Convention Event | Cosplay Mania 2014 | Reika Meet-and-Greet

11:40 AM


Sorry for the late post; I've been so busy that I was only able to finish this today. 

Anyway, Cosplay Mania has always been my most anticipated cosplay events every year because something new is always given to its audience. Ever since I first attended it last 2011, there is a main highlight every time we attend. 

For this year’s Cosplay Mania, one of my main highlights is attending Reika’s Meet-and-Greet. Reika is a Japanese cosplayer known for portraying/cosplaying male characters. Yup, you guessed it---she’s a crossplayer. Reika is one of my cosplay inspirations/idols, so I think you shouldn’t be surprised why I want to see and meet her in person.


And I got my wish last October 4, 2014 in her meet-and-greet event! :D



Reika is one of the anticipated international cosplayers in Cosplay Mania 2014 and we already predicted it would get sold out easily. My friends lined up in SM North on July 26 before 3pm---the said time when they will start selling. I was already late for the meet up, so I was glad my friends were there.


But since there were only 2 sessions available (10:00am and 2:00pm)with only 100 slots per session, tickets were really  being sold fast by 3:00 p.m. To make the long story short: thanks to the incompetent SM North Edsa Cinema people, we got the 10:00 a.m. sessions instead of the targeted 2:00 pm. They didn’t open the ticket selling at exactly 3:00 p.m., so other people from different branches all the 2pm slots. Well, after all that commotion, we finally got hold of our Reika Meet-and-Greet tickets. (Oh, and an added trivia: both sessions were sold out in less than 30 minutes!)

From my Instagram: @hainrihi

Before the Meet-and-Greet Event

My friends and I were very excited because we will finally be able to see one of our cosplay idols/inspirations. Cosplay Mania is very strict with the meet-and-greet schedule, based on their house rules, so we woke up very early and decided to be there before 10:00 a.m. We arrived around past 9:30 a.m. and there was already a long line.



Past 10:00 a.m. -  Cosplay.ph ushers/organizers told us to line up properly and started giving designated stubs for our seats and merchandise.


The orange stub was for purchasing of any of the following Reika merchandise: photobooks, posters, and postcards. It entitles us to purchase a maximum of two merchandises that will be signed by Reika herself. This also goes for all Meet-and-Greets. Cosplay.ph manages the Meet-and-Greet merchandise and are very strict about it, with one rule standing out:

Only items purchased from Cosplay Mania shop or Cosplay Mania ‘14 official poster will be signed by the guests. Cosplay Mania items will be available for purchase in the meeting rooms.”

I bought two Reika postcards at P50 each ($1.12), which consist of one back-to-back postcard (Levi from Shingeki no Kyojin) and a one-sided postcard (Rei Ryugazaki from Free). Those postcards are already enough for me, as long as Reika signs them. :3

The pink stub with the number 36 is my seat number. We were really glad we came early because this stub meant we had sure seats in the meeting room! :D

After lining up, buying the merchandise, and waiting for Reika for more than 1 ½ hour, the Meet-and-Greet Program began.


Q&A 

Warning: This part will be full of photos. Just scroll down to see them all.

Around 11:30 a.m. - Reika came inside the meeting room cosplaying as Rei Ryugazaki from “Free!” and everybody was so happy and screaming. The meeting room was just small, so everybody really saw Reika up-close. It was also nice that everything was orderly and most of the fans were well-behaved. Indeed, we gave her a very warm welcome! <3 nbsp="">



The Meet-and-Greet started with 5-6 questions from the fans. I wasn’t able to take note of all the questions, but I remembered these two:

- Asking about her health, since she travels to a lot of cosplay conventions in different countries. (At the that time, she told us that she’ll be going to Australia after the Philippines. As of this writing, she is now in Shanghai, China.
- Why she cosplayed Free! The one asking thought that Free! wasn’t Reika's type. I can’t remember her full answer, but I remembered she said that once she likes a scene or story of an episode, she would like the whole series.





Oh my God, I am so disappointed with myself---that’s all I remembered! Hahaha! I think I was so starstruck by Reika that even if I was listening, I was busy taking pictures and fangirling over her :)) But the Q&A was just short and we proceeded to the  main program.


Autograph Signing & Picture-Taking

This is my favorite part, thanks to some positive changes. Cosplay.ph imposed strict rules, maybe to adhere to the tight schedule and culture of the guests. We expected that, but it became totally different with Reika---in a good way!

According to Cosplay.ph, “we will allow a maximum of (2) items to be autographed by the guest”; thus the two postcards that I purchased from their merchandise booth. While preparing though, Reika announced two changes that really made the fans happy:

1. She will autograph the two items we purchased, PLUS anything that we have (jacket, t-shirt, paper, drawing, tablet cover, anything that we can think of).      
2. We have the option to either: take a selfie with her or have someone take a picture of you with Reika.

So yeah, this is our first time attending a Meet-and-Greet, with Reika---and we get these privileges! We were so happy! :D

Anyway, I’ll let the pictures tell everything.

Our gift to Reika, which is a card holder containing our cosplay cards.
Since it was a rule, we gave this to the Cosplay.ph peeps. 
    

Some autograph signing and picture taking scenes

Nami's POV: on my selfie with Reika
Nami's POV: Reika signing my postcards



My Two Selfies with Reika! :D 
    

Reika's Farewell and Exit from the Meeting Room 

Reika signed my two postcards and tablet case :D

Overall Say/Feedback

I am super glad I attended Reika’s Meet-and-Greet. Everything about the event was perfect and I actually commend Cosplay.ph for its success. :D

First, everything was very organized---from lining up to Reika’s exit from the meeting room (or maybe us fangirls were behaved XD, LOL). But kidding aside, this is one of the most organized cosplay events that I have seen. It’s nice that they gave stubs for the merchandise-buying and seating arrangement to make everything orderly. And even when there were those standing at the back, everything was still organized. The Cosplay.ph staff and Reika’s translator never failed to remind everyone about the rules, where to go, and what to do in lining up for the autograph signing and picture-taking. Plus, it helped that most of us followed them.

Second, I’m happy to know that Reika is such an accommodating and down-to-earth person. We were around 100 attendees and everyone had the opportunity to get an autograph, take a picture with her, and get to know her more. Before this, I only knew her from her Facebook page and cosplay news. Now, I finally witnessed her awesomeness in person and saw how accommodating she truly is. She signed more than three things and was willing to take a selfie with each of us if we wanted to. There is more to her than what people know, and I'm glad I was able to see how wonderful she is in person.



All in all, the 700php ($15.64) ticket I bought was very worth it---even more. There are some people who complained about the sudden price increase (it was just P500 before), but it’s okay for me because I was able to make the most of that P700. Meeting an awesome international cosplayer is, indeed, a privilege and is now one of my best cosplay memories. That’s one thing off my cosplay bucket list! But it doesn’t mean I won’t be attending future meet-and-greets. If my other favorites/inspirations will hold some in the next Cosplay Manias, then I’ll attend. :D

Kudos to Cosplay.ph for a very organized and enjoyable event! Keep it up! :D

Thanks to my friends, Rina and Nami, for fangirling with me over the awesome Reika! :D


Here's a snippet from the Meet-and-Greet:



~ Hainrihi

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