Summer 2019 has been a significant moment for lovers of Asian pop-culture enthusiasts on the heels of a successful Animecom Fest.
The two-day event, the largest for the Asian pop-culture community, took over the Campion College Auditorium in July, and it was put on by the Jamaica Cosplay Club (JCC).
When it was held last year in Hope Gardens, it fought technical and weather challenges. Ricardo Carter of the JCC said his team learned from the previous staging and applied those lessons to 2019, moving things indoor and expanding the event’s programme.
For the 2019 staging, there were vendor booths selling handmade arts and crafts, video games, entertainment featuring local K-pop dancers, and a focus on cosplay. There were also panel discussions on video games, film, books and animation.
But for Carter, the big moment was the attendance of Kai Ramkissoon. Ramkissoon, a Trinidadian, was the first international cosplay competitor at Animecom Fest. His aim was to be crowned Jamaican cosplay champion and be the first to hold the cosplay triple crown, as he is both the Trinidadian and Bajan cosplay champion. As impressive as his Captain Falcon costume was, he lost out to Jamaican Kemar Stoddard. Stoddard claimed the trophy, J$30,000 and other prizes.
On the heels of the success of Animecom Fest, Carter and his group are already planning for 2020, as the event has drawn a lot of international interest. Their other annual event, the Halloween cosplay themed Hallow Palooza, is scheduled to be held in October. Carter added they will also be taking a dive into the burgeoning scene with a video game specific event, Games Con, in December.
— Written by Nichola Beckford