Confession time! I didn’t know something like the World Cosplay Summit (WCS) even existed until it was announced that we will be partaking way back in March. I always knew there were championships across the globe where cosplayers could compete, and ultimately be crowned the “best of the best”. But spending 10 days in Nagoya, Japan, running around in cosplay, getting to meet representatives from other countries, and taking part in festivals? That sounds too good to be true.
Though, it’s not all fun and games. During the live stream of the WCS stage event, many teams confessed that their cosplays and skits have been years in the making. Countless hours of sewing, crafting, crying and working hard lead up to those couple of minutes on stage where each participant not only gets to show off their efforts but also express their love for the art of cosplay and the character they’re embodying. Each team gets judged individually days before, but standing on the stage and proving to the world why you’re there is a whole other ball game.
Although the World Cosplay Summit has been happening for the last 14 years, this year marked South Africa’s entry as a member of the prestigious event. As Africa’s first country to join, there was a lot of pressure on our poor representatives, Maoukami and JinxKitty cosplay, to bring the best they had onto that stage. And man, did they bring it!
Unfortunately, since it is our first time entering the competition, we weren’t competing alongside all the other countries. SA simply showed off its skills along with Team Bulgaria, and Team Costa Rica. That said, if our cosplayers did this well on their first try, I know we’ll win it someday. This year’s Grand Champion title (among five other awards), however, went to Team Mexico as Dhalsim and Chun-li from Street Fighter. A truly well-deserved win!
The teams that joined Mexico on the winners’ podium were Indonesia in 2nd place and Thailand in 3rd. During the award ceremony, various other awards were given to Mexico, Denmark, Vietnam and Indonesia. Personally, I really enjoyed Team UK, Team Vietnam, and France. But all of the performances had something to love!
If you’re inspired to try your hand at competing next year, you should mark June 29th – July 2nd (ICON 2019) in your calendars, that’s when the next local preliminaries will be held. It’s a tough competition, but luckily you won’t have to worry about paying for the flights or accommodation once you’re there, the lovely people at WCS takes care of that for you. This year’s team was also sponsored cameras from Canon to record their adventures in Japan, whether that will happen again next year is anyone’s guess, but keep an eye on Maou and JinxKitty’s social media pages to catch what they were up to.
While I have added a few of the videos and their links to this post, if you’re interested to see all of the countries and regions, and what they had to offer, there’s a whole playlist that someone was kind enough to put together. So sit back, and enjoy some wonderful (and sometimes cringeworthy) performances!