Even with the box-office success of Rurouni Kenshin 2 across the Philippines in August—the Japanese film adaptation of the manga comics of the same title—what remains to be the best proof the Filipinos’ attraction to the neighboring country’s distinctive action-packed works of fiction is a local cable station by the name of Hero TV.
Devoted entirely to Japanese anime, Hero TV first went on air as far back as October 2005, with most of its featured programs dubbed in Filipino. Almost a decade into operations under Creative Programs Inc.—a wholly owned subsidiary of media conglomerate ABS-CBN Corporation—the station’s audience share has grown impressively through the years, setting off successful events for its fans such as the upcoming Hero Face Off cosplay battle on September 21.
As the highlight of Hero TV’s celebration of “The Best of Anime” this month, the fifth Hero Face Off will showcase the Filipino’s own brand of creativity in interpreting the most famous Japanese action superhero through cosplay. Cosplay is defined as “the practice of dressing up as a character from a movie, book, or video game, especially one from the Japanese genres of manga and anime.” Cosplayers in the strictest sense also make their own costumes, which is a huge part of the annual Hero TV contest.
This year’s face off will be divided into three categories: Kids Squad, League of Heroes, and Face Off. Also particularly new for this 2014 outing is that the third category will be open to Filipino superhero cosplayers, which means the likes of Darna and Captain Barbell may actually be spotted at the grand event.
The panel of judges was revealed at the Hero Face Off launch at ABS-CBN’s corporate center, and will comprise of Pinoy Big Brother grand winner and Hero TV Anime Jock Myrtle Sarrosa, Hero TV Channel Head Jojo Neri-Estacio, Primetrade Asia President Irene Lloren, and Hero Face Off 2013 winner Erica Garbin.
Meanwhile, My Hero Nation’s Kakki Teodoro and Mikoy Morales are set to host the event proper on September 21, which will conclude a two-day exhibit of Japanese culture, art, and fun entertainment dubbed “Best of Anime 2014” at the SMX Convention Center.
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