Photo by © grape Japan | From L to R: KANAME☆, Aqua Nanami, USAKO

Mount Fuji Cosplay World Conference 2018: Event Overview

On November 17th, on a gloriously sunny Saturday morning, we arrived at Shimizu Station in Shizuoka Prefecture to attend the 6th annual Mount Fuji Cosplay World Conference. A vibrant and truly rewarding event for all who are involved, Fujicos, as it is commonly known, is attended by over 1,800 cosplayers and 35,000 attendees (2017 numbers) who flock to the Shimizu Station-Front Ginza Shopping District.

Although certainly not one of the biggest cosplay events in Japan, the Mount Fuji Cosplay World Conference has many great things going for it. It's well-organized, with helpful staff coordinating all aspects very well and a PA system (actually, the arcade's own speakers) to make announcements about events, changes in schedule and lost items, it has a wonderful location with fresh air and great views of Mount Fuji, and a charming venue in a covered shopping arcade with a nostalgic Showa era feel where you really get the sense that the entire community is pitching in and appreciative of all the cosplayers and itasha (anime car) owners who attend.

© grape Japan

In fact, the newsletter published by the Shimizu Station-Front Ginza Shopping District, the Kawara-ban, surveyed the district's 88 shops after last year's conference, revealing how positive the local reaction is.

© Shimizu Station-Front Ginza Shopping District Kawara-ban No. 136 Dec. 8, 2017

For example, look at the results for these two questions:

Q2: What is your impression of cosplayers and itasha?

  • A very positive impression: 54% (36 shops)
  • Neither positive nor negative: 42% (28 shops)
  • A bad impression: 4% (3 shops)

Q3: Did the event help promote our district?

  • It really helped: 58% (38 shops)
  • It helped a little: 36% (24 shops)
  • It didn't help: 6% (4 shops)

Opening Ceremony

Although the shopping arcade was already teeming with cosplayers and itasha cars were already parked in position, forming a line from the entrance of the arcade, the conference officially got started at 10:30am with the opening ceremony. Mr. Ito, the chairman of the conference committee, was decked in a Mt. Fuji hat as he greeted attendees and officially launched the event.

© grape Japan

After that, it was time to introduce the guests, beginning with MC Unamaru, Kurosuke, star cosplayers Aqua Nanami (whom we've introduced in our Cosplayers to Watch series), KANAME☆ and USAKO, cosplay collective HIMEOUJI (Konomi Akira, Aika Shiguma, MISU and Hatsuna), cosplay artist and makeup instructor Xeru, and event adviser Hanataba.

© grape Japan

Guest Cosplayers

Aqua Nanami

First, Aqua Nanami cospaying Tsuyuko Asui from My Hero Academia introduced herself, showed off a few cute Tsuyuko poses and even treated the audience to a voice imitation that could give Yuuki Aoi a run for her money.

© grape Japan

© grape Japan

KANAME☆

The ever-popular cosplayer KANAME☆ appeared cosplaying Shin Nitta from the Cardfight!! Vanguard anime. An avid fan of the Cardfight!! Vanguard trading card game in real life, he had even brought along his own personal playing table and challenged anyone in the audience who wanted to play him.

© grape Japan

USAKO

USAKO showed off his costuming skill, his strong presence and his muscular physique with his awesome cosplay of Portgas D. Ace from One Piece.

© grape Japan

All three star guests posing together!

© grape Japan

Hanataba, Xeru, Kurosuke and HIMEOUJI

The sword boys of Touken Ranbu had a strong representation on the stage with Hanataba, Xeru and Kurosuke cosplaying as Ishikirimaru, Mikazuki Munechika and Kogitsunemaru and MISU, Aika Shiguma, Hatsuna and Konomi Akira of HIMEOUJI cosplaying as Izuminokami Kanesada, Horikawa Kunihiro, Kashuu Kiyomitsu and Yamatonokami Yasusada.

© grape Japan


Stage Performance

There were two separate times allotted for performances by cosplayers on the main stage. Here's just a small sample of what we saw.

Three of the members of cosplay unit Яi!S, Natsu (center), Chiko (left) and Yuuki (right), gave an energetic performance.

© grape Japan

The cosplay performance duo Primavera, Mio and Chako as Honoka Kousaka and Kotori Minami from Love Live!, charmed the audience.

© grape Japan

© grape Japan


Shimizu Station-Front Ginza Shopping District

Shizuoka Prefecture and the Shimizu area is famous for plastic model and toy manufacturing companies. Therefore, you'll very likely find toy and model shops in the area and the Shimizu Station-Front Ginza Shopping arcade is no exception. Here is toy and hobby shop Kadoya, which is featured in the current NHK drama series Plastic Smile, featuring cosplaying and employees of a model manufacturing company.

© grape Japan

Shizuoka Hobby Square also had a special booth during the festival.

© grape Japan

For lunch, we tried Ginza Bar Kosamu's famous motsu curry, a delicious and filling curried rice dish made with pork tripe (motsu).

© grape Japan

© grape Japan

Unlike in many big cities in Japan, old-fashioned candy and snack shops, called dagashiya still thrive in smaller regional towns and cities. Here in the Shimizu Station-Front Shopping District, Dagashi shop Yakichi is always alive with the sound of children's voices who eagerly pick out their favorite sweets, candies, crackers and snacks.

© grape Japan

© grape Japan

© grape Japan


We'll leave you with two more pictures of Aqua Nanami as Tsuyuko.

© grape Japan

© grape Japan


Mount Fuji Cosplay World Conference 2018 Reports

1. Mount Fuji Cosplay World Conference 2018: Event Overview (this article)

2. Mount Fuji Cosplay World Conference 2018: Cosplayers [Photos and Video]

Photo: © grape Japan | Cosplayer: hodaka @icecream0813 as Shera L. Greenwood from How NOT to Summon a Demon Lord)

© grape Japan | Clow and Miyazawa Lulu as Nagito Komaeda and Sonia Nevermind from Danganronpa 2

3. Mount Fuji Cosplay World Conference 2018: Itasha Review [Photos]

© grape Japan | Kemono Friends itasha, owner unidentified


By - Ben K.