hejinglan: Abra dozing off. (gintoki reading manga)
[personal profile] hejinglan in [community profile] taiwanderland
If you haven't guessed by now, you should know that Sara and I are both total 宅女 (also known as "otaku"). One of the geeky activities we like to participate in is Cosplay, in which one spends a ridiculous and unjustifiable amount of time and money dressing up as fictional characters from anime, manga, movies, and/or video games, all in the name of good fun. So when we heard that a comic exposition, dubbed Fancy Frontier, was being held at our doorstep, we couldn't help but check it out and catch a glimpse of the cosplay scene in Taiwan.
So, does Taiwan know cosplay?



We arrived around noon on the second day at the NTU Sports Center Gymnasium (台大綜合體育館, also known as "that huge domed building on campus"), where Fancy Frontier was being held. As we wandered about trying to figure out where and how to register to get inside, we got excited seeing a few cosplayers in colorful getups here and there.



The crowd was sparse at first. I suspect many people were either getting lunch or had yet to arrive.


Near the entrance to the stadium, we spotted a cute One Piece group.


Heading around to the "back" of the building to get registered, we ran into Kagura and Shinpachi from Gintama!

We finally found the window to register at, and after a small price of 150 NTD (that's just under $5 USD), we were each given colorful grab bags containing our tickets, a map of the vendor's hall, a poster, and a Fancy Frontier magazine. We then gave our tickets to the people at the door, got our hands stamped, and headed inside to check out the vendor's hall.



Photography is frowned upon in the vendor's hall, so I just snapped a quick shot to show the size and crowd.

There were quite a lot of people, both vendors and customers alike. Unlike typical American conventions, most of the items being sold were handmade as opposed to commercial items such as plushies, action figures, wall scrolls, etc. Doujinshi (self-published graphic novels) were also quite common, as well as fan-made art prints and posters. The level and skill of the fan art I saw was quite high compared to the United States.



People gathered around a stage in which small events were being held, such as showcases and contests. The people here had to quickly assemble a Naruto puzzle to win a prize.


The vendor tables were aligned quite close together with barely enough room for two lanes of traffic, but nevertheless we somehow managed to see nearly all of the tables. There were also a few "official" booths near the front stage promoting the newest fantasy online game as well as what appeared to be a rhythm game in development featuring Vocaloid characters.


We then headed back outside to find that the numbers had picked up quite a bit.


A fantastic Sailor Moon group!


Sometimes even more amusing than the cosplayers themselves were the hoards of photographers each vying for a shot.

The photographer-to-cosplayer ratio seemed quite high, and often the cosplayer or group would be stuck in one place posing for long periods of time. To combat this problem, some cosplayers would have a friend or assistant count down from 5 to 1 after some time had passed in which the cosplayer would stop posing and the photographers would stop taking photos. The photographers were generally polite and respectful of this and would bow with the quick "謝謝 xiexie" before moving on.



Vocaloid characters were extremely popular, with both standard and alternative outfits.


I was happy to see several Gintama cosplays despite its declining popularity in Taiwan. These are alternative outfits of Kagura and Okita.


Girls wearing 旗袍 qipao.


A Pikachu kigurumi. Cute!


Noo, little Naruto! These kids were adorable and were having a blast with all of the attention. After taking this picture the little Naruto went and playfully attacked his mom with his little plastic kunai, hahaha.


Kuroshitsuji cosplay. Very intricate.


Sengoku Basara cosplayers with some nice armor.


I was quite impressed by the politeness and professionalism of these cosplayers. This one, including many others, responded to my gratitude with a smile and bow before resuming their poses for the next photographer.


Love Machine from Summer Wars. Nice mask! Nice torso, too. XD


Surprised to see a cute Saiyuki group.


Summer Wars group. Very cool!


Profile of a Sengoku Basara cosplayer using his own sprayed and styled hair as opposed to a wig.


A timid Miku Hatsune from Vocaloid.


A Slam Dunk group relaxing on the stairs. We later saw them having their own photoshoot on the basketball courts on campus.


I bothered this Lightning cosplayer for a photo as she was chatting with some friends but the lighting and environment was too perfect to pass up.


The weather was overcast for most of the day but the sun peeked out just long enough to cast some nice diffused light for this shot.


Interesting pair of cosplayers posing on the stairs.


His large weapons were impressive albeit a bit difficult to fit in my viewfinder.


Another adorable Gintama omake pair. You could tell they were having a lot of fun. Oshiete, Ginpachi-sensei!


More impressive cosplays from Final Fantasy XIII, Fang and Vanille this time. Unfortunately I couldn't get a good angle due to the huge crowd of Cameko.


The cosplay photography culture seemed slightly different than what I was used to in the states. Although many seem unopposed to posing when asked for a photo (while of course respecting common decencies such as not disturbing them for a photo if they seem engrossed in something else or are taking a break), the most common scene went sort of like this:

1. Cosplayer(s) are asked for a photo or just start posing.
2. Photographer takes a photo or two, expresses a quick "thanks" then leaves.
3. Other photographers start to convene until a large group is formed.
4. Sometimes the cosplayer will become "stuck" in one spot due to the greater number of photographers stopping to take photos than the ones leaving. In this case, they either wait until everyone has finished (if the crowd is smaller) or have a friend count down from five in which all photos must stop so the cosplayer break their pose and rest.

I also discovered (by accident) that if you jump into a smaller group of photographers as the crowd is dispersing and the cosplayers are still willing to hold their pose, you are more likely to get a more "personal" shot as they will likely look at the camera of the Last Cameko Standing. However, I wouldn't recommend doing this often as it is sort of rude to stake out a spot for a long period of time, thus keeping other photographers from getting shots or otherwise making the cosplayers hold a pose until they're fatigued.




An example of what I mean. However, with a little patience the crowd will eventually subside.


After a while I was able to get a decent 3/4 view of this Touhou group!











Hetalia was another popular cosplay, as well as Hetalia merchandise dominating most of the vendors' hall.


This cosplayer rocked my camera with amazing modeling. Almost every picture I snapped was a keeper!


RE: Rocking it so hard! 太棒了!


An "assistant" friend would occasionally come up and fix the wig, etc. It was cute.


Many cosplayers utilized cute props along with their cosplays, like this girl and her plastic beetle.


This cosplayer used makeup to enhance her "assets" but I thought it was a little unnecessary. A beautiful costume on its own!


Boa Hancock from One Piece.


I'm sure you all know who these guys are. But I found the addition of extra props made this common cosplay all the more fresh and unique.


Somewhat uncommon characters from a popular shounen title, Hiyori (left) and Shinji (right) from BLEACH.


Shana from Shakugan no Shana, eating her signature favorite snack, meronpan ("melon bread").


This cosplayer appears to have used foamboard to make her armor, a popular choice for lightweight yet realistic-looking plate armor.


I forgot these characters' names, but they are from Vocaloid. Judging from the flag, possibly some "Love is War" version?


Although not as crazy as some things I've seen gone down at American conventions, I was still glad to see some shenanigans among the cosplayers.


These three girls had a seemingly inexhaustible ability to stay posed. I left for a while and wandered around a bit but they were still at it in the same spot when I got back.


More Vocaloid. The bright, saturated colors of their wigs are quite shocking!














Prince of Tennis group.


Another Natsuki from Summer Wars.











A large group from the DS game Inazuma Eleven.


From Black Rock Shooter.








Impressive armor and props; also using the "shoe cover" technique.


More (blurry) Miku.



In conclusion, I think the only words that can describe Taiwanese cosplayers are 厲害! If you get the chance, I would highly recommend going and seeing one for yourself, even if you aren't a huge fan of anime or manga. As far as I know, you don't need to pay to roam the outside area and take photos of cosplayers; you just need to pay if you want to check out the vendors' hall (and the price is usually nominal). For information on upcoming anime conventions in Taiwan, this site has it all: comic.com.tw (only in Chinese, but a translator can be used to get the gist of things if your Chinese is not up to par.)

Next up is the bigger ComicWorld Taiwan '26 on Dec. 11-12 at the same venue, the National Taiwan University gymnasium located on Roosevelt Rd. (臺灣大學體育館:臺北市羅斯福路四段一號) Check out those links for more information. Sara and I will be there taking photos and browsing the racks (unfortunately probably not in cosplay as our studies are keeping us too busy).

For those who can make it, hope to see you there!

---Lara
嵐嵐



---


***SPECIAL NOTE: THANK YOU EVERYONE! 感謝大家! To everyone who keeps up with our blog: thank you for your continued support! Please excuse the sparing updates as we are busy with schoolwork and it takes several hours to write one up. We appreciate your comments, feedback, and suggestions so we know our work is of some use or entertainment to someone out there. Let us know if you have any questions we might be able to answer, an experience to share, just some random nonsense that popped into your head, or if you want to see embarrassing, potentially incriminating and/or inappropriately shoopable outtake photos, like that one time I tried to eat a pear as large as my face and Sara released her deeply melancholic pop ballad Greatest Hits album. Nothing is too silly, too serious... or sacred).

More photos can be found on our Flickr. Until next time...

SogeQueen

on 2010-12-07 04:40 am (UTC)
Posted by (Anonymous)
Now I know the bird-head and bee cosplayers are from Arakawa under the Bridge!! Awesome!!!!!

on 2010-12-14 06:13 am (UTC)
sinatra: Kenzi curled up on the couch in a pile of pillows, drinking straight from the bottle. (:my life. // kenzi)
Posted by [personal profile] sinatra
so these are all ~*amazing*~
and that's really all I have to contribute to this post

on 2011-01-23 07:09 pm (UTC)
Posted by (Anonymous)
I just stumbled over this blog entry because I searched some Summer Wars Cosplayers :3

I would like to thank you for the many pictures and infos about Taiwanese Cosplay scene ^^
Actually I plan to write my thesis about Cosplay so every little bit pieco of information helps!

I'm suprised by how professional all those cosplays look O_o do you know somekind of percentage how many buy them or make them themselfs?

Since I'm a little bit reculant to give out my mail adress
Maybe you have Cosplay.com? There I'm rumi-hinata or if you have cure.cos there I'm rumi_orange~
so maybe you could contact me over this? If its not possible there is no helping it XD I took my chance~

Thank you very much in advance,
Rumi

greetings!

on 2014-06-06 10:46 am (UTC)
Posted by (Anonymous)
hello!! i really like an anime and hoping to join the cosplay..may i know when and where i gonna go to see/join that events?pls reply

Re: greetings!

on 2014-06-07 09:28 pm (UTC)
jingning: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] jingning
Hi there! First of all, thanks for reading our posts! By the way, I'm assuming you're looking for cosplay events in Taiwan since this is a blog about that. :P We're no longer living in Taiwan but I think we can still help.

Can you read traditional Chinese characters? If so, for information on upcoming anime conventions in Taiwan, this site has it all: comic.com.tw
The website lists whether or not cosplay is allowed ("Cosplay可") along with dates (descending order) and venues. I don't know of any English or other language versions of this website.

Hope this helps and have fun cosplaying!

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taiwanderland: Sara and Lara outside National Palace Museum (Default)
何靜寧 & 何靜嵐 --- Sara & Lara

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