After a long hiatus from the face-to-face convention scene due to the pandemic, Cosplay.ph returns to the cosplay scene bigger and better than before.
Held last April 30 to May 1, 2022, at the SMX Convention Hall, Cosplay Carnival 2022 opened its doors to the horde of con-goers that were craving an authentic convention experience.
Both days were jam-packed with people that Cosplay.ph had to close the buying of tickets mid-day and with activities that were sure to keep people excited.
At the beginning of the program, musical powerhouses such as the J-rap group PiPaPosse and the adorable Day Night Explorers bring up the tension by giving dazzling musical performances.
For music fans, both mainstream and anime, there was the convention staple, Cosplay Karaoke. Participants got to belt out a randomized tune while donning their costumes. The crowd sang along when the participants sang classic faves such as Slam Dunk’s “Kimi ga Suki da to Sakebitai,” Tokyo Ghoul’s “Unravel,” and Your Name’s “Zenzenzense.”.
Of course, music trivia nerds also got to show off their knowledge during the Pic-a-Tune session. Contestants had to guess what song was played within a few bars and the factoid given.
Of course, no convention would be complete without cosplay, and this convention delivers in terms of cosplay content. In the beginning, there was a brief introduction of Play Park’s Cosplay SEA Gods contest, where cosplayers from South East Asia could win up to $3,500 with their Skyforge-inspired costumes.
Have you ever imagined your favorite characters interacting regardless of how vastly different their universes are? Look no further; Cosplay Onstage Pairing provides that fix for you! Imagine no-nonsense guild master Jean Gunnhildr trying to coax unmotivated Leona Kingscholar to move or Bruce Lee facing off against a character from Monster Hunter. The possibilities are endless!
Genshin Impact seemed to be the reigning champion of cosplayer’s hearts as tons of cosplayers came dressed as their favorite Teyvat characters! It was indeed, quite a vision to behold! Wearing masks did not dampen the cosplayers’ spirits and everyone was rather game to don their character’s personalities and to be in character while people snapped pictures.
Speaking of photos, for con-goers who would rather have their pictures taken with a lovely backdrop, there was also a rentable studio where they could pose to their heart’s content.
For people who were keen to get their hands on some great convention hauls in the convention hall, there were a lot of options to get quality loot from. Want to see some cool upcoming figures? There’s a booth with an adorable display of Good Smile Company’s upcoming line “Hello”. They even had a cool frame where you can pose and pretend to be a nendoroid figure!
Looking for pins, badges, and other artsy knick-knacks? The artist alley has so much variety that everyone is sure to find something to their taste.
If looking through booths trying to find something to buy is too tame for you, there’s also the thrill of participating in an auction! Ah, the rush of winning a rather fierce battle to procure your holy grail! Attendees could also put their items up for auction, hoping that these items will find a better home.
One of the major draws of the event was the guest, Vietnamese cosplayer Plant Lily. Fans willing to shell out a little extra had the opportunity to take photos of her for an hour during an exclusive photo session. But she also graced the stage with her presence and entranced fans until she ended the session with a very adorable “Mahal ko kayo” (I love you). On the first day, she was dressed up as the anime world’s current darling, Marin Kitagawa from Dress Up Darling, and on the second day, she came as the foxy priestess, Yae Miko from Genshin Impact.
For anime fans who feel that they know the pulse of the anime nation, there was Frenemy Feud, an otaku version of Family Feud where players try to get the answer with the highest number of answers from the surveyed population. Hilarity ensues as the participants are asked how tsundere they were. The convention staple, Trivia Throne Throwdown, makes a return for otaku trivia buffs, and its categories are even more expansive!
For fans who have been deprived of social interaction with their peers face to face, the return of Cosplay Carnival is indeed comforting since everything is very familiar to them. Not everything was smooth, though; given that it has been quite some time since their last convention, and it is quite hard to manage a crowd during a pandemic, there were some inevitable kinks during the event. It was unfortunate that some people who bought their tickets could not enter the event due to overcrowding.
All in all, Cosplay Carnival is a return to form, with its tried and tested formula, welcoming both old and new con-goers alike. That said, some changes to the formula would not be unwelcome since that would keep the whole convention experience fresh. We look forward to seeing how they develop and improve said formula to cater to the thriving anime community here in the Philippines.
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