The dream me and Kaisa had for 4 years finally came true last fall. We won the Finnish World Cosplay Summit preliminaries, we prepared for the trip and the competition and we were there and represented Finland. It feels so weird being back home in my clean empty workshop where my final costume hangs finished. It’s so weird that after 4 years I don’t have anything to reach for and I don’t have to wait and stress about something. At the same time I feel relieved, sad, angry, empty and happy about this. I know I repeat myself when I say this was one of the most amazing experiences of my life, but it was.
It’s time to tell you, and especially next Finnish representatives, what was it like. From my point of view ofcourse. I really want that the representatives of all countries have as much information as possible so that’s why I exceptionally write these 7 posts in English. Also I want that all people in this year’s WCS have a chance to read this.
I must warn that there will be lots of criticism especially in my fourth and fifth posts where I tell you about the actual competition. I feel that all the cosplayers should speak up about how the competition turned out because I know that behind the scenes there were people who felt betrayed and hurt, but they don’t speak up. Without criticism this great competition cannot improve. Competition should be all about us, the teams, the cosplayers from different countries! So please speak up and tell the organizers and cosplayers in your country how WCS was for you!
So lets start the recap…
Day 0 Our journey began from Oulu airport and we prayed with Kaisa that our extra luggage would land safely in Japan. Our prayers were answered because the luggage weren’t damaged. When we arrived in Nagoya and stepped out of the gates so many organizers and ‘omotenashi’ students, who are sort of each teams guides and assistants during WCS, came to take pictures and to greet us. First culture shock was when the Spanish organizer greeted us with kisses. She was really nice, but in Finland we do hand shake and hugging, but stuff like kissing breaks our personal space. It was ok though, because WCS is all about culture change.
We waited for couple of hours for Team Mexico because their flight was delayed and when they arrived the organizers filled the bus and drove us to Nagoya International Hotel. The hotel was really really nice. In rooms they had hairdryers, refrigerator, water boiler and good air-conditioning. Some teams said that the beds were too hard, but that was good for me because I hate soft beds. The day we arrived we did a little shopping and went back to the hotel to get a good night sleep.
Day 1 Started with a general info meeting at the hotel where our team; me, Eetu (our mediaman/translater/Finnish organizer) and Kaisa got:
- coupons to local restaurant ‘Ringerhut’ worth about 5000 yen
- 3 Edycards worth about 3000 yen
- Gift bags from Rohto
- WCS scarfs
- And ofcourse our event passes and schedule
Plus this ’omotenashi’ student had a kind of bank from which each team could use about 15000 yen. So in other words me and Kaisa didn’t really have to pay for any food during the trip, also because of the hotel offering free breakfast and using all our coupons and gift cards.
In general meeting we went through the trips schedule and after that we went back to our hotel rooms to get our things because we were about to go to the Laguna Ten Bosch for the opening ceremony.
|Picture: Mizuki Kawai|
On our way to the Laguna we ate lunch in the bus which was sandwiches. When we got to the Laguna we had 1 hour to do make up and put on our costume. We knew that 1 hour is not enough for me and Kaisa, so we did half of our make up in the hotel before the general meeting. The schedule in WCS, and especially costume changes, is really tight, so if you need more time to prepare yourself you need to anticipate potential problems like we did.
At the opening ceremony we stood in a group for 15minutes, people took pictures, Nagoya’s mayor delivered a speech and after that we were free to take our costumes off, photoshoot or do whatever. So to new representatives I recommend to bring nice, small and comfy costumes because you don’t wear the costume in these events much longer than 20minutes, and there is only an audience of about 100 people, so it’s a bit of a waste to wear anything extravagant or complex.
Anyway after the opening ceremony of WCS2015 we took off the costumes, horsed around(lol) and ate curry-rice for meal. On the first day there was lots of just waiting.
After that we changed into our next costumes for the evening party, which was a big disappointment. The clock was 23:00 and everybody was so tired and wanted to go back to the hotel. We waited for our team presentations to start for about 30 minutes extra in a line, because there was an anime artist concert and the concert was taking longer than expected. Ok when the concert was over it was WCS representatives turn! But the audience had went home…. it was ridiculous… we had waited from 14:00 (when the opening ceremony was over) to 23:00 so that we could wave to an almost empty audience. Every team smiled and waved for about 20 seconds and that was it… we had to wait for about 9 hours in Laguna Ten Bosch to wave for an empty audience. We could have just went back to the hotel and have the rest of the day off, but nooooo every team needed stay there to wave for 20 seconds. The nicest part of the day was that before the 20 seconds of waving we got to visit the One Piece ship.
|Picture: Mizuki Kawai|
The first day was maybe the hardest for every team because we left to Laguna at 11:00 and we got back to the hotel around 01:00.Day 2 After a loooooooooooong day at Laguna we had our free day with our Omotenashi students and Team France. We started the day by going out shopping for anime stuff and to eat sushi. We’ve been to Japan twice before with Kaisa, but never been at sushi-go-round. It was fun and the sushi was delicious. Next we visited the aquarium where my favorites were an angry turtle and THE emperor penguin.
When we got back from the aquarium we threw our stuff to the hotel room and headed to the welcoming party. For some reason Japanese people like to stand up on parties. We stood up almost the whole night because there was not enough chairs for everyone, but luckily Team Korea offered us their seats so we could rest our feet for a while. Also the space where the welcoming party was held was so crowded and noisy so the conversations went like this:
“HI NICE TO MEET YOU! WE’RE TEAM FINLAND!”
“WE’RE TEAM X, NICE TO MEET YOU!”
“IT’S SO NOISY IT’S HARD TO TALK IN HERE”
“YES AGREED, SEE YOU LATER!”
So we and some other teams really didn’t enjoy the party because you couldn’t talk in there and next morning our craftsmanship judging was at 8:20 so we needed to go to bed really early. The food was really good though, and we got lots of presents from the other teams. We spent some time with Team Korea where one of the representatives was the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen! She was so freaking sexy I couldn’t handle it and the other representative was so hilarious. Seriously, every time during WCS I heard Kung laughing it made me smile also, because he was always so joyful and happy. You guys should have had some kind of WCS smile price!