World Cosplay Summit U.S. Preliminary Round
by Crystalyn Hodgkins,
The U.S. preliminary round of the World Cosplay Summit (WCS) took place Saturday evening. The main events room wasn't packed, but it was still a well-attended room, and the audience was certainly enthusiastic, even though the contest itself had gotten off to a 40-minute late start.
Twenty-two teams participated in the competition to represent the U.S. in the final round of the WCS in Nagoya, Japan this summer. Each team had presented their costumes to the judges the day before (see my Day 1 report for a description of that process). The teams are judged both on their costumes and performance, with up to 10 points being awarded for craftsmanship, up to 10 points being awarded for their performance, and up to 5 points are awarded for fidelity to the character, which involves both the craftsmanship and performance aspects.
Each skit had a time limit of 2 minutes 30 seconds. Each duo also had props on the stage, which varied from a music stand with posters to elaborate set pieces.
After a brief introduction from WCS U.S. organizer Laura Butler, cosplayer and guest at the convention Yaya Han (who acted as host during the contest) introduced each duo one at a time.
The order of the cosplayers and the anime/manga/video game series they cosplayed from were as follows:
- Waka-chan + Alucard - Paradise Kiss
- Amulet Cosplay - Romeo x Juliet
- Cupcake Cosplay - Ah! My Goddess
- Effembee + Lady Asteria - Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce 2
- Chocolate Covered Cosplay - Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt
- Athena's Wink - A Bride's Story
- Tastes Like Curry - Trinity Blood
- Mei Hoshi + Lunatique Cosplay - RG Veda
- Evenstar1 + Elendriel - Pandora Hearts
- Foxy Cosplay - Claymore
- Bejitaballz - Revolutionary Girl Utena
- Yu&Mi - Ludwig II
- Last Minute Cosplay - Uragiri wa Boku no Namae wo Shitteiru
- sievkatronshea + baron - Trinity Blood
- Coconut Bubble Sex Cosplay - Princess Tutu
- Shiya Wind + Court - Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep
- Envel + Dust Bunny - Puella Magi Madoka Magica
- Amazonian Cosplay - Odin Sphere
- Lady Ava + Oshi - Okami
- Destiny + Penny - Sailor Moon Sailor Stars
- Scarlet Mafia - Pretear
- Green Jello Cosplay - Umineko no Naku Koro ni
After the performances were over, the judges went into another room to deliberate, which took around a half hour. In the meantime, the WCS showed some footage from TV Aichi of the U.S. skits for 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010, and 2011. The WCS then showed slide-show videos of the WCS finalists from around the world attending events in Japan.
After the deliberations were over, the judges took to the stage and announced the top 10 teams. Those 10 teams came up on stage. One of the judges, who was one of the two 2011 U.S. representatives, told a story about her experience during the finals in Japan. Her team had been told ahead of time from past entrants that the hotel they would be staying at in Japan didn't have an iron, so they brought a portable iron with them. As it turned out, they were the only group with an iron, and the representatives from nearly all the other countries ended up stopping by to ask for the iron, and in that way they were able to build connections with the other contestants despite the language barrier. She then announced that she will be passing on the iron to the 2012 winners.
As all the contestants were standing together and holding hands, Butler first announced an award for the team that provided the best resume during their submission process. The team that won that award was Coconut Bubble Sex Cosplay. Butler then announced the top three teams in reverse order.
Bejitaballz won third place for their Revolutionary Girl Utena costumes and skit. Cupcake Cosplay won second place for their Ah! My Goddess costumes and skit. And the 1st place winners and the representatives for the U.S. in the finals were Coconut Bubble Sex Cosplay for their Princess Tutu costumes and skit. The two were presented with a banner and U.S. flags. The two earn a free trip to Japan for the finals, US$300 in wigs from Arda Wigs, and US$250 in cash from Katsucon.
All the contestants were then invited up on stage for group pictures to end the event.