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Aug 30, 2016

Defining REAL COSPLAY: An Answer to Anime Pilipinas Editorial



I read a comment by veteran cosplayer Fred Vinas about an article written by Anime Pilipinas, entitled, "EDITORIAL: BURNED OUT. COSPLAY IN THE PHILIPPINES LOSING ITS LUSTER?"  I have read the whole article and honestly found both valid and debatable points in this article.  As a blogger and writer, I find it necessary to write a reply to it.

What is Cosplay?


Let me start this article with a definition of COSPLAY.  As defined by our friend Wikipedia...

Cosplay (コスプレ kosupure?), a contraction of the words costume play, is a performance art in which participants called cosplayers wear costumes and fashion accessories to represent a specific character.  Cosplayers often interact to create a subculture and a broader use of the term "cosplay" applies to any costumed role-playing in venues apart from the stage. Any entity that lends itself to dramatic interpretation may be taken up as a subject and it is not unusual to see genders switched. Favorite sources include manga and anime, comic books and cartoons, video games, and live-action films and television series.

In this definition alone we can see that cosplaying is more than just the costumes and costume-making.  Perhaps this is why some are afraid to compete because most competitions focuses on whether or not you make the costume or whether or not it is armor or not.

Cosplay is a performance art and is a role-play.  This means that you do not only suit in a costume but also you need to give life to the character and show justice in your performance.  Giving too much emphasis on being armor, mecha or detailed against the actual performance seems to be a defeat of the true essence of cosplay.

"cosplay" applies to any costumed role-playing in venues apart from the stage.

Cosplaying is also not limited to the stage.  A true cosplayer interacts with the venue, the guests and everyone in the event.  Of course those who wear big armors and mecha will find it hard to be in costume all the time.  In reality most of these costumes are just made to compete.  Some competitors would even wait for the competition to start, wear the costume and after that remove it and go home once announcement is done.

Who should define competitions?


The article states that events and competitions are unfair.  That they favor veterans.  I think otherwise.  Veteran cosplayers knows what it takes to win and also they give more time in their craft.  Their experience in joining competition makes them formidable opponents on the stage but it does not mean that they are cheaters.

The obligation of ensuring that competition are fair is the duty of event organizers.  They should set rules and mechanics which offers equal chances for both veterans and newbie cosplayers.  At some point if they find it necessary to ban winners from major events then they could do so.

Quality of cosplay and winners de[pends on the vision of the event organizers and how they see cosplay/  If an organizer only sees cosplay as looking at the costume alone then that is their fault but can we blame them?  Of course not... because that is their event.

Cheaters of cosplay competitions


I would like to particularly make a point in this paragraph from the article, since I myself plans to compete in future events.

We have noticed some known cosplayers who are already working for different event organizations but still participate in other cosplay competitions without some sort of disclosure. Sure, the judges and the organizer are different, but doesn’t it sound unfair because there is conflict of interest? 
This not only degrades the quality of our cosplay competitions, but it bastardizes the very essence of the competition in itself. We hate to put words into this, but to put it bluntly, it fells like it is cheating.

How can they bastardize the very essence of the competition?  Do you mean that if they are organizers or members of a group that organize an event then they should not compete at all?  What I see is that if they are key members of the organization that hosts the event then they should not compete in that event.  When I say key members, it means officers and member of the staff or organizing team.

If you use a fake name just to join your own event then that is what cheating is all about.  If you put judges to favor someone who is part of your team then that bastardizes competition.

Cosplay is not about competition


Measuring the luster of the cosplay community does not rely on competitions alone.  Competitions are just a part of the totality of the cosplay community.  If someone does not want to compete and just want to cosplay and roam around then let them be.  Will it make them an inferior cosplayer if they do not join a competition? I do not thing so.

Cosplay is about being the character you like, entertaining others and mingling with various people from the community, both cosplayers and non-cosplayers.  I am seeing tons and tons of new cosplayers in awesome costumes which means our cosplay community is more vibrant than ever.

If we cannot win the WCS, who cares.  This does not mean that our cosplay is inferior nor does it mean that it is not world class.

The real issue of the cosplay community


The real issue this community is facing is in fact too much mainstreaming.  These mainstreaming brings about rants, bashing, bullying, politics and other things in the community.  Some people would just want to win and win and cry foul when they are not declared the champion.  Some groups would see others as inferior.

When such things like this continue to abound then that is when we will see real burn out.

I am not saying Anime Pilipinas article is bad or a farce, I would rather see it as a perspective from a different lens.  You can read the EDITORIAL HERE.



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5 comments:

  1. finally someone pointed out the faults of that article xD

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do not see that article as faulty. I see it as looking at a different lens. We all have our views and this one is again from a different perspective.

      Delete
  2. What defines a cosplayer? Is it just wearing a costume? Is it the competition and winning said competitions?

    To tell you the truth our family shuns from competing. 2 years ago we have decided to not compete in any competitions save for maybe small ones for the kids so they can learn the spirit of fair play and sportsmanship. Does that make us lesser cosplayers?

    We cosplay because it's a hobby first and foremost. My wife and kids share this same passion and it bonds us together whenever we cosplay in an event. What we enjoy most is mingling with the con-goers and accommodating their requests for pics. We allow them to wear our masks or hold our weapons during the shoot so they can better understand what it feels like. We enjoy going to charity events. We enjoy mingling with our fellow cosplayers.

    What we do not enjoy are the numerous issues some have with certain individuals or group. But we do not allow that to affect our passion. We just bring out the popcorn and sodas and read the comment sections. :D Sometimes when the issue affects us, we participate in the discussion, giving our insights and opinions but nothing more.

    Are we burnt out? Heck no! As a matter of fact, we are planning our next family cosplay theme right now. Are we upset with the countless issues in the community? Not really, as a matter of fact we enjoy being observers in some of the heated debates. Are we frustrated with the ins and outs of competitions? Why should we be when we don't even compete.

    Regardless of what people say or whether cosplay in the mainstream has already lost its luster, we couldn't careless, because WE WILL CONTINUE TO BE DOING WHAT WE WANT TO DO FOR AS LONG AS WE WANT TO DO IT.

    THAT IS WHAT COSPLAY IS TO US.

    ReplyDelete
  3. if sa tingin nyo po bumababa yung quality ng cosplay, pagpasensyahan nyo na po. baka mataas yung level ng expectation mo at hindi pa kami handang i-meet yun. darating din tayo dyan.

    paulit-ulit po ba ang costumes na nakikita nyo, eh pagpasenyahan nyo na po ulet. aminado naman kami. alangan namang gagawa ka ng isang costume para lang sa isang event lang. ano? mayaman kame? hindi rin kasi madali gumawa ng costume, hindi madali mag-isip kung paano bubuuin ito. hindi rin madali kung saan kami kukuha ng budget para sa materials. at di rin naman biro ang gastos talaga at yung haba ng panahon binbuhos namin dito para pintasan lang ng iba at sabihing hindi accurate. (sakit di ba?)

    madalas bang nananalo ang mecha o armor?.. oo, talaga naman. pero hindi ibig sabihin eh minamaliit namin ang hindi naka-mecha o armor. costume maker kami, marunong kaming mag-appreciate ng details. di lang kami expressive. kung anong appreciation ang natatanggap ng mga non-mecha, ganun din sa amin. mas visible lang kami, kasi malalaki kami. pero parehas lang yun.

    pansinin nyo rin po un effort namin, kahit papaano may improvement naman, kung natatagalan kayo eh, pasensya na ulit. kami yung gumagawa, tumitingin lang kayo. kunsabagay, mas madali humusga kesa mag-appreciate.

    hindi na raw hobby ang cosplay?.. oo at hindi. negosyo nga ito para sa iba eh. kung hobby sa iyo eh good for you. pero huwag husgahan yung mga taong ginagawang negosyo ito. we need to survive. kumakain din kami, sayang din naman skills namin di ba?

    mga nagpapagawa ng costume? eh anong paki natin dun, pera nila yun eh!... sigurado naman kung marunong silang gumawa eh hindi naman sila magpapagawa di ba? kahit sabihin nyong pwedeng pag-aralan, eh hindi rin ganun kadali yun. (sa salita lang madali yun!)

    cooking show? pwedeng meron, pwedeng kakilala yun judge, kagrupo o ka-team sa pokemon go. di ko kayo masisisi, wala naman natatalo eh. normal ang disappointment pag natalo ka. pero ung kumuha ka ng simpatiya sa facebook na wala ka namang pruweba eh ibang usapan na yun. ilagay nyo rin un sarili nyo sa posisyon ng nanalo at sabihing kaya ka nanalo eh dahil luto o kakilala mo yun judge. (sakit di ba?)

    give chance to others, sabi nyo. pero di naman namin sila pinipigilan sumali. pero wag nyo naman kami pigilan din. gawin nyo kaming challenge to improve your craft. we are here din naman para tumulong kahit advice lang. lapit lang, wag mahiya. di kami nangangagat.

    nagsimula rin kami na takot sumali dahil magagaling ang kalaban, pero its your choice kung sasali kayo o hindi. pero huwag nyo naman kami sisihin dahil ayaw nyong makipagsabayan.

    welcome kayo sa competition, walang nagbabawal. subukan nyo, malalaman nyo ang pakiramdam ng natatalo at nananalo.

    instead of "giving chance to others", why not join us to compete and be competitive. its all worth it. subukan nyo rin.

    and pahabol. hindi po kami ang sumisira sa cosplay kundi ang negatibong pananaw ng mga taong tumitingin dito.

    ReplyDelete

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