Cosplay Matsuri Online: A Summer Festival..in December

Cosplay Matsuri, ah yes. The regular December tradition for the peeps at Cosplay.PH is going online for the first time (thanks China) and unlike their first two online cosplay convention attempts, this has the big event feel like how every CosMania is being promoted. The last bit is kind of ironic since Matsuri is the B-show to the main event that was Cosplay Mania but this time, C-Matsu became the A show.

The giant thing that almost threw a wrench into the plans here is the whole Google services shut down during the week.

That event almost made me stick with my Plan A: Reviewing Fireworks 1993 or Shin Godzilla (hey, watching an Anno movie is a great way to start the weekend) because I wasn’t able to receive my confirmation email no matter how I try to resolve the issue from changing Gmail accounts and creating another email altogehter.

I’m fine with watching movies and reviewing about them but I would be spending more hours into taking screenshots and making Evangelion references or compare it with the 2017 anime which I have no plans to watch.

It’s a good thing Plan B went through and at the last minute because the event starts at 3:00 PM and my account got verified manually at 2:45 PM.

There are six events with an hourly raffle placed in between as intermission but sometimes ad reads can be substituted when there are no names drawn yet.

The whole event is hosted on a website with a live stages being streamed on a private YouTube link coupled with an embedded lobby chat to interact with the MCs and the speakers.

Let’s see how this one goes.


Day 1 – Saturday, 12/19/2020

The masters of ceremonies are Lora, Fatima and Envy. Kenkoy was only watching on the sidelines together with the rest of the lobby chat, I don’t know why.

Event 1: Best Matchuri (calm down with the RabbitTank jokes, Kamen Rider fans), there were already pre-qualified contestants this time, unlike the previous events wherein they choose from a pool of contestants.

With how the game goes, it’s basically this: There’s a category, you’ll select a number and answer a question. Jeopardy, we meet again.

Sadly, it just proved that I’m an out of touch boomer now because I don’t know jack about Fall 2020 anime.

I only know of Tonikaku Kawaii because of Facebook and I am only updated on Vtubers and pro-wrestling. It can be a fun game overall but I’ve seen this many times so it could be a bit boring at times.

Event 2: Cosplay Academy where we are going to learn some tips and tricks from the top cosplayers. Unlike pro-wrestling where promoters always try to trim the marks, Yanna here will expose the business, if ya wheel.

She talked about “making faces” aka applying make up to improve your cosplay look.

I won’t go into details here because I’m no cosplayer but in a sense, what struck me is that cosplay, like pro-wrestling, can be connected to theater and I can expound on that.

Just like how keeping kayfabe or selling your opponent’s moves, cosplaying involves getting into your character not only in an external sense (aka costumes) but also with being the character you’re cosplaying (thus, the “play” in cosplay).

It’s not enough to look like Goku, you have to be Goku. She also expounds on how makeup affects stage presence. It’s important to make sure that your face is visible even to the people farthest from the stage and make-up plays a giant part of that.

Event 3: Should I even consider this an event because the next one is “Cosplay Auction Online”. Didn’t you guys like had a whole online event just for cosplay auctions?

It’s the Christmas season so I’ll give this a pass. If you wanted to buy a plushie at the highest price possible, by all means.

Event 4: An interview with the two people behind Futekiya, a yaoi manga distributor. Think of it as Shueisha’s Manga Plus but for yaoi manga (or Boys Love as the Japs call it).

They cooperate with Dai Nippon Insatsu, a company more commonly associated with printing industrial materials, to get in touch with publishers to get their titles translated to English.

I have been into reading manga lately and basing on the answers I’ve been getting with my questions; it all depends on the publisher’s choice but they have their own processes in terms of what to pick, especially if they have to deal with licensing and what’s the most in-demand title for BL.

In terms of censorship, they follow Japanese law so they DO censor genitalia but I’m not sure how they deal with content censorship (aka cutting off chapters and such), because I accidentally closed Firefox. Stupid me.

Event 5: Matsuri Mask Charades. This is interesting, so these cosplayers will explain their costumes and then do their act and that’s normal but there’s a catch, the judges will have to play a game of charades.

This is where the “don’t just look like the character, be the character” rule of cosplay comes into play.

Other people should be able to know who you’re cosplaying as by actions as well as looks. There’s supposed to be seven contestants but one had to drop out due to bad internet connection, so we’re down to six.

This is the most fun the lobby chat had during Day 1 because all of a sudden, we pretended that we’re sending superchats because someone cosplayed as Amelia Watson of Hololive English.

Event 6:  Kael!! That’s gotta be Kael!! Vince McMahon parody aside, Kael PK is the special guest of this event.

This special guest is a gamer, influencer, cosplayer and what-have-you from Thailand, land of Hanuman and the Six Ultra Brothers. He’s cosplaying Zhongli from Genshin Impact for some reason.

His journey into cosplay is kind of your typical anime nerd story. He doesn’t have friends and then resorted to anime and then started cosplaying and then gained friends. I’m not really into cosplayers so this section might be short.

This is just some simple Q&A interview, nothing special.

Day one ends with the awarding of the winners of Matsuri Mask Charades and with an ad read for that Skechers promo with One Piece.


Day 2 – Sunday, 12/20/2020

This is now the second and last day of Cosplay Matsuri 2020 and although the event starts at 3:00 PM, although the day starts earlier for me because, guess what? I’m a contestant for Shadow Play. Talk about luck, huh?

Anyhow, Lora and Fatima are still here but guess who’s back? My boy Kenkoy is back. I’m not sure why he’s not present yesterday but he’s here now.

Event 1: Shadow Play!! Too bad that Discord is acting up like crazy (on my old 2012 laptop at least when I have both Discord, camera, mic and Firefox on) and I mistook the number of Naruto Shippuden episodes to the number of chapters the Naruto manga had, but that’s all fine and dandy because I get to be a Discord “genius”.

This is the exact same game from FanFes so don’t expect me to explain the rules again.

Well, I didn’t get to participate at all because chat did all the work for me but hey, at least the weebs get to hear my voice hahaha.

Event 2: Cosplay Academy II aka Selfie 101. This course is being taught by Maria Song, an all-around selfie-taker, cosplayer, and a kiddie party performer. She’s cosplaying as Seraphim of League but I am getting ZombiiUnicorn vibes on this one (and she sounds like Alodia).

This is more one of those “I’m not a cosplayer but this is interesting” parts of the convention. Selfies have become a thing since the 2010s and it has been a great marketing tool for cosplayers.

Another thing that Maria pointed out is planning, aka planning everything in your shoots but not to the point of copying someone else’s work.

Other tips mentioned by Maria were more into the makeup territory and also, knowing what camera to use would work, especially with smartphones. Also, getting in the mood works, as I’ve said, “you just don’t have to look like Goku, you have to BE Goku”.

Event 3: Cosplay Auction Online II. I’ve said what I’ve said on Day One.  I’ll let this pass, it’s Christmas after all.

The lobby chat had their fun, for some reason, from giving a Kizuna Ai cosplayer the Kizuna Ai plushie to requesting feet pics from the bidder, TinoToys. I’m sorry about that.

Also, most of the items are from the LoveLive! franchise and/or nesoberis but there are some rare items, like a K-ON!! candy case although the candy itself is missing LOL.

Event 4: Gladys A. is back to explain Futekiya’s non-BL cousin, Manga Planet.

It works like it’s cousin and Shueisha’s Manga Plus where the service would release new chapters and manga every month on the site, it’s accessible to any device and all of that stuff but this time, without the BL material.

I am surprised that Sakigake!! Otokojuku was released on Manga Planet instead of Manga Plus.

Doesn’t Shueisha own the license or is this like the Buronson deal wherein the mangaka owns the license to their works?

It turns out, Shuei returned the rights to Miyashita-sensei, so that answered my question.

Event 5: Cosplay Karaoke!! Weebs will sing their heart out and win a prize or something.

I called it when I said one of the songs will either sing A Cruel Angel’s Thesis or Gurenge, and RNGsus didn’t disappoint.

Sadly, I don’t think I enjoyed this, not because of the performances or the presentation but because, except for Tezee, Hohoemi no Bakudan, and some meme songs, I am not familiar with J-music post 2006.

This whole segment though, is objectively the best segment out of all the events on Day 2 with Maria Song and MangaPlanet coming in at close second because again, lobby chat went wild because we’re into guessing what will they sing next.

Event 6: It’s Kael!! It’s gotta be Kae..I’ll shut up now. More cosplay questions for Kael such as cosplay’s greatest appeal, how did cosplaying gave him the confidence to turn it into a money making endeavor (plus gain friends along the way).

His philosophy in being a content creator is simple, “I love gaming, why not make money out of it?”

Just like everybody else, the pandemic has hit him so hard that all of his meets got cancelled out of safety.

He also wants to try brown coffee.

The show ends with the awarding of the winners for Cosplay Karaoke but before that, Christian Mack of arkadymac.com gets a live read because it’s his birthday on New Year’s Eve. One last ad read and the party’s over.


Conclusion

Cosplay Matsuri 2020 is the biggest online convention yet, in Philippine standards. The events are fun as heck and I liked the Discord integration within their event site.

The paywall is a double-edged sword for some as they have to pay to access the site but for Php. 200, this is already a bargain because you’ll be getting a two-day cosplay convention at the comfort of your own home.

It looks like the Cosplay.PH team decided to hide this one on a paywall and in a business sense, that’s pretty much a great way to earn money from us weebs who are starved with a giant convention such as this one although it can be a deal breaker to people who don’t have the disposable income in this time of uncertainty.

Cosplay Karaoke, the two Cosplay Academy segments and the whole Futekiya/MangaPlanet bits were the most entertaining bits for me because they presented something different.

The games are okay, and Matsuri Mask Charades became a fun event because the lobby chat went wild but aside from that, it’s just like that segment in FanFes where they do some TikTok type thing and then they explain their costumes.

If you’re into cosplay conventions, or anime based events in general, this is a great way to end the year.

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