Here we are!
For the second time, but this time as a guest star, we are able to participate in the World Cosplay Summit, that for 2006 edition chose a modern concept, semi open structure as stage, just imagine a structure made of glass, water and steel in a park in the center of the city.
The available seats might be considerably less than those in Aichi Dome used last year, but three different floors and the many observation points available in this building still allow for a big audience – comfortably seated in front of the stage – and a number of passers by, standing in the surrounding areas.
We are to meet the staff at about 11:00, so, after a big breakfast, we go to the meeting point boasting our Italy's T-shirts wore also by Shige.
People, who of course recognize us as Italians, smile gaudily, some start some clapping (champions of the world!!!!), others ask us to take the first pictures of this long day, others follow us as long as they can, congratulating for the soccer achievements of our country.
We meet Alberto, a boy from Rome who's Italian team's translator and helper, and after having discussed with him some matter about our rehearsal Francesca and I do some short one on the stage... let's hope for good ^_^.
After this we go to the changing room to wear the first costume for the paid photo session with the phone company Do.Co.Mo.
For the first shooting we become two very famous heroins from videogames: Francesca is Morrigan from Darkstalkers and I am Mai Shiranui from King Of Fighters.
Meanwhile the others have the chance to wander in the lower floors where a lot of cosplayers are arriving while the representatives from the various countries are doing some rehearsal for the contest.
I finally meet in real life my Mexican sister site Gigě-chan, a very nice and outgoing girl, and I meet again my Wonder Woman fan who gives me a wonderful violet and red star that lightens up (just like the heart shaped lamp used in concerts).
I won't disappoint him and when on the stage I will turn it on for him who quite excited, swears, I'm quite sure, eternal gratitude ;)
Meanwhile the dome starts to be more and more crowded, while we change again to become Super Sailor Moon, Francesca, and Neenya from Infinite Rivyus I.
It is a project I had been considering for years, I practically fell in love with this costume and character as soon as I saw a thumbnail on a French magazine.
I knew in Italy it wouldn't have been welcomed in the same way, so I preferred to debut with this costume in Japan where, being very well known, a lot of people liked it.
As soon as we have finished taking pictures, we go to the back stage, where the contestants are waiting in excitement
We have the chance to talk to Alessandro and Alessia, the Italian representatives, who are earing two impressive costumes from Arms, and we notice how the poor Alessandro suffers from the hot temperature inside his hot armor, dripping sweat from everywhere.
Luckily they were the first one to perform on the stage.
We watch closely all the other representatives among which we are stunned by an incredible Gundam, perfect in every aspect – his performance on the stage will include lights and smoke... maybe it was also capable of flying, but we don't know -, a very nice couple from Final Fantasy, the two girls from Singapore and the web chosen couple from Versailles no Bara.
Their costumes might have not been perfect, but their performance on the opening theme from the TV series included 5 real time costume change for each (King Louis XVII, Oscar king guard captain, Oscar in white high uniform, Oscar in woman dancing dress, Oscar guard commander and Mary Antoinette with the same amount of different clothes) and left everybody speechless.
As you know the final victory was awarded to the brother and sister from Brazil who, wearing cosplays from Angel Sanctuary, were able to combine very good and flashy costumes with a dynamic and moving performance.
The silver medal was awarded to the said Berubara group and third place went to Italy.
Toru Furuya, the famous voice talent, introduced the contest, while the president of the jury, that included also the singer of the opening themes from One Piece, was none else than Go Nagai, but I'll write about meeting him later....
Francesca and I performed very well in singing Mazinger Z, the audience was very pleased and, not without a lot of excitement we gave the big Lufthansa ticket that used to be ours last year, to the new champions.
But there was positiveness in the air, friendship could be felt more than competition, something that was missing last year.
As I said somewhere else, it was strange to live this experience from outside, maybe I felt some nostalgia every now and then, I must admit it.
But that's it.
Speaking of when I met Go Nagai, I will only report the same thoughts and the same emotions that I put on my blog just after the meeting, when they were still so intense and live....
Take a child who, when helped by her mum in putting on her clothes, was asked “now make the fist like Mazinger” and who used to go on Sunday afternoons to the cinema to see Grendizer's movies, together with her dad and her sister.
Take a girl who was raised with bread and Japanese animation and who, nearly as a joke, learned to sing the opening of Mazinger Z in Japanese, obsessively repeating it to her class mates (come of which in turn learned it during the visit to Wien) and who shows some funny performances in the following years.
Take a girl who loves cosplay to the point of cosplaying a character so cool to be part of the collective imaginary of the old school like Baron Ashura, and who, thanks to cosplay, flies to Japan to win not only the karaoke contest with the same song, but also the world championship cosplaying Silen harpy... and comes back for the second time in Japan.
Imagine that this girl can sing the same song on a real stage, in Japan, in front of hundreds of passionate fans who clap their hands in time... ...and imagine going out of the stage shaking Mr. Go Nagai's hand.
Afterward I would have been told that Go Nagai was discussing the prizes with the other members of the jury and as soon as he heard the music form Mazinger Z (which Francesca and I sang one stanza each, in Japanese for me and in Italian for her), he quit everything and rushed to the big screen located in the backstage starting to dance and sing joyfully (!), he then waited for us at the side of the stage to shake our hands.
It was very exciting.
During one of the pauses I took the chance to take some pictures with him, to obviously to get my picture of Silen autographed and to give him some of Silen and Ashura (he liked them very much, he even clapped his hands at me congratulating ;_________;), while Nadia, wearing a costume of Sayaka did the same with her brand new action figure.
I was really sad because I didn't have a costume from a Nagai product, but they were both impossible to carry and wear this time, one for the size, the other one for the time needed for make up.
Nevertheless, it was a great emotion.... and you will excuse me if I boast, but I have his name card (and he has mine ;))
After the award ceremony we jumped back to the backstage to have party and dinner with all the contestants in an endless cheerful atmosphere, among interviews and photos (I met again my friend Tenkawa-san and even the TV troupe who came to Verona for the last Cosparty!).
And while the party slowly faded, we changed clothes and received an official Summit T-Shirt as present, and then we went back to Toyoko hotel on a comfortable van equipped with autopilot for parking..I want it!!!!