By Carmen Yap | Photos by Bernice Ho Xin Hui, Eunice Wong Yi Qing, Harishangkari Rajasekharan, Lim Keng Seong, Marissa Tan Hui Yen, Natasha Chong Ee Shin & Puteri Nur Inarah
Cosplay, Comics, Anime & Games Exhibition, or simply C2AGE for short, is a student-organised initiative to introduce otaku, gaming and American pop culture to Malaysian youth. Marking its 10th anniversary, the aptly named C2AGE X-treme took place on the 15th and 16th of July at HELP University’s Subang 2 campus, and hosted an array of exciting activities and a melange of celebrated guests from all over the world.
Hailing all the way from the other side of the globe, famous American cosplayer Stella Chuu made her first appearance in Malaysia as C2AGE X-treme’s special guest. Notable for her handmade costumes and props, many of her local fans attended C2AGE X-treme just to see her. Stella fabulously appeared as Mercy and genderbent Bakugo on the first and second day of the event respectively, and hosted a workshop on cosplay posing.
Talented Ukrainian cosplay photographer and cosplayer Pugoffka-sama was also a special guest for C2AGE X-treme, making this her second appearance in Malaysia. Not only did visitors swarm to take pictures with her detailed Maleficent and Sakizou cosplay, but many also seized the opportunity to attend her photography workshop as well.
Australian cosplay dancers Kaotsun and Lexiikat from KCDC were also invited as special guests to perform at C2AGE X-treme. Dancing in cosplay is no easy feat, but these two managed to pull it off seamlessly. Other performers included Japanese pop-rock band The CrestFall, cosplay dancers Kiseki, as well as singers Johan Yusof and Kii-chan.
Next on the VIP list was local graphic designer Jon Tham, who infuses manga art into his work. Jon was brains behind the new logo for C2AGE X-treme and got everyone’s creative juices flowing with the alternative mascot competition.
Special guest Edy Hardjo from Indonesia is a famous action figure photographer, specialising in creating amusing photos of superhero action figures doing not so superhero things. He exhibited some of his most notable works during C2AGE X-treme and was the judge of the photography competition.
Along with Edy Hardjo’s photography exhibition, there was a breathtaking Lego display by Synergy Lego Users Group (LUG), Hot Wheels exhibition by D’mara Hot Wheels and a detailed scale model exhibition by Plazone. Besides that, Maccross Fans Malaysia set up a Maccross themed maid café in conjunction with their exhibition. Another crowd-puller was the Monkee Mods Nerf station, where Monkee Mods’ own collection of customised Nerf blasters was exhibited and a Nerf firing range was set up for visitors to test the customised blasters.
Not forgetting the gamers, C2AGE X-treme had an exciting Overwatch tournament spanning both days of the event. Team Fire Dragoon emerged as the winner in the tension-filled tournament.
Some say that the greatest of treasures are often hidden, and that rang true for card game and tabletop game enthusiasts. Tucked away on the second floor, C2AGE X-treme offered a platform for playing popular card games like Magic: The Gathering and Pokemon. The various tabletop games offered, including internationally well-known games like Dungeons and Dragons RPG and Ticket to Ride, as well as local games like Politiko and Limpeh Says, were also a hit among visitors.
That was just indoors! Outdoors, there were anime-themed cars called Itashas lined up in a row like models showing off their tattoos. Brought in from Singapore, the featured Itasha was a red Mazda RX-8 featuring Asuka Langley from Neon Genesis Evangelion. What is more, the force seemed to be strong with C2AGE X-treme as the 501st Legion Malaysia Garrison made an appearance on campus in their full Star Wars armour glory.
Clearly, C2AGE X-treme was a huge success. Here is to C2AGE’s future endeavours. As Spock from Star Trek would say, “Live long and prosper!”