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A Tale of Four Cosplayers: The Asia Cosplay Meet 2011 Philippines Special Interview, Part 1

“A Tale of Four Cosplayers: The Asia Cosplay Meet 2011 Philippines Special Feature, Part 1”
Article contributed to Otaku Cosplay PH by: Hyou Sanosuke
Editing by: Ginryu Kai

(refer to Basic Information for photo credits)

There it was right before us, the stage for Asia Cosplay Meet 2011 Philippines was all set and ready for action. I watched in awe as I watched all seven teams perform their skits and I really saw how each one was passionate about cosplaying.

No doubt Asia Cosplay Meet holds host to some of the more high quality performances exhibited locally in our little community. Why? It’s because, as opposed to the usual criteria we have locally where the occasional high maintenance craftsmanship and out-of-character goofing off gets high marks, this is a competition which values accuracy, characterization, and concept to the fullest with no room for anything except whatever series a cosplayer may have chosen to perform without any deviation from it.

That being said, I was fortunate to get the chance tointerview four of my favourite cosplayers online, just days after the competition, namely: the gorgeous Arianne Gonzaga of Good Luck Mode who took a new anime head-on for their choice of series and gave justice to it beautifully, the down-to-earth Jerry Borbe of G.E. Burst who a lot of people remember for the massive weapon he wielded during the competition without even flinching, the multi-talented Marianne Topacio of Tenshi no Maou who we all loved for her dramatic performance on-stage which eventually lead to their well-deserved victory, and the extremely dedicated Theo Rodriguez of Duos Stratos who’s in-character performance and stunning costume got a lot of high praises and stints fresh right after being sought for from the competition.

Regardless of the common denominator of all four of them being cosplayers, each of them bring their own individual spunk to their personality which for today, we all get to see in this up close and personal interview I had with them covering their ACM experience and what plans they have up ahead.



Cosplayer: Arianne Gonzaga

Team: Good Luck Mode

Character: Blue Rose

Series: Tiger & Bunny

(Ms. Gonzaga credits the photo she submitted to: Mr. Jio Verona)


Cosplayer: Jerry Jon Borbe (aka JerryAce)

Team: G.E. Burst

Character: Lindow Amamiya

Series: Gods Eater Burst

(Mr. Borbe credits this photo he submitted to: Mr. Jemille Mendoza)


Cosplayer: Marianne Bella Topacio (aka Kona)

Team: Tenshi no Maou

Character: Noel Vermillion

Series: BlazBlue

(Ms. Topacio credits this photo she submitted to: Ms. Jel Salvacion)


Cosplayer: Edwin Theo Rodriguez (aka theoyoshitsune)

Team: Duos Stratos

Character: Gilgamesh

Series: Dissidia 012: Final Fantasy

(Mr. Rodriguez credits this photo he submitted to: Mr. Kira Hokuten)


Q: What preparations did you make with your teammates prior to the competition?

Arianne: We made our props together while listening to only one song per day, we jog at night (for no reason), and we made the video background (that we didn't get to use).

Jerry: The on-the-spot practice of our skit, the acting, and the performance! Hehe...

Marianne: Err, we were not actually given much time to prepare. My two other team mates were like preparing physically through trainings a couple of weeks before the competition started. I, personally, focused much on researching about my character. We individually prepared on our own props because of time constraints. We just actually had two days to practice together and to polish everything in our costumes and audio materials. x_x

Theo: Not really sure what particular preparations to specify, but one thing I can say is boy was it a rush! From the costumes to the skits, it was crazy but tons of fun!!

Q: How did it feel being up there on-stage during the event proper?

Arianne: We were shocked because we weren't given numbers for the order of the teams to perform. So we thought we were last because we were last in the registration list so when we were called to the stage, we weren't mentally prepared yet.

Jerry: Kinda nervous and EXCITED at the same time. ^___^

Marianne: Well, it felt really exciting. XD I forgot about being nervous the moment I stepped on stage.

Theo: I love the stage! At first while at the sidelines I was super nervous, but upon getting up on-stage all of it just sorta vanished and eventually I got into the moment as Gilgamesh and nobody else.

Q: What part of your skit did you enjoy doing the most?

Arianne: The trademark "GO NEX."

Jerry: The part where I slash the air (considering as though it's the enemy) continuously, LOL!

Marianne: Oh! I enjoyed the screaming part the most, especially the last part when Noel screamed Ragna's name after realizing how he tried to save her own life.

Theo: Well, I didn't have that much stage time but I definitely liked that part when Gilgamesh realizes that it wasn't Bartz he found but Zidane instead, especially when Gilgamesh exits without any care of Zidane, that was worth a chuckle.

What about the whole of the Asia Cosplay Meet experience, what was your favorite moment?

Arianne: When we had our names listed as one of the participants.

Jerry: We weren't able to catch the entire program of ACM because two of my teammates needed to go, which is actually why we requested to go first because of an emergency we needed to attend to right after.

Marianne: Favorite? The announcement of the winning team I guess. XD

Theo: The photoshoots during the event definitely! Aside from performing on-stage, I enjoy cosplaying most especially when shooting because it's like bringing life to a character for that single shot. I'm also fortunate to have met a special someone that I hope I'd get the opportunity to see or even work with when the time comes. Gaah, look at what your making me say!! XD

Were there any awkward/embarrassing moments for you guys during your participation at Asia Cosplay Meet?

Arianne: Our skit, because it wasn't that choreographed and prepared well since we were mainly focused on our costumes so the skit was the last thing we prepared.

Jerry: Embarrassing moments?? Hmm.. *thinks deeply* ...none.

Marianne: Well, I think that was right after I thought I didn't do the proper moves I was supposed to do on-stage. After realizing though that it was all good, I never felt embarassed anymore. =))

Theo: Probably during the early call-time at 8am when I was the only other cosplayer present while Tenshi no Maou had a complete line-up present with no other cosplayers present. But they were really cool to hang out with despite how shy I was at the time. Usually my shyness translates as being snobby at times but inside I shake like a leaf! Ahaha, but it's all good, they were the ones that eventually talked to me first so I was really happy and eased a bit more further on during the day =)

Aside from your own performance, which teams' performances did you enjoy watching?

Arianne: Mahou Shoujo, their skit was very dramatic.

Jerry: Sadly, we didn't get the chance to watch the other teams.

Marianne: Team Duos Stratos and Comebackers. XDD

Theo: Without a doubt Tenshi no Maou, the execution was really good. I wasn't able to watch the other teams that much except for what I was able to find on YouTube, but I was able to catch most of the performance in the midst of preparation and everyone really did well.

If you had the opportunity to choose two people to team up with from the other teams aside from your own, who would you select and what series would you want to cosplay?

Arianne: I choose Shiela Navarro and Karlonne Santos, I just wanna try having big props! Because those two are "big weapon" kind of cosplayers.

Jerry: Uhm, Riyo (Enriquez) and Theo (Rodriguez) with AION ONLINE, I have a great skit in mind XD

Marianne: Oh. Sheila Navarro and Edwin Theo Rodriguez I think. I'm not much familiar with the others. >_< Still clueless with the series too. XD

Theo: Aww man, just two??? XD To be honest I'd love to work with either Riyo (Enriquez), Marianne (Topacio), Marko (Villaluz), Arianne (Gonzaga), Karlonne (Santos), Claudine (de Jesus), or Jerry (Borbe). But if I really had to choose just two regardless of series, then I'd say Marianne and Marko definitely, with the three of us in a kick-butt skit for either Soul Calibur or Fate Stay Night.

How was it when collaborating with your fellow teammates?

Arianne: I felt comfortable working with them since they are the closest people to me and its not the first time we cosplayed together as a group.

Jerry: Not quite sure, forgot because it was so fast, on the spot practice and all, hehehe...

Marianne: Fun. This word sums it all up. XD

Theo: Oliver and Sheila were awesome to work with. Sheila was sort of the girl that ran through what to do and what not to do and she's had tons of experience while Oliver was the guy that I was really happy to be on the same boat with since we never did a group skit ever, let alone even do costumes of such complication.

Give us a bit of a summary on what you guys did on the morning of the competition.

Arianne: The guys were finishing their armor, I was sleeping since I was up all night finishing the details of my costume (BTW, the guys and me didnt have sleep for 2 days)

Jerry: At 10:00am, Ana and Marie Nholl arrived at SM while I arrived at SM at around 11:00am. We confirmed our registration at the ACM booth at around 11:20am and practiced our skit until 1:00pm. Afterwards which we performed by 1:30pm (sa awa ni bro ok naman kinalabasan, hehe)

Marianne: Morning? Gaaah. We went to the event hall early to rehearse and to do some blockings on the stage. Nothing much special. XD

Theo: Well, going straight to my arrival at SM Megamall, I arrived a little after 8am where Sir Ranulf (the ACM organizer) and Riyo were already waiting. Eventually Riyo's teammates, Claudine and Marianne, arrived a few minutes after. Afterwards we went in before opening so that we can get a feel of the venue, and boy was that stage huge! At first I originally planned this effect thing with this 10 yard length of fabric but further on decided to just use it as a stage prop since we lacked it at the time. Further on I met up with Duos Stratos and we all got prepared to go on-stage, and yeah, that's pretty much it.

(to be continued in Part 2 to be released on the 6th of July 2011, STAY TUNED!!)

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