Monday, June 20, 2011

Where Is It Going?

This is something that has been bothering me for some time but I had to put it aside as my exam was around the corner. The topic is so broad that I had trouble finding a beginning to it. Let's see...I've been minding my own business, cosplaying to my liking until recently when I received an invitation to a so-called-cosplay-competition in  a CLUB followed by Sepang Circuit. This was done under the flag of 'Femme Fatale'. Now, even the name was suggestive so I checked out their FB page. I RAGED. The terms and conditions were bullshit, it has nothing to do with cosplay but rather some night club beauty pageant concept. Since they have deleted their page shamelessly, I can't copy the terms and conditions or whatever that happened there. 

Nevertheless, I see the beginning of cosplayer exploitation. Basically, the entertainment world is beginning to see cosplayers in the arena. They have their own costumes, own wigs and own make-up so it's rather cost-saving when it comes to hiring them. I remember modeling was once not so screwed up until there was a massive entrance of girls dreaming to become models. As the number grew without proper regulations, there were people who took advantages of the situation. Same thing might just happen to cosplay if there is no proper umbrella to protect this community. As we can see, more and more people are joining cosplay and some of them are really young. Already there are many who termed cosplayers as models :( are we? That takes us back to the foundation of the matter, what is the definition of cosplay? Is there a proper guideline in differentiating cosplay and cosdress? I really hope the cosplay community will continue to grow here but in the healthy direction. 

Can't compare these! 

As we discuss onward, more issues arise. We see that there were people who go against cosplay but I am aware that this happens everywhere included Japan itself. One of the arguement we had in the Femme Fatale page was that some of them came up with such formula:

Cosplay = influencing young people 
                      = traitor cuz it's Japanese culture 
                                 = gejala sosial (premaritual sex, teenage 
          pregnancy et cetera)

1. Yes, cosplaying is influencing young people but I don't think there is age limits for cosplay. It is open for all who have the interest for cosplay. Cosplaying did influence me, it influence me to spend my time improving various skills rather than to burn my eyes playing PC games. We were practically tailors, make-up artist, cobbler and armor makers in a way! Isn't it better for the young people to spent time harnessing their skill in those area rather than lepak-ing, rempit-ing and to the extreme level, vandalism. Dang, feels like I'm writing an essay back in high school :s

Gejala lepak. How can cosplay relate to this?? Well if one wants to put it that way, the cosplayers 'lepak' during cosplay events only at the designated areas.

2. Then, there are people who thinks that they are wasting their money or their parent's money on cosplay. Seriously, if they can buy means they can afford la. Why want to care about how people spend their money if they have? PSP is money too, holidaying around the world is money too, branded clothes are money too. Anything can be blamed duh. Spending too much time on PC games, wasting money on electricity as well. So I concluded this point by saying, wasting money is a vague argument. Even a hobby such as painting and collecting stamps cost money so what gives?  

3. The gejala social part was an open highway to be shot. Harlew, gejala social in this country started how long ago? Checking on the chronology, the blame was first placed on Japanese dramas, then Bollywood movies followed closely by Korean dramas. Blames were also placed on foreign artist who performed in malaysia. sense alone is not strong enough to ignite massive HIV positive (by the way, this is largely due to lack of education and protective measures), prostitution, domestic violence, unwanted pregnancy and murders. Remember the acid splashing guy on the loose? What is the odd he is interested in cosplay? Really, I hope people can establish a more reliable pathway to a phenomenon before lashing out such formula. Takkan majulah jika sentiasa menyalahkan orang lain tanpa mencermin diri.

4. About this Japanese culture thing, it's rather sensitive since it's often related to the history despite it being so FREAKING MERLIN'S BEARD long ago. Then again, it Japanese culture is so revolting, might as well despise their technology as well - reject their cars, food products, phones, electrical stuffs :s yet another vague argument. Tea ceremony? Origami? Have you been to Bon Odori? Check it out. It's really an amazing sight to catch. Again, check things out with an open mind to broaden your understanding on things.

Later on the discussion gets more absurd involving religion and race. I shall leave that out for those shallow people to knave. I felt the burden to convey such because I am part of the community, therefore I care. I sincerely hope that cosplay can be a healthy hobby, a passion rather than what people call a freak and what's not. Like a taboo of cervical cancer vaccine and  electroconvulsive therapy, the public ought to be educated on what is cosplay and what it is not to differentiate between myth, facts and personal prejudice.

I really love cosplaying and I find joy in it, meeting people from various background, race, religion and walks of life yet having the same interest. The unity within it, is really beautiful. Can you see it? No? Come and join us then, take a look for yourself. It's always easier to throw judgement and hate things you do not know as the saying goes: men fear the unknown. Hence, do find out more about cosplay. Check various reliable resources rather than just a personal opinions such as mine. One can then presents better argument when he or she has the knowledge on what ground is he or she arguing. Regards. long...lazy to proof read. Pardon the grammar errors~

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Hari Belia: Cosplay Competition

Yosh, Hari Belia took place in Putrajaya (covering vast area, not sure which location to name) on 27th to 29th of May. The cosplay competition took place on Sat and Sun. The stage was set up outdoor and thank God, I cosplayed as Ashura (windy xp). Hmmm...let's see. It began with a full weekends ahead with cosplay events. I've messed up the dates for Hari Belia and Hari Membaca which was a week a part. I ended up knowing I had to join a competition in 24hours time. Hence, I had to abandon my initial plan cuz costume tak siap!! Anyway, the toughest part was getting helper at such short notice. Cutting the story short, I got Sparda to help out on day 1 and Anthony Lee (yes, that photographer) on day 2. Lolz...less than 2 hours of practice. Luckily I've always had this spare Bleach-like yuktatta in my closet for Sparda to put on  for the first skit. Day two rushed to MV for cloth and hand-sewn two 'priest' robe. Orz...almost died. After two skits which was planned  within 10 minutes, I had to retire my Ashura sword as it had suffered much damage. All in all, it was a good competition. It has been awhile since I do my thing on stage. It felt...scary.

Just like any other event, I learnt something from each participation. Many thanks to Sparda who made time to help out and biggie thanks to Anthony for being so supportive and resourceful. T.T thank you guys... Though this competition, I get to hang out with some of the cosplayers that I seldom meet as well :) Arisa, Kumiko, Totodile-chan and Jared were there to chair the event whilst Ayase, Will Wee and Jaslyn were the judges. Ezli and Alan Chin were the photographers I recognize. Many more were these, couldn't name them all though ><  I admit, I'm bad with names! Hopefullt the links to the pics will let you guys know who were there: thanks Ezli!
Link to photo album: Ezli: Cosplay-Fun
Link to video: Day 1 RG Veda

Put that aside, there were many activities held for the youth in conjunction with Hari Belia: dance competition, singing competition, art display, photography competition, graffiti, makan, minum, yo yo competition. One complain though, the toilet was awful. Not only was it dirty, the users were irresponsible. It wasn't flushed, there were wet tissues all over the floor, there were menstrual blood stains. Worst of all, the don't have the courtesy to queue for the toilet, adult and young alike. Disappointed...this does not reflect too great of the golongan belia :( Yup, my only complain. No harassment by the public though. Thank God :) hopefully the public will embrace cosplay in a healthier way. Wanna see the cosplay community in Malaysia grow