The Ikebukuro Halloween Cosplay Festival, despite being just five years old, has grown to become of the largest cosplay events in Japan. This year’s event was held last weekend in Ikebukuro’s East Entrance area, hosted by Niconico (a Japanese social video website) and the anime/manga/game retailer Animate Ltd.
It was just two days, but a lot was packed into those 48 hours, including cosplay fashion shows, stage performances and a runway show where 300 cosplayers marched across the city. There were designated areas throughout Tokyo where participants could network and take photos of one another. Cosplay props were for sale (or could be posed with for free) and just in case anyone’s outfit ripped, seamstresses were on staff, ready with their needles.
There were several new attractions this year, including MuCos ~Music and Cosplay~, an anime song DJ concert featuring live performances by profesional VA Hitomi Harada, DJ shimamura, DJ Caesar and more. There was also the Angels of Death collaboration area, which featured events themed appropriately to the property.
Even Tokyo’s governor Yuriko Koike and Toshima-ku Mayor Yukio Takano got in on the activities, appearing on stage during the opening ceremonies in cosplay outfits — Governor Koike dressed as Maetel from Galaxy Express 999 and Mayor Takano cosplayed as Gintoki Sakata from Gin Tama.
In the end, this year’s festival attracted a record of 105,000 visitors, including 20,000 cosplayers. That’s a lot of felt!