Enako appeared alongside Misato Ugaki to show her support for the Ikebukuro Halloween Cosplay Fest.

In Japan, Halloween isn’t just celebrated on the night of 31 October. It’s celebrated on the weekend prior to it as well, when people don’t have work or school the next day so they’re able to stay out until the wee hours, attending parties or hanging out at street events in their cosplay costumes. 

The most popular place in Tokyo to congregate on the streets during Halloween is the Shibuya Scramble Crossing, but it’s not the only place where people in cosplay come out to play. Ikebukuro has its own three-day Halloween event called Ikebukuro Halloween Cosplay Fest, and this year it was held on 26 and 27 October with a couple of very special guests in attendance for the opening ceremony.

For many people in Japan, the two women in the image above need no introduction: Misato Ugaki (pictured right) is a 28-year-old TBS Television announcer who has been known to dress in cosplay for TV appearances, and 25-year-old Enako (pictured left) is commonly referred to as “Japan’s number-one cosplayer” who earns more than one million yen (US$9,481) a month through cosplay.

Enako had been enlisted to act as the “ambassador” for this year’s Ikebukuro Halloween Cosplay Fest, or “Ikehalo” as it’s commonly known, so we headed in to the event for a chance to see her in the flesh. Enako has been known to cause pandemonium whenever she appears at Comiket, and when we arrived at the main stage, we saw that her fans, and a large number of the press, were already crowding around to get a view of the professional cosplayer.

▼ The opening ceremony usually attracts few spectators, as it’s often a ho-hum event with city officials, but this year things were very different.

After about 30 minutes, the opening ceremony began, with the Toshima Ward Mayor stepping out as Luffy from One Piece. The mayor has shown his support for the annual event by appearing in cosplay before, and as he spoke to the crowd, we have to admit we hardly took notice of what he was saying, as we were impatient for Enako to walk out and grace us with her presence.

As expected, Enako was dressed up for the occasion, bringing to life the character of Elizabeth Liones from Seven Deadly Sins.

With her right eye covered with shiny bangs, we regretted not being on the other side of the crowd where we could get a full view of her face, but the moment she glanced over in our direction, the sound of cameras flared up in our ears as everyone tried to get the perfect photograph.

Although she hadn’t been officially announced as a participant in the opening ceremony, Ugaki then took to the stage.

The TV announcer was scheduled to appear at the event as part of the Kate The Cosplay Makeup” booth, and she was dressed as an original werewolf character created by the makeup brand for their special cosplay makeup line.

Seeing both Enako and Ugaki together was a rare Halloween treat, and it wasn’t long before even more passersby began crowding around the stage area to catch a glimpse of the two in their gorgeous cosplay outfits.

If the five-year-old Ikehalo event wasn’t well-known enough before, it surely ought to be now, with two of the country’s most beloved cosplayers throwing their support behind the annual celebration.

So if you’re looking to dress up for Halloween in Japan at an event specially designed to showcase the talents of the country’s cosplayers, you might want to give Shibuya and its bad press a miss next time and head out to the Enako-endorsed Ikehalo instead!

Related: Ikehalo, Kate
Photos: ©SoraNews24
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[ Read in Japanese ]