This was actually the worst day. I had never so much stress in my life before. Iam not very confident in my crafting skills and we knew that our costumes are far from perfect.
So we were already pretty pretty nervous the night before.
The bus took us at 9 am to the location and we had judging at about 2 pm.
I needed to build up my swords for transport reasons and repainted the 2nd side of Chikos sword. I also needed to restyle the fringe of my wig.
Getting into costume took like forever.
We had one helper (Kaddle was just the best girl ToT) and still had lots of problems.
Unlike WCS and C4 you don’t have an own designated changing place. They have a separate changing room for everyone (not only ECG but also the other French Cosplayers!), but not enough chairs, tables and mirrors. So everyone was fighting for it and tried to get at least one of the few chairs and tables.
It was also unlucky that you needed to use the public toilet. So waiting for 30 minutes was not unusual. This added a lot of stress due to the already tight timetable.
We had our own Make up mirrors, which was the best idea ever.
(Memo to future teams, bring your own chairs and tables if you need them to dress up, Netherlands brought a bench or do your make up in the Hotel).
At Japan Expo the place is very limited, so I guess the organizer had no other choice. The team still tried their best to provide us with everything. But I think its important to know, so the future teams know what to bring.
As I mentioned I was super nervous and all the circumstances just added more and more stress to myself.
I also need to say that the costumes of the other participants looked amazing. And yes it was intimidating. I felt so happy to be able to stand on the same stage with all this talented cosplayers, but I just really felt like a damn potato next to them.
The noise didn´t made it better; you needed to scream whenever you wanted to talk to someone. everything was directly behind the Kitsune stage, so you heard the music and drummers from the stage the whole day.
Also the participants were stressing out because of the stage for the finals.
The stage was way shorter than the ECG told us beforehand. We realized it at the presentation the day before.
A lot of participants needed to find a plan B or tried to rewrite the choreographies for their final skits. (We learned later that they fixed it (Iam still so grateful for that thank you ToT), but at this moment everyone tried to arrange themselves with the new measurements of the stage).
The judging room was an open space at the Kitsune backstage (were everyone walked around and were it was super noisy).
When we had our judging turn we had huge problems to understand the questions of the judges and weren´t sure if they could understand us (at least they nodded ToT).
We tried to scream what we wanted to say, but we just had a few minutes (4 minutes per Cosplayer) we needed to rush. The judges were really nice and sweet. I was just super super super nervous.
I expected the wig judging afterwards but learned, that the judging will be made at Saturday right before the finals.
Chiko and I decided to rehearse in full costumes, cause we know that our costumes and especially the wig will slow down our movements or might make problems during our fight.
I still let my wig judged on Saturday but she was already disheveled after the rehearsal.
We took some pictures of our costumes, got lunch (nom nom) and made our first video shoot (the staff understood my problem and tried their best for it).
Afterwards we brought our props over to the Ichigo stage and got ready for the first rehearsal.
The epic staff people came to us and asked for the placement of the props. We already gave them the documents a month before, but because we already experienced WCS we printed our everything again for them and handed them our script.
The rehearsal didn´t went well. I was tripping over my own props and struggled with the surface of the stage (we had a scene were I slided under Chiko but couldn’t do it, because the surface was carpet and not slippery at all, so we needed to change the choreography, but we had a Plan B for this case so it was no problem).
The light was pretty off, but I know that rehearsals are mostly like this so I just changed back and hoped that tomorrow will be better.
The Epic Team really gave their best for every representative to place the props and to support us. Thanks to you guys for all your hard work and kindness!
We packed and went by bus to the hotel had dinner and went to bed. Everyone was pretty exhausted and knew that we had to be at the bus at 7 am the next day.
The 2nd day started really late. The bus departed at 9 am. We got our make up stuff and some final costume parts with us (our props were already at the expo)
The backstage of the Kitsune stage was the headquarter of the ECG representatives.
The Kitsune stage is a small Cosplay stage in one of the main halls where you also can find several Cosplay related booths.
Everyone had a little square where he could store their props or just chill out.
They also had changing rooms and a small area with tables and electricity as well as a table with water, small snacks and an interesting pile of ice tea (which mysteriously got bigger Oo not smaller…).
Mytseriouse pile of tea XD
They scheduled 1,5 hrs for changing, so we could take it slowly.
After changing they started the lottery for the performance order of the ECG finals.
Every country went up to the Kitsune stage, answered 1 or 2 questions from Benjamin and took one lottery ticket. The starting numbers are country wise to ensure the maximum “gap” between the 2 skits of one country.
Our Solo representative Yuna tried her luck and got us (group) the starting number 1 and for herself the starting number 8.
Some people were pretty confused, because we were really happy about the starting number.
Drawing numbers at the Kitsune stage
To be honest, we wanted this number. We realized that if you start the show, you can see all the other skits without being nervous and enjoy it freely. We are also through the rehearsals first and have plenty of time afterwards to take care of the problems, which might appear and to change back (we did all rehearsals in full costume). Or just start packing, while the others still need to wait for their turn.
As a singer I am always the starting number one of the show for the next 30 minutes. So I never felt this pressure of “being the first”.
After getting our favorite starting number we got lunch backstage. The epic staff brought us several sandwiches, desserts and drinks from which we could choose freely. It was pretty tasty. After the lunch we got ready for the presentation.
Waiting for the Parade
The presentation was held at the Ichigo stage (main stage) and was right before the Cosplay show at Thursday. We just walked up to the stage (country wise in alphabetic order), went to the front, made 2 or 3 poses and went back.
After that we had freetime.
We both changed back and started to build our props for the rehearsals, repaired our costumes and props (the swords got some ditches from the transport and one of the holders fell apart) and got everything ready for the next day.
Nearly everyone builded up their props and repainted their armors/ props.
Because we knew that the Japan Expo is in the nowhere, we brought a survival kit which includes everything we might need to repair something (6 different types of glue, 5 different types of tape, screwdriver, paint, needles, yarn, paint etc etc tec) we could provide everyone with pretty much everything and opened the “iron square”. XD
After that we took the bus back to the hotel.
A lot of people told me that we food at the restaurant won´t be good. But actually I was really happy. ToT We could choose 2 buffets (main dish + starter or main dish + dessert) and it was just super super tasty! They hade a “make yourself burger” station and we dessert was just super super tasty!
Thanks for feeding me so well. ToT I ate a lot during the few days!
I decided to write a small report about my experiences during the European Cosplay Gathering a few weeks ago. J
So lets start with day 1! The arrival day!
Because Japan Expo starts at Thursday, we were required to arrive at Wednesday.
Due to logistical reasons we decided to go by airplane, while friends brought our stage props by car to Paris.
A trip by car would have taken us about 10 to 12 hours and we were required to arrive in the early afternoon. Chiko needed to work the day before and we didn’t wanted to arrive utterly exhausted.
We were really thankful that our friends could take our props, because otherwise we would have needed to ship them a month before to the ECG and Wednesday would have been super stressful for us, because they booked us the wrong flights. Thanks to Kaddle and Kai for bein best helper chans!
With a slight delay we arrived safetly in Paris.
An epic staff member (Axel ^_-) got us with team Poland (they also had delay) and took us safetly to our hotel. It was so cool already to meet Axel, cause I already got to know him during Animecon a few weeks ago and to meet Team Poland *o*. The first fellow ECG Team we met in Paris!
We arrived too late for the prop transport and briefing (the bus departed when we got to the hotel, but we would have needed to repack in the room), so I sent our helper to get the informations we need.
While the others got their briefing at the Japan Expo we prepared and ironed all our costumes for the upcoming days (For future teams: bring your own iron!)
The hotel room was surprisingly huge (Iam used to Japanese room standarts ^_-), so we could made ourselves comfortable.
We had another briefing and welcome party with food in the evening. It was the first contact with the other Representatives and really fun. Everyone was still a bit shy, but I luckily I already knew the Portuguese, Dutch and Czech representatives.
Later we played an ECG quiz game to decided the order of the lottery (we needed to draw our performance order for the ECG finals on stage).
It was really fun and we placed more or less in the middle.
After some more food and socializing we went to bed and got ready for the 2nd day.
After a few days we finally could settle down and recover from this amazing weekend.
We still cant believe what happened and that our adventure since September found an end.
For us it was already a huge surprise to win the ECG – European Cosplay Gathering preselection’s at Connichi (we even didn’t plan to go to the winning ceremony, but got convinced by the organizer), because we really messed up our skit.
While Germany is pretty successful in the Solo categories, until now a German team/ group has never won a podium place in the whole international Cosplay history since 2005.
We didn´t expected anything, because we knew neither our skit, nor our
costumes are even near to perfect and we could see how talented and
skilled other teams are. (To be honest, we messed up our fight and were
tripping on stage…). For us being able to participate next to so
many talented Cosplayers, to meet them and to make so many new friends
was already an amazing experience and price. To even bring back a podium
place is something we never expected.
We want to thank everyone for their kindness and support. Thanks to you
we could kept going. It was very stressful and not easy at all. But
thanks to everyone we could make it.
We want to thank especially Riko Creatix
our best helper for her patience and her time. Helping us to dress,
bringing us water, feeding us tasty food and helping us with the prop
Kai for driving our props over 1.000 Kilometer to Paris, being patient with us and endless supportive. Thanks to Bryan Valentino who made the amazing background video for us and Kukkii-san for the private wig workshop to get a clue how to make this monster of a wig.Thanks for your patience and time!
Also thanks to the team epic for giving their best, being kind and taking really good care of us. Of course Benjamin Zafrany,
who sacrificed his sleep in order to make the ECG an unique experience
for every single participant! We didn’t felt left alone even once during
the whole event, because there was always someone of the epic members
helping us. Thank sou! We also want to thank our senpais Artflower Cosplay and Abyssinian Cosplay
for taking their time to answear every single of our stupid questions
and giving us all the important advices to survive this adventure.
Also thanks to our sponsors myCostumes for sponsoring our wigs and more and Yakitori for the awesome team T-Shirts.
And of course thanks to all the other participants and congratulations
to winners! Everyone made this trip amazing and unique. So much
kindness and talent in one place. It was such an honor to be with you
guys and to be part of this amazing ECG family! Thank you!