With the Annual Cosfest coming to an end, you might think it’s the end of another beautiful chapter for NAJ. But it’s only the beginning! Many people attend cosfests across seasons, be it summer or winter. It is undoubtedly one of the biggest events in Nagaland. And its backbone is certainly this club Nagaland Anime Junkies!
Today we have the founder of the club, Biebe Natso, here to enlighten us with their journey.
- Tell us how this club came to be?
I wish we had a deep and inspirational story backing the beginning of our group but we don’t. We started out as a facebook page. It helped us connect and find people who shared a love for anime. Back then we didn’t really think that there would be a lot of anime fans out there, especially in Nagaland, but we were wrong. We got to meet many new faces through the group and created some lasting friendships.
- How many people are part of your group?
Right now, we have got seven members on our team:
- Biebe Natso
- Alo Semy
- Rongsen Pongen
- Ditsala Anar
- Liden Longchari
- Akumtong Jamir
- Akumtemsu Jamir.
- What attracted you to the anime culture?
We love anime for the same reasons that people love Hollywood or Bollywood movies. Even though many people think anime is only part of the Japanese culture, it’s actually very diverse and extends to cover most of Asia. There are a lot of intriguing Chinese and Korean anime too! In anime, everything is possible, the stories and characters are larger than life and go beyond realities of life. It’s entertaining, creative and inspiring.
- How did the Cosfest come into being?
Like any regular Anime fan, we were mesmerized by the world of cosplay, it was like seeing our favourite Anime character come to life and we wanted to be a part of that world. There were big cosplay conventions happening around the world and we knew that we would have to wait for years for those types of events to reach us, so we took it upon ourselves to start our own event. The 1st Annual NAJ Cosfest took place in 2013. None of us had any experience planning such an event, most of us had never been to a cosplay convention, but we just took a shot at it. It has been 7 years since and even though the events have become some of the most exciting phenomena in Nagaland, we are still learning, still struggling, still trying to do better, and hope that this passion will keep us afloat for many more years.
- Do you see your events growing? In what ways?
On our first year, around 500 people showed up and we were incredibly surprised to have reached out to so many people but it got us pumped up to organize the 2nd edition in the following year. Each year we work hard and stay dedicated to our members and everyone who shows up to support us and have fun with us. We try to bring something new with every event and put all our time and effort into creating the decor and art installations.
Each year we get better and the same amount of passion also translates towards the enthusiasm cosplayers display. They get better and more creative; people are now more accepting and have started to appreciate their art, their talent, their effort and dedication to it. We are grateful for all the love and support we have received through all of this. We are humbled by the fact that people are willing to spend their time and money and travel for hours to be a part of our event.
- What message would you like to convey to our readers?
We would like to thank all the people who have been supporting us and attending our cosplay events over the years. We often come across a lot of negativity from people who don’t understand what we are trying to do and the amount of effort we are putting into these events. But we are not discouraged by it because we know that the people who get it, appreciate it. We are not trying to tear away from our roots and our cultural identities, we are just trying to create a space for anyone and everyone to have a positive outlook on life. We want to celebrate art, be creative, artistic, expressive, accepting, and be seen and heard by others. It’s a chance to be your own favourite character for a day or two, or meet your favourite character. It’s meant to be fun and we will do everything we can to keep it that way.
The NAJ team is thankful to all the people who have been there for us through thick and thin, we will always try to give the best that we have and bring joy!
To know more about this energetic powerhouse (NAJ), follow them on Instagram!