From graphics to reality: Meet Malaysian “Cosplayers”


If you were not familiar with Japanese anime, manga, tokusatsu, graphic novels, video games, hentai and fantasy movies, you would have be in for a culture shock, if you have entered the Sunway University (SU) campus over the weekend.

Many students were seen wearing all sorts of outfits: maid, nurse, schoolgirl, monster, and many other unrecognizable outfit along the hallway leading towards the campus multi purpose hall. Some of them were blonde and even with blue hair with blood trickling from their eyes.

This is the third consecutive time the Animangaki festival or “cosplay” (costume play), organized by the Sunway University Anime Club (SUAC) on 10th and 11th September was a huge success with the appearance of many popular Japanese cartoon characters in the campus multi purpose hall.

This event, which offers wide array of activities with anime and Japanese festival theme saw many of the students donning the costumes of their favourite characters.

Cosplay is a type of performance art in which participants don costumes and accessories to represent a specific character or idea. Characters are often drawn from popular fiction in Japan such as Pikachu, Naruto, Sailor Moon, Dragonball and even Gundam.

Cosplay” is Japanese for “costume play” — individuals dressing up in costume. This culture which has it’s roots in Japan, it is not restricted to video game, manga or anime characters. Since it is not possible to actually meet these characters because they only exist in video games, on television screens and in the pages of manga. Dressing up as those characters gives them a chance to, not meet that character, but to become one with that character in a sense.

“It is more of the interest than culture,” said Animangaki organizing committee member, Derwin Ee.

The Animangaki festival, which started by SUAC in 2009 has garnered a huge following from the student community. The event was a brainchild of Sunway University student, Yvonne Sing Yee Wen, who also takes on Shodamei as her alter-ego.

“When you like the comics, anime or video games and you love the characters, you tend to learn their personality,” said Wen who is disguised as the casual version of Kaito, a Japanese male Vocaloid created by Crypton Future Media.

The event also saw many parents attending the event to watch their children take part in the various competition.

One of the parent, Mrs. Liew said: “Cosplay is good because they can make a lot of new friends but at times there tendency for them to get addicted.”

Since 2008, this event continues to grow leaps and bounds every year and has continued to be successful with more people participating in the event.

For more information, please visit their official site

Video Produced by Monash University, Journalism Students;  Francesca Peris, Tosin Elegbeleye, Chuah Huey Theng, Tan May Ling and Mellisa Noris