MANILA, Philippines – Anime’ fans and enthusiasts had a blast during the annual Hero Face Off that took place at the Music Hall, SM Mall of Asia earlier this month. It was the biggest cosplay battle to date, celebrating the distinct Pinoy creativity as embodied in the year’s sixth edition of the ultimate cosplay battle in the Philippines.
The Hero Face Off competition was divided into three categories: the Kids Squad category, League of Heroes category, and the Face Off category. The competition now recognizes Filipino characters as part of the choices for the participants, apart from the anime’ favorites.
Team XO, comprised of Sarah Jane De Ocampo and Jennifer Ong, in their “Dynasty Warriors”-themed costumes, took home the grand prize in the Face Off category. The two ladies will be the Philippines’ first-ever representatives for the World Cosplay Summit in Nagoya, Japan this August where they’ll be going head to head with cosplayers from around the globe. The country was just an observer nation the last few years, but this time, the Philippines has qualified to be a competitor.
The winner for the Kids Squad category was Ashley Hernandez, who came on stage as Christian Bale’s Batman and even rode a motorcycle to add more ohhs and ahhs from the crowd. For the League of Heroes category, the Dragon Ball Z Warriors took home the top prize as they re-enacted adrenaline-pumping scenes from the anime’.
The judges of this year’s Hero Faceoff were World Cosplay Summit, Inc. CEO and Founder Tokumaru Oguri, Hero TV channel head Jojo Estacio and Comic artist Berlin Manalaysay.
The big convention was not only for cosplay enthusiasts as Hero TV gave everyone a treat with their free showing of the latest Dragon Ball Z movie titled “Dragon Ball Z: Battle of the Gods.” And being the gracious hosts that they are, they also invited the voice of Son Goku himself, Jeffrey Utanes, along with the voice behind Shiroe from Log Horizon and the original voice of Naruto, Blair Arellano, to share secrets and tips to prospective dubbers.
However, the most-anticipated part of the program was the performance of Japanese Idol group Starmarie. The affable girls from Japan had the crowd roaring wild when they performed a song from one of the country’s most-loved anime’ series of all time, Samurai X. The group also had a meet and greet with some lucky fans after their energetic mini-concert.
KZ Tandigan, the grand winner of X Factor Philippines, serenaded the crowd as part of the opening act before the cosplay battles ensued. The crowd showered her with cheers as she worked through her set.
Adding spice to an already impressive lineup, one of the popular cosplayers in the land and Hero TV jock, Myrtle Sarrosa hosted the event along with one of the original host of My Hero Nation, Dino Imperial. For updates, visit www.facebook.com/myheronation.