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Aniplay 2012: When School Becomes a Crossdressing Party

July 03, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 421

May 5, 2012 began as an absolutely ordinary day, a bit sunnier than the previous one but also quite calm. There was a hint in the air, though, that this tranquility was actually a lull before the storm. On this day, Aniplay 2012 happened, of course, and it will be remembered exactly for this event by staff and participants, as well as by the public. For those of you who are not familiar with the subject, Aniplay is a quite a serious cosplay acting performance, a statement that can easily be seen from the fact that the popular Bulgarian actor Veselin Rankov was the head of jury... about this, though, I'll tell you more later.

Actually, when looked from the point of view of both participants and staff, the day was not as calm as it may have seemed. From a very trustworthy source I know that planning and realizing such an event is almost as emotional (mainly positive, of course!) for the team behind the scenes as the preparation of one of these scenes was for the cosplayers. Volunteers and other people tried to fix any mistakes that have previously occurred; judging by the feeling that was left within me after that day, they did very well. Yet, the participants themselves surely had a pretty exhausting and enervating day, filled with worries, checks and last-minute repairs.

The event itself was divided in two phases, if I could call them like this - inside and outside, of course!

The performance itself was in the Youth Theatre "Nikolay Binev" in Sofia. Although there are things that can improve (well, what would we do if there was no way for improvement?), there were definitely a lot of changes from the past years and most of the mistakes were absent. The performance part was divided into three - the two first groups "Bleach" and "The Witcher" were followed by "Shakugan no Shana" and "Crossover Hospital" and the third part - 'award ceremony'. In the schedule, between the three sections were positioned three separate dancing routines, all of which were previously announced on the official Facebook page of the event.

The stage play this year was definitely very well-rehearsed and on a different level than what would be expected from a small country as Bulgaria. Naturally, there were tiny technical issues with the sound, but there were also quite a lot of fun moments such as a troll arm that flew in a human's face, i.e. Three out of the four plays were mainly comedy acts, which is probably the reason why the boy and girls from "The Witcher" stood out from the lot, but of course, it was visible that some of the cosplayers have put in more effort than others.

"Bleach" was the first cosplay play and it was a combination of heavy battles between Ulquiorra and Ichigo, as well as the sudden and necessary "Kurosaki-kun" by Orihime. Also, the Primera and Terça Espada were carefully watching everything that happened on the stage, so carefully, that at one point Barragan wished to go and show that Kurosaki how a real Espada fights... He wasn't successful, but at least he's got his health insurance.

Songs and the sound of a guitar accompanied "The Witcher", joined by the marvelous fighting abilities of the Witcher himself... From the very opening sequence it was obvious that a lot of blood will be spilled, witcher blood and human blood both. A great impression made also the images that were being shown behind the actors, aiding the feeling of reality. Another very important side were the fighting demonstrations that were played by both female and male cosplayers as though they were real professionals in this.

"Shakugan no Shana" was the third topic and will definitely be remembered. Although the audience was pretty loud during their presentation, a reaction that was due to the large intervals between each scene, many of the characters are favourite of the crowd. In order to understand the jokes, there was no need to know the story, which alone shows just how well the idea was adapted.

At the end of the day, the most blood was spilt during "Crossover Hospital" where everyone wanted to kill everyone... however, it was the poor Death the Kid that ended up the most unfortunate one because, in a very asymmetrical way, everyone fell victim to the might of a very kawaii pet.

Apart of the troll and the great game by the young Triss from "The Witcher", there is no way to forget the poor woman who died a terrible death, falling victim to Stephanie Myers. In the documents it was written: "Cause of Death: Boredom and Sparkling Vampires". That was a definite winner by the guys and girls from Crossover Hospital. Ichigo from "Bleach" was also amazing with his movable jaw, but he should learn to turn off his phone when fighting a life-or-death battle! "SPARTA!" shouted the team from Shakugan no Shana; but it as well as Margery Daw's bottle of alcohol wasn't enough for them to win the competition.

A lot of the guests wanted give their vote for the great hosts of the show, who gave the event a very large dose of high-class comedy during the pauses. Well, who doesn't like some crossdressing?

Amongst the judges - the people who made the most important decisions - was Veselin Rankov. He's an actor who voices Rowan Atkinson, Rene from "'Alo 'Alo", Eddie Murphy and more. But actually... this is one of the most famous Bulgarian actors as a whole - theatre and cinema included. Judges were also Yavor Borisov, actor from the Sofia Theatre of Satire, Sofia "Tear and Laugh", "Sfumato" and has also participated in many cinematic productions. Last but not least, Gustav Ljungdahl was also a part of the special guests' list. He's an experienced cosplayer from Sweden who represented the country at Eurocosplay 2011. Oh yes - he doesn't like trolls anymore!

These were the people who had to be decisive and chose the first Bulgarian participant for Eurocosplay 2012. She is Nessi Sokoleva and played Triss Merigold from The Wicther. The other winners from Aniplay 2012 are: Best Female - Hristina Balabanova (Shana in Shakugan no Shana), Best male - Ivan Dimitrov (The Witcher, The Witcher). Eli "Shadow" Nikolova's Best Script Award was won by Kiril Georgiev (The Witcher). The audience voted The Witcher as the best group from the day. A Mana-sama cosplay from the public was chosen as the best out of the guests'.

After all of this, according to an old tradition, everybody relocated to a local park and they lived happily ever after... or not exactly. While an intense session of photoshooting, video recording and talks was going on, Mother Nature decided that it was about time for Aniplay 2012 to officially end. Under the spring rain shower, elves, witchers and the real warriors did not give up, but it was still the final of a great day for Bulgarian cosplay. At the end of the day, although the badly air-conditioned theatre was suffocating, the only thing that managed to suffocate the staff, the performers and the public was laughter, a bi-product of one great spring day.

Source: EzineArticles
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