Rounding out a year of firsts11 December, 2012 by Mus
The EOY cosplay festival is a yearly experience that every cosplayer marks in their calendars, along with a few others. This year, the event was held at the Marina Barrage; it marked the first time an event of this sort had been staged there. Given the high profile venue and general curiosity, we decided to visit EOY this past weekend to check it out.
We arrived at the Barrage pretty early, with most of the the people arriving with us being cosplayers. Due to the Barrage’s rather specific purpose as a dam, it was also relatively hard to get to. Only one bus service from the Marina Bay MRT station went to the Barrage at all, and the massive number of people meant we were left waiting for quite a while to board one.
The size of the place was beyond expectations; to put it simply, it was immense. None of us had been to the Barrage before, so we were left pretty awestruck by the sheer size of it. It was no wonder this place was such a hit for people who liked to fly kites or go picnicking; there was an abundance of space.
We were a little disappointed to learn that the event was taking place at the ground floor of the barrage instead of the top of it (where the grassy areas were). It turns out that there was a wedding ceremony being staged at the top, although after a little consideration maybe expecting EOY to organize an event in such a windy area was a stupid proposition to begin with.
Being a cosplay festival, much of the crowd was made up of cosplayers and cameramen (writer included).
It’s always interesting to see the gear that some people packed to take photos of other people in costume. Some had equipment worth thousands of dollars, while others made do with cellphones or cheaper compact cameras. Nevertheless, the event was definitely a good way to get some photography practice in, given the variety of lighting and crowd issues you’d have to navigate.
Cosplayers ranged from the young to the old, with someone in her thirties or so being spotted wearing a schoolgirl uniform walking around. There was a particularly young girl crossplaying as Kagamine Ren too, to the point where a few of us were actually wondering if she was a boy or a girl. Crossplay on both sides was pretty commonly seen, although very few were notable for the right reasons. We have still yet to recover from seeing male crossplayers who didn’t even bother to shave their facial hair properly.
Noting a trend with other events in the year, there was also a lack of appropriately priced food in the event. While there was an Old Chang Kee ‘ninja van’ as we walked in, this was really the extent of food available, besides the rather expensive cafe and a Chinese seafood restaurant. Thankfully, there was a booth or two selling somewhat decently priced bottled drinks, so that was a saving grace. Maybe someone should capitalize on this very fillable niche.
There were also other booths selling miscellaneous goods. Some were peddling their own manufactured goods or prints, while more than a few others had to do with cosplay supplies like boots and costumes. I’ve always had the impression that the most fun in cosplaying was making and wearing your own costumes, but I suppose that’s a silly way of looking at it, since not everyone is a qualified seamstress.
As seems to be the case for any time anime fans gathered, there was a stage set up for karaoke performances. These ranged from the truly angelic to downright hellish, as visitors from all parts of the venue were treated to the sometimes really questionable vocals of the people registered to sing. Nevertheless, it added a bit of spice to the event, which would have otherwise been rather anti-climatic if you were not a cosplayer.
All-in-all, EOY was an eye-opening experience. The venue was great, although it did leave us feeling like there was ‘nothing much happening’, as it seemed like so much space was wasted. This was probably due to the fact that none of us had ever really been to a cosplay event of this scale before. Nevertheless, it was interesting to see a gathering of so many people with a common interest that wasn’t in the usual convention setting.
EOY would be worth another visit next year, if it continues to iron out any of the kinks we saw in this year’s event.
If you’re one of the cosplayers in these photos, drop us an e-mail and we’d be more than happy to pass you some higher resolution photos.