Fans Play Their Favorite Characters

Last Saturday, October 15, was a big day for anime fans. Youngsters dressed their hearts out as favorite anime or manga characters at the “Anime Fest Fall 2022” held at the Marriott Convention Center in Dhanmondi.

Cosplay was popularized in Bangladesh from the earliest Comic Cons where visitors dressed up as their favorite pop culture icons. It was Comic Con for anime and manga fans. The event was organized by AE Bangladesh, a group of organizers officially approved by the Japanese Embassy and the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in partnership with clothing brand Sailor.

“Over 3,000 enthusiasts registered for the event,” said Merajul Ninad, CEO of AE Bangladesh.

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The event featured various booths that sold costumes and merchandise. T-shirts, keychains, figurines, masks, etc. were all there. But the highlight of the event was the cosplayers and their passion for Japanese culture.

Picture this: weird-looking anime characters roaming freely among us.

Two sisters, who dressed up as Rem and Ram from Re Zero, said, “Re Zero is our favorite anime and Rem and Ram are our favorite characters. In the series, they are twins. We are not twins, but we are siblings.”

As upbeat music played in the background, a young girl took the stage and began singing in Japanese at the top of her voice, keeping the beat and pitch perfectly. As a foreigner, you wouldn’t know what the words mean. But anime fans actually learn the language by watching their favorite shows, and at the event, if you didn’t know the words, you’d be in the minority.

“I play Naruto Uzumaki because this character inspires me. He wants to become a Hokage (a leader who gains leadership through hard work). This is how I want to be in real life,” said Niklaus Rakib Talukdar, a cosplayer at the event.

Demon Slayer’s Tanjiro Kamado, Zenitsu Agatsuma, and Hashibira Inosuke posed for the cameras as other visitors huddled around them for photos.

“We are very serious about how we represent these characters in the festival and in the photos. It is not easy to adapt to one culture while belonging to another. We had to be extra careful about how accurately we recreate the costumes,” said the Three.

When asked about their real names, they said they’d rather be called by their characters’ names today – at least for the sake of the party.

“Japanese pop culture has grown tremendously over the years. It’s colorful, it’s exciting, it’s dynamic and above all it’s fun. This is perhaps the main reason why we wanted to team up with AE Bangladesh as title partner,” said Md Akhtar Rafi, Marketing Manager, Marin.