2020’s convention scene is unlike anything we’ve experienced. Fan events have found their home online. We have covered the Azure Lane anniversary, Otakon, and Anime Expo covering panels, announcements, and informative programming. However, what does a virtual convention look like for the cosplay contest? Masquerades and cosplay contests are one of the main ingredients to an engaging fan event. Cosplayers put a lot of heart and effort in making characters come to life. What will this look like in 2020?
Enter Virtual Crunchyroll Expo’s Home Cosplay Cup.
The event was scouting entries during the summer. Cosplayers from across the world were signing up to be a part of the action. Cosplayers would enter a costume and a pre-recorded video showcasing their costume. However, sign ups did not guarantee a spot in the contest. Judges were looking for construction, performance and innovation. It came down to about 30 finalists. You can view the full list of finalists here.
The contest took place in the evening of September 5, 2020. People were tuned into their computers to view the contest live. While the contest relied on pre-recorded footage, it still was very exciting to be in a virtual room with like minded cosplay fans rooting on our favorites. There was positivity all around. The streaming was done on Vimeo. People had issues with the hard closed captioned subtitles. I didn’t really mind so much because sometimes I have to second guess what someone is saying. The only issue I had with the live stream was that my connection would fade in and out wherein I had to log in again every 20 minutes or so. That’s more of an issue of the nature of live streaming, not one of VCRX’s.
The show was coordinated by Director Char, a cosplay legend all dolled up in an orange whimsy! Assisting our fearless director was Jez Roth and All Frocked Up. This event was put together by folks who are familiar with the art of cosplay contests inside and out. Any cosplayer who has delved into the competition scene, knows that these cats are the OG. It helps knowing that people running the show have been involved in cosplay contests.
The show was hosted by Vampy and Mario Bueno. I’ve been honored to have been in cosplay shows with Mario. I loved their own screen chemistry. Both were a joy to watch on screen. I also loved Vampy’s qipao and cat ears aesthetic. It reminds me of how I used to dress in university.
We were introduced to the judges. I was very happy to learn that we had judges that have solid experience in cosplay as a hobby and costuming as a profession. These judges included God Save the Queen Fashions, Creature of Habit, Kamui Cosplay, and Rock M. Sakura.
Without further adieu, the show began live. The live chat was where people cheered and talked about their favorite things about the cosplayers on screen. The most popular series featured in the contest were Revue Starlight, One Piece, and Fire Emblem Three Houses.
What was also admirable was seeing how cosplayers were getting creative on filming their performances. Granted that we live in a pandemic age, people have limited access to filming locations, but people made it work. Some folks went to a park and a tripod where there was no people around or film something in their apartments with some set dressing.
What was also entertaining and different about this competition was how cosplayers were introduced. Some had an intro video talking about how they worked on their costumes. We also got to see people’s workspaces!
Some folks even had some really innovative presentations using camera magic and underwater filming!
Some even had cosplayers recording themselves singing and playing instruments!
Some showed off their pets!
There was a huge WOW! factor in all the entries. I was totally mesmerized by all of the entries present here. I haven’t competed in a cosplay contest since Otakon Vegas 2017. And while I did place, it’s been really hard to find a competition worth entering in. For what it’s worth, I would be considered to be Advanced categories and I feel weird about entering small, start up cons. However, larger conventions in my local area do not value cosplay contests as much as the care I have seen Virtual Crunchyroll Expo give it’s show. It made me want to compete again!
And of course, DJ Teddyloid started to drop some dope beats after the presentation aspect of the cosplay show.
Award winners could be found on the website here. This competition was pretty tight. It was really anyone’s game. I was very happy for everyone – I think making it to the finalists and having the opportunity to perform was an award in itself. I really did see a large pool of talent here! I hope that this event inspires people to enter cosplay contests and convention organizers old and new to understand the value of a cosplay skit competition. I was happily entertained.
If you were not able to tune in to the cosplay contest, The cosplay contest can be viewed as VOD here. And with that said, this event alone makes me want to drive up on the I-5 to make it Crunchyroll Expo next year…hopefully things will be better then.