The Anime, Comics and Games (ACG) Community in Malaysia may not be huge, but what they lack in numbers, they make up for in passion.
This was exactly what brought THE MAGIC RAIN (TMR) team together.
“I have always been an avid consumer of ACG and I felt that I wanted to do something cool to contribute back to the community. And voila, I came up with TMR,” said CM Char of TMR.
Their mission? To use their skillsets to impact the ACG community in a positive and unorthodox way.
Now a team of 21, TMR has people from all walks of life united for the same cause.
None of them work on TMR full-time—they are currently all volunteers ranging from a lawyer, copywriter, students and an assistant producer in an animation studio.
Their websites aims to cover everything under the ACG umbrella, “be it manga reviews, event coverage, cosplay showcases, the latest games, or upcoming anime”.
Besides that, they’re also planning events and one is slated to run this 8th of July.
The team came up with a novel concept:
Why not combine the hobby of cosplaying with the usage of public transportation?
The idea is to bring cosplay—a very visually prominent aspect of ACG—out of event halls and into public spaces. This will be the very first event of its kind in Malaysia.
“Cosplay Commuter is a totally different event from what the community is used to in Malaysia. It is done outdoors, not within the confines of a hall, it is modular and it wants to change the existing public image of cosplayers to a positive one,” said Lee Shi Hui of TMR.
TMR are not entirely new to themed public events—some of the team members were involved in Keratapi Sarong where participants dressed up in sarongs to ride trains, and also Zombie Run Malaysia, where participants dressed up as, well, zombies, for a fundraising run.
Cosplay Commuter is the team’s attempt to:
- Instill the value of unity building
- Give the community a healthy and wholesome outlet to share their talent
- Promote an overall air of positivity among Malaysians, regardless of age, class and creed.
It’s not just about riding on the trains in cosplay. The one-day event that will take place along the Light Rail Transit (LRT) line comes with a number of activity-filled stops.
The activities are going to be carried out on selected station platforms, with permission from RapidKL of course.
TMR have also recruited a number of cosplay influencers to join in the event as “Guest Conductors” who will be moving with the teams of participants.
Cosplay Commuter is also free for participants, who only need to cover the cost of their train pass.
“We are self-funding the event the first time around as we want to showcase that anything is possible if we are just courageous enough to venture out of our comfort zone,” said CM Char.
“Along the way, we met some like-minded sponsors who have been very kind and welcoming to us, offering us sponsorships that otherwise would have cost us thousands of ringgit.”
If you’d like to join but lack an elaborate costume, don’t worry.
According to the team, “All you have to do is dress up in costume or accessories, bring along your train pass, and show up at the starting point at Evolve Concept Mall on the 8th of July.”
Cosplayers are also reminded to be mindful that they’re in a public space, and to dress appropriately. Also, no realistic-looking “weapons” should be carried.
TMR does eventually want to monetise to remain sustainable.
Their current plans include doing chargeable per entry events, advertising on their website, cosplay costume rental and more.
“Though we aim to be profitable to sustain ourselves, we still encourage volunteering as it is a great way of moving forward in life and instills a lot of core values that we strongly believe in,” explained Douglas Loh of TMR.
They also have big dreams for themselves and the continued growth of the ACG community in Malaysia.
“We hope to become a platform where fans come to look for reliable information as well as thought-provoking articles. Not only that, we hope to become a positive inspiration and encourage the youths of the community to be supportive of each other and think out of the box,” said Vanessa Goh of TMR.
To find out more about Cosplay Commuter, visit the event page here.
Feature Image Credit: MAGIC RAIN