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[Photos] Manga Costumes and Virtual Idols at Japanese Cosplay Festival

Last weekend, the Ichigo Ichie 2018 Japanese Culture Festival - Kamisama & Yokai, which took place at Hanoi Children's Cultural Center, brought gloriously eccentric cosplay characters to the capital.

Cosplay, a portmanteau of ‘costume’ and ‘play’ is an amateur hobby in which participants, known as cosplayers, wear self-made costumes and fashion accessories to represent a specific character, often from manga culture.

Having said that, this event wasn’t based on any specific manga – attendees could wear any costume so long as it fit the theme ‘Dieties and Demons.’ Most of the characters on display drew their inspiration from shonen mangas like Naruto or shoujo mangas like Sailormoon. Some of the characters on display included Tetsuya Kuroko, virtual idol Hatsune Miku, Izuku Midoriya and Himari.

Despite the scorching heat, thousands of young Hanoians made it to the event. Ten booths, which also adhered to the theme, offered interactive games, food and souvenirs while on stage, dancers and martial art students performed yosakoi and kendo respectively.

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