Cosplay, a performance art in which participants called cosplayers wear costumes and fashion accessories to represent a specific character, may not be as common in Malaysia compared to Japan and some other parts of Asia.
A group of local cosplay enthusiasts took a step forward by organising the first ever cosplay gathering by commuters in Malaysia yesterday.
Led by cosplay community group, Magic Rain, the gathering dubbed Cosplay Commuter, saw various activities being held at six LRT stations.
Some 500 participants turned up at the gathering by donning their own unique costumes from different anime character and games such as Naruto Shippuden, Lolita, Saber Rose and Cardcaptor Sakura.
Magic Rain founder, CM Char said the programme was aimed at bringing back the vibes of cosplay that was once famous in Malaysia back in the 2000s.
“One of the main reasons is that I felt the landscape of animation, comic and games (ACG) in Malaysia is quite stagnant, always the same events, highlights and activities.
“By organising this event, I hope it will bring new and refreshing elements to the ACG landscape,” he told Bernama.
Char said that the popularity of ACG and cosplay were on the rise with the increasing number of activities held in shopping malls and cinemas.
“Basically, it’s very thematic and with many action figures evolving from the movies nowadays, it has also made cosplaying more mainstream,” he said.
Char said they also planned to turn the programme into an annual event with different features and more activities.
For Wan Nur Hidayah Wan Abdul Hadi, 20, who donned a Totoro costume based on a character from animation film titled "My Neighbour Totoro", the programme was special as it enabled cosplayers to share their interest and ideas.
“I have been interested in cosplay since I was 12, but I was shy and afraid of public perception of me.
"In 2012, I went to Comic Fiesta and from there I met random cosplayers who shared the same interest.
"I was so happy because at last, I knew people who are also interested in cosplay,” she said.
Mohd Firdaus Mohd Sabri, 20, who cosplayed as Naruto from the famous Japan anime figure, said he developed the passion for cosplaying at the age of 17 after being introduced to it by a friend.
“From there, I learned to make my own costume, wear makeup and wigs to look like the character that I am cosplaying,” he said.
One of the cosplayers who donned as Sakura Kinomoto from the Cardcaptor Sakura anime, who wanted to be known as Toilerru Ahiru, said the event was unique as it gave them the opportunity to travel from one train station to another while mingling with other cosplayers and members of the public.