Chinese youth ring in 2017 in a new, fun and entertaining way with fellow fans of animation, comics, and games

By Li Lin Source:Global Times Published: 2017/1/2 16:58:39

Two ACG fans wear funny masks during Ido 20 comic con. Photo: Li Hao/GT

Two ACG fans wear funny masks during Ido 20 comic con. Photo: Li Hao/GT



What is the most significant and ideal way to spend the last day of the year and the first day of a brand new one?

Wang Xiaochen, a 19-year-old university student had his own thoughts. As a huge fan of the animation, comics and games (ACG) subculture, which is also known as erciyuan or "the world of two dimensions," he went to the 20th Animation, Comics and Game Expo, or Ido 20, on both December 31, 2016 and January 1, 2017. There he spent two days with over 30,000 like-minded people and managed to get a fresh start to his new year while enjoying his passion.

Ido 20 is the largest event of its kind in North China. It kicked off at the China National Convention Center in Beijing on December 31 and ended in the afternoon on January 1. Thousands of products representing the latest in ACG were on sale at the event, and guests also had the chance to enjoy cosplay shows, 2-D celebrity fan meeting, and other entertaining activities.

A cosplayer during makeup  Photo: Li Hao/GT

A cosplayer during makeup Photo: Li Hao/GT



Wang is an amateur cosplayer, and this time he dressed as Dai Tengu, a Japanese folk creature and one of the most popular characters in Yinyangshi (Ghost Master), a mobile game from Chinese tech company NetEase.

Wang is a student without any income, so he made most of his costume himself. Although his costume was not as elaborate and expensive compared to other Dai Tengu cosplayers, he felt quite proud of himself.

"I was invited to join a famous cosplay organization after they found out that I made my own costume, and they asked me to help make stage sets and attend the cosplay competition in the 2017 China Joy," he said. "The recognition from others is the most precious New Year present for me."

Although older generations may have difficulty understanding young people like Wang, erciyuan subculture is becoming more and more popular in China and many people are beginning to view it as a great opportunity to make money.

Two cosplayers of Yinyangshi walk to the venue from the underground parking lot. Photo: Li Hao/GT

Two cosplayers of Yinyangshi walk to the venue from the underground parking lot. Photo: Li Hao/GT



Xiaoxin (pseudonym) rented one of the hundreds of stalls at the comic con and sold ACG-related products. He and his friends prepared goods like key chains, bolsters and postcards worth about 3,000 yuan ($432).

It turned out they did not earn much money, but he is still excited because he talked to some lead companies and investors in the ACG industry, and he is preparing to start his own business that provides a cosplay and ACG-style dance and vocal training center and brokerage firm.

"I want people to know that members of the erciyuan community are not 'losers,'" but a group of people with dreams and great perseverance. Older generations may view them as crazy and idle, but I think their enthusiasm, confidence and grittiness in characteristics means a lot," he said.

A photographer buying ACG-related items  Photo: Li Hao/GT

A photographer buying ACG-related items Photo: Li Hao/GT



He said as an amateur photographer in comic cons, he witnessed the efforts and pains many young cosplayers, dancers and singers face in pursuit of their passion.

"It's the most significant New Year's Eve I have ever had, and if I could gain interest from an investor, that would be the best New Year present ever," he said.

Wang said his only regret was not being able to countdown to midnight and wait for the New Year bell at the comic con. The organizers of Ido 20 planned to hold a party on the evening of December 31 in the auditorium of China University of Mining and Technology and invited dancing groups and singers to perform. Although it would end at 9:30 pm, Wang thought the New Year atmosphere would be perfect there.

A team of dancers who cosplay the characters in Love Live, a popular Japanese animation  Photo: Li Hao/GT

A team of dancers who cosplay the characters in Love Live, a popular Japanese animation   Photo: Li Hao/GT



However, on the day of the party, "relevant government departments" forced the organizers to cancel the event. According to an anonymous security staff on the scene, it was very possible to be due to public security consideration. The dancers and singers were driven off the stage and the electricity was cut off. Some fans of the dancers and singers were rather disappointed.

Xiaoxin was also a little upset and he failed to get in touch with the invited dancing groups and singers. In addition, he wanted to build connections with their brokerage staff for his future enterprise. However, he thinks the government will soon see the great business and cultural opportunities in this sector.

He said young erciyuan people need to be patient and give the older generation some time to understand the subculture and people in the industry.

"The erciyuan culture, the young people and enterprises in the industry need more space to develop in the country," he said.

"Although we have encountered many obstacles on the way last year, I have confidence that our days will become easier in 2017."

Stall owners play mobile games at their booth. Photo: Li Hao/GT

Stall owners play mobile games at their booth. Photo: Li Hao/GT



 

Two cosplayers taking a selfie   Photo: Li Hao/GT

Two cosplayers taking a selfie Photo: Li Hao/GT



 
Newspaper headline: New Year in another dimension


Posted in: METRO BEIJING

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