Imagine yourself in the elegant blue frock of Wendy, the female protagonist of the classic, ‘Peter Pan’, wondering about Never Land as your friend, dressed in parrot green shirt, fixes that red feather on his hat. He is playing Peter Pan today. Exciting enough? It only gets cooler as you meet similar enthusiasts, cherishing their love for their favorite characters from different anime, TV Shows, superhero movies, Disney and comic books. And such was the scenario in the Dhaka Comicon 2016, held at the Jamuna Future Park from December 17-19, 2016 to celebrate love for fictional heroes amidst the residents of the city. As many will agree, the best part of DCC 2016 was the cosplay. But what do we know about the journey of these cosplayers? What is so interesting about cosplay except for those interesting get ups and make ups? Let’s learn it from the finalists of this year’s DCC 2016 cosplay competitions, held on all 3 days of comic festival.
1.Tamanna Tasneem Supti
Stepping into the world of cosplay in 2014, driven by her eternal love for anime, Supti developed a passion for wearing the shoes of her favorite characters. With time, this activity, once taken up as a mere hobby, started to culminate into relentless passion. According to Supti, the best of cosplaying is that you get to be in the character, cherishing the traits of someone who you have adored for a long time. ‘When I meet people who love my much loved character just as much, I feel delighted. And if I can successfully depict that character, it brightens up their days, thereby giving me one of the most amazing feelings in the world,’ said the finalist of DCC 2016. This year, Supti cosplayed for two days at DCC, portraying two different characters- Devil Skin Mercy from Overwatch and Hatsune Miku Canterella Grace Version from Vocaloids. The fulfilling experience of this cosplayer only got better when she met with other spectacular participants. The best thing about DCC 2016 to her was her personal achievement. ‘I don’t usually compete in the cosplay competitions or make very intricate costumes. However this time, I put the effort and time to make two. I honestly had no expectations but my effort got recognized by the judges which made me extremely happy,’ remarked the talented girl.
Photo Courtesy: Labib Daiyan
2.Sadman Alvi Rajkhan
We often fear how people will react to our dressing up as a Disney character or a Superhero. We also cultivate a notion such as ‘Oh, he is a fourteen-year old? He must be playing a cute, little Spiderman or some character that is easy to pull off.’ But people like Sadman Alvi Rajkhan outshine such preconceived notions with utter valor and passion to portray unique characters during cosplays. The debut of Sadman as a cosplayer was through the Dhaka Comicon 2014, where, at the age of 14, he portrayed Tony Stark with one-hand armor. Ever since then he has never given up on cosplaying because like he says, it feels beautiful to live like one’s beloved character for a day. This year, DCC 2016, witnessed this teenagers 12th cosplay, where he depicted Silver Samurai (Movie Version), a character which had not been cosplayed for a second time in the world before Sadman took the step. This 6’4” tall character received an immensely positive response from the crowd on the 1st & 3rd days of DCC 2016. Sadman’s efforts were rewarded with him being one of the finalists of the cosplay competition and later, the winner of the Judge’s Choice Award. ‘We cosplayers do not really cosplay for competition, but for fun. Hanging out with friends and making new friends, who harbor equal love for cosplaying is the most awesome part of such Comicons. There’s a whole community for us cosplayers and it is growing day by day. I love cosplaying and I do not plan to stop my journey,’ said the very young, yet hugely brilliant cosplayer, who regards DCC as the best event of 2016.
Photo: Sadman’s 12 different cosplays till date
Photo: Sadman as Silver Samurai (Movie Version)
‘I’m a Batman’- we often yearn to express ourselves as our favorite superhero or most revered character. Same is the case with Mihika Mikasa. To nourish her love for representing her favorite characters to people, she participates in cosplays. Many a times, through observing different cosplayers at Comicon like DCC 2016, we get to learn about a new character and may even start harboring an inordinate interest towards it. That pleases Mihika- to live the character and to let others live that role through her. In the biggest comic festival of the country, Dhaka Comicon 2016, Mihika depicted Deathwing from the game, ‘World of Warcraft’ on the second day. What thrilled her most were the costumes made by other equally brilliant cosplayers, deserving to compete in an international level. ‘The finest thing about DCC 2016 was the crowd. This is really great that a large number of people in our country are now familiar with the pop culture and take such comic celebrations seriously. Cosplay has been a very important part of my life, which adds to my felicity and I’ll encourage more and more people to participate in such arrangements,’ said this finalist of DCC 2016 cosplay competition.
Many people fall in love with cosplay after trying it for the first time. However, the case was different for Mubeen Rahman, a 24 year old student of IUB. Even before debuting as a cosplayer in 2013’s UJCC, Mubeen had been a cosplay enthusiast. Musing over the countless YouTube videos portarying extremely impressive cosplays all around the world never failed to leave him awestruck. What enthralled him more than the coslay itself were the props and costumes of the comicons. As Mubeen says, ‘I absolutely love making costumes for every cosplay I do and in every comicon of Dhaka, you are likely to find at least 2 or 3 cosplayers in costumes that were primarily made by me. It is safe to count me as one of the more veteran members of the Bangladeshi Cosplay community.’ The country hosts only two large comicons every year and that certainly shows why the hype created by DCC is real. Mubeen regards DCC 2016 as a consistent spectacle, delivering commendable cosplay competition and concerts throughout the three-day extravaganza. DCC is indeed, one of the most vital prooving gronds for cosplay compeititors of Bangladesh. Mubeen aims to increase exposure to pop culture and cosplay amidst the denizens of the country by educating people about the fanbase and popularity of th industry. This year, Mubeen portrayed Pharah from the online video game, ‘Overwatch’. Pharah, in fact, is a female character, which he played as a man. In the cosplay scene, this is known as a ‘gender bender’. The character took him to the list of finalists on the first and third day of the DCC 2016. ‘The cosplay compeitition is by far my favorite feature of DCC 2016, right above the merchandise stalls that bring awesome imported products to us,’ said the cosplay enthusiast.Such people are those who inspire us and raise our interests towards pop-culture, comicons and comic festivals in Bangladesh. The comicon industry of Bangladesh has witnessed some of the greatest advancements in the last few years and if we can cultivate such utter devotion and love for comic culture, the industry of this country will reach heights surpassing expectations.