Looking at western culture, we have picked up on a lot. One of the coolest things we’ve picked up on, I believe, is ComicCon! Although many different names have been used for various such events happening all over Pakistan, the goal is the same. Bringing anime, K-pop & comic book lovers together to bask in the glory of their passion, In the presence of their favorite characters and their arch nemeses!
One such event that happened earlier this year, was the Shogun Anime and Comic Con at the Pakistan American Cultural Centre (PACC) in January’2020.
With the Japanese anime subculture growing rapidly among the youth, there was a plethora of passionate anime lovers and cosplayers found at this event. The fantasy world of their favorite characters brought to life their whimsical imagination, giving them a reason to smile (good thing too because since then, we haven’t been smiling much thanks to Corona).
With the various activities available for attendees, like artwork panels, anime costume competitions, manga, dance performances, videogame tournaments and appearances from renowned personalities from the local anime community, the event certainly brought to life an entire fantasy!
Filzah Baig, one of the co-founders of Geek Haven, said that the platform kicked off with the purpose of forming an inclusive society for varying pop cultures, aside from Karachi’s typical culture. “By putting out a platform for self-expression, we are allowing anime and K-pop fans to find a space for themselves where they no longer feel threatened by those who are overly critical towards their artistic interests and values,” she elaborated.
“The sole purpose of an anime and comic book convention is to accept a different culture that an individual perceives as their own,” she stressed.
Anza Qureshi, a dentist by day and an anime costume creator by night, says that adorn unique costumes to express different aspects of their identity. “Many of the characters portrayed by local fans are inherently feminine, but this does not stop them from demonstrating fearlessness when it comes to cosplay competitions,” she said.
Ever since she started participating in conventions in 2013, she has designed costumes for multiple characters donned by her family and friends. “Some of the costumes I produce are armor-based while some of the costumes are fancier including the visual kei, worn by Japanese music lovers.”
Responding to a question on local costume-making, she revealed, “When designing costumes, I look for the best clothing material at a Sunday bazaar and focus on the quality of stitching. Basically, you thrift, you find and you make the desired costume!”
Clearly this is something to keep an eye out for next year! I know what I’m going as already!