Nagaland Anime Junkies (NAJ) organises Cosfest - an annual cosplay event since 2013 - in Nagaland for anime fans across the region. It has caught the attention and imagination of many people and the third edition is going to happen from the 11-12th July in Kohima.
NeBuzz: Who is the mastermind behind the Nagaland Anime Junkies (NAJ) Cosfest? What inspired you to do this?
NAJ: We are Biebe and Zulu.
It all started with frustration. We knew that there was a huge fan base for fictional fantasies and art in Nagaland. The only problem was that there was nothing for our kind here to connect and interact with each other. People around the world celebrate their love for anime, movies, games etc. They have big conventions and festivals dedicated to them and it was just frustrating to see that we had nothing. We had the fans and nothing else. We both realized this and had a common dream of creating a utopia for people like us. We started this so we could share, discuss and celebrate what we loved.
NeBuzz: How did it happen?
NAJ: Ever since we opened our page back in 2011 we have always wanted to organize an anime event. At first, it was just a topic in our wish list. We both didn’t even know where to start or how to organize an event. We were the regular introverts hiding in our caves, watching anime and being the most awesome keyboard warriors.
In the last month of 2012, while we were chatting on Facebook about our page, we suddenly started talking about the anime event again. And without any clear idea, we decided to hold a cosplay event next year.
It is funny because we didn’t even know where to start. We were just really determined this time. Then 2013 came and we were at the end of our wits because we had no idea on where and how to start. We had to collect a lot of data and with the help of some awesome individuals and a lot of sleepless fundraisings; we somehow managed to pull off the first Cosfest in Nagaland.
The response was overwhelming. It was really encouraging for us to see so many people attending our event not just from Nagaland but from other states as well. This boosted our morals and that is when we decided to make it an annual event and make each year better than the previous one. Our second year was even better. The crowd tripled in number. That is when we knew that we were doing something right. For a group that had been in hiding for years and suddenly trying something so bold, new and risky, one can imagine the amount of relief we got.
Image source: facebook.com/naga.animejunkie
NeBuzz: What is the fest about and who are the participants?
NAJ: The event is designed to be a utopia for all those dwelling in the world of fiction, art, anime, movies, games etc. Apart from the main event, which is the cosplay competition, the Cosfest caters a variety of stalls for food, anime merchandise, clothing, art etc. We organize different kinds of games and art competitions during the event. The event also hosts various performances from bands and dance groups. The place becomes a perfect place for photographers. You will find all kinds of cosplayers cosplaying characters from games, movies, anime etc. One will find almost everything that is described as fun. In short, the fest is very vivid and colourful.
Most of the participants are from Nagaland. We were surprised to see that our state actually had so many dedicated cosplayers. The work, time and detailing they put in the costumes is astonishing. We also have people coming in from places like Assam, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Mumbai, Delhi etc. The fact that people from other states know of our event and come to participate, shows our growth, which encourages us to push ourselves and do even better during our sleepless working hours preparing for the fest.