Monthly Archives:August 2011

Cos X @ TGX 2011

31 Aug , 2011,
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Cos X - Official artwork

We’ve had our news gathering ninjas out chasing down details about Cos X at this years The Games Xpo, and we’ve managed to get the lowdown on this cosplay competition.

Check it out!

The following details are replicated from the event organizer’s website.

DATE & TIME

  • 10 September 2011,  5pm- 6.30pm

REGISTRATION GUIDELINES

  • Registration period will begin on 31st August 2011 (Wednesday)
  • Submit your registration via email to coscon@moviemania.com.sg and registration will close on 9th September 2011 (Friday), midnight.
  • The details of the registration shall include your full name, sex, character name, origin of character (e.g. game/anime/etc) and contact number(s).
  • You will receive a reply within the next day.
  • We shall contact you prior to the competition to confirm your attendance.
  • All competition correspondences shall be communicated via the above email address.

PRIZES (SINGLES CATEGORY)

  • 1st Prize: $1000
  • 2nd Prize: $500
  • 3rd Prize: $200
  • 4th Prize: $100
  • 5th Prize: $50
  • Prizes will be advertised as such on The Games Xpo website

JUDGING

  • There will be three (3) judges and they are from Movie Mania, Rapture
    and Vizpro.
  • Judging will be based on the following breakdown
    • Costume Accuracy     30%
    • Role-play Accuracy     30%
    • Performance Flair     20%
    • Audience Response     10%
    • Game Character Bonus     10%
  • Judges will eliminate contestants in the First Round and decide on the five
    finalists.
  • The public shall be asked to vote for the top 3 winners and each person will
    be allowed to vote only one time for each finalist.

CONTEST

  • Contestants are to be ready 30 minutes before stage time (4:30PM).
  • Contestants will be introduced on stage one at a time with their respective CD/MP3 music, if available.
  • Contestants will introduce themselves and the characters they are cosplaying.
  • Contestants will be given 20 seconds to strike 3 poses for the cameras and impress the judges to move them into the 2nd round.
  • Judges will be given some time to deliberate on which 5 contestants will go into the finals.
  • The remaining finalists will be given more stage time to act out their roles and impress both the judges and the audience.
  • The emcee will ask the public to come forward and cast their votes for the finalists.
  • Each voting person will be stamped upon voting for each finalist and the votes will be placed in transparent boxes. The votes will be counted and the final results shall be consolidated.
  • Audience vote will account for 50% and the judges will select the top winner.
  • Decision of the judges shall be final.

Registration starts today, so get to it if you haven’t! This warlock will be at the competition too, so hope to see you there! XD

Until TGX, cosplay friends. Cheerio!

STGCC 2011 Cosplay Tribute Video

29 Aug , 2011,
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We collected a chunk of footage at STGCC this year, and after a grueling editorial process, we’ve finally pieced together a tribute video of the event that’s dedicated to all things cosplay.

I’d like to thank everyone who had a hand in making this, our first of hopefully many convention videos, a success.

This one’s for you, cosplay fans and cosplay friends. Enjoy!

International Cosplay Day & A Certain Magical Event

27 Aug , 2011,
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The 27th of August saw two events happening – the worldwide International Cosplay Day,  and A Certain Magical Event (A.C.M.E.) III at Suntec City Convention Hall.

To quote International Cosplay Day founder Jennifer Alice, “This 27th of August will be a day like no other. You will wake up. You will put on cosplay (you will hopefully shower before hand). And you will live without regulations. It WILL be bold. It WILL be daring. But know that out there in the world, others will be joining you on this epic endeavor.”

A casual check of the event fan page revealed that there were some 8,000 participants worldwide (though there were only a token number from Singapore), so this blogger decided to throw his hat in the ring, and tossed on a casual cosplay wig for the day to celebrate the occasion. XD

But while International Cosplay Day was a non-event, A.C.M.E. III proved different. The character goods and otaku merchandise fair saw hordes of anime and manga fans thronging to the foyer of Suntec City Convention Hall’s third level, outside Halls 320, 325 and 326, where highlights included Bushiroad and Touhou Hisoutensoku tournaments, as well as booths stocking a plethora of products and merchandise.

Here are some photos from the event:


We’ve also managed to set up an interview with Collateral Damage Studios, so look out for our article soon, when we delve into the doujin publishing scene!

Until then, cheerio!

STGCC Cosplay Portraits

25 Aug , 2011,
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With STGCC in it’s fourth year, we figured it’d be a great opportunity for us to flex our creative muscle, to embark on an ambitious cosplay photography project that documents not just happenings at the convention, but also the fans and cosplayers that’ve made the occasion so colorful and vibrant.

That’s why we at The Neo Tokyo Project decided to set up a mobile photo studio outside Hall 403 (we’re hoping to set up inside the convention hall next year ^^;;) to shoot pictures of those who’ve caught the eye of our convention spies, and there were plenty from both the East and West camps.

Here’s the complete set of portraits, taken by our lensman Desmond Lui.

Cosplay Competition: Cos X

24 Aug , 2011,
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The Games Xpo - Promotional image

So our news gathering ninjas just got back to us with a juicy bit of information about upcoming event The Games Xpo (TGX). There’s gonna be a cosplay competition, so cosplay friends take note!

Here’s the lowdown, based on what we’ve gotten from our sources.

1. Date’s set for the 10th of September (actual date TBC).

2. Competition’s open to all cosplayers from any series, though game related cosplay will score big with the judges (like DUH! It’s a PC gaming event). If you’ve got a Duke Nukem or DOTA outfit to dust off, now’s the time!

3. There’s gonna be 5 prizes, with the top prize being $1,000 cash. And that’s a LOAD of cash.

4. It’s gonna be done pageant style, so it’s all about poses, poses, poses so start coming up with some right now!

Don’t you love exclusives? I sure do!

Full details for the registration should be up in a couple days, so keep your eyes peeled!

Until then, cheerio!

An STGCC Cosplay Album

23 Aug , 2011,
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We promised tons of pictures and a convention video for STGCC 2011, and here’s our first batch of images, contributed by roving convention spy and photographer Tan Kah Wee.

Check it out!

Cosplay @ STGCC

22 Aug , 2011,
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What’s a pop culture convention without a cosplay competition?

Cosplay @ STGCC, which took place Sunday, saw 8 finalists hailing from Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Singapore duking it out on stage to be crowned king of the con, dressed as characters from the movie Sucker Punch, games like Super Robot Wars and Monster Hunter, Top Cow’s Witchblade series  and Marvel’s very own War Machine in an eclectic blend of East-meets-West.

The contestants wowed the judges with their elaborate outfits and killer moves, and though the top spots were claimed by Zander Valentine of Singapore (Runner-Up) and Roy of Singapore (Grand Prize), everyone walked off stage a winner.

Kawaimace of Philippines scored scored the Jacky prize – a signed issue of COSMODE – from COSMODE editor Tadaaki “Jacky” Dosai with her Witchblade costume, and Nikki of Philippines grabbed the Kipi prize – a Haruhi Suzumiya outfit from celebrity cosplay idol Kipi.

Our part-time warrior & convention spy Joey was on the ground shooting the event, and here are the pictures:

STGCC 2011 Day 2: Catching up with Kipi

21 Aug , 2011,
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Cosplay idol Kipi, in her Homura Akemi outfit. XD

Day 2 at STGCC 2011 saw our team arriving bright and early to prowl the show floor for special guests at the con (we spotted a couple!).

We also had a great one-on-one interview with Marvel’s Harvey Tolibao, and caught up with cosplay idol Kipi, who shared her thoughts on what it means to be a celebrity cosplayer.

Speaking of cosplayers, it looked like everyone was out in full force today, so we had some awesome opportunities to capture solid footage for our con video and quality portraits at our mobile studio outside Hall 403.

Here’s a shout out to everyone who participated in our little project. Thanks for being so patient, helpful and willing to pose for the cameras.

We’re putting those images through the electronic wringer right now (we’re working really hard to get those 200 clips and 1,000 photos processed), so please, bear with us! ^^;;

To while away the hours till our next update though, here’s what we took away from our Kipi interview.


In conversation with Kipi. XD

Crimson: Hi Kipi, it’s great to have you here with us. As a celebrity cosplayer, what’s cosplay to you?

Kipi (through an interpreter): ”For me, cosplay started out as a chance to make friends.

I found making costumes very enjoyable, and it became a hobby for me… now for me, cosplay is a career.

Initially, it was just about getting into character and being satisfied with the costume, but now, cosplay is also a form of networking, and that’s very fun for me.”

Crimson: Some cosplayers frown upon making a career out of cosplay. Even here in Singapore, members in the cosplay community are critical about paid cosplay. What do you think about this?

Kipi (through an interpreter): “I know some people don’t like the fact that cosplayers take money and work professionally as cosplayers.

Historically, this was probably because cosplayers were paid to appear in photobooks and gravure, so that was a bit sleazy and that was why people were disrespectful of cosplayers.

I don’t think it’s different from any job. For myself, I may be paid to appear at events, but I also treat cosplay as a hobby and try to keep it that way.”

Crimson: Since we only have time for one more question, what do you think about Eastern Japanese style cosplay and Western cosplay?

Kipi (through an interpreter): ”They’re both cosplay, so I think it’s all good. The elements are representative of each respective culture. I also like the fact that though they are both different, they’re now mixing together and influencing each other and that’s nice. ”


 

And one for our con album. <3

It was great chatting with Kipi, that’s for sure.

We’ll (hopefully) have the first batch in our convention gallery up in a couple more hours, so do check back with us then. ^^;;

We’ll also have a more detailed report of our walk-around on both Days 1 and 2, as well as our interviews with some of Marvel’s finest.

In the mean, this blogger’s gonna go snooze for a bit, and catch up on the first bit of sleep he’s got since Saturday.

Until later. Cheerio!

STGCC 2011 Day 1: Thrills, Spills, and Much Ado About Cosplay

20 Aug , 2011,
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Tadaaki "Jacky" Dosai of COSMODE, looking fly in his Kazuhira Miller outfit.

STGCC 2011 kicked off with a bang today, and our team had a great time geeking out to the awesome happenings at Singapore’s defining pop culture event.

There was definitely plenty to see and do at STGCC, what with DC coming aboard this year and Marvel making it’s return in a big way.

What’s more, there were kickass convention panels to go to, and plenty of toys, games, and comics and cosplay galore.

We’re still processing our convention photos and piecing a video teaser together, but in the mean, here’s a special treat for our cosplay friends.

The Neo Tokyo Project managed to catch up with Tadaaki “Jacky” Dosai, and quizzed the main man behind COSMODE about some of his thoughts on cosplay and a burning question on many cosplayers’ minds: the East-West cosplay divide.

 


 

Here are some snippets from our interview:

Crimson: As a leading authority on cosplay, how do you define cosplay? Do you see a difference between Eastern characters from Japanese anime and games and Western characters from American properties? 

Jacky (through an interpreter):I think it’s pretty much the same. I don’t discriminate between whether it’s Eastern or Western cosplay, as long as the effort and the passion is there. It’s all very respectable. If the feelings and components are the same, then it’s no difference to me.”

That's us in the interview room. Rochelle from Magnetic-Rose.net (far right) was there too, so check out her blog for additional tidbits! XD

Crimson: Some cosplay purists are adamant that Western characters shouldn’t be considered cosplay. What do you have to say to that?

Jacky (through an interpreter):I think it’s a bit of a waste.

Take this event for example. Everybody is here at the same event and there are characters from American comics and Japanese manga, and it’s a good event.

Everyone is here doing the same thing and enjoying the same thing, and they’re having fun. So it’s such a shame really, if people think there’s a difference.

I just don’t understand why people would discriminate against one or the other, because even manga greats like (Osamu) Tezuka, who drew Astro Boy and all, he got influences from sources like Disney.

Even for cosplay, there’s a lot of influences going back and forth, a lot of exchanges between East and West. Don’t hate, appreciate if you know what I’m saying.”

Nothing says it a picture with the dude too, innit? XD

Crimson: What do you look for in a cosplay performance? Do you have any advice for cosplayers joining a cosplay competition? 

Jacky (through an interpreter): “More than anything else, just truly, carefully, deeply think about the character you want to do or that you’re doing right now.

In the end, cosplay is about portraying a character, and the best way to go about it is to go about it is to portray the character for what the character is.

What I like best is to see a person portray a character earnestly – if it’s a beautiful, elegant character, and the cosplayer actually puts in the effort to carry herself in a similar manner, that would definitely be the best.

In the end, I guess it’s sort of like a battle between how long the cosplayer has thought about the character he wants to cosplay and his portrayal of the character, versus how he can get those feelings across to the judge that’s watching him.

It can seem really daunting at first, but as long as you keep at it, you’ll find your comfort zone.”

 


 

Some really telling pearls there from the man himself.

Jacky also tells us that Nishimata-san, COSMODE’s editor-in-chief is on the prowl for cosplayers to snap for his photo feature (he’s really discreet about it. Shhhh~!) so if you want a chance to make the pages of a premier Japanese cosplay mag, then be sure to pose for every photo op you can tomorrow between 11 am and 1 pm. XD

Cosplay Performances: Scripting it

17 Aug , 2011,
Crimson
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In my previous entry, I described some easy ways to prepare for a cosplay competition, and if you’ve done your research, got a good handle on the judges, and think your costume’s stage ready, it’s time to take next step – scripting and producing your routine.

1. Writing the script 

Unless you’re doing a song and dance routine on stage, a cosplay skit is very much like a theatrical play or a scene out of a movie. There’s characters, there’s a semblance of plot, there’s conflict, and there’s a payoff.

Coming up with an original performance can be tricky for first timers, so it’s no foul if you rehash a scene from anime or manga. However, if you’d like to take a stab at coming up with something original, here are a couple tips.

a. The Setup:

It’s important to set the scene, and this can be accomplished with a simple voice-over (VO). The VO introduces your character, establishes the context of your performance, and provides an important lead-in to the action.

Keep it short, but keep it engaging. The VO’s supposed to drum up excitement and get the audience prepped for when you take the stage after all.

Here are some examples:

Sample VO #1:  “Having braved the dangers of Dracula’s Castle, Simon Belmont, bearer of the Vampire Killer must now confront his worst enemy – himself.”

Sample VO #2: “To save Academy City from plunging into war, Kamijyou Touma challenges golem summoner Sherry Cromwell to battle. When Science and Magic clash, who will prevail?”

You could also work your introduction into the performance through the use of dialogue, though this requires greater deliberation in your writing.

A generic enemy could shout out your character’s name, or you could introduce yourself by addressing the audience (and breaking the fourth wall in the process).

Sample, Enemy Introduction: “You’ve got nowhere left to run. Come quietly, Goemon!”

Sample, Self Introduction: “Where monsters rampage, I’m there to take them down! Where treasure glitters, I’m there to claim it! Where an enemy rises to face me, victory will be mine! I am Lina Inverse, and if you (points at the audience) say otherwise, I’ve got a fireball right here with your name on it!” 

b. The Performance Proper:

Let’s plunge into the meat of your performance. This is the part that either makes or breaks the competition, so it’s important to plan this right. It’s got to have buzz, it’s got to be dynamic, and it’s got to be entertaining. It might seem daunting at first, but it’s really not that tough.

In most cases, a cosplay performance could be as simple as a fight between two characters – the protagonist (that’s you) and an antagonist (typically a stage hand or your competition partner), or your character ‘shadow boxing’ with phantasmal assailants on stage.

If you’re a fan of the character you’re cosplaying (why the hell wouldn’t you be?), then you’d already have a context for the scene.

If you’re Ichigo from Bleach, you’d probably want to vanquish a hollow on stage. If you’re Tomoharu from Asura Cryin, then maybe you could summon Kurogane. If you’re Dante from Devil May Cry, how ’bout demonstrating your gun-fu?

Come up with a framework for the entire segment. Plan out the actions, then add in the character’s favorite lines, gestures and mannerisms to spice up your performance. If the character’s got a unique victory pose or opening stance, be sure to emulate it. If the character’s got a famous catchphrase, deliver it with panache! Part of the fun of cosplaying is in roleplaying and acting the part. If you can do it well, it will definitely score points with the judges!

Also, you’re usually allowed to rope in helpers for your performance so long as they’re not other cosplay contestants. This is especially helpful, if you’re doing a solo act. Stage hands make great sword fodder, and they can help to manipulate essential props into position, so think about how you can integrate them into your sequence.

2. What next? 

Well, rehearse, rehearse and rehearse. Practice your performance in front of your friends (or if you’re shy, in front of a mirror). Tweak your performance and tailor it to suit the audience. Sometimes you might think you’ve got a great line, but your audience might think otherwise. Or if you’ve come up with an awesome move, but it looks really wonky on stage, it’s probably a good idea to take it out of your rotation.

Keep working at it, and be sure to accept feedback from your friends!

3. Creating a Performance Clip:

And finally, if you’d like to beef up your performance, then you’d want to incorporate sound and music into your performance.

You can use a USB microphone to pre-record your dialogue, and free software like Audacity to put your audio clip together.

Also check out Freesound, which has a large library of sound effects you can introduce into your recording, such as sword swings and clashes.

That’s it for this tutorial, folks. Next time, we’ll look into choreographing a stage fight using common theatrical techniques, and methods for enhancing your performance with live sounds!

Until then, cheerio!