Game on with the legends: A day out with cosplayers in Chennai

Sword-wielding armour-clad warriors, digital monsters in shiny wings and demon slayers from the anime-manga world — TNIE has a day out with cosplayers.
Nearly 70 cosplayers took part in the cosplay competition held at Phoenix MarketCity.
Nearly 70 cosplayers took part in the cosplay competition held at Phoenix MarketCity.

CHENNAI: Among the mall-goers walked a man dressed as a knight — an orange chest plate sharply standing out in the crowd, shoulder pads made of a lion and an eagle, greaves that had little spikes on them, and a massive sword the size of a man.

They looked at him curiously, some afraid, only to relax when the man smiled and pointed out that the costume was made of foam.

Nearly 70 cosplayers took part in the cosplay competition held at Phoenix MarketCity on Saturday. The contestants dressed up as characters from video games and animes were judged by international cosplay star Akira Konomi and cosplay photographer Kisaragi Nel.

“I’ve noted down some designing tricks that I’ll be sure to use once I get back,” said Konomi.

So what is the secret? Well, according to the amateur and professional cosplayers who came to the competition, it’s all about understanding your character.

According to Vaishnavi Prasad, a city-based cosplayer, who has been performing for five years, it’s all about channelling the character’s personality.

“I’m cosplaying as Ryuk from the show Death Note. He’s a mischievous character who has an agenda. He wanted to be entertained, so he drops the death note on Earth,” said the 30-year-old. Her intricately prepared costume with a set of black wings, were made by hand and took 60 hours to make.

Similarly, for first-time cosplayer Santhosh Joshua, the character Tanjiro from the anime Demon Slayer was appealing due to his sense of empathy. “It doesn’t matter how evil the character may be, he tries to empathise with them and understand them,” said the 21-year-old. His costume came with a wooden sword and took one month to make.

Sky’s the limit 

For the professional cosplayers, who came from across the nation, making their costume was tantamount to understanding their character better.

Ryeuben Hnamte from Shillong came as Zero from the video game Dynasty Warriors. The 24-year-old spent nearly three months preparing one outfit, which was true to every detail of the army general’s costume, right to the detailing on the ends of his coat.

“While I was making the costume, I researched about the character’s life and background. It’s very important for cosplayers to make their costumes as it helps us understand the character better,” he said.

In addition to this, some

decided to test their limits. Mumbai-based Trisha Devanika’s costume of Angemon from Digimon had 5,000 feathers painstakingly cut and pressed onto six wings.

Saurabh Singh Rawat from Mumbai wore an armour made out of foam board, and handpainted to resemble the costume of King Virian from the video game League of Legends. “I wanted to challenge my painting skills because this costume needs a lot of detailed paintwork. It was challenging, but worth it,” he said.

But the best part of the evening was the camaraderie between cosplayers, who would brush back a wing or adjust a stubborn piece of armour for their friends and competitors.

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The New Indian Express