Friday, November 4, 2016

Checking out COSMART 2016

by contributing writer Nicholas Lai

Sunway Putra Mall hosting Cosmart.

Upon first glance, the unassuming Sunway Putra Mall upon Jalan Putra appeared to be quiet on the outside at 1300+ hours. A storm was brewing as skies darkened to an ominous grey, and traffic in the city of Kuala Lumpur on a weekend was ever bustling in the gradual rain. Being a part of the Recon Team I took a Waze route, and upon arrival at the mall, underneath its exterior in the parking lot I circled and waited until I was allowed out of the vehicle.

I was unfamiliar with the mall's architecture, so I thought, follow the crowd (notably the cosplayers) and I will arrive at my destination soon enough.

An original fan ensemble based off Assassin's Creed.
I made my way onwards and upwards, taking a flight of stairs as the nearby elevators were crowded with an onslaught of weekender visitors, then following the trail as I tailed young adults sporting bright, colorful wigs of vivid hues if not out-of-place sailor uniforms until I reached the penultimate level, just one level beneath the ACG (animation, comics, games) event floor when I bumped into fellow cosplayers from a familiar group. As a regular event-goer, it has become a norm to bump into the same faces even as they bear another look, no matter the event.

One end of the event floor, upon entry.

Pin badges on sale.

I wonder what's interesting over there...

I ascended the nearby elevator, and despite the event being of a small scale the transition that took place was jarring; upon reaching the landing of the top floor (the ceiling was a bit low), I turned to spot the extremely crowded marketplace along the narrow corridor that was the mainstay to COSMART's name, lined with merchandise and wares of all sorts, exchanging hands as fast as the coming and going of visitors. Badges, plushies, body pillows, laser-cut/3D-printed items, there was hardly a limit to what the marketeers were selling short of the real thing.

Merchants are also all dressed up cosplaying.

Halloween was just around the corner, and they were right.

Those are some cool Pikachus.
Last I had heard, this season is supposed to be when many of the major console games would be released. Far too many to be listed, I am sure.

Visitors making use of the backdrop. Entry was free.

An inanimate(yet fabulous) host in front of a backdrop.
The recon did not stop there, and as I made my way through I had bumped into more than my fair share of costumed folks carrying props of different shapes and sizes, and through first contact the marketeers and cosplayers were a friendly bunch all about, openly inviting to spontaneous photo opportunities and making everyone else's day that much brighter.

The main "stage" or more aptly said as activity area.

Spidey getting friendly, as usual.

Always a common scene to see cosplayers posing for a shot.
Ah, the sights and sounds of an ACG event. Almost feels like home. Almost.

The cosplay competition, pretty much the staple of any event hosting cosplayers in Malaysia.
Cosplay Guests at Cosmart
At the other end of the floor the corridor opened up into a larger landing where the stage was located, with what appeared to be a full house with a large audience sitting on the floor in front with several more standing in the back. Despite missing out on the opening performances, the stage was not short on pleasant surprises when they demonstrated how to edit photos before proceeding to a cosplay competition. Safe to say, their contestant lineup was interesting. According to their scheduling, they were more than ready for a full weekend of fun.

An acquaintance dressed as a character from Assassin's Creed 3.

Rilakkuma, the great big lovable bear from Japan.

Beyond the stage crowd, and like many events I availed myself to the presence of other cosplayers that simply mingled about having their pictures taken, and as always, from my experiences it was a joy to see different worlds coming together as the many fandoms interacted with each other in ways never thought possible.

Is Anna asking the kid if she wants to build a snowman?

It's bear-hunting time!

No Halloween will be incomplete without a slasher!

The recon ended at 1500 hours after discovering much of the area, considering the size of the crowd. The weekend parking fee was absolutely painful, and by the time I had left, more vehicles had spilled into the lot making the way out a crawl. Despite all this, I look forward to the next event recon.

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