World Cosplay Summit

World Cosplay Summit
Photo: worldcosplaysummit.jp
The World Cosplay Summit (WCS) is an annual international cosplay competition held in the Japanese city of Nagoya. Its main goal is to promote friendly international exchange through Japanese pop culture.

The term “cosplay” is a contraction of words “costume play”. It is a performance art in which participants wear costumes, accessories and makeup to represent a specific character from anime, manga, movie, TV series, book, comic book, video game, etc. The inaugural World Cosplay Summit was held on October 12, 2003 to promote Japanese anime and manga internationally through cosplay. It featured cosplayers from Italy, Germany and France. The summit didn’t host a competition, its program included a panel discussion, photo session, and mixer event.

In 2004, the organizers once again invited cosplayers from different countries and introduced the Cosplay Parade. The following year, the WCS switched from an invitational system to a selection system. Before the main event, a series of preliminary events was held around the world to select participating cosplayers. The 2005 WCS was also the first edition to host the Cosplay Championship. 40 cosplayers from seven countries competed in the individual and group categories. France won the group category and Italy won the individual category and the entire contest.

The initial goal of the Cosplay Championship was to showcase Japanese youth culture at Expo 2005. Over the years, it has become a completely independent event supported by the government of Japan and a number of businesses, organizations and associations. The WCS is preceded by a series of qualifier events held around the world. Each country selects one team of two cosplayers.

The World Cosplay Summit is arguably the world’s largest cosplay event. For instance, in 2015 it featured teams from 28 countries and regions, including Australia, Brazil, Canada (as an observer), China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Portugal, South Korea, Sweden (as an observer), Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Vietnam.

The WCS lasts for a week, during which time the participants visit different Japanese cities, including Tokyo, Kyoto and Sendai, to promote Japanese pop culture and its ability to connect people from around the world. However, the parade and championship are the main highlight of the event. They take place in Nagoya on the first weekend of August.

World Cosplay Summit

Photo: worldcosplaysummit.jp



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