Montag, 24. Oktober 2016

World Cosplay Summit 2016 - Part 5: Day 2 Omotenashi Day

With Eriko chan and Yuuka chan our students.
As I mentioned in a prior post. Omotenashi is a student cooperation, consisting out of students, who supports the representatives during their stay in Nagoya in all matters.
Normally you get 1 Student per Team. Due to certain circumstances we got 2, Yuuka chan and Eriko chan.
We already told them before departing to Nagoya, what we would like to do.
Chiko really wanted to go to the Pokemon center and Onsen and I wanted to go to the Penguin cafe.
Before meeting her we practiced in the park and checked our championship stuff again.
Most of the teams went sightseeing at the Nagoya castle or shopping at some Otaku stores in Nagoya.
I guess all teams went to the Pokemon center.

At the Onsen
Onsen seemed to be like the most unusual request. In Nagoya is a very nice and big Onsen spa named "Canal Resort". They have nice facilities and a really great outdoor area. It is actually the biggest and most famous Onsen resort in Nagoya.

Because we both love Onsen out student took us there and relaxed with us together in the really nice outdoor Onsen.
We also went to the Pokemon center and met Team South Korea.
Chiko only bought Raichus and I bought only Plinfas. <3
We have been at a Pokemon center several times before, so for us it was nothing new.

But when I went there the first time I was so overwhelmed, how many great Pokemon stuff they offer for a very reasonable price. It´s really the heaven of every Pokemon fan!
Making Okonomiyaki
In the evening we went to get some Okonomiyaki and met Team France, and the Alumnis from Denmark and Mexico.
Yuuka chan and Eriko chan also showed us how to make Okonomiyaki by ourselves. It was very interesting and a great experience.
Had fun at Nagoya

Donnerstag, 20. Oktober 2016

World Cosplay Summit 2016 - Part 4: Day 1 Laguna Ten Bosh and Welcome Party

Laguna Ten Bosh
Finally the first event! I was so excited!
We went to Laguna Ten Bosh for the opening ceremony at the new opened flower lagoon. Laguna Ten Bosh is an amusement park. They have rollercoaster’s, carousels, a big pool, a beach, illumination shows and a flower lagoon.
Normally its not allowed to make pictures there, but at this day the Cosplayers were allowed to make pictures as they like. It was also allowed to go into the water and to make photo shootings in the rides itself during certain times. The Location was very unique and perfect for Cosplay shootings.

I knew quite early that the opening ceremony will be at the flower lagoon so we chose this version of Love Live for this event.
Because in Japan it’s prohibited to go in costume to the events, we chose costumes which don’t take a long time to change. We also chose some for the outdoor events where you can use a fan as an accessory, because it was just hot outside!

Our costumes for the Laguna Ten Bosh even

In the changing room
We departed divided into 2 buses (block a bus and block b bus, the blocks and appearing number was always the same as in the championship), played a lot of Pokemon go and arrived after about 1 hour drive.

They started with a short briefing about the WCS and the following schedules. The problem was that we departed to late and needed to cut time.
That’s why we only got a briefing about today and have been told that we will get most of our schedules the night before the next day.
Afterwards we made make up and changed in our cloths, got into the bus and arrived in the back of the flower lagoon.

Lining up
We waited there, lined up in front of the water lagoon and got some balloons.
Actually no one told us what to do, only that there would be an opening ceremony.
The host tried to tell us in Japanese that we should say the phrase "Cosplay everywhere" and release the balloons in our hand when she counts till 3.

That’s why you might find a lot of pictures with confused looking Cosplayers, because most of them cannot speak Japanese. XD After some more communication we managed to release the balloons.

After some speeches, the cutting ceremony followed and we had some hour’s free time.
A wall of photographers were taking pictures of the opening ceremony (my first time seeing so many photographers in front of one motive, I later learned that this was nothing…) and also continued to make pictures of the Cosplayers.
Making pictures
The Cosplayer just stands in front and the photographers are lining up in order to make a picture. After a short thank you and Coscard exchange the next photographer takes pictures of you.
The simple and Japanese way of making pictures.

Cosplayers making pictures
After making some pictures at other spots of the lagoon, we had a look around with Iris and Patrick (our organizer), Team China and Japan, had some ice cream and enjoyed the park. We also met our 2nd Omotenashi student Yuuka chan who always cared about us for drinking enough and finding the places.

After walking back to the changing rooms, we changed and prepared ourselves for
the welcome party.
The welcome party is organized by the Omotenashi students. The Omotenashi students are cooperation of students who are supporting the representatives in all matters during their stay in Nagoya. They care about your wellbeing showing you around and if you need something they give their best to help you. Yuuka chan and Eriko chan were our students, who took really good care of us.
The Omotenashi students organized and collected the money for the welcome party at Laguna Ten Bosh.
The welcome party
The food was really delicious and it was really fun to spent time and talk with the other representatives, organizers and Alumnis.
I don’t know why, but we didn’t got any chairs for the tables. And the tables weren’t that high you could stand in front of them.
So we decided to sit on the ground. Looks funny? It was funny!
Sitting at the ground
After the welcome party we had some time to visit the 1.000 sunny, the ship from One Piece. It was a great experience to be at a full size ship of an Anime you love! We had a lot of fun!
1000 Sunny
Inside of the ship
After a long day we arrived in the Hotel and went to bed.

Shiroku live at MCM London!

I am so happy to announce, that I will be at the MCM London from the 28th to 30th October this year!
It will be my first time in the UK and I am already so excited to meet everyone!
You can find me at the Pop Asia Stage!

~> Friday at 16hr<~ Panel about Cosplay in Japan
~> Sunday at 13hr<~ Concert and Signing session

If you have time, please have a look. *o* Iam happy to see you there!


Mittwoch, 19. Oktober 2016

World Cosplay Summit 2016 - Part 3: Departing and Arriving

I could luckily finish all my costumes a month before departing. So everything I did was just planning and packing until we could finally depart.

With our 3 big suitcases, 1 roll, 2 hand carries we went to the airport, checked our stuff in and got rebooked into a flight going 1 hour earlier than expected. …
I am very happy that I am used to flying and know the airport. So we could rush there without problems.
Chiko also had troubles checking in into her flight from Tokyo to Nagoya.
This is also why we couldn’t sit next to each other at both short flights.

Our baggage
In Frankfurt we got a snack, played Pokemon Go and tried to get a boarding ticket for Chiko. We still don’t know what happened but it seemed that it was quite difficult to check Chiko in… (She also had problems at the flight back to Germany).
Finally we could board the airplane to Tokyo.
Normally the German Team flies with their organizer. But due to some booking issues our organizer booked a flight for an earlier date.
After some movies, ice cream and a lot of really bad sleep I had to fight for my immigration card as always(The stewardess always thinks I am Japanese… I am a German potato…).
If you have a domestic connecting flight in Japan you first need to immigrate, get your baggage, go through customs and check in again.
We were 30 minutes to late and had 1 hour until departure.
Again we were rushing. Because our roll was special size baggage, we waited a long time to pick up our stuff…
I was very happy that I could explain the customs quickly, why we have this odd size baggage….
After checking in our stuff again we boarded the bus to the domestic terminal.
And voila Team Canada where standing directly in front of us. That was a very funny coincidence.
After going to the gate and boarding we said bye till Nagoya.

With our Canadian candies *o*
After some make up XD
But they where sitting directly next or behind us. Out of 200 passengers Team Canada and Germany had seats next to each other. :) It was a fun flight with both of them.

We knew that a camera team will be waiting at the airport that’s why we changed our cloths and put on some make up, so we won’t look like zombies after a 16 hour trip. This is why we were the last one picking und our baggage and the stewardess where running around with our stuff, panicking and searching for us. ToT I am still sorry for her…

With our organizer Patrick
At the arrival our organizer team Patrick, Iris, Laura and Mo were already waiting for us. The team took some pictures, filmed us and made a small interview.
Afterwards our Omotenashi student Eriko chan greeted us and showed us the meeting room (I would more call it a baggage storage room XD). We left our stuff there and went to dinner with Team Canada and Brazil at the airport.
Interview at the airport in Nagoya
Afterwards we boarded the bus and checked in into our Hotel, where we got a loooooot of stuff. Next to the Omotenashi pack (with a wigstand, a small pampflet with all students, a bag and tea) we got our passes, food cupons, T-Shirts and our savior, the 2 GB internet Simcard!
Our room was just amazing and very spacy. We were kind of lucky. Normally the teams stores their baggage in an special room, because the rooms are normally very small.

Our Omotenashi bags
Our presents in our room from the International Hotel Nagoya
Our Simcards, passes and more
So we just throw everything into the corner, checked our championship costumes and prepeared everything for the next day (we put everything into the hand carry so it was just taking everything out).
Luckily our costumes survived the trip and we could go shopping for the next day.

Japanese summer is very hot and humid.
This year we had luck and it was quite nice. Someone told us, that the weather 2015 was about 10°C and 10-20% humidity more.
But I still wanted to buy icespray, icesheets, wiping sheets, icepacks and blotting paper. It was the best decision ever and really saved us. Blotting paper is a bless and these ice sheets are the best invention ever!!
The bought more and more during the whole trip. It really helps to endure this summer heat of 30°C-40°C.
After this long arriving day we went to bed and were sleeping like a dead stone.
We finally arrived and the adventure finally begun.

Montag, 17. Oktober 2016

Comic World Seoul

Comic World is one of the biggest Anime/ Manga related events in South Korea. The event is held monthly for 2 days in Busan and Seoul at different locations. The concept is based on the Comiket in Tokyo. During the 2 days you can buy Doujinshis and merchandise from Korean circles or companys, watch Cosplay-/ singingcompetitions or just stroll around in your Cosplay and meet friends.

Since I was in Japan and wanted to visit a country I have never been before, I decided to make a side trip to Seoul during the week where the Comic World would be held.
The Comic World Seoul is always held at 2 different locations (Setec and AT center). I visited the one held at the Yangjae Citizen´s Forest Station ATCenter. The location with 2 floors is split into a big entrance hall, a hall with a stage and huge artist alley and a big park.

Of course I also took the chance to Cosplay there. Like in Japan it is not allowed to come to the venue in Cosplay. The event provides changing rooms and a make up room for getting ready.

Outside of the venue
Get in the venue:
But before entering the location you need to buy a ticket at the outside of the venue.
The entrance fee is about 4.000 Won per day, there are no weekend tickets. After getting the ticket you just go the entrance and exchange your ticket to a stamp.
After going through the entrance hall you arrive at the hall with the huge artist alley.

How to Cosplay:
As I mentioned before it is not allowed to come in Cosplay to the venue. You have to change and register yourself as a Cosplayer.
The Cosplay registration system might be quite complicated and unusual for foreigners but I really like how efficient and thoughtful the event handles the process.

1. Fill out the form:
At first you go to the table and fill out the registration form for your Cosplay. You need to write drown your personal dates and also note, which Cosplay you are going to wear.
The registration is completely in Korean. Luckily a good Korean friend accompanied me and helped me in this matter.If you cannot speak or read Korean here a translated version of the form:

2. Register yourself:
Registration desk
Wristband and entrance stamp
After filling out the form you go to the registration table. You give them your form, pay the 1.000 won fee and get a wristband with a number on it. The wristband shows your registration number. If anything might happen they can find your personal dates with this number.

3. Get changed:
After getting the number you go to the changing or the make up room. Because I already did my make up I went directly to the changing room. The make up room is just a huge room where you can sit on the floor and finish your make up. There are no tables, chairs, amenities or mirrors provided. I really got the Comiket feel there. XD
Blue: changing room, pink: Make up room
But instead of a big room the changing room system is different than in Japan.
At the entrance of the changing room you show them your wristband and get a number.
This number is your changing room number.
Number and changing cabin

You go to your own changing room cabin and change. At the entrance of the changing rooms is a big mirror where you can check if everything is in the right place.
Instead of changing in a big room with everyone together you get your own small changing space. After the Comiket I really started to appreciate this! The cabin wasn’t that big but much more space than you normally get in other events in Japan.

Number for the baggage
4. Get ride of your baggage:
After changing you can use their baggage drop service. I really loved that service!
You go to the next counter, grab a big black bag and just put your stuff inside of this bag and close it tightly.
Afterwards you go to the next counter and give them this bag.
In exchange you get a small number, which you need to keep. If you want to get your stuff back, you just show them your number and get your stuff.

If I am right you can get your bag and store your bag as often as you want during the day.
Baggage storage
5. Enjoy it:
After changing and getting ride of your baggage you can stroll around at the venue, go shopping or go outside and enjoy the other Cosplayers.
After enjoying yourself at the event, you take your baggage with your number and change back in the changing room.
Entrance hall
The Venue:
As I mentioned before the venue is split into 3 different sections.
The entrance hall, the main hall (2 floors) and the park.

At the entrance hall you can find the escalators to the 2nd floor, a caterer where you can get some food and drinks, toilets and a lot of Cosplayers sitting and strolling around.
In the summer season Korea seems to be very hot. Inside it is very nice and comfortable due to aircondition.
The main hall at the first floor contains a very huge artist alley where circles are selling their self-made Doujinshis, artbooks or other merchandise at nearly 1.000 booths.

Artist alley

The prices are rather cheap. You can get nice items already starting with about 1.000 won.
In this hall you also can find the main stage. At Sunday the karaoke and Cosplay contests are held there.
There are no chairs but a carpet where you can just sit down on the floor.
The Cosplay contests are quite different than in other countries. At the group performance contests, the people participate with bought costumes, because the performance is more important than the Cosplay itself.
Cosplay Contest
A performance can be about 10-20 minutes long because there seems to be no time limit.

I really enjoyed the show.
Next to the stage is the baggage storage and the changing room for the Cosplayers.
At the 2nd floor is another big artist alley. You also could find some commercial booths of bigger companies.
Behind the building is a huge park where you can find a lot of Cosplayer taking pictures, strolling around or just picnicking.
I got the feeling that buying is rather usual than making your costumes by yourself.
But I found some very very cute Love Live Cosplayers!!

Outside of the venue

Taking pictures:
It is not allowed to take pictures without asking beforehand.
Normally Cosplayers are happy to pose for you especially when they notice that you are a foreigner.
For the artist alley taking pictures are generally prohibit. But if you still want a picture you can just ask them if it´s ok. But some might be not happy about this request.

Personal opinion:
I really liked the experience to Cosplay in Seoul and really like the service for the Cosplayers. They not only provide changing rooms with separated cabins and make up rooms but also a baggage drop. The feeling was very different compared to other events I visited before but I really liked it.

What you need to keep in mind is that it is forbidden to take pictures of Cosplayers without asking them before hand and that it is permitted to go or leave the venue in Cosplay.
You need to register yourself and change at the venue.
You also need to know, that nearly no one can speak English. Some of them can speak Japanese but most of them only speak Korean.
The registration process can be a bit difficult without being fluent in Korean, so I would recommend going with a friend who is fluent.

Foreigners are rather unique there so everyone was staring at me when I talked in English, German or Japanese to my friends. They are just surprised and don’t want to be impolite.
Mostly they are very excited and open to meet foreign Cosplayer and fans. I also had a small chat with some of them in Japanese and got the feeling that it is a very open and warm community.

If you have the chance and like Cosplay or Doujinshis, I definitely would recommend to visit this event once.

Operation hours: Saturday – 11 am to 5 pm/ Sunday 10:30 am to 5 pm
Entrance fee: 4.000 Won per day
Cosplay fee: 1.000 Won per day
Table at the artist alley: about 35.000 won per table and day
(Registration for a table at website directly after the event or at the event at the Artist Alley registration booth)
Location: AT Center or Setec in Seoul, Bexco in Busan

Donnerstag, 13. Oktober 2016

World Cosplay Summit 2016 - Part 2: The Documents

Next to the costumes, preparations and skit, we needed to fill out some forms.
We had about 4 different sheets we needed to fill out.

1. Construction report
2./3. Performance Sheet
4. Costumes
5. Participation agreement
All sheets needed to be sent in 1 month prior of the championship with the finished video file, audio file and original pictures of the characters you are going to Cosplay.

You have about 2 weeks to fill out the most forms (we got the construction report earlier) and you need a lot of information’s regarding your props (size, Kg, pictures) and costumes. This is why we finished all our championship costumes and props, made all pictures, measurements, scripts etc. beforehand so we just needed to copy and paste everything inside.

1. The construction report
The construction report is a power point presentation which you use during the craftsmanship judging in order to present your costume. You are supposed to talk 5 minutes per person about your costume and to use the presentation as support. You can show your finished work in comparison to the original artwork, the materials and the technique you used. It had 3 main sections; Costume, wig and prop. We kept it in the order we wanted to present our costumes and decided to change after each section. The rehearsed a lot, because we were afraid not to finish everything in the time frame. Our report was about 24 pages.

2. The performance sheet->The prop setting
In this sheet you write everything about your props inside; Height, length, wide and weight and a picture. This is necessary, because there are limitations. The staff will check the measurements and weight (incl. the weight of your costume) at the craftsmanship judging day. In this sheet you also fill out where the props should be set at the stage and how your stage setting is at the start of the ski and what will be left after the skit.

3. The performance sheet->The rider
In the rider you write down a short description of your skit and a detail one for the camera setting. You also need to mark where you will stand and where your props will be at which point of your audio. Additionally to that you write down the light setting and the special effects you want to have at a certain moment at your skit.You also write down your phrases in English and Japanese and describe what happens on stage at the certain moment and time code.

4. Costumes
This was the easiest sheet. In this sheet we just wrote down which costumes we are going to wear at which event.
They told us that no changes are possible, because the Cosplayers are going to be announced with their costumes at most of the events.
Actually someone changed his costume without notice before a courtesy visit and it caused a lot of trouble. It happened in front of the Major where a lot of cameras recorded this mistake. Furthermore the press people all wrote down the wrong character name. I guess it was kind of embarrassing for the Cosplayer.
Afterwards they told us, if we need to change a costume, we have to tell the staff beforehand. I guess they accept changes if you notify them in order to prevent embarrassing moments like this.

5. Participation agreement
In this sheet you just sign and agree with the rules of the World Cosplay Summit and the usage of your pictures for promotion purposes.
A lot of teams had troubles to finish these sheets in time, because they weren’t finished with their championship costumes or skit or weren’t prepared for that. A lot of pictures and information’s in detail were required. If you missed to take pictures and gather the information’s, 2 weeks are a very short timeframe. Some of them couldn’t take pictures or write everything down because without finished costumes gathering all these material is nearly impossible.

The most crucial part was the costume construction report.
If you don’t have pictures of a certain technique, because you are not done, you cannot show it to the judges.
Difficult also seemed to the light rider. I am quite used to it because I write light riders every 2 weeks. But I guess for people who have no idea about light setting and effects it can cause trouble.
I prepared everything beforehand and could finish it in 2-3 evenings. I made it in Japanese and English so it was easier for the staff to read our sheets and light rider.
I guess if you are prepared it is quite easy to fill out all these sheets. The preparation itself took hours and hours… I think it was quite tough to finish everything in 2 weeks.