Posted by achimrunnebaum on Friday, August 23rd, 2013 (Japan Standard Time)

Hero for a day

Playing Dress up is not just for kids

WCS 2013

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.

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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 early August.

What started as a small event in 2003 quickly expanded into one of the biggest Cosplay competitions 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 for the whole world.  This year, representatives from more than 20 countries were 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 (YokosoNews) were there, front and centre, to bring you detailed coverage of the entire event - all the fun, excitement, and highlights.  This year was certainly a memorable experience.  Seems like the event keeps getting bigger and better each time.  This year representatives from 24 countries made the long journey to Nagoya, Japan to participate in the event.  Many (re-created) battles were fought, stories were told, and costumes were presented in all their magnificent splendour.  In the end, the Italian Team led by Andrea Vesnaver and Massimo Barbera took first place with their performance of Mazinkaiser.  Runners up were America for 2nd place and Thailand for 3rd place respectively.

WCS 2013

In case you missed it, here are the photo galleries from the Red Carpet Parade, the Main Event on Saturday night, and the Osu Street Parade on Sunday.

Hope you enjoy, and hope to see you there next year.  We (YokosoNews) will certainly be back again.

Red Carpet Parade

Main Event

Osu Parade

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Achim Runnebaum
Freelance Photographer, Writer, and Journalist. Achim was born in Germany, raised in the States, and is currently living in Japan.
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