Knownlocallyas"MyFriendIsaGumiho,"wouldtheybeabletoportraytheircharactersthatthepinoyfanswillappreciateitjustliketheoriginalone?WillAlodiaandSlaterkeepupwiththesuccessofLeeSeungKi(DaeWoong)andShinMinAh(Gumiho)? We can't hardly wait for their portrayal. I hope they won't keep us waiting for too long.
With Myrtle Gail Sarrosa bagging the title of "Big Winner" last night, there have been tons of positive and negative feedback surrounded not only the social network of cosplay but also outside into the minds of the typical Filipino. It seemed that most people thought that it was an orchestrated production which aims to capitalize cosplay in some form or another. Others believe that she earned it by the support of her fans and the total reinforcement from otaku lovers and cosplay enthusiasts who put her down in the pedestal last night. Whatever happened that night, there are indications to change and potential outcome in both otaku and cosplay communities will be affected by that sudden change of events. For all intents and purposes, let's reanalyze what that fine cosplayer from Iloilo did, and it's possible implications for the anime culture of our nation.
Did Myrtle made the right move?
Most cosplay aficionados were intrigued if not frightened by it. When she started to enter the house almost three months ago, the whole community was infused with one goal. To show that Philippine cosplay can put us in the global scale. That slowly changed when her personality started to depict signs of immorality, lack of trust, and in some cases, quick infatuation. People started to know the housemates better and to the normal, non-otaku pinoy, her actions contradicted what she spoke inside the house.
Realizing that it started the disorganization of unity for the community. For the normal ones, they shifted their interest into something that they can sensibly relate more of. Parents, especially their elder siblings realized that this year's teen version of Pinoy Big Brother felt like it was more of a stand-up comedy show than a sensible, moral themed reality show. People started to question the authenticity of the program if it was true to from or just a large setup.
In a show that aims to educate the youth on the modern issues of society, this season failed to achieve that. What is the price for doing that mistake? It accidentally misguided the media to pay attention into otaku and anime culture using her as a "influential mascot" to relate with the people's emotions without really fixing the issues. Realizing that the problems were only half-fixed in the end causes the public to make quite a stir. It's the big mistake that the cosplay community purely ignored until the end.
So it's time to tackle the biggest question of all. Does Myrtle deserve the title of "Big Winner"? If you put in a normal con-goer perspective, her situation is really similar to what Alodia, Ashley, and all the rest of the cosplayer celebrities faced in the past. We should blame the networks that treated cosplayers as "residual exposure." It creates more problems for the community to fix, but I know that by focusing on educating everyone about our culture, we can hinder the spread of this "media fall flop" into a more manageable level.
We need to remove our interest for fame and free exposure. Take the time to balance arrogance and fun and influence people to think of cosplay as a more alternative habit than smoking and drinking. The community must not blame a single individual for putting a hole on our world. We should prove them that they are wrong and make things right for the future of otaku culture in the country.