My Observations: Anime & Cosplay Expo 2019

This morning, out of curiosity, I attended the Anime & Cosplay Expo 2019 held at one of the function rooms at the upper level of the SMX Convention Center, SM Mall of Asia (SM MOA) in Pasay City.

What I saw there was quite amusing. The large function room had just enough space for the exhibitors, the stage with sound system and lights and the food sellers. Of course, the available space in between was filled with many, many anime and cosplay enthusiasts! Some enthusiasts were seen seated some feet away from the stage waiting for the next event to happen like a cosplay contest, special guest appearances, etc.

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Buyers and enthusiasts searching for fun stuff.
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Another look at what were being sold.

Moving around got tight from time to time which reminds me how popular anime and cosplay have really gotten among locals as well as how interested buyers are with the products being displayed for sale.

As I saw some stickers (of pop culture icons and anime figures drawn by local illustrators) for buying, I had to stand behind a buyer who was searching for stickers and asked questions to the seller. There were three other customers next to him also standing right in front of the booth examining the stuff. After patiently waiting, I finally got to the front of the booth, quickly picked stickers (for some friends) and bought them.

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There was a lot of stuff that appealed to cosplay and anime enthusiasts. Cards, buttons, stickers, caps, shirts, costumes, cosmetics, dolls, action figures,  posters and a few publications. Those who purchased what they searched for clearly were happy. I searched from some Macross-related items but found none.

And then I took time out to photograph some cosplayers for your viewing pleasure below. Just click to ENLARGE.

 

A lot of people went on cosplay emphasizing their favorite characters from anime while some appeared as characters from computer games. These cosplayers really paid close attention to their craft with regards to capturing the looks of the characters they portrayed from the hair color to the make-up, the costumes, the shoes, the accessories and the like.

And among the cosplayers, I spotted someone dressed as Spider-Man. Specifically, the cosplay at the event was geared towards anime and computer games (like those online JRPGs).

Even though my interest in anime has waned a long time ago, it was still a nice experience to attend the Anime & Cosplay Expo 2019. More than twenty years ago, I was a very avid anime enthusiast and video collector and back in those days, events focused on anime and some related interests were not that popular and were not well publicized.

Today there are these local organizations focused on special interests like anime and cosplay which can emphasize their interests and reach out to many people around the country via the Internet. When an upcoming event gets announced, the enthusiasts will respond and prepare themselves (and their money) for attendance. Not only that, there are now many local businesses willing to sponsor these anime and cosplay events. These developments show that there is now respect and trust for these kinds of events. If you ask me, an anime and cosplay event is more interesting than a city government-organized beauty pageant.

By the way, the Anime & Cosplay Expo 2019 has one more day left tomorrow. There are some scheduled activities set to happen. If you intend to attend at all, click here.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

 

 

 

 

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A Look Back At Prime #1

As a comic book collector, 1993 was a notable year. That year Marvel organized the 30th anniversary celebration of the Avengers and the X-Men (which I’m a fan of). Image Comics meanwhile released a lot more comics showcasing the works of many creators apart from the publisher’s Seven Founding Fathers. Over at DC Comics, Superman was brought back to life but after they started the Reign of the Superman storyline. Oh yes, there was Valiant which scored hits with Turok #1 and even partnered with some Image Comics creators to produce the Deathmate crossover comic books.

At one corner was Malibu Comics which made a brave entry into the highly competitive superhero genre of comic book publishing in America by launching the Ultraverse, a line of superhero comic books which was the result of brainstorming by several comic book creators (many who previously worked with Marvel and DC Comics).

They launched a lot of comics (all those with #1 on their covers) which made it on the walls and shelves of local comic book stores I visited. Among the many Ultraverse launch comic books displayed was Prime #1 which had a great cover drawn by the late Norm Breyfogle.

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The cover with nice art.

Co-written by Len Strazewski and Gerard Jones with art by Breyfogle, the comic book introduces readers to Prime, an overly muscular, caped man who tries to do something good but is quite flawed with his approach.

The story begins when Prime confronts a junior high school coach named Meyer accusing him of being a pervert. Meyer reacts surprised since he personally does not know Prime (“Who are you? What are you?”). He claims that he does not know what exactly the big guy knows. At the side were two high school girls witnessing the encounter.

And then Prime said his words, “I saw you, coach Meyer! I saw you on the basketball court in fifth period..touching those girls!”

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The coach fought back causing Prime to react. Because the hero was not aware of his strength, he miscalculated with his grip on Meyer breaking his arm unintentionally. Prime’s reaction clearly showed his realizing his mistake.

The incident scared the one of the girls away and carelessly Prime tries to explain himself to the other girl standing by. He even called himself as the girl’s “protector and avenger”, telling her not to be afraid of him.

As it turned out, the incident was a recently past event within the narrative of the comic book which is a nice touch. The coach, already injured, gave his testimony expecting cash from a shadowy organization collecting information not only about Prime but the Ultras (the in-universe term referring to beings with super powers).

That’s as far as I will go with telling the plot details. Prime #1 should be read from start to finish and the good news is that old copies of it can be found online at affordable rates and there are lots of copies in overall good condition.

Other notable elements of Prime #1 worth discussing, without spoiling the plot, is the way the story was structured by Strazewski and Jones. At least for 1993, it somewhat defies the tradition of following the views of the protagonist. Instead, Prime is emphasized through the views of others from the injured coach to the soldiers and the media. This approach does not necessarily make Prime a supporting player in his own comic book but rather it was an efficient way of showing how he thinks and acts, what he is capable of doing and how he reacts to others. By the time the comic book ends (with a very intriguing ending no less), you will get to know Prime a lot.

I also liked the way the writers used corporate media as a key element on exploring the connecting elements of the Ultraverse. Hardcase is shown briefly while a reference was made on Prototype. Check out the page posted below on how corporate media looks at Prime.

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Corporate media exposure and conspiracy efficiently told in one page.

When it comes to the art, the late Norm Breyfogle (1960-2018) delivered visuals that had that cartoony look and yet the visual expressions are quite mature, even dark and gritty. It is a very nice approach and it is no surprise, looking back, that Breyfogle went on to draw a lot more issues of Prime for Malibu Comics. Breyfogle died on September 24, 2018 due to heart failure in Michigan. Before making his mark on the Ultraverse, the late artist drew a lot of comic books for DC Comics and is known for his contributions on Batman.

More on hero himself, Prime is a flagship character of the Ultraverse and the combined talents of the writers and artist were major factors behind it. On face value, Prime looks like the Ultraverse answer to DC Comics Superman but in reality he has a lot more common with Shazam/Captain Marvel. I can explain why but that means spoiling the plot more here.

Overall, Prime #1 is still a very good old superhero comic book to read. It is fun and intriguing from start to finish. Considering its very good quality and being a nice showcase of the talents of the creators, Prime #1 is one of the best Ultraverse launch comic books. It is too bad, however, that there are no signs from Marvel Entertainment (note: Marvel Comics acquired Malibu Comics in the mid-1990s) whatsoever on the possible revival of the Ultraverse which remains in limbo under them.

Even so, I still say that Prime #1 is highly recommended.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

Also if you are interested to join an Ultraverse-related community online, I recommend the Facebook group here.

PRESS RELEASE: All Hong Kong Show in Subic Sprint Triathlon Event

Subic Bay, Philippines – April 27, 2019 – It was a complete domination by the mighty Hong Kong team in the sprint events on the first day of the two-day 2019 NTT ASTC Subic Bay International Triathlon (SuBIT) Asian Cup as HK triathletes placed 8 entries in the top ten of the  men’s  sprint distance featuring 16 to 19 year olds while 7 female entries placed in the top ten, including a sweep of the top three places in both division.

In the super sprint distance though, the Philippines managed to share the glory with a second place finish in the boys’ side  and a third place achievement in the distaff side to share in the day’s glory.

The duo of Jason Hardcastle and Nicholas Tsang Cheung Singh set the tone from the start of the swim leg in the sprint race that  started  at the ACEA Beach Resort & Hotel as they left  the other participants literally in their wake and were never pressured en route to an easy 1 – 2 finish with Hardcastle retaining the title he won last year, clocking 56 minutes and 46 seconds for the 750m. swim-20K bike-5K run while Sing , who was left behind in the final run lap, finished in 57.11. Philip Chenaux-Repond completed the 1-2-3 finish by HK in 58.34.

” I was focused  on a podium finish, I knew I was in good form and I was not really pressured, the weather  though was very hot, ” said Hardcastle  after the race sanctioned by the International Triathlon Union ( ITU ) and the Asian Triathlon Confederation ( ASTC ) and backed by SBMA and its Tourism Department, the Philippine Olympic Committee ( POC ) Philippine Sports Commission ( PSC ), Pocari Sweat, Standard Insurance, Asian Centre for Insulation Philippines (ACIP), NTT, and the ACEA Beach Resort & Hotel.

Best placed local bet was Christian Legacy Academy student Joshua Ramos, 17, who sneaked in at 8th overall with a time of 1:00.57 while the other Filipino  triathlete in the top ten was Juan Baniqued in 10th place, finishing in 1:01.35.

” Sa swim pa lang ang layo na gad nung dalawa, but  in my case, I was not even expecting  this because I knew  how strong the field was this year,I really should work more on my swim in the future, ” said Ramos

The distaff side saw a start to finish victory by HK ‘s Bailee Brown who negotiated the distance in 1:04.03 despite the hot weather that bothered her, ” it was a tough race anyway you look at it but I was confident of winning, my strategy was just to be ahead at all time. I am  certainly happy with the win  and my swimming  showed a big improvement, ” said the pretty 19-year-old student from HK University who also competes regularly in the standard distance and even qualified in the last Asian Games’ triathlon event.

Twin sisters Cade and Tulullah Wright, also from Hong Kong, grabbed the next two slots, finishing in 1:04.45 and 1:05.06 respectively to complete the sweep for HK in the junior female elite division of the race .

National triathlete Karen Manayon managed  to squeeze herself in the top ten  , finishing in 10th place with  a time of 1:11.29, The Talisay, Cebu native admitted she  was surprised and happy  about her performance but not  with her time , ” medyo mabigat katawan ko  pag gising  kanina but  no excuse, sobra talaga lakas  ng mga taga Hong Kong. “

Nick Yip Tak long and Jan Yip sandwiched local bet Matthew Hermosa in the top 3  of the super sprint distance race as Long took first place in 33.51 i while Yip clocked 35.54 with Hermosa matching up well with a runner-up finish in 35.24.

” Malakas yung champion sa swim, nakalayo  agad siya at di ko na nakita pero masaya  na ako  sa finish ko, ” said the 13 year old Hermosa from Talisay, Cebu and mentored by Andoy Remolino.

HK’s Pauline Courret and Roxanne Wright, younger of the Wright twins, took first and second places, clocking 36.49 and 37.04 respectively while La Union native Lady Samantah Corpuz sprang a surprise with a third place finish in 37.42 also in the super sprint distance race.

” Kulang sa training dahil galing ako sa  sa sakit, two weeks  ako  hindi naka train, ” said  Corpuz, a National Age Group Triathlon champion in Subic earlier this year.

” No excuses, the Hong Kong team  was just  too strong  , they have a very good program and has been producing junior champions, in fact  in the region, HK  is the only one that can compete  against Japan. What we need to do is  adopt  the same approach  of Hong Kong in strengthening our junior triathletes especially in the swim leg, ” said Tom Carrasco Jr, president of the organizing Triathlon Association of the Philippines ( TRAP ).

Tomorrow morning (Sunday), focus will be on the men’s and women’s elite races which will also serve as a qualifying event for local triathletes for the 2019 Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games).

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Written by Lito Cinco