Anime Nation 2014 'singhs' praises for Steffani
IT was 17-year-old Steffani Singh that managed to walk away double winner at Anime Nation 2014 held at the New Kingston Conference Centre in St Andrew, on Saturday.
Anime Nation is a Japanese anime and cultural expo catering to lovers of pop culture from that Asian country.
"It just feels amazing to win. Right now I'm trying not to cry because it might ruin my make-up," she told the Jamaica Observer after receiving confirmation of her victory.
Singh's costume, Kos-Mos — a Japanese character from the role-playing video game Xenosaga — bested the 52 other entries in the Best Costume competition. Earlier in the evening, the Campion College student grabbed the Cosplayer of the Year award for her contribution to the scene.
"She's very creative and this is an excellent outlet for her," said her father, Stephen Singh.
The intricately designed costume took two months to create, with some help from her father.
"I've been posting tutorials online and I think that helped with the crowd, because they know me and the effort I put in," she said.
Second place went to the only male in the top three Brenton Whyte dressed as Terra, from the video game Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep.
"The costume took roughly three weeks to build, but I never expected to come second, so I'm speechless," Whyte exclaimed.
Third was Mistelle Haughton attired as another video game character Demon Hunter from Diablo 3, a costume she put together in two weeks.
"This is my first time Cosplaying. I'm so happy to even be here. I'll be back next year bigger and better," she said.
The event was easily a success as tons of fans of Japanese pop culture steadily streamed into the Conference Centre. The biggest in its five-year history.
"We had a record 53 entries, 30 pre-registered, and 23 showing at the event," said Zane Francis, event co-organiser.
Francis was also upbeat about the 'health' of Cosplay in Jamaica, given the quality of the costumes this year.
When not taking selfies with their favourite characters, attendees had the pleasure of chatting with top Japanese animation producer Masami Suda, who was there courtesy of the Embassy of Japan. There were also lots of video games, free giveaways, musical performances by The Sky Is Broken and Downstairs, and the well-received finale of the Jamaican/Japanese cartoon mash-up — that is, DogCat Frenzy 3: The Final Showdown to name a few of the activities on hand.