Alodia Quits Cosplay
This is a post I never, ever wanted to write.
Anyone who hasn’t been living under a rock for the last decade knows about Alodia Gosiengfiao. Hailed as the cosplay goddess of the Philippines, Alodia has worked long and hard over the last seven years to elevate cosplay from amateur hobby to fine art. Her consistently stunning cosplay character portrayals have made her a darling of the global otaku community.
Thanks to Alodia’s prodigious cosplay talent and authentic geek passion, she’s been tapped to endorse all sorts of products associated with otaku culture: from arcade games to MMORPGs to casual games, from toys to broadband to Pocky. She’s even represented her country in cosplay competitions abroad; in fact, she’s judged cosplay competitions abroad. Alodia is even in talks to appear in the upcoming Warcraft movie.
That’s why the whole otaku community is shocked to hear that Alodia is quitting cosplay.
Death of a Dream
Alodia made her shocking announcement in a video posted to her Facebook page on March 28, 2011. Ironically enough, the video was filmed backstage at a major fan event two days before — where throngs of Alodia faithful offered songs, cake, and well-wishes for her cosplay future. In her video announcement, Alodia says she’s quitting cosplay to become a full-time student.
A celebrity quitting in the middle of her meteoric rise to fame is always shocking news, but Alodia’s announcement becomes especially shocking when you consider her incredible passion for her art. This is the girl who dared to champion a fledgling and flamboyant artform in a country known for its old-fashioned conservative culture. This is the girl who brought cosplay from anime conventions to art galleries. This is the girl who once boldly declared in an interview that “Cosplay is my life.”
Legacy of Alodia
Alodia’s Blue Ocean-ish approach to cosplay, which focused on expanding the cosplay audience rather than fighting other cosplayers for limited audience share, completely transformed the Philippine cosplay industry in less than a decade. Cosplayers have always been able to share their art with each other, but Alodia was one of the first Filipino cosplayers to proactively share her art with wider audiences.
Thanks to Alodia’s influence, the Philippine cosplay industry is now more open and connected than ever. Thanks to Alodia’s influence, Filipino cosplayers now have more professional opportunities than ever before. Thanks to Alodia’s influence, more Filipino cosplay talents have risen to prominence in the last two years than in the ten years before.
In her struggle to share her art, Alodia bravely fought both monocultural elitism from the mainstream and subcultural elitism from her own niche. She triumphed against both to become one of the world’s greatest cosplayers.
Return of the Dark Days
Alodia quitting cosplay brings back painful memories of the early days of Philippine cosplay, when struggling cosplayers would quit under the pressures of surviving in a self-destructively isolationist and oligarchic industry. If we let her go now, we’ll end up repeating the last ten years again.
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