MAGIC Manga & Cosplay: A Two-day Extravaganza & Smash Hit
It certainly lived up to its billing as HelloMonaco had fun circulating throughout the MAGIC Expo… an event that Covid had sidelined for three years and now had an opportunity to spread its wings for a magical 2 days instead of one to make up for the absence.
And who did we stumble across but actor and French-film director Mathieu Kassovitz who was an excited guest of MAGIC… following in the wake of superhero-famed actors of prior years Wesley Snipes, Christophe Lambert and Dolph Lundgren.
Matthieu is famous of course as the director of La Haine, and as an actor played Guillaume Debailly in the Malotru of the Bureau des Légendes and the lover of Amélie Poulain in the film Amelie.
Dressed in a biker jacket Kassovitz cut just the right figure to see and mingle with the main Cosplay characters. What a great medium to feel like a kid in adult skin.
Kassovitz plays the role of a retired astronaut in Nicolas Giraud’s new film, “The Astronaut”. There he helps Jim, an aeronautical engineer, in his secret project: to build a rocket and accomplish the first manned space flight as an amateur. A dream that could also be that of the actor.
He couldn’t be a better companion at MAGIC for French astronaut, trained at the European Space Agency, Thomas Pesquet one of the fascinating guests of MAGIC. It brought Space front and centre to the happy crowds swarming the salon.
Pop culture and space feed on each other which titillates extra-curious Thomas who discovered in past meetings with Prince Albert that the Principality is no newcomer to space exploration. Nano-satellites whirling in the skies are created in Monaco. Not to mention, of course, Venturi’s prowess in creating roving vehicles which makes Space landings or maneuvers underwater terrain a natural focus for the Principality.
How did Thomas originally connect with MAGIC? He was at the Cannes Film Festival at the invitation of the production of Top Gun: Maverick and met the people from Shibuya Productions creators of the MAGIC event there. And Thomas was extra-curious about Manga.
MAGIC was swarming on its first of the two days for no less reason than the Cosplay contest which is like a European, going on World championship, of fantasy characters in fancy-dress playing out pantomime scenes.
Costumes and Play-Acting has been popularized as “Cosplay” with characters from comics, video games, films and novels.
More than ten participants from Europe, Japan, the United States and South America had been invited to compete…. the cream of the cream from hundreds out of the original wish-list.
They played out cameo scenes from World of Warcraft and Lord of the Rings among others and pranced around in Catwoman and Cave-Men costumes too.
In the end, after deliberation, the jury of experts which included Rian Cyd, double cosplay world champion – winner in Monaco in 2019 – and Nick Dudman, star makeup artist for the cinema and Reika eventually singled out Sakurallor, with pink hair and robotic hands queen of the 2021 edition for a stellar smoke-laden performance.
A giant of manga Yoichi Takahashi came to this sixth edition of MAGIC. He is a legend to millions of fans being the creator in 1980 of the iconic manga: Olive and Tom.
He also created the poster for MAGIC based on the AS Monaco-Nice derby and was excited at the opportunity to see Takumi Minamino play. Takumi is the AS Monaco player of Japanese nationality.
Also wowing the visitors to the Expo were none other than the designer Nick Dudman ultimate creator of make-up design from films and sagas such as Harry Potter, Star Wars and The Fifth Element.
And rounding out the incredible special guest line-up was William Simpson, the storyboarder of Game of Thrones.
Superheroes are definitely back in full force in Monaco which has just featured the best of the Oriental and Western creative evolutions of Magic beings and animation into the twenty first century.
And HelloMonaco’s verdict is: the MAGIC Expo event was a smash hit. Congratulations!