The closing ceremony of the Rio Olympics went viral due to the Japanese Prime Minister appearing in a Mario costume. Japan may be the birthplace of cosplay,but it is now getting popular all over the world.
While in Rio athletes were competing for a medal, cosplayers from all around the world were competing in the international cosplay festival being held in Nagoya, Japan: The “World Cosplay Summit 2016”.
Cosplayers gathered from all around the world
WCS is an international cosplay event held in Nagoya every year. Cosplayers who love Japanese anime, manga, and games gather from all around the world.
The event started in 2003, and visitors in 2015 reached about 250,000 people. The event is getting bigger and bigger every passing year.
World Cosplay Summit 2016 Trailer
WCS consists of many events. WCS2016 this year was held from July 30 to August 7. These were the main event:
July 30 (Sat.) WCS2016 Opening Ceremony / Lagucos (All Night)
August 2 (Tue.) The Museum MEIJI-MURA COSPLAY
August 5 (Fri.) BRASS Presents Party at Chartered Wedding Hall & Photography Session in Blue Leman Nagoya
August 6 (Sat.) Nishiki Street Red Carpet / Oasis21 special stage / World Cosplay Championship 2016 -1st Stage-
August 7 (Sun.) Osu Cosplay Parade / Oasis21 special stage / World Cosplay Championship 2016 -2nd Stage-
Nagoya was the Venue of the Event
Since most of the highlights were happening during the weekend, Nagoya had to open its gates and become the venue for this event. The town filled with cosplayers. I am sure that passers-by felt like they were drawn into a mysterious world, or that the town was occupied by crazy costumed people. There was no way you wouldn’t fall upon a cosplayer if you took a walk into town.
Various events were also held throughout the town. There were too so many things to see that you had to make a program or else you risked getting lost in town.
Venue 1 :Concert Hall, Aichi Arts Center
World Cosplay Championship 2016
WCS’s main event to determine the world’s best cosplayer.
Venue 2 :Oasis21
Oasis21 special stage
This was the main venue of the event.
Venue 3 : Nishiki Street
Nishiki Street Red Carpet
Cosplayers representing each country walked down the red carpet road.
Venue 4 :SUNSHINE SAKAE
Cosplay karaoke stage
Karaoke competition among cosplayers.
Venue 5 :Hisaya Odori Park
WORlD CONTENTS FORUM
Venue with company booths.
Venue 6 :TV Tower
This was an event where cosplayers from similar anime, manga, and games gathered in one place.
Otamart presents Cosplay flea market
Flea market for cosplayers.
Venue 7 :Osu shopping arcade
Osu Cosplay Parade
Cosplayers walk around Osu city together.
It’s convenient to use the subway to move from Sakae to Osu. One day pass tickets are available at Nagoya Municipal Subway.
You have to give it to the Japanese and their awesome collaboration with the town’s services. They had one day pass tickets with WCS original illustration on them. 20,000 tickets were prepared this year but were all sold out.
The Most Important Events of the WCS
There were many events to see this year. Here is my selection of the three must-see WCS events.
The venue was packed with cosplayers as well as photographers and observers.
There was also a special stage placed in the venue. There were interviews and various talk shows and presentations.
Oasis21 has a roof but it’s a semi-outside building. Inside, the venue was too hot from the crowd and the summer sun. There was a free water service that made sure everyone was properly hydrated. No need to get a heatstroke in the middle of an awesome event, right?
No.3 : Parade
In this parade, all the cosplayers walked down the street in a show of craftsmanship and love for the otaku culture. This parade is one of the must-see events of WCS!
To the question “What do you appreciate from doing cosplay?”, many cosplayers answer “that I was able to meet new friends”.
What I strongly felt during my visit to WCS is that cosplay is a communication tool that transcends any language barrier.
People from various countries were interacting with each other and they were expanding that circle to the world.
WCS was filled with cosplayers’ smiles regardless of their skin color and language differences.