Thursday, October 5, 2017

Cosplay Mania 2017: Stressful Queues, Missed Meet and Greets, But Lots of Fun with Friends

First of all, Cosplay Mania has been a blast for me. Regardless of the hardships I encountered on both days of the event. It amazed me how star studded the event was. Inviting seiyuus we all love and cosplayers we go gaga all over. The Japanese singers are all fantastic. Even though I only knew a few of the songs they performed, I kept my head banging, my hand keep swaying and I keep on shouting cheers till my voice got hoarse. Even the creators of Yuri on Ice was a huge bomb to me, having them tell us the secret behind the success of the anime and we even got the chance to see something exclusive. In these part of the event I wish for them to keep up the good work. Having good relations to other countries especially Japan, the home of our beloved anime, should be maintained and nourished.

But because this has been a huge event, there have been problems that arise. Day 1 was hell. Yep, that was one way to describe it. I usually arrive early for events like this but I made sure that on day 1 I will arrive much earlier than my usual. I came around 7AM but the line was already long. At first I didn't mind that. It's the usual, I would say. But after they opened the door for entry and an hour already passed but my line didn't even budge a bit.
Most of the people lining up are already complaining because its really hot. I'm starting to get irritated too because a girl suddenly cut in between me and the group in front of me, thinking that it was the end of the line. Good thing she realized her mistake and looked for the end of the line. That made me ask why. Why is the line so messy and taking forever to move.
I've been attending cons for years and I even arrive late at some but the usual was 12 in the afternoon most of the line are already gone and most of congoers are already having a blast inside. But on day 1, the show already started but the attendees are still outside. I missed the first sched for the meet and greet.

At around 12 noon I am almost desperate because the Yuri on Ice panel will start at 1 and I'm still outside. 12:30 and I finally entered the SMX only to be shoved to another line for the tyvek. Then it dawned to me what is making the line move slower. It was this tyvek system that they changed. That instead of doing it in the entrance itself so that the congoers are directly entering the con area, they made another line for the tyvek booth. Its like we need to line up four times for the entrance itself. Other says that we shouldn't complain about the long line because its the usual on events like this. Yes its true. But will you complain if you fall in line at SM mega's staircase and SMX hallways with aircons and away from the glaring sun. Nope. Its the heat that they made us to endure that triggered our hot headedness.

All in all the staff was unprepared for the crowd. To think that they should have an estimate of attendees based on the pre-selling of ticket they made. We even bought the ticket earlier so it would spare us the line for the ticket buying but it all became meaningless.

After the hellish and chaotic line I finally got inside and started enjoying myself. Strolling from booth to booth, buying merchs. Watched the Yuri on Ice Panel, the only reason why I attended day 1 and then stroll again to get pics from cosplayers. When all of a sudden I encountered the best moment of my life, I turn around and there she is, my idol, Hikarin.
Starstruck and dumbfounded I didn't notice her anxiousness... She was stuck in the crowd on her way to the stage and even her assistants are clueless as to what to do. Another evidence of unpreparedness. Then I heard one of the fans says that Hikarin was sad because no one was buying for her meet and greet. Sorry to Hikarin and other guests but your fans are all trapped outside. And the most astonishing thing is Hikarin was the first to apologise to her fans that waited outside and didn't even get the chance to see her. Take note, not the Cosplay Mania organizers who first apologise but the guest themselves even though they have nothing to do in managing the event. How was that?

I gave another chance for day 2. I even arrived an hour earlier than yesterday. Luckily, my friends will all be attending so there is someone I could talk to while waiting. I hold a gold ticket and our line moved faster than yesterday so its a thumbs up for that improvement. They added another lane for the VIP and Gold which is good too because on day 1, silver moved faster than the VIP lane that made people more irritated. I also noticed the increase of police and security personnel.
On day 1 a friend of mine lost her iPhone and others among her line lost their phone too. The lack of security is alarming so I'm glad they added it up on day 2. I enjoyed taking pictures with my friend and waited for the guests meet and greet.
But alas we weren't able to attend because we don't have a stub that they did not explain how to get or where to get. I heard that you need to buy something for the meet and greet. We all thought that it was already part of the gold ticket since its one of the halls we could access. They did not explain that part thoroughly so our efforts in lining up are in vain. We even missed the Seiyuu's stage appearance for that. We even lined up an hour earlier for the Jam concert.

When we got inside, they imposed the rule of no photo and video recording, same as their other program. Me and my friends enjoyed the Jam. Singing, waving, dancing along with the guests singers. But what annoyed me is that, one of the organizer will walk in front of us every minute waving the signboard saying no photo and video recording. Its really disturbing how we are in the height of jam and they will appear in front of us. They could have make it every after song or the in between rest of the singers. I know they really want to be strict for the guests sake but they could have done it better. Its not only the guest that are important, the fans too waited for this moment for a long time not just to be pissed by their crappy management. In short if not for my friends sharing the same pain as me, I would have felt the same way as day 1.

Yes the Cosplay Mania is the best. What they offer, the guests they brought and how they presented them to us are the best. But how they treated the fans and congoers are the worst.

Written by Ailene Amihan (Hikari Kaze)

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