Celebrating 25 years of animation excellence, Toei Animation Philippines held its Grand Anniversary Celebrations last 26th November 2011 at Eastwood City, Libis, Quezon City. The event featured a a fun (and very competitive!) talent show exclusive to TAPI employees and their closest friends and relatives, as well as two of the biggest competitions on the 2011 convention calendar: the Karaoke Singing Competition (with PhP 10,000 in cash prizes) and the Group Cosplay Competition (with PhP 100,000 in cash prizes).
As part of the events team, it was fairly difficult to get a good coverage of the event — most of the time we were running around putting out small fires and trying to get the event running as smoothly as possible. However, that did not stop us from grabbing a few precious minutes here and there scoping out the exhibits and ogling the cosplayers — many of who got into the spirit of things and showed up in costumes from Toei Animation shows such as Sailormoon, Pretty Cure, Dragonball, and One Piece.
There were a number of display and activity booths that showcased the work of Toei Animation Philippines over the past twenty-five years. Some of the biggest hits — which had excited kids and their equally excited parents lining up for hours, include the Slam Dunk free photo-booth, the Pretty Cure face-painting booth, and the Toei Animation demo gallery.
At one in the afternoon, things started to pick up with the start of the Karaoke Singing Competition. Opened by an easy listening set from J-pop Anime Singing Contest champions Himitsu Heiki, twelve fans who made it past the rigorous screening process sang their hearts out to theme and image sings from Toei titles such as Digimon, One Piece, Slam Dunk, and Sailormoon.
It’s too bad we could only pick three winners and they — with the exception of the Grand Prize winner, were very close to each other on the scoring tally. Third Place was snagged by Ivory dela Cruz who sang Memories from One Piece, second place went to Patricia Yambao with Anata Dake Mitsumeteiru from Slam Dunk, and the Grand Prize was taken home by Rose Ann Sandig who sang The Sailorstars Song from Sailormoon.
The highlight of the mid-afternoon was the Grand Parade — which featured floats depicting major Toei Animation franchises. Rounding out the parade of street performers and floats were the proud employees of TAPI, and their eye-catching employee shuttle done up as Thousand Sunny from the animation One Piece.
Last but not least was the competition that many people have been waiting months to see: the Group Cosplay Competition. This is the second time the event was organized by Toei Animation Philippines, after the first competition back in 2006. Featuring what is still the largest cumulative cash prize for Philippine cosplay competitions for the past ten years — PhP 100,000, fourteen teams battled it out for the pride, honor, and cold hard cash.
Some of the most applauded presentations of the evening included the Pretty Cure skit performed by the picture-perfect Pretty Girls, the action-packed One Piece skit by CG Ministry, and the well-choreographed Choudenshi Bioman skit by the Wildcards — the Wildcards eventually took Third Place and PhP 20,000 in cash.
However, the competition was dominated by two teams: Tranzor Go! with their envelope-pushing transformation sequence from the animation Daimos, and Mach 20 with their Voltes V skit which doled out nostalgia and mayhem in equal doses. It came down to just 1.55 points to separate the two groups, and the big win plus Php 50,000 was awarded to Mach 20; Tranzor Go! goes home with its head held high and a cash prize of PhP 30,000.
Overall the event was a success, despite several contestants dropping out of the competitions due to illness and/or emergencies. I feel bad for these guys since they did their best, however the next chance to redeem themselves will be a long ways off — about five years from now. I hope that both they as competitors and we as organizers learn a few lessons from these small misfortunes, and make sure that the next event will feature a full roster of contestants as well as a nearly flawless programme execution.
Thanks again to everyone who came, and we’ll see you all in 2016!
Thanks very much to Toei Animation Philippines for inviting magnetic-rose.net to be part of your event. Congratulations on 25 years, and see you again in five years!