rAge 2013 Brings Crazy Cosplay — Deadpool, Eren Jaeger, Black Canary And More
One of the biggest attractions of rAge each recent year has been the cosplay competition, where various superfans don costumes crafted entirely on their own and compete against other similar superfans to see who is the best-dressed. The competition has thrown up some absolute beauties over the past few years, with personal favourites of mine being the Hawke and Merril (Dragon Age II) cosplay from rAge 2011 and the Juliet Starling (Lollipop Chainsaw) cosplay from last year.
This year the cosplay competition is back and it’s going to be better than ever, or so the press release tells us.
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First, here’s some words on the recent trend from Ray Whitcher, co-founder of LegionInk, the organisers of the cosplay competition at rAge: “Cosplay is as vast pop culture itself and is pretty ubiquitous in the genres it covers, so video games, comic books, films, board games and anything else you could think of can and will supply source material for cosplay.”
Cosplay has some crazy popularity worldwide, with millions partaking in their particular fancy — I know that I’ve been itching to do a Connor cosplay, but I haven’t the first idea where to start, how much it would cost me, or why I would even want to in the first place other than, I really like how Connor dresses in Assassin’s Creed III.
“The Cosplay event at rAge has grown massively over the past three years, seeing a rise of nearly 100% in entrants with each subsequent competition (it went from 20 participants in 2010, to 40 in 2011 and then to 70 last year),” explains Whitcher. “We’re actually expecting well over the 100 mark for this year’s competition and possibly another 50 non-competitive Cosplays. What gets me most excited is that the Cosplayers travel from all over South Africa to attend rAge, which is rapidly becoming known as the biggest Cosplay event of the year.”
News flash, sir, it’s also the biggest anything-geeky-at-all-whatsoever event of the year. And people from all over SA flock to rAge, regardless of their preferred pastime.
According to the press release we received, the rAge Cosplay competition has been restructured. Judging will now take place in a private area, which is to say that it’ll be closed off from the public. “Firstly, it means the judges will have more time to appraise each costume as well as provide a more private and less stressful environment for Cosplayers that aren’t necessarily comfortable with being on stage,” says Whitcher. “We also have an all-new judging panel that will be comprised with well-versed and knowledgeable fans of the three categories of Anime/Manga, Western Pop Culture and Gaming, as well as newly-introduced group categories and also a quality of craft category (which will judge the actual construction of the costume.”
LegionInk will also be providing cosplayers with their own rest area.
Now I have one issue with this. Isn’t it just a bit excluding of the whole idea of the expo? Why exclude the public in this way? I imagine the cosplayers are free to roam the floor as they please but — as I experienced, quite brutally, last year, some people just don’t give a fuck about anything other than winning that competition, and they will tell you as much when you try to talk to them about it — this just lends to some form of elitism where it’s as if the cosplay competition is its own entity within a larger entity. But they don’t mix.
The public ought to be involved. We ought to be able to watch the judging take place, or at the very least, some sort of open photo shoot where we can also check out the cosplays and speak to the cosplayers about it. That was such a highlight for me in rAge 2011, seeing a dude actually dressed like Hawke, and pulling it off with flying colours. Likewise, last year for a few others. Although I have to say, there was this one person who tried to do Avatar and just ended up looking like Smurfette. Wasn’t a pretty sight.
If you’d like to get involved with the local cosplay scene, check out these links: