With the success of last year’s edition of International Cosplay Day Singapore or ICDS for short, organisers Neo Tokyo Project has decided to up their game by not only increasing the event area but also to bring in more popular culture related content to fans in Singapore. Covering up to level 4 and 5 of *SCAPE with tons of activities for both fans and visitors to explore and participate in, ICDS 2014 has ambition written all over it.
POPCulture Online’s Kenneth Wong, together with his media content team of Ken Koh, Alex Tan, Felix Chew & Nicholas Kwan heads down to explore the setting inspired by the heroes and villains of Eastern and Western pop-culture that International Cosplay Day Singapore 2014 (ICDS 2014) brings.
Transforming the *SCAPE Ground Theater into a mini convention setting, visitors get to check out booths from Asiasoft showcasing the latest MOBA from Blizzard “Heroes of the Storm”, Armaggeddon gaming products such as mice and keyboards, The Cosplay School together with Brother sewing machines and World Manga Academy while the stage buzzes with performances, games and related activities.
An interesting sight that caught my eye was the presence of other event booths such as the upcoming Singapore Toys Games & Comic Convention which showcases the best of east and west popular culture and GameStart, a new name in the events scene which hopes to bring the excitement of the gaming world to fans here in Singapore. I always believe that no man is an island and to see this applied here is a very encouraging sight.
Moving to the upper floors, visitors are treated to a colourful sight of cosplayers as they pose for photos, interact with photographers and exchange coscards. A growing trend here in Singapore, these local cosplayers not only put in time, money and lots of efforts in getting their costumes but there is also hard work in learning about how best to portray the character in poses and facial expression. *SCAPE is always known to be a place that encourages the youth of Singapore to showcase their talents and chase their dreams and here we find it doing just that.
Not forgetting the various booth areas all the way up to level 5 of *SCAPE where there are merchandise related to anime and popular culture content. Visitors can shop till either they drop or their wallets do. From badges of cute or kawaii anime characters to posters and even figurines, there is always something for everyone. My favorite was the one with all the cute 8bit inspired objects and characters but by the time I was done covering the stage, the cute squirtle-like one was gone. Darn…
ICDS 2014 also sees two big names in the cosplay community grace the event with Kamui and Dat-Baka coming down to the excitement of cosplay fans. From holding meet and greet sessions to giving workshops and panels to those interested in learning how to make armor and keeping themselves fit, the screaming fans and happy faces after getting an autographed poster says it all. Do stay tuned for our interviews as we talk to both Kamui and Dat-Baka about their cosplay journey.
Another big name for ICDS 2014 is the critically-acclaimed photographer Jay Tablante, who infuses his passion for comic books into the stunning images he creates. From holding a special studio photography workshop for legendary ticket holders to showcasing his works and even spending time to speak to local photographers, Jay definitely adds that special bit of sparkle to event.
What’s a event with a name that says cosplay in it without more event more cosplay as the stage comes alive with not one but three cosplay centric events. From the Cosplay Runway where cosplayers showcase their hard work to the Cosplay Talent Showcase where cosplayers put up entertaining performance for everyone, you can feel the whole stage area fill up with excitement and appreciation for the cosplayers on stage.
Add in the 4th Annual Cosplay Chess segment where the audience play a direct role in affecting the outcome of the battles on stage, it is no wonder the whole stage area was as the Chinese idiom goes, people mountain people sea (人山人海). A special mention also to the extremely entertaining host of Hades and Hades, the team of cosplayers and not forgetting the stage ninjas who worked hard behind the scene. I hear that everything is not scripted so the ability to react on the spot to the ever changing situation deserves two thumbs up.
If anything, ICDS 2014 proved that it is possible to run a for fans by fans event. Sure it is not going to rank up yet against the bigger names in the popular culture event scene but if I were to give a grade based on effort and the dedication that the Neo Tokyo Project team has put into ICDS 2014, it has to be a high distinction and no less. I look forward to next year’s ICDS and await the day that International Cosplay Day Singapore will be a name among the big players in the popular culture events scene.
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