BENGALURU: A walk down the famous streets of Harajaku and Takashata-dori in Tokyo, and you’re bound to get a glimpse of the wide-spread cosplaying culture of the country. From Pokemon, to anime characters Bleach and One Piece, and characters from the video game Final Fantasy, cosplayers painstakingly dress to suit their choice and parade down the streets and cafes.
It is this experience that this year’s cosplay walk that Hiroko Izumi, the founder and planning director of Super Sugoii. A multicoloured pop-culture agency based in Japan, which provides strategy planning, brand planning, marketing planning, communication planning is hoping to replicate on the St Mark’s Road stretch. “More than 100 top cosplayers from across the country will take part in the walk this time,” says Izumi, who will be coming down to Bengaluru to organise the event on March 15, along with the
support of the Japanese Consulate in Bengaluru.
In addition, it will combine SpoGOMI, a ‘sport’ where teams will compete to collect as much litter as possible (gomi means garbage in Japanese). “This is the first time that something like this will be held. We believe this special activity will bring social impact and take the event to the next level,” she says.
With many participants preparing much in advance--- figuring the characters they wish to play, customising the costumes, deciding on the makeup --- Izumi says the idea is for participants to enjoy something different from the usual. “We just feel happy even if the participants hit the streets with simple costumes and makeup. This is to help them feel closer to Japan,” she says, adding that they always look to connect with people in Bengaluru through such events. “Which is why we are still accepting organisations/companies who wish to support them,” she adds.
Izumi – who is yet to decide on the character she will play– suggests that participants find a character they’d like to play, and put on their costume and makeup that suits it. “You have the right to enjoy a character you are passionate about. So, you don’t need to feel awkward,” she says, adding that those interested should reach out to friends who have tried it out.
Izumi feels that an event like this has huge potential to bring India and Japan closer to each other. The plan is long-term, and Izumi is hoping that they can expand this event into an impactful one, with more than 1,00,000 participants in the next 10 years.
(The cosplay walk will be held on March 15, on St. Mark’s road.)