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Playing Dress Up Is Not Just For Kids

Hero for a Day

-by Achim Runnebaum

Spiderman, Superman, Wolverine, Ninjas, etc. We’ve all wanted to be a super-cool hero at some point – to slip into a different role and act out our deepest childhood fantasies being a super hero or villain. I remember the first time I saw Star Wars as a child. It was such a memorable experience that from that moment I was enthralled and wanted to be Luke, or Obi-wan. I grabbed a flashlight and acted out some of the best Lightsaber Battles this side of Endor – at least in my mind. We’ve all done something like that in our childhood, but then the reality of life happened and we grew up. We forgot how much fun it can be to slip into a costume, unbind our minds from the shackles of the ordinary, and act out our innermost hero fantasies.

While for most people, those fantasies stay hidden in the deep recesses of their minds, once a year there’s a chance for people to come to Nagoya, to let loose, get rid of their inhibitions, and act out their fantasies with reckless abandon. I’m talking, of course, about the World Cosplay Summit, which is held in Nagoya, Aichi annually in August.

What started as a small event in 2003 quickly expanded into one of the biggest Cosplay events in the world. It’s a no holds barred comic/manga/superhero extravaganza – a lollapalooza of all things Cosplay. Now people from all over the world fly to this small, little-known city (usually by plane, since the superhuman ability to fly has so far eluded human evolution) to mingle with other cosplayers, and put their admiration for a particular character on display for the world to see, and just for a weekend, this sleepy town becomes the center of attention in the whole world. This year representatives from more than 20 countries are in attendance, showcasing their skills in order to become WCS Champion.
Unlike their manga/anime/comic hero idols however, the contestants have to put in many hours of preparation and practice to make it all the way to Nagoya, Japan. Before they can step on the plane to come here, they need to pass regional qualification events in their own countries first. Only the winners of those events get to come to Japan to compete against other representatives from all over the world.

In other words, this is the Olympics of Cosplay, and we (Japan Daily) will be there, front and centre on August 1st and 2nd this year (2015), to bring you detailed coverage of the entire Championship event – all the fun, excitement, and highlights. This year will certainly be a memorable experience. Seems like the event keeps getting bigger and better. This year, representatives from 24 countries will make the long journey to Nagoya, Japan to participate in the event. Many (re-created) battles will be fought, stories told, and costumes will be presented in all their magnificent splendour. Who will win in the end and become World Cosplay Champion? Come to Nagoya during the first weekend of August and find out.

Here are some photos from previous years.

Enjoy, and hope to see you there this year.

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