a great day, it's here! We leave the hotel in a bus
shortly before noon and arrive at the Expo; after having
joined with the missing cosplayers, we are immediately
tackled for the ritualistic briefing. Then everything
happens frenzily in the following order: lunch, stage
rehearsal, changing costumes, contest starts.
During the backstage we have time to befriend a few
oriental cosplayers while obvious signs of strain can
be read in each face, strain that causes the French
team to burst into unnecessary tears and forces Ed to
officially deny the gossips that had started spreading
among some teams who saw the Italian team the already
We are assigned the number of display (Italy is in eighth
place) and respective dressing rooms along with translator;
in each room there is a screen which allows to follow
the state of the show in real time. So while Francesca,
Emilia and Elena become Cassandra, Taki
and Seung Mina from the videogame Soul Calibur,
I with much difficulty and especially thanks to our
escort Roberto transform into the harpy Silen
from Devilman (live version).
show is lead by two famous voice actors, among which
Toru Furuya who for the occasion of course dresses
up as the characters voiced by him, his tour de force,
that is Amuro Rei from Gundam, Seiya in plainclothes
(jeans and red shirt) and Tuxedo Kamen from Sailor Moon.
After having announced country of origin and number
of contestant, the contestant comes out from the backstage
and is welcomed by the two presenters who ask him some
simple questions. Before the performance of the individual
representatives, "secret" encouragement messages
from family and friends are showed on a maxiscreen.
Useless to say my appearance as the harpy Silen from
Devilman with the bloody head of the devil man and the
acrobatic performance by the girls of Soul Calibur are
welcomed with great enthusiasm by both audience and
perform on the original '70 opening of the famous anime
and simulate a battle which sees a defeated Devilman
finally return into the demon Amon in the arms
of the beloved harpy who seals the refound love passionately
kissing the cut-off head. These are the words sang on
the notes of the beautiful bgm featured from Glass no
"Omae to tatakawanakya naranakatta
Omae wo torimodosu tame ni
watashi no ai ni sakaratte.
Mou omae wa Debiruman dewa naku
Watashi no Amon ni modoru no da
Eien ni musubareru no da"
"I had to fight you
to take you back
I had to give up my love.
You aren't Devilman anymore
You returned into my beloved Amon"
Emilia, Elena and Francesca
masterfully performed the "exhibition arena"
of the three warriors with a performance that was
technically irreprehensible under every detail. During
the awards all the cosplayers are on the stage while
a spotlight keeps moving back and forth to stop on
the winners of the category... increasing the suspence
while more than three thousand spectators oversee
the announcement in religious silence.
- Special award for best Japanese team - Lupin family
(representative of Chubu)
- Best individual cosplayer - Giorgia Vecchini (Silen
- Best group - France - Tokyo Mew Mew
- WCS champion team - Italy
is a thrilling moment when the voice announces "Italy"
and all of us run into each other 's arms (maybe with
a few emotional tears and many smiles) while streamers
and confetti fall from the sky.
There would be many more things to add, like the excitement
upon receiving the prize (which consisted of a digital
camera and another trip to Japan whenever we want
for each of us) delivered by Reiji Matsumoto himself,
the pride of bringing home something like an olimpic
gold, the many compliments received but perhaps the
pictures explain more than words. We knew we had done
a good job and this recognition was the right award
for all our work but we would never had thought it
Everything ends on the notes of Cha La Head Cha La,
DragonBall Z theme sang all together with Kageyama
After the awarding we are literally besieged by photographers
and sent directly into press conference with all the
other winners for an hour of interviews and picture
taking while still unbelieving we enjoy our moment
|A mangaka, part of the
jury, was so impressed by my performance that
she made a mini manga of three pages out of it,
which you can see here: