rAge 2012 showcased the best
South Africa (SA) had to offer in terms of technology, gaming and eSports. Many
of those moments will soon be forgotten, filled by other eSports events and new
Then there was the Cosplay.
Miguel Lima as Pyramid head,
photo by El Rey Photography
and make-up by Kelly Kii Meyers.
I remember walking around with
my mouth hanging open, awestruck by the display of ingenuity, artwork and mind
blowing characters that were mingling with us ordinary folk. I will never
forget the rAge 2012 Cosplay. The “Free Hugs” I got from Miguel Lima as
Pyramid Head, bumping into the Pyro, Medic and Scout from my beloved Team
Fortress 2 community, and seeing so many of my favourite characters coming to
life right in front of my eyes.
It was magical and rAge will
always be remembered for these artists. They were like a splash of colour in
the midst of a dull, grey world. They added depth, entertainment and
unforgettable moments for countless expo goers, young and old. I remember seeing
a kids face, filled with wonder and admiration as he shook hands with Mario and
the queues of people waiting for their turn at taking a photo with their
GenevieveLesch and Sasha Perdigao
with the Mario brothers.
As expo goers, we get to reap
the benefit of entertainment that these artists provide, but few of us
understand the hard work and dedication it requires from Cosplayers to display
their craft. I therefore caught up with two ladies who play a significant role
in our local Cosplay community to hear their thoughts on the Cosplay at rAge.
Could you please
introduce yourself and describe your role in Cosplay South Africa?
Legion Ink, Anime Category Winners,
photos by Ernst Späth
Sashi: “I’m Sasha Perdigao (aka:Sashi) and am the
creator and admin of the Cosplay South Africa group (as well as Cosplay Cape
Town) on Facebook. I’ve been cosplaying since 2003 and created the group in
name is Genevieve Lesch and I go
by the gamer tag KomboKitten. I am a cosplayer from Cape Town. When it comes to
Cosplay South Africa I am an active community member, responsible for building
and maintaining our local cosplay website.
I also maintain several other public channels related to South African and
What is your opinion
of the Cosplay at rAge 2012?
Legion Ink, Trophy Category Winners,
photos by Ernst Spät.
Sashi: “I think
that the turnout of cosplayers at rAge this year was absolutely fantastic! Not
only that but the quality of the craftsmanship of so many costumes were
outstanding and we definitely measure up to our overseas counterparts. I really
enjoyed the fact there was such a variety of cosplayers ranging from anime and
gaming to comic book and movie characters.”
far the annual rAge expo event is the biggest cosplay gathering in South
Africa. I think this year we have seen the best cosplay at rAge yet! There were
so many awesome cosplays going around but the dome; unfortunately it was so
packed we hardly got to capture photos of all of them. I think the organizers
may need to look into a bigger venue for future rAge events.”
How did you
experience the Legion Ink competition?
Legion Ink, Pop/Western Culture Category Winners,
photos by Ernst Späth.
Sashi: “I did not
enter the cosplay competition but rather supported it as a spectator. I will be
bluntly honest in saying that, as a cosplayer and spectator, I was highly
disappointed by the way the competition was handled. It seemed more like a huge
advertisement for the sponsors than anything else and just using cosplay as a
Each cosplayer only had a few seconds on stage and after every
second cosplayer appeared, one of the hosts would yell out, “Who wants free
stuff?!”, and the people in the stands were going crazy. People were just
standing up and literally jumping on the chairs trying to catch whatever was
being thrown into the audience.
It was ridiculous and I felt that it was demeaning to the
cosplayers and it completely took away from what the competition was meant to
This continued the entire time and I just couldn’t handle it (not to
mention that I couldn’t even see the stage anymore), so I decided to leave.
This is not what I was expecting. I was hoping to sit down, relax and enjoy watching
the show and seeing what the cosplayers had to offer. The main sponsor, Corex Alliance, had control over the flow of the event, I understand that Legion Ink could not dictate it. This is a learning curve
and we can only improve on things in the future, we are grateful to Corex for their involvement.”
experienced it as a spectator. I happened to receive a spot prize by Animeworx for attending in
cosplay and was called onto the stage to receive it, (thanks very much
Animeworx!). They called me Nurse Jenny though when, in fact, I had been
cosplaying Nurse JOY from Pokemon. This was a minor blunder.
What disappointed me was when they referred to the
Natsu cosplayer from Fairy Tail (Anime) as Kakashi from Naruto (Anime) because
I had spent a lot of time working on producing the costume with which he
entered the competition. My fellow cosplaying friend Sasha had styled his wig
for him and we were looking forward to supporting him and others, and also to
enjoying the competition.
Unfortunately, we did not find it very enjoyable.
Yes, a lot
of people worked hard on the organizing and executing, including the cosplayers
themselves - obviously we are thankful for that. We disliked how Corex
interrupted the cosplay competition after every few cosplayers to throw
lanyards and other stuff into the crowd. The reason I feel this way is because
it's like that spoiled a special moment for SA cosplay - since we have so few
cosplay competitions as yet and our cosplay scene is still small compared to
some other countries. I strongly feel like they should have left
the free stuff for after the competition was over.Sasha and I abandoned the
competition spectating before it was midway.
The flow of the competition was interrupted too much for it
to be enjoyable to spectate.
competition, I loved all the amazing cosplay people brought to the table and
wish more of them would have stayed around in costume after the competition
Apparently the stage area at the time of the competition
belonged to Corex so the cosplay competition was lucky to have been able to get
stage time there. No matter our perspective thereof it was pretty much the best
deal the cosplay comp could get it seems. I do not bear any grudges towards any
of the organizers, just giving you my opinion.”
What improvements do
you think can be implemented for the Cosplay competition at rAge 2013?
Legion Ink, Gaming Category
Winners, photos by Ernst Späth.
first and foremost the competition needs to be about the COSPLAYERS and not the
sponsors, and not exploiting cosplayers for the benefit of the sponsors. I
think this in itself will already be a huge improvement.
The different categories also need to be made more apparent
and judged in their respective groups since different genres seemed mixed up. But
I can’t comment too much on that aspect of the competition since I didn’t watch
it through to the end.”
don't think it is my place to be making suggestions because I am not involved
with managing it at all. But, as a spectator and cosplayer I would have been
happier, like I mentioned in the previous answer if they let their sponsors do
stuff only before and after the cosplay competitor display is OVER.
Some spectators are not interested in spending so much time
having to deal with free stuff being thrown around, or they aren't able to
stick around for that long. The sponsor prolonged the cosplay competition
unnecessarily in my opinion.
I know some people may not be happy with my
perspective, but I would rather be honest about my opinion.
Also, since they have a stage and sound access for
the comp at rAge maybe they could have incorporated a kind of a skit/dance
opportunity of about 3min max for cosplayers, so that the competitors can make
a stronger and more relevant impression - not only on spectators but also the
That is an idea our cosplay community can tap into in the
future. I don't want to be cramping the style of the rAge cosplay organizers
because, in the end, any cosplay groups are free to host their own
What’s next for
Cosplay South Africa?
Ink, Performance Category Winner, photo by Ernst Späth.
from the turnout of cosplayers at rAge I really believe that it’s going to just
keep growing. It was great to see that there were people cosplaying all three days,
even when there was no competition but simply for the enjoyment of cosplaying. It
really has grown in leaps and bounds since I first started cosplaying in 2003.”
think a lot of growth will continually be happening. You can check the upcoming
events out on the Cospplay South Africa homepage. It is up to our community
members to organise/host the events, so if you don't see one happening in your
area soon, organize one! If you are not discouraged by how small it
may start I am pretty sure you will see awesome development with future events.
This has been tried and tested in Cape Town and we are nurturing
a phenomenal cosplay scene with our events.We will definitely be
seeing amazing cosplay being produced in SA in the future, more and more on an
international standard! “
I want to thank Corex Alliance for sponsoring the Legion Ink event. Your acknowledgement of this
discipline as a core attraction at rAge 2012 has added to the growth of Cosplay
in South Africa and for that, we are extremely grateful.
Cosplay SA is in its baby shoes, so let us be careful how we
plot our course. We need to listen to the community leaders in order to
understand the heartbeat of these creative individuals. They deserve our utmost
respect and consideration for their craft. I believe that Cosplay should form
an integral part of all our gaming events (away with the booth babes ;)) and
we acknowledge them for the artists they are.Maybe someday we will have Cosplayers who can make a living from their craft.
Cosplay South Africa:
Website | Facebook | Twitter Legion
Ink: Website | Facebook | Twitter Kombokitten: Blog | Facebook | Twitter Sashi: Facebook | Twitter Corex Alliance: Website | Facebook | Twitter
Because one can never have enough Cosplay photos, check out
Photos courtesy of Kombokitten Online and Tarryn-Leigh Wood
Photo courtesy of NAG
Photos courtesy of LKO Photography, Kombokitten Online and NAG
Han’s Twitter | Blog