In the morning of May 11th, the DJ broadcasting from the local Otaku Radio announced the beginning of Otaku Festival 2013 – Lucky edition; why “lucky”? Because it was the 7th year in which this festival continued to be organized, proving that conventions start to gain momentum also in the South-Eastern Europe. And not only conventions in general, but also cosplay in particular.
This year’s Otaku Festival brought together over 3000 participants in the premises of the Romanian-American University from Bucharest, eager to have fun, take part in the workshops and presentations and also meet the special guests. As any other convention, Otaku Festival had its cosplay competitions as well, where the contestants had to prove their skills in both costume-making, and stage performance. This edition’s jury was made of Nikita (FR), Sikay (FR), Julia Laurant (SG/DK), and Reika (JP). For Reika-san it was the first trip to Europe, and for Otaku Festival it was an honor to have her, as well as the other three judges, as guests. The jury proved very inspirational for the audience, both in the “Questions and Answers” panel, and at the wig-styling workshop conducted by Julia.
The individual cosplay contest decided the winner of the second Romanian representative for the EuroCosplay finals that will take place in London in the autumn of 2013. And the jury decided that Andreea Ciohodaru, with a cosplay of Fighter from Granado Espada should be the one to go. The regular cosplay contest was won by Cristina Costache, with a cosplay of Princess Serenity from Sailor Moon and a brilliant stage performance. The second day of the festival decided the winners for the group cosplay contest, which this year were Haramichi, with a skit from Aquarion.
Nevertheless, many other diverse and well-made costumes could be remarked throughout the convention, from Durarara!!’s Shizuo and Izaya, to Litchi from Blazblue and Saeko from High School of the Dead. A colorful world, showing once again that cosplay is becoming more and more attractive for the Romanian fans too.
Another highlight of the event was Little Black Bat Maid Café and Host Club, where four girls and three boys entertained their guests in the fashion of the traditional maid cafes and host clubs inspired from the series Ouran Koukou Host Club.
Although with a much younger history than in the west, the conventions dedicated to the manga, anime and games fandom started to become more and more complex also in the south-east European countries such as Romania, where some very good cosplayers have already begun to take shape. We encourage them to continue their wonderful work and, hopefully, we will see much more of them in the future.