ASTANA – The COSsummer Almaty Cosplay Festival, held for the 10th time, was an extra special event. The festival attracted a record high number of participants and visitors and gained international status.
“Cosplay is quite popular in Almaty. On average, approximately 400-500 people per day visit the event and about 100-120 people take part in it. Every year, the number of participants increases. COSsummer gathered a record number of participants. There are more people who want to participate, but we have an electronic application form and have to make a strict selection of quality and scenarios to choose the most interesting ones. Nevertheless, we have 27 single cosplayers,” said Tais Tukanova, one of the organisers, reported Kazinform.
For the last decade, Almaty’s cosplay (short for costume play or costume game) fans have joined four times a year to reveal the best. The two-day summer festival is the biggest, brightest and most interesting of the year.
Cosplay aficionados cross the invisible border every day between the virtual and real worlds. They dedicate their lives to animating different characters from computer games, movies, comics, shows, cartoons and anime.
“The participants of the contest prepare their own shows in groups or individually using the images of their favourite characters. They come up with a script, make decorations and sew costumes,” said Semyon Dmitriev, one of the organisers.
The main feature of cosplay is that the person who sewed the costume of his or her favourite character or ordered it in the studio must play the role onstage.
Many male cosplayers of past Almaty festivals have participated and received prizes in such prestigious international festivals as IgroMir and Komikon, held in Russia. The most famous Kazakh cosplayer, Aigera Dunamis, also took part in the Almaty Cosplay Festival.
“Earlier, only cosplayers from Almaty participated in the event. Recently, participants came from Astana. Today, for the first time in the history of the event, guests from Kyrgyzstan came to it,” said Tukanova.
Cosplayers compete in different categories, with visitors and a jury selecting the best performers. Winners get special gifts.
“We have spent 10 years with the cosplay festival organisation supported by a large team of enthusiasts who just like to do such holidays for themselves and spectators, involving young people in an interesting and cognitive process of creativity,” says Dmitriev.
The most popular COSsummer costumes were images of Japanese anime and computer games. Interestingly, with the exception of Spider-Man, comic heroes did not attract the attention of this year’s participants.