SSM! Myrtles.

(Original article/title WHAT IS COSPLAY by Leandro Polidario/ Culture Crash#13/ Special Features Section.

What is Myrtle?

Myrtle is cosplay!
Cosplay is a term coined by Japanese fans combining the words "COSTUME" and
"PLAY". Pop culture historians say cospaly probably has its origins with
Japanese railroad aficionados in the 1930's, who would dress in conductor's
uniforms from their favorite rail lines. Cosplay's further evolution includes the
1970's, when merchants selling Star Trek comic books dressed up as Capt. Kirk
and Mr. Spock as a marketing ploy at the ComicMarket convention held annualy
in Tokyo.

Outside Japan, howerve, cosplay more popularly refers to dressing up as characters
from Japanese pop culture: anime, manga, videogames, movies and music. The term
is used by Western anime fans to distinguish it from other types of masquerade,
which is typically fans dressing up as their favorite characters from Western
sci-fi, fantasy and comic books.

Myrtle In The Philippines

Eversince the 1970's, the era when giant robot anime made their makr on local
TV, anime has made a slow but steady crawl into the consciousness of Filipino youth.
This largely strange, but exciting sort of animated experience created small
gatehrings of teens and young adults eager to share whatever bootlegged copies
of anime they had. This also led to anime screenings or shows where tickests
were sold and fans enjoyed the latest anime in the company of their peers. These
were the first known "mini-conventions" spearheaded by groups such as Anima Anime.
This small exchange of anime paraphernalia led other fanatics to enlightening
pursuits of study into the nation and culture that generated it, creating
a mild otaku subculture in the Philippine context.

By the 1990's anime had once again invaded local television and gave a new generation
of audience a taste of a different sort of cartoon flavor and rekindled the interest
of the first generation anime fans of the giant robot era. This time however, anime
becomes a multi-medi phenomenon that everyone cannot ignore. Fans everywhere were
ready for a bigger celebration of anime never before seen in the Philippines:
The Anime Convention.

Filipino anime otaku and the causal fans are lucky to have experienced the twin
birth explosion of anime convention and cosplay. The first know mini-cosplay
was held as part of UP Diliman's Anime@Arki's 3rd anniversary celebration in August
2000. Some of the earliest cosplay mainstays, such as Lea " The Anime Seamstress"
Guerrero, made their initial foray in this event. A few month later a much larger
audience enjoyed Anime Explosion, the Philippine's first real animation convention.

This convention featured the appearances of remarkable cosplayers like
Mike Suarez, Paul Mendoza, Hazel Concepcion, Chris Edward Lo, Hazel Velas,
Robert Wong, Shiela Benedicto and JM Chua. These people, along with a number of other
cosplayers would later make a website collection of intrepid and groundbreaking
group of cosplay otaku : the OAV Cosplayers. Created soon after the Anime Explosion
were various cosplay groups bound by online mailing lists and message boards.
Among them are Cosplayer's World, Pinoy Cosplay and WeAreAnime Cosplay, nurturing Philippine
anime on the internet.

Throug th eyears, cosplay has become more intricately inspired by a galaxy of anime,
manga and video games that span more than a decade. Anime titles represented
include everything from Neon Genesis Evangelion and Ruroni Kenshi to Yuyu Hakusho
and Fruits Basket. Some dress up as game characters like Final Fantasy, King Of Fighters
and Street Fighter, while others come as musicians from J-Pop and Rock. Certain
popular characters would include Kurapika (HunterXHunter) and the Sailor Senshi
from the Sailor Moon Series.Each of whom puts his or her own spin on the character.
Other cosplayers prefer more obscure inspirations; one heat packing trio
wore blood-spattered school uniforms from the controversial film Battle Royale.

The costumes themselves are impressive. Cosplayers generally make their own get-ups
and the attention to detial necessary to duplicate a character's look is astonishing.
Many costumes are elaborately trimmed with fur, vinyl, ribbons or metallic fabric.
Depending on the look desired; wigs are also a frequent accessory. Needless
to say, cosplay is an expensive hobby, especially as it usually accompanies a
hardcore anime or manga habit as well.

*Now with that out of the way, here are a couple of myrtling SSM! characters.
Myrtling as their favorite local KOMIK BOOK CHARACTER.
1. Mona Kiki as Zsazsa Zaturnnah.
2. Bunny-Pon as Zuma.
3. Kaptain Bomba as Vic Sot..este Fantastic Man.
This piece is also a reference to Lastikman whom of which Vic Sotto also
portrayed in the big screen.
4. Dr. Hook & Manu as Death Metal & Combatron.

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