By Joey Aguilar
Dressed in colourful and artistically-made costumes, some 31 participants of the Otaku Cosplay competition entertained thousands of spectators in front of the amphitheatre of Katara - the Cultural Village yesterday.
The event highlighted the Ajyal Youth Film Festival’s Family Weekend activities which included the Shantiniketan Indian School’s traditional dance, a Japanese fan dance and Team Spirit drummers.
David Duerden and his family received loud applause and cheers from the crowd with their Star Wars performance on stage.
“The family that cosplays together stays together,” Duerden told Gulf Times after getting a perfect score from the judges for their performance. His wife and three little children all played a role in the cosplay.
He said they often joined costume competitions in various places but Ajyal’s Otaku was their first official cosplay participation.
Many of the cosplayers were school students.
For Duerden, cosplaying is “a sense of enjoyment, a time to relax, a chance to have a good time with other people”.
“We find cartoons and characters of films like Star Wars to cosplay and that ties us together and that’s great. If you find something you like together, then do it,” he said.
A woman cosplayer, Unique Canonicato, said she had put up “a good show” with her “one-of-a-kind” costume and performance.
Judges gave her a perfect score of 40. “I didn’t expect to get that score but I know I did my best,” said Canonicato, a fourth-year high school student who wants to pursue her passion for anime. She was joining a cosplay competition for the first time.
Many other cosplayers also fascinated the crowd with their personally-designed costumes and fancy hairdos. .
A Qatari joined the competition portraying what he described as a “Qatari anime character” who fights furiously using his sword.
Besides cosplay, the Family Weekend featured various activities for children in booths set up near Katara’s beach. These included the Gaming Centre, One Second Simulator, Anime Tent, Movie experience, Sound Effects, Make it Move and the Action Zone.
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