NAGOYA (Japan) • It was costume party time as participants from 24 countries and regions, clad in elaborate handmade outfits, gathered in central Japan yesterday to compete at this year's World Cosplay Summit.
They represented characters from manga, animations, films, video games and television programmes as they performed at the 17th annual summit, one of the largest events of its kind in the world.
Countries including Saudi Arabia, Sweden and Singapore were competing for the title in the central city of Nagoya.
Starting from a pool of 40 teams, eight of the finalists were selected when the summit kicked off in Tokyo a week ago.
The other 16 teams were picked in a Saturday round in Nagoya.
"Nagoya is the only Japanese city to hold a public cosplay event," the city's mayor Takashi Kawamura said last Saturday.
"Nagoya puts emphasis on culture, art and entertainment. And you cosplayers have fuelled the move. Thank you very much."
Ms Sharina Kimura from Munich, who was representing Germany in the competition, said: "I really enjoy making costumes and giving performances on stage."
She portrayed Kushana from Nausicaa Of The Valley Of The Wind, a 1984 Japanese animation film directed by Hayao Miyazaki.
Ms Maria Dick, also from Munich and who was portraying the film's title character, said her job as a graphic designer helped her conceptualise her costumes.