.
In reality, the girls were complaining about how the point of VK was that the vampire students were *beautiful*. They didn't glow in the sunlight, but they made up for it with overwhelming moonlight radiance in their finely-sculpted porcelain faces and heads and bodies and everything but the hair which is soft and dandruff-free and overloaded with Pantene but pointier teeth and nothing wussy like vegan vampires. VK COSPLAYERS on the other hand think it's perfectly okay to to be 10kg overweight, wear the white vampire student uniform, make no attempt to cover your acne-ridden face with makeup, spray your hair green, wear your spectacles, and TADA you're beautiful!
"Geek Vampire Knight" as they put it, while directly pointing at a lounging group of VK cossers...I'm not putting up the picture; but I have it and you know where to find it.
Of course, the rule of cosplay is that for maximum photographer crowding, it is always advisable to cosplay hot anime du jour characters.
Like MACROSS FRONTIER!
He-llo Mack Ross Eff!
Several blogs pointed out 3 Rankas, 3 Sheryls (with different costumes) and...I don't know. I don't watch Macross F. That should put me right up there with the heretics and blasphemers for talking about Macross F without watching a single episode, but I haven't touched ANY anime since Zetsubou Sensei 2 (not even Code Geass R2, yes), so it's fair.
It also helped that the seiyuu who sings Sheryl Nome's songs came to hold a concert at AFA, so there was plenty of incentive for people to come as anything Macross F. Would MAY'N notice the Ranka horde? Would she call all the Macross F cossers up on stage to dance with her? I don't know, I didn't stay for the concert, and there are many others who blogged about it.
Masako, Mintos, Kazeki, and Sizer had a great idea to cosplay as every single Macross idol in the series. They looked fantastic except they had NO LYNN MINMAY.
They are hot; my photography is not.
Maybe I'm being elitist, maybe I'm nitpicky, maybe I'm just being an ass, but it feels like such a humongous waste to have such a good but incomplete group because the main inspiration for these characters...was absent. The bigger problem is that nobody would care - Minmay is *so* 80s, make way for Sheryl Nome! Galactic Fairy, songbird of the universe, and all that. The significance of Macross F celebrating the 25th anniversary of Macross is partially lost because a new generation of otaku might choose to look only at the new Macross F and nothing else - Sort of like how an entire generation grew up on Gundam W/Gundam SEED, and think it's the be-all end-all of Gundam.
I didn't have much time to mull on that because I had to go back to my cousin's house by 7, took the wrong bus, and found that Cosfest's location is one bus trip from my cousin's apartment. W00t!
Now watch as Cosfest leaves Pasir Ris starting next year.
So...How was it?
If I was a hard core MANLY mecha fan, I would have died a happy person.
If I was a hard core merchandise fan with enough money to buy Iceland, I would have had trouble reentering Malaysia (except for the Immigration ladies chatting and not manning the Xray machine would've let me through but ANYWAY), but happy nonetheless.
If I was in the animation industry, I would have been happily enlightened.
If I was a May'N fan, I would have blogged about [the] [same] [damn] [controversy] about May'N and what happens when she holds a marker pen and runs it across a piece of paper, but still happy I got to listen to her live.
However, I am NONE of those, so while happy, I am not shaking in delightful ecstatic glee. AFA merely reinforced itself as an event that panders to the largest anime demographic, and succeeded. They could have called it MECHAFEST or MACROSSFEST or OTAKUFEST or FIGUREFEST and it would be much better description. Unless they start trying to give the otaku who don't watch mecha more options, I think I'll sit out next year's event.
Translated, it means it's going to be ground-breakingly mind-bogglingly awesome. Start saving.
See you at CF!
December 28, 2008 09:39 PM PST
<i>It also helped that the seiyuu who voices Sheryl Nome came to hold a concert at AFA,</i>
After my second read on this entry...I noticed this. Sheryl is voiced by Aya Endo actually. May'N provided Sheryl's singing voice.
In essence, a character with 2 roles.
December 15, 2008 05:55 PM PST
"Masako, Mintos, Kazeki, and Sizer had a great idea to cosplay as every single Macross idol in the series. They looked fantastic except they had NO LYNN MINMAY."
YOU HAD NO IDEA HOW SAD WE WERE COS WE DIDN'T HAVE A LYNN MINMAY TAT
Correction, it was Kaz+I who wanted to do the the idols from the old school Macross series ahaha Mask+Sizer were already set on doing MF earlier on 8DD
And on why we couldn't find one in time :
1. Even my costume was decided 2 weeks before AFA.
2. Potential Lynn Minmay coser/s not going AFA
3. Coser who already did Lynn Minmay was also NOT going AFA.
On MF, yes I have to agree that a part of me is feeling very sad that the new gen of otakus will identify with MF and choose to stop there. On the plus side, it made ppl like me and kaz look up the old Macross series (and loved it!), so in other words MF did manage to bridge the gap for younger fans and older fans alike!
"They could have called it MECHAFEST or MACROSSFEST or OTAKUFEST or FIGUREFEST and it would be much better description."
AGREE. I'M A FIGURINE FAN LOL YAY
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