Watch anime characters come alive at Funan

Watch anime characters come alive at Funan
Japanese cosplayer Sakuya as the Undertaker from the anime Black Butler. The skeleton-like weapon itself took five days and close to $200 to create.

With their flawless skin, doll-like features and perfect hair, you would think they just stepped out of a make-believe realm.

That is half right: The costumes of these cosplayers are, after all, modelled after those of popular Japanese anime characters.

And, come June 13, they will be setting foot here to be part of the Funan Anime Matsuri 2014 celebrity cosplayers' showcase.

The week-long event, starting on June 9 and being held at Funan DigitaLife Mall, is in its second year.

This time around, participants can expect more interaction with celebrity cosplayers from the region. The mall is expecting 10 per cent more participants this year.

Famous cosplayers coming to town for the first time include Sakuya from Japan and Lita from South Korea.

The duo will be geared up for photos with fans and are all set to dish out advice to budding cosplayers. They will be joined by other celebrity cosplayers from Taiwan, China and Malaysia.

Lita said she has not looked back since she first ventured into cosplay after falling in love with anime almost 12 years ago.

What draws Lita are the pretty costumes, poses and beautiful hair of anime characters. "When you put the (clothes, hair and make-up) on, it is almost like becoming another person," she said.

For Sakuya, being part of a cosplay community allows her to interact freely with other cosplayers as equals, without having gender, age or nationality getting in the way.

Also not to be missed are performances by Singapore's very own anime singer, Valerie Tang.

After making her debut as part of anime song idol group Sea*A in 2011, Tang, who goes by her stage name Valerie, has now gone solo and aims to bring Japanese culture closer to South-east Asia.

"Many people in South-east Asia love anime, and I think many would like to know more about the anime industry and be part of it," said the 23-year-old. "I hope to be that bridge for them."

Shoppers can take a breather at the maid and butler cafes at the festival, or test their skills at Vanguard card tournaments. There will also be a cosplay competition where each participant can win up to $350 worth of CapitaVouchers, as well as anime screenings all week long.

And for those wanting to give cosplay a try, Lita has this to say: "People should have the courage to try new things. So don't hesitate, just jump straight in!"

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