Katsune (Guy Singson)
Guy Singson is a masochist. There — I said it. He is a masochist because every time he shows up in costume, I get the feeling that he had scoured the internet for the most complicated and least comfortable costume that you could possibly make, and goes for it full throttle. The guy is also a genius with sourcing materials for his cosplay: it seems like he can walk into any store — a toy store, an automotive parts shop, a gardening supplier, and manage to find just the thing to complete his detail-perfect costume. Hands down, Guy is one of the finest cosplayers on the local scene, past and present.
Team Tux (Jin Joson, Miguel Mercado, Kat Carpio, et. al.)
It’s not always about the competitions — Team Tux has shown us that. As an artiste collective, they have taken the cosplay photoshoot to the next level — bringing in elements such as art direction, scenic locations, post-processing, and many others. But beyond the ad agency trappings, cosplay still lies at the heart of what Team Tux does. They still have a hand at making the costumes, designing the set pieces, and doing their own hair and make-up. They are doing all this for the art, and not the prizes — which may be the purest form of cosplay there is.
The Grimz (Belldandy Chii Grimarez and Family)
For the longest time, kids cosplay was the territory of the cute and cuddly. As parents vied on who can convince their kids to dress up as the cutest POKEMON character, Chii and her uber-supportive parents took a different route: they talked game with the grown-ups. Sporting complicated mechanical costumes, Chii and her family has put together a fairly large collection of silverware from various events, many of them from contests where Chii has beaten out competition thrice her age. Chii has set the bar for kids cosplay, not just here but all over the world.
Yuzukichii (Monette Salas)
If we singled out Lyron for being the most improved cosplayer on the local scene, then Monette would be his female equivalent. She started out with some fairly simple costumes, such as the gun-toting Yuna from FFX2. Monette has since moved on to more technically proficient costumes, like her fantastic Female Kamael from Lineage II. She has even proved her detractors wrong — Monette has many critics because of her preferences for sexy characters, by donning full toku armor and covering up her prettiness with a full-face helmet. If that’s not dedication to cosplay, then I don’t know what is.
Kero (Pablo Bairan)
Pablo has been one for pushing the limits of cosplay. Unlike many compatriots who were into cosplay to highlight their “looks”, he was perfectly fine with stuffing himself into a fur suit to role-play his favorite character — Manila’s heat and humidity be damned. He has also pushed the limits of a different sort, going beyond the usual cosplay drama and online wankery on the local scene, and joining forces with other veteran cosplayers to put up COSPLAY.PH — now look at how far things has evolved since.
This list was constructed with no numerical ranking for all ten cosplayers — they are all on equal footing, and they are all number one in their own way. The cosplayers were selected for the list based on what we personally considered as the hallmarks of good cosplay: excellent craftsmanship, good work ethic, and an exacting eye for detail. It also helped if members of the community vouched for them — as some of them did via our Plurk and Twitter accounts.
If your favorite cosplayers were not on the list, we’d like to know who they are, and what your reasons are for wanting to include them. There maybe some equally excellent cosplayers out there that we’ve never even heard of and therefore were not considered for our list. The list stays as is, however; we’d just like to see who you think should’ve been up there instead if the decision were up to you. Please remember that everyone’s got an opinion — you respect ours and we respect yours. Cheers!
Photo credits: Monette Salas’ Facebook account, Pablo Bairan’s Facebook account, Belldandy Chii Grimarez’s Facebook account, Jin Joson’s DeviantArt account, Guy Singson’s DeviantArt Account.
Thank you to everyone on magnetic-rose.net’s Plurk, Twitter, and Facebook accounts for your input in the construction of this list.