Comic characters Come Alive at Hong Kong Cosplay Event

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press
Hong Kong

This picture shows cosplayers that attended the BronyCAN convention, where hundreds of fans of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic gathered over the past weekend. (Courtesy: Benjamin Petersen)

This is 'cosplay' at its best.

Enthusiastic fans wear the costumes of an animated character, take on their persona and then it's time to play.

It's an all-singing and dancing affair that originated from Japan and the crowds love it.

Players wear dramatic make-up, elaborate costumes and delicately made props to bring the comic scene alive.

The VENaS sisters are a Japanese girl cosplay quartet. They formed 2 years ago and have gathered fans all over the world.

One of the members, Martha Asahi says it's great to see so many males getting into the spirit.

"In Hong Kong, there are many boys and children taking part in the cosplay events, but in Japan, those who taking part are mainly girls. I can feel the strong power and atmosphere of Hong Kong cosplay events. I am very happy," she says.

Hong Kong's Animation Comic Games Fair is the third largest comic market in the world, after Japan and the United States.

The annual event has attracted more than 700 thousand visitors over the last two years.

The performances have been organised by Spartans Productions.

Chief Executive, Leung Ka-kit, sees great potential of Hong Kong to develop Cosplay even further: "There are many places in Hong Kong to teach cosplay lovers designing skills of making costumes, also it is easy for people to buy materials to make costumes and props in Hong Kong. As I know, people find difficulties in buying materials and cloths in foreign countries, so it is harder for them to make more beautiful costumes, or do it quick."

Not content with just being the host of the cosplay carnival, Leung is also a performer in the team, "Fruit Punch".

"All of my teammates are full-time workers, one or two of them are students. If you ask me how to arrange time to do both cosplaying and working, I am the organiser of the cosplay show, my company mainly works on anything related to cosplay such as inviting foreign guest to perform in Hong Kong, and organising cosplay events. This is my career so I enjoy cosplay very much," he says.

As well as the cosplayers on stage, comic characters come alive everywhere in the fair.

There are also more than 550 exhibitors at the fair which covers more than 170-thousand square metres.

Neko Wong is a 17 year-old student who becomes anime girl Sora Kasugano. She wears a Chinese style dress and is plays with a plush toy. She says she loves the character:

"I can learn make-up and skills like wearing wigs from cosplaying. But the difficulties are combing out wigs and altering the costume if the size does not fit."

Taiwanese cosplayer, Shen Chen is the vice curator of an art museum. The 36 year-old finds cosplays a good way to reduce her stress:

"I think cosplay is my interest. My stress at work is quite heavy, I can develop and express my interest during cosplaying, like the process of making props and costumes. My professional field is art, so I have lots of fun in cosplaying," she says.

The Animation Comic Games Fair runs from 25 July to 29 July at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

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