Instead of a ‘normal’ anime convention happened last November 16 & 17, this year’s Otaku Expo Reload had become a charity event for the victims of the typhoon Yolanda.
A CHARITY ANIME EVENT
The event featured the usual karaoke contest, art contest and cosplay competition. The battle of the band contest was cancelled. According to one of the staff, the contest was scrapped because it may disturbed other events beside the venue.
What made Otaku Expo Reload different this year was the charity auction where the proceeds of some auctioned item will be donated to the typhoon victims. A donation booth was also setup for clothes, food and other non-monetary goods. These were donated to Philippine Red Cross as posted by Otaku Expo Facebook page.
The second day highlighted the individual cosplay competition.
Out of the 71 cosplayers participated in the competition, ‘balikbayan’ Dennis ‘Sharivan Spark’ Isidoro won first place. Dom John Obmerga as Nero of Devil May Cry took second place while the hilarious skit from Ruzzel Christian Go as Fujiko Mine made him third placer.
This is the first time that the Ozine team holds an event at the SMX and it should leave the expression that the venue is more comfort able than the previous Megatrade Hall. Unfortunately, it didn’t
Despite a larger venue, the organizers went for SMX’s smallest function room which is 30 square meter larger than the Megatrade’s smallest Hall 3.
The venue was jampacked with crowd peaked in the afternoon of the second day. We had a hard time roaming around as cosplayers and some attendees stayed on the alleys. Same situation inside the venue, alleys were too narrow for a person to pass through.
HENTAI KAMEN STRIKES
Cheers from the people were unexpectedly roared from outside the venue. A Hentai Kamen cosplayer appeared before the large crowd, however, his presence was shortlived as SMX security responded to the commotion and took the cosplayer away.
In a message received by animePH, the HK cosplayer apologized on what he did in the event, though it won’t be the last time we are gonna see him. He was not banned from the venue, yet the authorities gave him a long sermon and a warning.
MISA AND YAZI
Misa and Yazi were the event’s international guests from Taiwan. They had their two-day meet and greet sessions at Meeting Room 11 at the SMX Convention Center.
On the first day, Misa wore her Ling Xiaoyu costume while Yazi as Lily, both from the Tekken game. Miza can speak and understand little English so we had no problems during her Q &A. Yazi was the quiet type maybe because she has to rely on Misa in interpreting.
They described Filipinos as very kind, pretty and handsome. The Filipino food was very delicious. Misa mentioned that her favorite foods were Kare-Kare and Crispy Pata. Both cosplayers said that they enjoyed their stay in the Philippines. In their respective Facebook pages, Misa and Yazi said that they might come back very soon. Misa hinted maybe in April.
The meet and greet ended with a positive note, however, the audience on the first day was not able to see the glimpse of the two international cosplayers on stage. Misa and Yazi appeared on the second day as Ozine’s Brian Uy told us. Misa was wearing the famous Shana outfit while Yazi is cosplaying as Asuna from Sword Art Online on the second day.
IN THE END
Despite the good intention of holding a charity event for the typhoon victims, the event would have been better. The event was supposedly ‘better’ for both organizers and attendees because it was in SMX, unfortunate, in the two days covering the event, there were several things that needs to improve and I know the organizers had thought that already.
Hope, these will improve in Ozine Fest 2014.