Soft contacts are a pain in the ass to install for a first timer. The motherfrickers keep on folding on me.
But that was the only problem I had as I was being prepped up by the make-up artist. It's a good thing that she was into anime, well, not an otaku but she enjoys the stuff well enough that she can do cosplay make-up. I think I'm actually in love with the male version of myself! Yes, I said that out loud. She does know her stuff. I looked into the mirror and the Dark Lord himself is staring back at me. I'm ready.
Thanks to her, I didn't have to spend extra for my taxi fare going to SMX(the venue). She took me there herself. Too bad she had other engagements, she'd love to spend the rest of her day with me and perhaps find potential clients for herself. And so she dropped me off with some last minute touch-ups and goodbyes.
It's funny that no matter how many times I go to a cosplay convention, that dratted thing that makes me as giddy as an adolescent on a sugar high ALWAYS hits me whenever I arrive at the venue. Especially with the sight of the con goers lining up for the entrance. Maybe it's the anxiety of over how they will react to my costume. Will they like it? Will they even recognize my character? But it didn't take long before the answer came, as I went to the ticket booth. Those who were in line for the entrance instantly went "Maou-sama!" when they saw me. And that's how basically it went when I finally got in. It feels nice when, at last, my character is recognized by a lot of people for a change. And so my day in the con went on with my picture being taken by photographers and fans alike, encountering a number of Maou fangirls(more on them later), and "trapping" not a few people thanks to my "girl-to-boy" make up. I'll say it again, my make-up artist knows her stuff.
It seems that even the good Lord was delighted by my cosplay that He briefly demonstrated His sense of humor--by making an Italy cosplayer pass by me as I was eating pasta for lunch. Of course, His gesture wasn't lost on me: with Italy's "PASTAAAAAAA!!" echoing in my mind, I looked up to the skylight and went, "Yes, Lord. I saw what You did there. Good one."
And so I wandered the halls, checked out the booths, watched bits of the programme at the main stage area(and managed to see a bit of Kaname), went back into the hallway to check out the other cosplayers hanging out there(while counting the Levis, Mikasas and Hanjis walking around) and have my picture taken by more people. It was obvious that I was enjoying the attention that my costume was generating, with con goers and staff alike referring to me as "Maou-sama" all the way. Especially with the models for the "Seven Deadly Sins" anime-girl figures booth. Whenever I pass by that booth, those models(dressed up as the figures) would go "Maou-sama! We are your slaves!!" I was wary of coming across as an attention-whore though, so I just gave them a friendly smile and a wave. Another one that I remembered was when this guy was taking his time adjusting his camera's lens on me, his companion told him, "Hurry up! You're gonna make him late for his shift at MgRonalds!!" But that one that I remembered the most was when this cosplayer ran up to me and asked for a photo. I thought her hairstyle and black wings looked familiar, but I guess her wig being in the wrong shade of purple kinda threw me off for a while. Because when I finally saw her earrings, that's when I was sure that she's cosplaying Lucifer/Urushihara. Yay finally! A fellow Hataraku Maou-sama cosplayer!!
And that was the exact moment that my friend arrived. He was supposed to be here a lot earlier, but as usual, Manila traffic gridlock woes. He was surprised by the attention that my costume was generating.We didn't exactly expect that the show would have a sizable fanbase here, but it's stuff like this that makes cosplaying fun. Since he's the one with a camera in his media device(low-quality its resolution may be), I took the opportunity to have my picture taken with a few other cosplayers with it, including those lovely "Seven Deadly Sins" models that keep on calling out to me. But the biggest surprise for me was when I came across the Lucifer cosplayer from earlier, and saw her other cosplayer friends with her. Is that...Alsiel/Ashiya with them? YAY! For the opportunity of having my photo taken with fellow Hataraku cosplayers alone is enough for me not to regret going to Day 1 alone, even if Day 2 has more media coverage. I would have invited the other Maou with them for a photo op with me(at least s/he has the horns and the hairstyle, but no costume), but I don't want to impose myself on these people. I just thanked them and let the Lucifer cosplayer add me on FB, and I and my friend went on to wander the halls and window-shop for more anime goods.
Later on, we took a break at the eating/food vendors area. I wasn't surprised when my costume's maker came across us, since he's known to drop by these events to check on his clients like me. But suddenly, there's this guy who asked for my name and my character, and said that he's one of the secret judges for the Hall Cosplay Masquerade contest, while signing my number tag. After telling me to to go to the hall activity stage, he left, and we did what we're told after we finished eating. At the stage, we saw the emcees holding the auctions for the day, and again, my costume showed how popular the character is with the ladies when one of the emcees saw me and said in the mic for all to hear, "Maou-sama, please go to the left side of the stage so we can take your pic." And so I did, and the two emcees did a brief "fangirl frenzy" jig before taking my picture, and they're doubly thrilled when I showed them my signed number tag.
My friend then told me to wait for him as he steps out of the SMX building for a quick smoke. As I was standing by the activity stage, a bunch of fangirls once again ran to me and called out "Maou-samaaaaa!!" but what made this different was when they went all the way and prostrated themselves in front of me. I was speechless for a while then. I mean, really? I won't lie, I was seriously creeped out. There has to be a line to be drawn somewhere in adoring a fictional character. But I know that it's best to just roll with the punches instead and do the appropriate poses for their cameras, since they all look like nice girls and they don't really mean any harm. They left and my friend came back, and when I told him what happened, he said that that was a missed photo-op gold for him.
We were told by the judges and emcees to ait as they were looking for the other finalists they have chosen. But sadly, only 3 of us showed up after hours of waiting. I felt like I wasted hours of potentially more photo ops in the walkway outside the hall, where most of the cosplayers have ended up since the hall was crowded with con-goers, only for us to win by default, which didn't really make me feel like winning. The only consolation for me I guess, was the spectators' reaction to my costume, which is proof that Hataraku Maou-sama really has a sizable fanbase here. When we got out of the the hall, the crowd in the walkway earlier was pretty much gone now, and I was a bit deflated by the thought of missed photo-ops, but I and my friend walked around anyway as I told him that I was determined to "pimp myself to death" for potential picture takers, a thought that he was so thoroughly amused with. And it did pay off, when latecomers and those who wanted to avoid the crowd from earlier came to me and took my picture. The bunch of guys dressed as the Marines from One Piece were particularly funny, when one of them quipped that they should've bought some "khats-dhum" as an offering to me.
When we went back in, we saw the vendors packing up for the night, but I can still hear them call me "Maou-sama" as I passed by. And as I passed by the Seven Deadly Sins booth, the models have taken their costumes off for the night, but they're still determined to go "Maou-sama" on me, worn out from the day they may be. But I knew that the sight of people packing up was a sign for me to call it a day as well. So I packed away my cape, took off my wigs and contacts,and washed the make up off my face, "discarding" my Maou persona and returning to my old self as my friend had put it.
As we got out of the SMX and walked to the PUV stations, Christmas carols were playing from the main mall buildings and I can hear my friend singing "A beautiful sight...Maou-sama tonight...walking in the cosplay wonderland", drawing laughter from some of the people walking with us. He then commented that he now understood why I've chosen to cosplay Maou: he stood out, as opposed to Emi or Chiho, who were admittedly as generic as anime girls go(as much as I like Emi myself). Not to mention that Maou's androgynous-looking enough to be effectively cosplayed by both genders. Well that, and because I want to be Maou since no one else had cosplayed him in an event here before.
As we parted ways in the PUV station and I took a ride home, I replayed the entire con experience in my mind, noting that cons in the Philippines had come along way. My friend commented that he felt like he was in another country, but maybe that's because there's some foreigners among the con goers(one of them even asked me for a photo op earlier). And I started to think of the events that I should enter the costume next, but maybe next year, when I have better income flow. Maybe I should have the costume maker do Maou's proper Ente Isla uniform as an alternative to the MgRonald's outfit? I'd have to go barefoot with that, though. Anyways, I'll have to plan better for the Dark Lord's next invasion...of Philippine cons.