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World Cosplay Summit Ends in Aichi

posted on 2005-08-30 18:27 EDT
Italian Contestants Win Controversial World Cosplay Summit

Despite a huge amount of North American controversy over the World Cosplay Summit, the 2005 event went off without a hitch earlier this month in Aichi, Japan. However, shortly after the event was over, more controversy surrounding the Japanese portion of the event came to light.

Toru Furuya, and celebrity Tomoe Shinohara hosted the summit final, with Reiji Matsumoto among the judges.

The Individual winner was Giorgia Vecchini of Italy who was dressed as Sirene from Devilman. The Italian group team was also selected as the group winners.

Regional playoffs were held across Asia, Europe, the United States and throughout Japan to bring the number of finalists down to the 40 that competed at the summit in Aichi Japan.

The North American finals, held at Anime Expo 2005, were the scene of the first controversy where the only North American team to enter the group category was skipped over in favour of a team fabricated from 3 individual contestants. The "unofficial-official" explanation was that the group was cosplaying as characters from Rose of Versailles - Rose of Versailles creator Riyoko Ikeda has expressed her disapproval of people cosplaying as her characters on more than one occasion.

However the group in question had submitted several costumes that were not based on Rose of Versailles and could have competed in those costumes or taken them to Japan if required. The consensus among fans is that TV Aichi chose not to allow The Rose of Versailles cosplayers to win because they were more interested in a cosplay-themed beauty contest and that the chosen winners were deemed more attractive than The Rose of Versailles group.

The North American WCS event was organized by TV Aichi and other groups, and held at Anime Expo. No official comments regarding the issue have been made, however Anime Expo staff have publicly commented on their unhappiness with the decisions that were forced on them by TV Aichi.

Contestants who made it to the finals in Aichi are now complaining that the Italian team was heavily favored throughout the competition and tour. It is claimed that the Italian team was given more time with the press, included professional designers (the rules called for only amateur entries), and was pre-selected as the winning team.

In Japan there are allegations that CURE, a talent agency sponsoring WCS, required that the event pre-select the winners from entrants that they promoted. COSPA, one of the original sponsors of the event is said to have severed its ties with CWS because of CURE's demands. Francesca Dani, one of the members of the Italian team was CURE's official model at a cosplay photo shoot they held in August.

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