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Why this Malaysian Cosplayer stood out during Anime Fest

You’ve probably seen the many TikToks, Facebook postings and even local news reporting on Anime Fest by Comic Fiesta.

Whether it’s good news or bad news, you likely know the gist of the event. It was a five-day-long event (12th-16th May) held at Paradigm Mall, Petaling Jaya with free entry.

Highlights of the event included Artist Alley booths, commercial booths, cosplayer booths and cosplay guests! One of the unexpected cosplay guests of the event was Hakken 八犬, a local cosplayer.

Hakken (who identifies as “they”/”them) is a Malaysian cosplayer from Sarawak. Their cosplay of ikemen (handsome-looking) characters from anime, comics, games, and BL work catapulted them to online popularity.

Currently, they have 1.4 million Facebook fans and 3.4 million Instagram followers. Fans often praise Hakken for being able to accurately cosplay characters, a challenging task for any cosplayer, including those who have been doing it for longer.

The 24-year-old cosplayer took the internet by storm as many of their fans attended all three days of the event just to meet them. These fans were also willing to wait in line for two days, just for a photo! Lucky fans who did manage to meet them would flaunt their good fortune on social media, much to the chagrin of others. This also boosted Hakka’s presence among non-members of the local Anime, Comic, and Games (ACG) community.

At first glance, newer fans of Hakken would often mistake them for a male. However, they are in fact biologically female and identify as agender. They also accept any pronouns used to address them. Additionally, they have international fans and have been invited to cosplay at anime events in other countries. They are now signed to Tier One Entertainment, a Philippine-based entertainment company co-founded by Alodia, another well-known international cosplayer. 

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