A Short History of the Singapore Cosplay Scene, Part 2

Cosplay starting getting bigger. Some of my friends were interviewed by Channel 8, and there was some articles in the newspapers about it, but the aunties selling clothes in Chinatown still had no idea what I was buying all this cloth for, so all I was able to tell them was that it was for a 穿夸张的衣服表演(performance where you wore exaggerated clothes)

We move on to 2005. Joash stepped down to pursue other, better things and so did most of the original board members. The MAC was renamed the Shiro Tsubasa Animation Club at this point. (someone also forgot to tell them that it actually should have been the Shiro(i) Animation Club, because you need an -i with adjectives, like white)

I’ll admit that I don’t know much about this period because there was so much Drama that I bowed out. Why the drama, you ask? Well, a friend of mine (you know who you are) put it best…get a bunch of young people who parade around in fantastic costumes where they try to outdo each other in how good they good together and drama of some kind is bound to ensue.
I left the politics to the people who were interested in them and I concentrated on well, cosplaying. I was never really good at sewing and but I loved making armor, and what I really enjoyed was design – envisioning the costume from scratch and creating it piece by piece. So that was what I did. I hung out with friends and we talked about games and anime and what we were going to cosplay and I led a team to a pretty successful event.

I’d like to include some pictures with all these memories but the simple fact of the matter is that I have very few of them. This was a time before handphones and I think I have lost the original negatives of the photos that I did manage to take. Plus there is the need to respect others privacy. So you’ll have to make do with what images my words can conjure.
Time moved on and 2008 rolled around. A year or so afterwards the anime boom had hit and there was no turning back – AFA came along on the scene and changed everything. The tide has turned from fan to professional and there was no stopping it. Where in the past we struggled to even get lighting and sound for a single expo hall, now we had world-class talent coming down multiple times a year. It was completely different now…deliveries from Taobao, weapons from Caesar’s, and the ability to actually commission things. It seemed like everyone knew what cosplay was, whereas before it had been a long and laborious process of explanation.

Part of me is still nostalgic for the Good Old Days, in which everyone knew everyone and watched the same series and…see, I’m showing my age again. The newer anime and cosplay fans today are growing up in a very different world, in which you can Google everything and series like Full Metal Panic and Shakugan no Shana are considered old (to me, stuff like Xabungle and Creamy Mami are considered old!)

Where you can look up on your handphone at any time and the aunties in Chinatown actually know what events are happening instead of giving you strange looks when you buy things. Where you can order from Taobao instead of having to hem and sew and stitch everything yourself. (Though I would heartily recommended you DON’T order everything from Taobao – the quality of the merchandise often leaves something to be desired.)

I left the scene around this time due to the copious amounts of Drama (which I hate with a passion) in the scene and to deal with my own personal issues. I’m sure a lot has happened since then, but that will be a tale that someone else has to tell.

I haven’t even cosplayed in 8 years but as much as I have tried to deny it to myself, the urge is still there. I think it will always be there. Once bitten, the cosplay bug never really lets you go, try as hard I might to pull away from it. I still look at costumes and sigh and think about how I would do this, or that, with this pose or that look and that wig and argh…I guess I may actually bite the bullet and cosplay again someday.

Cosplay, anime…The Scene. Why is it that everyone who mentions it sounds like they are using capital letters? I don’t even where I go from here (or if I’ll even be in Singapore come next year) but it has been such a part of my life for so long that I felt I should at least write SOMETHING about it.

Cosplay itself has grown all over the world, even as its roots have spread from its parent tree in Japan to countries as far as Russia (man those Russian cosplayers are something else!) South America and even Israel. Nowadays even my dentist knows what it is. (did I mention he likes Naruto? and Sasuke Uchiha is his favorite character?)
Everyone, thanks for all the memories. And I wish all new anime fans all the best. May you have all the fun and excitement that I had all those years – no, even more! May your costumes fit ever in your favor, your props never break, and your wigs always remain in style.

Cosplay forever!


  1. Wah your dentist is so cool!!! I guess he must be pretty young in his late 20s – 30s? Or maybe credit to Naruto’s immense popularity? Heh.


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