The biggest Cosplay Tournament in the country will happen in Cosplay Mania X at the SMX, SM Mall of Asia, on October 2-3, 2010. There’s a national cosplay contest division called Cosplay Tournament of Champions (TOrCH) where Regional Qualifying rounds were held in six major cities in the country: Cebu, Davao, Cagayan De Oro, Clark, Baguio, and Manila. One winner is chosen from each venue and all Regional Qualifiers are to compete in the “nationals” on October 3, 2010 (second day of Cosplay Mania X).
The Manila Leg Winners
I was at SM Manila yesterday (Saturday, September 25, 2010) to see what actually happens during the qualifying round. There were 14 hopefuls and the stage presentations were a treat to see. Since only 45% of the contest criteria is allotted for costume detailing and craftsmanship while 40% is set aside for Performance and the remaining 15% for overall impact, winning is practically anybody’s game. The team to represent Manila portrayed Star Ocean’s Arumat (cosplayed by Paul Martin San Diego) and Faize Beleth (cosplayed by Kenji Matsushita), two less commonly attempted cosplays from what I have observed from other local tournaments in the past.
Paul’s costume detailing was top notch from the wig, clothes, shoes, and down to Arumat’s weapon, the scythe. Kenji’s sword and over all look, notwithstanding the wig that fell off during the stage presentation was well pulled off. Both their body frames made the cosplay convincing. Their presentation material’s story line and accompanying BGM was well thought out, complete with two stage hands in black to help them out in some scenes.
Below’s a video capture of the winning team’s presentation. For those with fast internet connection, choose to watch in HD for the full experience (you may view the other photos below first while you let the video buffer). The original BGM used by Paul and Kenji during the contest was used to enhance the sound quality of this vid (via audio overlay), for your added enjoyment. (If you are reading this article from an Email RSS, chances are you will not be able to see the youtube video below)
Photos Onstage and the Perimeter Scene
I don’t know with the rest of the audience but, as an onlooker, I had a hard time guessing who the judges would choose to represent Manila in the National TOrCH cosplay finals. Would they be more inclined to just look at the costume or observe the original criteria as prescribed? There were several intricately designed cosplays, overwhelming mechas, precise attempts at duplication, and really good performances of the 14 who joined. After hours of waiting, when Team Star Ocean was announced (this is Kenji’s first cosplay and the first time for both Paul and Kenji to win a cosplay tournament), in my mind I was like YOU GUYS GOT THAT RIGHT!!1one
So, Star Ocean fans, are you excited to see Arumat and Faize on the stage during the finals? You may NOT see those characters during the championships because, like all other regional contestants, everybody is being given an option to perform as characters other than the ones they won the regionals with. I hope that Team Avatar and Team Black Rock Shooter would stick with theirs. The suspense makes going to Cosplay Mania X even more compelling, don’t you think? ;)
See you on October 2-3 in CosMania X! Below are some more photos from the TOrCH Manila Preliminaries 2010. (Left click on a thumbnail to see the full-sized image. Some photos may take a third click to load correctly. Thanks!)