Cosplay Mania Day 1: Riho Iida and the PH Community

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This blog has been way overdue. Nevertheless, here it is. Enjoy the read.

I decided to split Day 1 and Day 2 blog since a lot of notable events happened during 1st day. You can read the Day 2 blog in this link.

First of all let me go back a bit, to April of this year. FLOW just finished their breathtaking full set performance. This made me look forward to the rest of the conventions for the latter half of the year. I was already anticipating which guests would be invited for Cosplay Mania Jam since they were able to show potential when Pile came over last year.

Fast forward to July,  thus the announcement, Cosplay Mania x I love Anison. This made people so hyped cause it meant a large pool of possible artists for the event. Yet the announcement must be taken with a grain of salt since this partnership is a sign of testing the waters, whether if the Philippines is a viable market for Japanese concerts or not. A responsibility rested on the shoulders and wallets of the fans if they wanted more artists to come here in the future.

flasta
Rippi’s flasta. The color theme was based on the jacket of her 2nd album.

A few months before the event, the community, spearheaded by several people and Riho Iida Philippines, began to make preparations. Button pins and Call books were produced and freely distributed to people attending the concert. Flowerstands were also presented to Riho Iida and Starmarie, which was completely crowdfunded through donations. T-shirts were also printed and worn exclusively by Riho Iida PH members. A huge tarpaulin was also printed, which can be seen near the end of the blog.

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Callbooks were freely distributed online. Hard copies were given away at the Onegai Onii-chan Booth

 

Sad to say, even with thorough planning, there were some disappointments and minor hitches that happened, especially with the Meet and Greet process. I’m no longer detailing on what transpired regarding the process since I want to make this blog as positive as I could. All I can say is, the organizers shouldn’t let the crowd run like that. Safety should always be first.

Nevertheless, the meet and greet did bear positive effects, especially to those who ran as fast as they could. All efforts previously mentioned above was duly noticed by Rippi, all thanks to the Kaigai eventers that were overheard by Rippi’s staff talking about the huge tarpaulin.

Concert

Translation:

It is my first time in Manila.
I was surprised that a lot of fans were waiting for me here.

Thank you for a great time. ~ ☆☆

The concert itself is an experience to remember. The crowd has definitely upped their game this year. Almost everyone in the VIP section has a Kingblade and knows the chants to Rippi’s songs. It felt like everybody has thoroughly studied the call guide and knew exactly what they should do.

Near the end of the concert, Rippi said a short message that was translated by an interpreter. She apologized because she was not able to go to the Philippines sooner. She also said that she really had fun here and doesn’t even want to return back (to Japan) (帰りたくない). Sadly, we all know that it wasn’t quite possible but the emotion behind her words can be felt, that they were spoken from the heart.

The fan-driven effort was really amazing to witness. The community was able to make Rippi special and the staff were even impressed by the effort. Not to mention, kudos to the effort of Cosplay.ph for making Rippi’s short stay in Philippines a memorable one.

For an event that I looked forward to for almost 6 months, the wait was worth it.

Looking toward to better and improved conventions for next year.


Rippi setlist:

  1. Kataomoi Sekkin
  2. Sirius
  3. Heartache = Koi to Yokan
  4. KISS! KISS! KISS!

Encore: Hajimaritai Kanon

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