Day 2 at Cosplay Mania 2013 drew in more crowds as the Grand Finals of the Cosplay Solo Showdown, the Cosplay Team Battle, and the Cosplay Tournament of Champions were all scheduled on the last day. Interspersed between the heated cosplay battles were exciting performances by the guest cosplayers, as well as other events such the Costume Building Competition.
But before that, there was plenty of excitement as well in Hall 4, as booth sellers started dropping their prices in anticipation of the con’s final day. Some of the merch that really caught our eye were the original manga in English by Eiwa Manga (not pirated NOPE NO SIR!!!), buy-one-take-one Pocky and Pretz from local distributor Goodway, and the adorable handmade felt creations from Perkee (some for as low as PhP 50 — score!).
Back in Hall 5, the annual singles cosplay competition went through a format change and has morphed into the Cosplay Solo Showdown. The new competition allows participants to enhance their performances with complementary music and backgrounds. This brings a little bit of the TOrCH flavor to the individual competitions, and brings a whole new dimension to the solo cosplay event.
Undoubtedly though, the most anticipated competition in the afternoon’s line up of activities is the Grand Finals of the Cosplay Tournament of Champions. Featuring finalists from all over the Philippines, nine pairs of cosplayers were grilled on craftsmanship and performance by Orochi X, KANAME☆, REIKA 麗華, Goldy, and Jesuke.
When all was said and done, TOrCH 2013 went down the wire as a historic tiebreak was held to determine the Grand Champion between two equally-talented pairs. Team Manila Cuddle Club Buddies Again wow-ed the judges and the crowd with their superior craftsmanship — fashioning a sword that transformed into a spear at a twist of the handle. Team CDO Purple Flurp on the other hand impressed everyone with their use of indigenous materials in creating their costumes.
Tears of joy were shed on all sides as Team Manila was announced the winners of TOrCH 2013, to represent the Philippines in the AFA RCCs. However, as Cosplay.PH Director Pablo Bairan has said, as cosplayers and cosplay fans we are all in this competition as one community, and we should be proud of all our champions. We at the blog personally have nothing but respect and praise for the contestants, who showed not only skill but also heart, and we hope that the winners do us proud in Singapore in a month’s time.
What we didn’t quite like about the closing ceremonies were the calls for members of the general audience to come onstage for a final photo op. It was clearly an attempt to reach out to the fans, however the resulting security nightmare was unnecessary and unsafe for everyone (more so for the overseas guests). A spur-of-the-moment decision like that could undermine all the hard work put into organizing the event, and this is the last thing we’d want to happen.
Those little hiccups aside no event is perfect, but on this scale Cosplay Mania 2013 comes pretty close. I think the only way the organizers can top this next year is if they manage to get a Japanese act to come here and perform — perhaps a group that’s really into the scene (like Golden Bomber?), or someone who is easily recognizable by cosplay fans (say AKB48)? :) Til then, we’re looking forward to another Cosplay Mania in 2014!