World Cosplay Summit 2016 – Part 10: Day 7 Rehearsals

World Cosplay Summit 2016 – Part 10: Day 7 Rehearsals

After we woke up and went to breakfast we finally got our Schedule for the rehearsals.

Concert hall
Block B started with the rehearsals, while Block A had their rehearsals in the afternoon/ evening.

The WCS intended to bring our props with a small transporter to the concert hall (the place where the championship was held).
The main problem was that if you use the transporter, you only have about 45 minutes to build up all your props and to be ready for the rehearsals.
Of course this was impossible for us.
It was also not allowed to be at the concert hall prior than 1 hour before your rehearsal time.

In front of the concert hall

So we were forced to build up our most time consuming prop at the Hotel and to bring it by ourselves to the concert hall.

We are very happy that Mo, Laura, iris and Patrick helped us to carry stuff. If not we would’ve never been able to carry everything to the concert hall.
We could put our stuff into the changing rooms. They were very big and had some mirrors, chairs and tables. We shared our changing room with the sweeties from Mexico, Philippines and Portugal.
Changing room (Championship day)
Our square
For our props we got a taped square with our number at the backstage area where we could build up our props and leave them there.
I could see why it wasn’t allowed to be more than 1 hour before you rehearsal starts at the location. There was just no place. Our changing rooms were much bigger than the place for the props.
We finished building up our props in time thanks to our wonderful organizers but most of the teams didn’t showed up in time or weren´t finished.

We had our rehearsal at our designated time, because we where pushed in between the other starting numbers.

We had 10 minutes to explain our prop setting, put everything up, to make our skit and to take everything from stage. Some teams managed to rehearsal their skit 2 times; we only managed it 1 time.

But because you had a second rehearsal of your block (how it will be at the finals) afterwards we could at least practiced our skit 2 times on this stage.
Our stage setting
Sadly they didn’t got all our files, although they confirmed it. The video file and the English file was missing. So we needed to get the files again on USB stick.

After all rehearsals we practiced the “introduction” of the teams, the lining up and the award ceremony.
They also explained how to move to stage and what to do if you get an award or have been chosen for the 2nd stage. Sadly they changed some things at the actual award ceremony.

During rehearsal
We needed to put our props in our changing rooms or into the lobby of the concert hall, because it wasn’t enough place to leave our props at the designated area for Block A and B at the same time.

When we put everything into the changing rooms, Patrick helped us to make our Props more stable. We had some difficulties to transport our gate, which was not really stable… I also had the problem that the handling of my umbrella fell off. But luckily we brought wood glue and a lot of other stuff for every case to the concert hall.
After repairing our props (and secured them to death XD) we went back to the Hotel, had a look at the Oasis area and had some dinner, while Patrick was grabbing the USB stick and went to the concert hall again. Thanks so much ToT.
Afterwards we could rest.

World Cosplay Summit 2016 – Part 6: Day 3 Craftsmanship judging

World Cosplay Summit 2016 – Part 6: Day 3 Craftsmanship judging

We got a very late entrance number, so our craftsmanship judging was in the late afternoon/ evening.

Next to the judging you are also busy with interviews, making your introduction video, weighting and measuring your props etc etc. Because we got our judging in the evening we started with our introduction video.

Introduction Video:
You have about 20 seconds to introduce yourself in your own language. To tell which team you are, your name and something about yourself or your country. The introduction video will be played during the championship right before your performance.
Because this year you have the Semifinals and finals you were supposed to make 2 different videos in case you manage it to get to the finals.
We didn´t know that and practiced only one video. So we just thought about something the day before.

Recording and translating

You really have 20 seconds, not more not less.
This makes it sometimes very difficult to time your introduction.

We needed 3-4 tries for our 1st video and 2 for our 2nd.
You only have about 10-15 minutes to finish you video and to translate everything for the staff.
After finishing the videos, you have to tell the staff what you said during what phrase. Normally they translate it for you into Japanese. But I translated it directly for them.

After filming the video you went to the interview room. I heard that the last year the interview was a paper, where you write down your answers and that it was verbal the year before that.

This time we got a laptop and a word sheet with questions.

I think you got about 15 questions? (Not sure anymore) Mostly about the Cosplay culture and fans in your country.
They told me, that this sheets are used for study and research purpose. Not for introducing the Cosplayers.
Chiko had some problems with their PC, because it always turns into Korean. She also wasn’t used to the English keyboard. Some of the other participants had the same problem. It took more time than the WCS calculated and caused some delay (although we were one of the first).

Weighting and measuring:


Normally you are weighting and measuring directly after the technical meeting or craftsmanship judging. But this means you have about 2 minutes to get your costume off and weight it. Because it wasn’t possible for us and we had some spare time till the judging we went there earlier.

Normally you need to build up your whole stage props. But because we made pictures at the rehearsals of the props standing next to each other we only needed to put out one “plate” and the WCS stuff calculated the measurements (our props are made our of square plates).

We already put all our stuff into luggage’s, so the staff could put our props on the scale at once.
You are allowed to have 40 Kg max with all your championship stuff. We were at about 23-25 Kg. So even with the luggage´s we were under the 40 Kg mark.

Some teams were near the 40 Kg mark and needed to put everything out.

This took some time and we were happy that we were done after 2 minutes.

Getting ready:
Our video appointment was at about 12 am and our judging at about 18-19 pm.

That’s why we had a lot of time to get ready and got some lunch with Iris, German Alumni and organizer. She also showed us where to go and helped us in any matter.

She was a really great support!

Official pictures:
Afterwards we had about 2 hours to get into our costumes. While getting ready Iris got us a Porenta (the Pokemon you can only get in Asia). <3
When we finished changing we went into the waiting room in the 2nd floor until the room for the official pictures was free.
They had a small studio with a white background for the official pictures. The photographer was a famous Cosplay photographer in Nagoya.
We took some pictures and checked them. Afterwards we went back and waited for the costume judging.

Pictures and judging

Costume judging:
I was so nervous…. This was worser than the championship day.
I needed to go to toilet every minute and drank mass of water….
The judging is in a big room there the Organizers of the other teams (not your own organizer, he has a break) are judging your costume. This means you have about 28 Organizers sitting there, plus translator, plus filming crew, plus WCS stuff.
You have 10 minutes (5 per person) to present your costume with your power point, which you sent them a month ago. They ring the bell once after 8 minutes, twice after 9 minutes and 3 times after 10 minutes.
If 10 minutes are over the staff translates a short version of your presentation into Japanese (some organizers only speaks Japanese) and they have about 10 minutes to watch your costume and ask you questions.
Construction report

We had so much stuff to present. 3 costumes, 2 props, 3 small handprops.
I wrote the presentation already 1,5 months ago and just tagged it into my brain because I cannot read with colored lenses. So I was very afraid that I forget what to say and waste precious presentation time. The other thing was that the organizers looked so exhausted that most of them didn’t smiled. The Australian organizer Kenny saved me… I swear. And when the WCS staff asked if there were any questions, barely some asked anything (we got 1 question), so I panicked more and more. Someone told me that they judged since morning and were just dead after listening to 24 teams.
So I kind of understand know, why they looked so tired (more than disinterested).
But at this moment I just panicked…. (I though OMG our costumes were just too boring ToT)

But yes, it’s normal they barely ask questions and they are interested in your costume and listen to you. They are just really really tired.
After dying several times during my presentation, it seems like I showed them my panties. Yes I barely remember what I did cause I was too nervous…
But my organizer told me they were talking about, Germany showing their panties (it’s a show of panty so it’s ok. XD I made it for this purpose, because I moved a lot during my skit.).

Technical meeting:
The last part was the technical meeting.

We talked about the stage setting, how to handle the props and about the light rider.

They asked us some questions about the prop setting, I asked them some questions and than we went through the light rider.

Light and setting rider
Hane san (in charge of the stage) asked me some questions regarding our light rider and confirmed that we didn’t use original voices or pictures.
This was the most comfortable part. You were just sitting there, listening and just correct them if they misunderstands something.

After a long long long day, we went to an Japanese Pub with all the other teams and went dead into our bed.

We could finish the next step, costume judging.

World Cosplay Summit 2016 – Part 1: The preparations

World Cosplay Summit 2016 – Part 1: The preparations

Picture by Japanaily
I am back from one of my biggest journeys of my life and my head is full of great memories, experiences and new friendships. It was an honor to participate at the World Cosplay Summit and Iam really grateful for this experience.
I never though that the World CosplaySummit would be such a rewarding event.

This is why I decided to blog about it. So I can share my experience and write down my memories and thoughts.

If you have any questions or wishes about which topic I should write. Please don’t hesitate to ask.

Today I want to start with the Preliminary 1 year ago and the way to the championship.

The Preliminary in Germany:

One year ago I participated with my partner Chiko at the Preliminary at the Connichi, one of the biggest Anime/ Manga events in Germany.
I did I because I really love to perform and could try out new things on stage next to singing and dancing.
I never though we really would be become the next WCS Team Germany, because I know that other awesome Cosplayer are trying since years and years and I was just a rookie who started to participate at competitions recently.
I was happy but really felt unsure if I would be really able to represent Germany accordingly.

Buying the materials:
Because we never expected to become the next team we already planned and booked a Asia trip in November.
This was also the reason why we decided a week after the preliminary which costume we are going to bring to Japan. We knew that we would visit Taipei and Dubai, where you can get fabrics and crafting supplies for small money.
I calculated the time schedule for the WCS and realized directly after the preliminary that we don’t have a lot of time and need to start practicing an sewing as soon as possible.
These are the costumes we decided to bring to Japan:
Because I knew that we are short on time I finished the interview Cosplay 2 weeks after the Preliminary. It was a good feeling to know, that at least one Cosplay is finished before enjoying the holiday in Asia. In Taipei and Japan we went shopping and got most of our material for our WCS costumes. Chinese silk is awesomely cheap over there… We bought wonderful Chinese embroidered silk for about 3-4 Euro per 90 cm. And 50 Meter braids for about 3-5 Euro.
We mostly bought our braids in Dubai. Because they were cheaper than in Taipei.

The skit:

Because I knew we need to practice a lot I finished the audio file in February.

We decided to go for Adekan and to use our preliminary skit, because we got a lot of good advices. I wanted to make a better skit than at the preliminary. So I we though, that pimping up and improving our skit would be a good choice.
The audio consists out of 12 Songs, 25 cuts, 160 pieces and a lot of corrections.
It took me about a month to complete it. I worked at it every day about 4 hours.
We adjusted the audio file till June in order to get the perfect timing and speed for all the effects.
It took me 3 months to write the skit and to rewrite the choreography.
The skit and the choreography has been changed and adjusted till June. We worked a lot on it to make it “better”.
At first it was very difficult for us to learn the choreography and to get used to the new movements, because we are very unsporty and don’t know anything about dancing or material arts. You can imagine that my bruises already got some names… But after 3-4 months it went better and we could start working on smaller movements of the hand and the way of walking.
A lot of people asked me how long we practiced.
We practiced from February till departing every week one between 4-10 hours. Sometimes 2 or 3 times a week. Our last practice was 2 days before departing to Nagoya.

The costumes:

Next were the championship costumes.
I started sewing directly after coming back from my Asia trip in December and it took me about 7 months to complete my championship Cosplay as well as my props and quick change costumes.
Ill write about the construction of them in an other blog.

Ive never put so much time, money and effort into a costume as for the championship.
The costumes are really not perfect but I am

very very happy about them.

I haven’t studied or learned how to sew so I needed to watch a lot of tutorials or ask friends for certain new techniques. But it was worth it.
I worked at them about 4-10 hours a day and I admit it was very exhausting.

The props:
For me it was the first time to build stage props which need to fit into a luggage. My friend owns a very big car, that’s why it was quite a challenge.
For the gate and the box we decided to use a clip box board system.
It is very simple to build up and to transport it.
The cage is made out of plastic pipes.
We shaped the rings with heat in order to get a ring.
I need to admit that I am noob regarding to light stuff. That’s why my friend helped me to construct it. And I just watched and helped him to get the stuff done….
I only know that it took quite a time to finish it and I am really thankfull, that he helped me this much.

Next to the skit and the costume I realized that planning and preparing yourself is also very time consuming and important. The earlier you think about your baggage the earlier you might avoid problems. We had problems to transport our swords, because they are too long for a normal luggage. Cause we though about it beforehand we solved this problem in a very simple and cheap way.

Also informing yourself about the events and what is expected of you is very important.
The most important thing was to inform myself about the hotel, the surroundings of the Hotel regarding craft supplies and batteries etc, as well as about the weather.
Japanese weather is very different to ours in Europe. So I checked what gadgets might be useful in order to survive an outdoor event in the Japanese summer heat.
I also got spares for all of my props, batteries and everything that might be damaged during the transport in the airplane.
Actually planning, making research and preparing myself took about 2-3 months of my sewing and practicing time. I never though that it would be that time consuming.
But it was worth it, because we were prepared for every case and could avoid stressful situations.