Anime characters came to life at ACG convention Otakyun! 2016
By Danielle Sendou Ringgit and Patricia Hului
@sendouringgit and @pattbpseeds
For those growing up watching anime series and playing video games, Otakyun! 2016 held at Vivacity Megamall was a dream come true as hard core fans got to see their favourite characters come to life during the anime, comic and games (ACG) convention.
Held over the course of two days from December 3rd and 4th, among the highlights of the event was the cosplay competition which was held on the second day of the convention and participated by 12 groups and solo cosplayers.
Coming in first place was the Save Our Soul, Spawn of Satan (SOS SOS) group with their portrayal of the characters from the anime Claymore, a dark fantasy manga series by Norihiro Yagi.
Snatching in second place of the competition was Fii-Nix with their portrayal of the characters from Mystic Messenger, a female oriented mobile game while third place went to Akupo Len portraying the character Kagamine Len from the game Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA.
According to organising chairperson Carol Chin, the participants were judged based on their character portrayal, performances, craftsmanship of their costume and storyline where they would reenacted scenes of their anime characters while mimicking their characteristics.
Otaktyun! Convention had ACG fans coming in from all over Kuching and some even flew in from outside the city purposely for the event.
Justin Hii, 29 from Sibu said the convention was a chance to meet up with old friends.
“It was also for me to make new friends which have similar interest with me,” he said.
With all the attractive activities which the convention had to offer, Hii opined Otakyun! Convention was definitely one of the best conventions he had ever been.
“Personally, I find it is the best ACG convention so far in the Sarawak.”
Looking back, Hii was first interested in ACG when he was young while watching Kamen Rider Black or widely known in Malaysia as Satria Baja Hitam.
He added, “But I was getting more involved during the days when I was studying for my degree in Kota Kinabalu,”
That was when he attended ACG conventions such as Hobbycon and Otafuse which were held in KK.
Hii stated “Why am I interested in this hobby? Because you can learn a lot from the cultural experience,”
“Most of these ACG hobbyists are friendly and willing to help others who are just beginning to go into activities such as cosplaying, card gaming and so on.”
When asked what his top five favourites were, Hii said it was a hard decision.
“My top five is a mixture of anime, live action and comic so if I really need to choose I would pick Magical Girl Nanoha, Kamen Rider, Fate Stay Night, Kimi no nowa (Your Name) and Dr Strange,” he said.
Organised by a group called Anime Gathering (AG) Team, the theme for the two day convention revolved around virtual reality.
“For this convention, the theme that we are going for is the virtual reality theme, where people portray characters that they like from video games,” said Carol adding that the organising committees were the Game Masters (GM) while the volunteers are NPCs (non player characters).
The GM, also known as the referee or moderator is the person who acts as the organizer, officiant for questions regarding rules, arbitrator and moderator for a multiplayer role playing game, while a NPC is a character in a playing game that is not controlled by players but they are crucial to fill in some roles in the game.
According to Carol, AG Team has been organising ACG events since 2007, and the last large scale convention they organised was in 2014 at Boulevard Hypermall.
With about 30 to 40 booths participating for the two day ACG convention, Carol explained that the booths were ‘merchants’ where any activities they had were quests that the visitors had to complete.
Among the quests that the visitors participated in were Dungeon Quest and Side Quests such as stage games and treasure hunt.
Besides the quests, another main attraction for the convention were the visitors and merchants themselves dressing up as their favourite characters.
During the convention, Carol said that they were expecting most of the female cosplayers to dress up as characters from Mystic Messenger, a mobile game by Cheritz and is currently popular among female players.
With about 500 people filling in the Event Hall for the course of two days, Otakyun 2016! was a like a live version of video games jumbled together as visitors got to see their favourite video game characters come to life or even participate in cosplaying.
Besides the characters from Mystic Messenger, other female characters that were present included Dead Master from Black Rock Shooter.
As one of the antagonists in Black Rock Shooter, Dead Master is known for her long wavy black hair, bangs, horns, green eyes and would usually dress in a black Gothic Lolita dress.
Another favourite among the crowds were characters from Sailormoon; Sailor Jupiter and Sailormoon Mercury which were instantly recognisable with their cute sailor outfits and headgear.
Also, with her maid costume, distinctive shoulder length blue hair and bangs that precisely cover her right eye was the character Rem, one of the twin maids from the anime ‘Re:Zero-Starting Life in Another World’, a Japanese light novel series written by Tappei Nagatsuki and illustrated by Shinichirou Otsuka.
The story revolves around the main character Subaru Natsuki who finds himself transported into another world where he meets various characters including Rem and her twin sister Ram.
Other characters that were seen during the convention were Mario from the game SuperMario, No Face from ‘Spirited Away’, and Tobi from ‘Naruto’.
In addition, two professional cosplayers Shin and Miu from Peninsular Malaysia and Vietnam respectively also made a special appearance during the convention.