January 24 and 25, 2015 - The CNPH Team headed to Megatrade Halls 1 and 2 to witness the first hobby-centric convention of the year – Otaku Expo 2015. This event almost had all the same activities with their other events such as the Ozine Fest and Otaku Expo Reload but nearly everyone in the anime and game subculture still keep on flocking over to the same event over again.
To initiate crowd control, there was a free hall to facilitate cosplayers, photographers, and con-goers alike and the paid hall was where the stage, concessionaires, and gaming tables were. If you’re the type of conger who is only for the activities and merchandise, then the paid hall was worth its price as you will also be witnessing Vanguard players and Gunpla assemblers. Otherwise, you could stay in the free hall to chat and take photos of cosplayers. If you enjoy both, then you could see the event in its entirety. The ever famous Ozine Maid Café was in business too.
Most cosplayers are truly passionate about their hobby and because of this, our creative heads came up with the “Cosplayer of the Week” mini project. With this, we selected a fortunate few who came in their best cosplays and interviewed them about their attitude towards the hobby, a little about themselves, and anything under the sun. Even if cosplay events seem to be repetitive, the cosplayers were still able to come in their best ensembles and never failed to awe everyone who sees them and so they deserve to be in the spotlight.
If we are going to compare this year’s Otaku Expo from conventions beforehand, we could see that the anime-centric conventions that we used to attend before has now evolved into a wider one that also captures the fans of Western games, movies and comics.
Generally-speaking, conventions that tap the hobbyist market are now immersing different cultures into one and even if it has the same lineup of guests or activities, people would still flock over because of the people and the experiences that they share with one another.
“On another note, this year’s Otaku Expo was less crowded compared to the 2014 year-ender event of the Ozine team which was Ozine Fest Anime Figure Special. By less crowded, I was able to get the opportunity to roam inside the convention hall itself and watch the competitions held on stage as well as buy some merchandise.” – Aire
“I enjoyed the free hall more than the main event because almost all of the cosplayers were there and the team had a chance to greet familiar faces in the community. I also agree with Aire that this is way better than their year-end event in terms of crowd control. My overall experience is not that bad for the first con of the year." - Xien