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I recently returned from our vacation to Japan where I was honored to take part of the World Cosplay Summit 2011.
I have been asked to explain what the experience was like a couple of times, and I still have a lot of problems summing it all up.
I've decided to leave it up to the reader to either read the negative parts, the positive parts or both.
Negative: We started off by having a piece of luggage falling off our trailer on the way to the airport, and jam itself underneath the trailer-wheel. At the airport we had to buy a new suitcase and repack the contents of the broken luggage. Lufthansa hadn't registred our odd-size luggage in their system which caused a lot of concern. This being despite the fact that we called them approximately 6 times prior to our flight-date.
When we got the schedule we sensed it would be pretty tight this year. We also got this confirmed by talking to teams who have been to WCS before. The schedule would say 1 hour to relax, and then a dinner was scheduled etc. It turned out that the one hour, would only be enough to get completely home, throw off our costumes, wash our faces and put on normal clothes. At times we didn't even have the time to get back to the hotel, which caused a lot of frustration for us, because we didn't want to be the ones to delay the agenda.
There wasn't as much food and beverages as the previous years, and I'm glad we remembered to bring our wallets at all times. We didn't have an organizer with us, and we didn't have a helper either. I would never recommend for any WCS contestants to be as naive as we were and go by themselves. Knowing what we know now, we would have paid the flight for one of our friends to come with us.
Positive: The other teams are absolutely amazing. We ran into a lot of the European teams at Frankfurt Airport, and had a great time meeting a lot of the other teams at Nagoya Airport. In general nearly everyone could speak english this year, and everyone who couldn't got translated, made hand gestures and so on. When we arrived at our hotel rooms we had recieved welcoming-cards with each of our favorite anime, and candy! We went and saw the stage where we would be performing, and it was a lot smaller than I had anticipated. Upon realising this I lost what stage fright I might have had until that point. The interview day ended by a trip to Nagoya Airport where we were lead unto an outdoor deck of some sort, with cosplayers and photographers. It was amazing to pose with the rest of the teams, we had so much fun! Same for the parade, - it was surreal to have camera flashing on both sides of you, and have people calling your character's name and series! It was also amazing to perform on the stage in front of such a spectacular audience. Our act didn't completely hit home though, and I would have liked to be later on in the show when the audience had been 'warmed up' by the many bands and performances that took place between the different stages of the cosplay show.
The last day of our WCS experience took us to see many of Nagoya's local sights, such as the Aquarium, a pottery, a rice-cracker (Senbei) factory, and a Ryokan that was right next to the sea. We bathed in the hot baths and got dressed in our yukatas for dinner. It was a traditional Japanese dining experience with vegetarian food for me!!
After dining we went out and ran around on the beach, and took night swims in the ocean.
I have to admit that the Ryokan was the first thing I could genuinely enjoy, because we could finally relax, and not worry about how stressful tomorrow would be.
I miss everyone a lot, they all became dear to me.
I know that many had a difficult time understanding exactly what our act was about, and we had made a consious decision to go with the idea even though it meant alienating the online audience.
We had decided to make Anwar and Dorothea who have the most beautiful and detailed character designs, unfortunately they do not relate to each other in the game.
This is when we decided to do something different, and risky. Our soundtrack consists of a boy and a girl each introducing their favorite character, and arguing how to play the game (Avalon Code is an adventure game with a bit of dating game thrown in), LOVE vs. WAR. The Nintendo DS indicates that what is happening on stage is not a sequence in the actual game, but rather how two people decide to play each of their characters.
I hope anyone who has been waiting for a report will find this satisfactory, and that it will be a guidance for future teams who want to try out for the WCS. I also hope this was an okay post to start off my whole new cosplay blog, my plans for it is photo-updates, cosplay plans for the future, and bit of my everyday life.
My Best Regards