Have you ever wondered what it feels like to enter a magical gate and find yourself in a world filled with ultra kawaii girls decorated with kawaii things, sporting Tokyo fashion and adoring Japanese pop culture? Thanks to the fantastic event that happened on January 17 called Marble Wonderland, all attendees were in awe!
Marble Wonderland by Asia Kawaii Way is an entertainment show that sets up a platform for the audience to experience the kawaii and Japanese pop culture lifestyle through fashion, cosplay, cosmetics and stage performances. It is part of the “Cool Japan Strategy Promotion Project” – a project of Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) which seeks to promote the kawaii culture overseas. After its successful run in Japan, Singapore and Indonesia, Marble Wonderland caused exhilaration to Filipino fans as they brought its unique Japanese experience to the Philippines, being the third leg of their Asian tour.
The kawaii or “cute” culture has become part of the Japanese way of life and is now considered as a global phenomenon because of its deep influence in art, fashion and beauty. Albeit a familiar concept to many foreigners, we feel that the kawaii culture has yet to make an immense impact on their lifestyle which is why we think that Asia Kawaii Way, with the directorial supervision of Junya Yamada, created Marble Wonderland as a tool to promote Japan through the kawaii culture.
As a team dedicated to spreading the kawaii love in the country, Kawaii Philippines made sure to be a part and cover this one-of-a-kind Japanese-produced event! Read below for our own take on the happenings that transpired in Marble Wonderland! ^_^
Entering the Magical Gate to Wonderland
Marble Wonderland took place in Movie Stars Café at SM Mall Of Asia. As we entered, we were welcomed by life-size models of movie characters like Spiderman, Ironman and Shrek! The venue very well suits the event because the fun and playful vibe resonated well with the attendees. And the food was good too!
When the show was about to start, everybody was in high spirits! The event was opened with a dance performance by 217 and Miume, members of the Japanese girl group “Chrome Hearts.” They are very skilled dancers who brought so much grace and energy on stage! And this added to the enthusiasm of the fans to see that main star of the event… the cosplay queen (or should we say goddess?) Alodia Gosiengfiao!
With over a million followers on Facebook, Alodia proved that she has a massive following through the screams and howling of her fans as she appeared on stage wearing an elegant kimono with fine colorful details. Aside from being easy on the eyes, she has a charm that leaves people captivated, making you understand why she is loved by people from around the world.
After Alodia’s short collaborative performance with 217 and Miume, they were joined by her co-host Rhianna Floresca from Animax Ani-mate to greet the audience and formally open the show. Rhianna gave a brief introduction about Marble Wonderland and how the kawaii culture has been gaining support worldwide. Alodia, being an icon in the kawaii scene, was asked by Rhianna about the style or stuff she likes about the kawaii culture.
Alodia’s response was something kawaii girls could relate to-
“I basically like everything about kawaii culture because it’s a combination of different things like makeup, fashion, styling yourself, and even in your mannerisms and gestures. If you’re kawaii, you can see it.”
Alodia’s Sisters Contest
What made Marble Wonderland in Manila different from other countries was the search for the new Filipino idol group, “Alodia’s Sisters.” This would have to be the highlight of the event as 8 kawaii contestants showcased their individual talents, whether it was through singing, dancing, acting or modeling, to stand out. Each of them was asked the same question, “What is kawaii for you?”
Renowned Filipino cosplayers, Kristell Lim, Jia Gold Bustamante and Michelle Echavez graced the stage and performed a live cosplay show. The 3 cosplayers were charismatic and all smiles to the audience. Not only did they look beautiful in their intricate and well developed costumes, they were also able to embody the persona of the character that they were cosplaying.
Famous local celebrity and cosplayer Myrtle Sarrosa appeared on stage looking kawaii as ever. She wowed the crowd with her amazing vocals as she sang Scramble from School Rumble and Sobakasu from Rurouni Kenshin! Working the stage and interacting with the crowd, she looked stellar during her performance.
And just when we started missing 217 and Miume, they appeared on stage again for another dance performance. Their choreography seemed like a mix of hip hop and contemporary while the music being played was like a remix version of a Japanese traditional music. It was something new to see and the two were pretty unique in their own way.
Before the announcement of winners, Alodia came back on stage, this time wearing a colorful ensemble while sporting a blonde wig. Talk about kawaii!!! She looked like a living doll that every little girl would love to have. She was also accompanied by back up dancers as she sang Marble Wonderland’s theme song, “Kawaii Girl” together with 7-year old cosplayer Ashley Misaki whom she picked from the crowd. She is truly a sweet heart.
The song is really fun to listen to and catchy! You can listen to it here:[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZXW4uWg2so[/youtube]
You can also download Kawaii Girl via iTunes here.
Now, the end has come and it’s time to reveal who the winner of the Alodia’s Sisters Contest is!
But first, the runner ups were announced. Surprisingly, instead of 2, they picked 3 runner-ups who each received P10,000 pesos. The runner ups in no particular order are Mina Kim, Kahreen Evangelista and Lou Angeline Buenaventura Ulanday.
And the grand prize was awarded to Rachelle Redencio! She dressed up as a female version of Edward Elric from Fullmetal Alchemist! Not only did she become Alodia’s Sister and a kawaii representative, she also won P50,000! Congratulations!
When we personally asked Rachelle what kawaii is for her, she answered,
“Kawaii is being who you are and having confidence with yourself.”
Japanese Fashion Translation
All attendees prepared for the event, wearing colorful and scene-stealing outfits – from cosplay to different Harajuku fashion subcultures. Everything inside the venue was so mesmerizing to look at as the influence of Japanese fashion and popular culture was very vivid. Here are some photos that we have captured:
Japanese beauty products that can make any girl kawaii like Prisila wigs, Dolly Wink eyelashes, Homei nail polish, Pure Smile facial masks and Tutti contact lenses were showcased and sold at the event. For those who wish to purchase them, the products will be made available online via Hallo Hallo Mall Philippines – Your one stop shop for the hottest and cutest Japanese accessories in the market!
True to its name, Marble Wonderland is like a crystalline rock that sparkles every time it touches the lives of kawaii and Japanese pop culture enthusiasts who want to experience Japan in their home country. Thank you to Asia Kawaii Way for bringing Marble Wonderland and the kawaii culture experience to the Philippines. We hope the Philippines would have another opportunity like this again because more and more Filipinos have started to embrace the kawaii lifestyle. Let’s continue to spread the kawaii love together!