Cosplay galore: Hong Kong's Ani-Com fans tell why they dress up as their favourite anime characters
Anime fans were out in full force this weekend at Hong Kong’s annual Ani-Com & Games convention, with many decked out in intricate home-made cosplay outfits styled after their favourite characters.
With over 700,000 visitors at the expo, which is held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wanchai and has run for the last 16 years, costumes based on the Japanese novel and anime series Sword Art Online were especially popular this year.
Watch: Ani-Com Hong Kong 2014 brings comic animations to life
Many music fans at the convention also dressed as characters from the virtual-singer software Vocaloid, while others drew their inspiration from western franchises, like Transformers and the 2011 video game Alice: Madness Returns.
The South China Morning Post caught up with some of the most enthusiastic fans at Ani-Com and asked them about their reasons for cosplaying.
Yeung Hung, 18, Form 6 student (Dressed as Alice from the video game Alice: Madness Returns)
“I’ve been inspired by the dual personality of Alice, who starts off as an evil protagonist but later overcomes her poignant past to find her true self. Alice reminds me of myself and her courage makes me feel that I too can overcome any hurdles at school.”
Pang Ka-hei, 19, Disneyland staff (Dressed as Camui Gackpo from the virtual singer software Vocaloid)
“I was drawn to my character's ability to adapt to different roles and costumes from one song to another. As someone who loves to try new things, this character totally resonates with me.”
Vincent Lee, 15, Form 3 student (Dressed as Kamen Rider Kamuro from the long-running Kamen Rider Japanese superhero franchise)
“I have been a staunch fan of Kamen Rider even since I was a first grader. I always wanted to grow up to be just like him and protect our world against evil forces.”
Wong Pak-yan, 20, Make-up artist (Dressed as Kirigaya Kazuto from the anime Sword Art Online)
“The selflessness and determination of my character to save innocent lives is highly admirable and can be applied in real life.”
Ng Ching-lam, 17, Form 6 student (Dressed as Kirigaya Suguha from the anime Sword Art Online)
“Sword Art Online is about several individuals who are marooned in a virtual world... Kirigaya is one of the most courageous and fiercest fighters, and her determination is what drew me to this character.”
Vivian Leung Wing-yam, 17, Form 6 student (Dressed as Ayano Keiko from the anime Sword Art Online)
“Silica is an animal tamer who is highly conscientious and would never betray others for anything even when threatened or lured. I really admire her because she values friendship as much as I do.”
Li Ho-wai, 14, Form 3 student (Dressed as the Chief Commander of Imperial Japan from the Japanese manga Zipang)
“The decisiveness of the protagonist and his incorrigible confidence is really attractive.”
Grace Fung, 18, University student (Dressed as Ciel Phantomhive from the Japanese anime Black Butler)
“I really like Ciel’s personality, looks, reserved nature and noble character.”