Last week, July 7 - Saturday, I went to HERO TV FACE OFF 2012. A cosplay competition wherein the winner of the face off will get the chance to go to Singapore and compete there :3
Before I begin, I'd like to admit that this is the first time that I actually took the time and see an actual cosplay competition. I've definitely gone through a couple of anime/manga events out there and took pictures of anime figures and cosplayers but never did I sit still (or stand in this case. LOL.) and watch a cosplay competition. I guess I should thank HERO TV for the opportunity(:
~late post x_x but I guess it's better late then never, huh? :)
~on the side note, sorry for the poor camera shots :3 && this is going to be a REALLY long post.
Now, let me go to what's up with this year's HERO TV FACE OFF. First of all, I honestly don't know anything about this event before the invitation. The competition goes in three categories: the Kids Squad Category, the League of Heroes Category and the Face Off Category. With how I'll be going on with this post, I'll give brief thoughts on each category and some other more things sure as musing around for cosplayers and other stuff that happened in the event :D SO let me start accordingly with the Kids Squad Category.
Kids Squad Category.
I've only seen a couple of kids cosplay through the previous events I've gone to some seeing an actual cosplay competition that allows kids ages 12 and below to compete. Since this isn't really the highlight of the event, this category didn't really excite me as much as the other 2 had. Although I have to admit that it was pretty cute to see the kids cosplay. I'd like to go mention a few that really caught my attention.
|Bumblebee - Transformers|
First off, I'm no fan of Fate/Zero (and I've never even seen it) but seeing that cute kid cosplay as Saber is definitely a sight (and I wasn't able to take a nice picture of her -.-). There aren't much to see in the category other than kids doing their best to portrait the characters they are playing. There were Sakura Kinomoto and Li Meiling from Card Captor Sakura and Tachibana Kanade from Angel Beats!. The most outstanding cosplay has got to be the kid in the Bumblebee (Transformers) cosplay. They probably put too much effort to it. The details are just so amazing. I just wish I had a closer look.
League of Heroes Category
So what is this category all about? This is practically more like a 'skit' category. The cosplayers will perform a scene from the series that they are cosplaying for around 30mins or less (???). I'd say that this one is unexpectedly the most entertaining category. The first group did a scene from Naruto with all the fight scenes and sound effects which awed me. Seriously. I'm not fan of Naruto but I was really amused watching them.
Anyway, there were practically two groups that impressed not only me but probably most (or all) of the audience. The first one (the champion) was the group who did a skit on Chōjin Sentai Jetman. It's a super sentai series if anyone doesn't know. I watched it when I was a kid and seeing this group do the typical super sentai stuff was just fun and nostalgic at the same time. Seeing the 5 Jetmen fight the monster and kill him, then he grows bigger (yeah, that always happens - the most basic reference for super sentai events has got to be Power Rangers. I'm pretty positive that most people knows that) and the Jetmen had to get their mecha. AND believe me, this group here just had their own mecha :3 Here´s a link to a video of their performance shared by hyper.kid04. It´s definitely worth watching. I re-watched it just now. Seriously. Click Here (It´s a facebook video. There´s no other source. Beggars can´t be choosers :P).
The other group that impressed the audience was the group that performed a skit on Battle Commander Daimos. It's also a pretty nostalgic anime if you ask me. Naturally I don't remember it much since I just saw it when I was a kid when it had a rerun. Similar to Jetman, of course Daimos had their own mecha (naturally. LOL.). In their skit, they also had Daimos's first set up (the trailer thing) and had the actual mecha transform right in front of everyone. Yeah, there was a guy transforming the trailer Daimos into an actual mecha (which was the coolest part they had). Apart from the mecha's battle, we see Richard (Ryuzaki Kazuya) move as well at the side lines. If anyone has watched it, you know how Richard moves when he's inside Daimos and yeah, the cosplayer does that too. XD
Face Off Category
Now, this final category has got to be the main event. This is where many people would just cosplay for fun, show off or has a mind set of actually winning. Let me first say this, I always have in mind that typical costumes don't win and I still have that in me. The winner of this face off isn't some big time mecha (as I was looking forward to it) rather a cosplayer in a battle armor. Yeah, I don't know which game she got her costume or what. So now, let me proceed to my thoughts on the face off category.
There were a lot of simple cosplayers which I think mainly join for fun. There were on character, off character, funny to look at, cute cosplayers, epic costumes and many more. With over 70+ cosplayers (I think - I forgot to check the last number), it was a great experience seeing each of them. Although I'm still half disappointed at how people would cosplay the same thing over and over and over and over. Yeah, I'm talking about the anime Naurto and character Miku Hatsune (not that I have anything against mainstream cosplaying). Anyway, seeing fairly new characters to my sight was pretty interesting. Some of them are: Koenma (Yu Yu Hakusho), Kisaragi Saya (Blood-C) and Alice Baskerville (Pandora Hearts). With only 2 years of comeback to anime and not playing that much games, I still don't know a lot of them so sorry if I can't name that many.
Now, let me go to those that really caught my attention. First off, (sorry I really just can't get this off my mind) there's an Elizabeth (Gintama) cosplay. I mean, seriously, who cosplays Elizabeth? Okay, this guy does and it's funny (in a good way). XD Another attention grabber cosplayer was Mr. Satan (Dragon Ball Z) or popularly known as 'Master Pogi' here in the country due to the dub :3 Believe me, he's too in character and even had the same voice as in the dub. It was just so amazing. XD Other then the two of them, the cosplayer of Kagura from Gintama (uh-gain) has really caught my attention. We first saw her when we were musing around before the face off category and she's too mature looking to be Kagura... but still... I have to admit that like how she looked :3
ANYWAY, moving to those who had really amazing costumes, I honestly don't know from which anime/game they came from since I don't play too many games and I haven't really watch that many mecha anime. First off, the first mecha cosplay that awed me is this. She's beautiful and her white mobile suit just looks amazing on her. Similar to the Daimos cosplay I mentioned earlier on the League of Heroes Category, she also had that 'transform-moment'. I wasn't able to see it completely (too bad) but I did had a pretty good close up look on her and on her amazing cosplay. There were a lot more huge costumes but I barely saw them so I can't talk about them.
Other than the huge mecha cosplays, the warrior-style cosplays also look amazing. The champion actually came from this style. First off, her well made costume looks really good on her and her props (the swords) looks amazing. She maximized her 30sec stage time swirling around with her sword :3 Finally, I noticed this really impressive cosplay which I believe came from a computer game character.
Musing Around the Venue
Of course I wouldn't just seat around the venue and watch cosplayers walk in the stage the whole time. I'm not that type of person. Now, let me go to other stuff that's in the event.
Prior to the 'main event' or the cosplay competition itself, there's a movie screening of Yu-Gi-Oh!'s 10th Anniversary Movie: Ultra Fusion! Bond Over Time and Space which features the first 3 Yu-Gi-Oh! main protagonist: Yugi Mutou/Yami Yugi, Jaden Yuki and Yusei Fudo. I've seen the 'movie' before so I didn't bother to come early to see it again. For those who haven't seen it, it's practically a one duel against Paradox because he wants to end the widespread of duel monsters by killing Pegasus Crawford because according to him, the world will come to an end because of the power of duel monsters. This movie is actually a small portion of Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's. Anyway, other than the Yu-Gi-Oh! screening, there's also a screening of Gintama's first movie: Gintama: Shinyaku Benizakura-hen. I've seen this arc from the anime and I do plan to watch the movie although I want to watch it in Japanese dub with English sub. Yeah, as obvious as it seems, the movie screening was in Filipino dub and there's no way I'll around and listen to how different Gintoki's voice is :P but seeing some parts of the ending, I'd have to admit that the script is pretty entertaining. Not really bad in my opinion but dub is still not my style :P
Musing around the venue, I've seen cosplayers which I saw compete while there were also cute cosplayers who didn't compete. It's actually fun to just see cosplayers around doing their best to capture the characters they are portraying. I saw an Erza Scarlet from Fairy Tail cosplyer (or did I got the character all wrong? LOL.) which I never saw (or did I missed her?) in the actual competition. AND I get to have a picture with Daimos (LOL) and the rest of the crew :3 Also, before the Face Off Category, I get to see that mature and beautiful Kagura and Uchiha Sasuke from Naruto.
Finally, after the competition, there's also an intermission by Tanya Markova. I've heard the band before but never actually listen to them although the first song they perform was fairly familiar. I probably have heard it somewhere (the radio perhaps. Psshh -.-). Anyway, there are just two things I can say about their performance: it's pretty loud (I was already seating in front when they perform. LOL) and their songs are pretty catchy.
In an overall look on this event, I'd say that it's pretty fun to actually see a cosplay competition. Also, I really like the idea how most people were actually there to just cosplay and have fun. Looking forward to the next FACE OFF? Definitely :D