Cosplay @ STGCC

Cosplay competitions are becoming quite a staple and highly anticipated highlight of popular culture events and here at the Singapore Toy, Game & Comic Convention, it is no different. With a new set of stricter rules as compared to last year plus an impressive panel of judges, 8 finalist picked from the initial round were set to dress up and impress everyone on stage.

This year 8 contestants were picked for the finals held on the last day of the STGCC 2011 and not only did they represent countries from around the region, but also truly represented what this year’s STGCC hope to do, the meeting of east and west culture.

First up was Kairei who cosplayed as Baby Doll from the popular Sucker Punch movie. From hand made props to an impressive portrayal of Baby Doll’s character and movement, she definitely got the crowd going to a great start to the competition. A special mention to her as well who kept the personality of Baby Doll even till the end of the competition during the prize presentation. Definitely one to look out for.

Next up is Weiqi cosplaying Cybuster from the Super Robot Wars series. Cosplaying mecha characters are never easy as a lot of time and effort needs to go into hunting for the correct  materials to ensure that the final product looks as mechanical as possible. And Weiqi has definitely got it right plus having those lights are a nice touch.

If there was one contestant that really got the crowd’s attention, it has to be Kawaimace who cosplayed Sara Pezzini from the Witchblade series. From getting the scale like armor right to even the movement of the character, Kawaimace has nailed it on stage. And for her convincing performance, she was also awarded a personally signed edition of COSMODE magazine by Jacky Dosai himself.

The monster hunter series is well known to gamers of all platforms and one of its main feature is its huge variety of armors and weapons. This gives cosplayers many many options to choose from and the 4th contestant decided to go with the Dark Akantor armor with dual blades. Being one that is more plate armor like, Nikki has not only gotten the bulky feel right but also nailed  how the movement style of how a character wearing the armor moves about in the game. For this, Nikki won a Haruhi Suzumiya costume from Celebrity Cosplayer, Kipi herself.

Adding to the western cosplay side which is actually how cosplay started (or rather the idea of dressing up like a character from a series) is Yuki cosplaying as Rocket from the movie Sucker Punch. It always nice to see cosplayers doing the non leading character from series and in the case of Rocket who didn’t have long screen time if you watched the move. Nevertheless, great effort from Yuki with her portrayal of Rocket.

A familiar sight to recent pop culture events is Roy donning his War Machine costume from Marvel’s Iron Man series. One look and you can tell a lot of hard work has gone into the costume from the gattling gun on the right shoulder to event the inbuilt lights to simulate the machine gun fire. Add in properly timed music with special effects and you have a top notch performance fitting for an event considering Marvel is represented among the judges.

Up next is another familiar sight at local events with Zoey cosplaying as Valsione from the Super Robot War’s series. Valsione is a very interesting mecha that takes shape of a female human body complete with long hair and a face which can change expression following the pilot’s emotions. Not an easy character to cosplay with the line between human and mecha so thin, Zoey  does quite a good job pulling it off.

Last but not the least we have Zander Valentine donning the Rathian Gunner from the Monster Hunter series complete with the Bowgun weapon. A very impressive performance from staying true to the game like covering the ears when the monster uses the roar skill to the movements with the Bowgun. A nice little touch also with the cat in the pouch. Surely one of the better local monster hunter cosplay around in the local cosplay community.

It was definitely quite a tough fight but there can only be one winner and we have Lance Fensterman from the New York Comic Con to give away the prizes. And doing Singapore proud, we have Zander Valentine and Roy taking 1st runner up and 1st place respectively. Congrats to the rest as well who goes home with a consolation prize.

While it is not officially known if the team behind STGCC 2011 scheduled the cosplay competition on purpose as the last highlight for the entire event but it sure re-enforces the idea of popular culture, East meets West. From having not only both eastern and western characters cosplayed on stage, but it also sees a panel of judges from both sides of the globe.

And of course the crowd was just brilliant as well, filling up the entire place and showing their support for the contestants on stage during their respective performance and adding to the atmosphere. If STGCC 2011 was to end with a blast, this was definitely the way to do it.

Oh and a little something our POPCulture Online photographer came up with (and shared with the other media photogs so everyone in the back can find a shot of it) for all the fans who stayed back after the cosplay competition.

By Kenneth Wong

© POPCulture Online 2011, All Rights Reserved.

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