I will say I do wish the convention made that event separation a little bit clearer in the programming. What’s more, while I have attended a few masquerades in the past personally, this was the first time it became very apparent that it would’ve been appreciated if the names of the individual cosplayers as well as the names of the groups they comprise were displayed in some way either on screen or in some kind of program that could’ve been handed out. Yes, all the contestants were announced before they came on stage. However, it’s very easy to mishear things and even if you say their names accurately, it’s hard to tell what the spelling would be. Plus, the names of the groups performing aren’t always the same as the names of the individuals that make up the groups which means searching for everybody is very difficult. Shout out to the amazing Anime News Network team, cosplay fans on social media, as well as my friend @ChibiTifa for helping get as many people’s names down as possible because they definitely deserve more recognition for all the hard work that they put into this artform.
Before the Masquerade started, we got a very exciting and exhilarating My Hero Academia performance by the Core Dance Crew. Not only was it incredibly well choreographed, but I especially liked the fact that they were able to match appropriate songs to individual My Hero characters. Regarding the Masquerade performances, one that stood out the most to me was inspired by Fruits Basket called “Cinderella-ishful Thinking.” Their amazingly historically accurate clothing and voiceover, that surprisingly sounded close at times to the original dub actors, was enough to warm my exhausted heart after a very crazy convention weekend. I was also a fan of the skit called “Brotherly Love, ”but how could I not with an adorable little kid dressing up as Luffy while his older brother his dances as Ace. Though the opening Jojo skit “Do you Believe in Gravity” also felt extremely elegant. Afterwards we had a nice call back to last year’s summit representatives while also introducing this year’s finalists competing for a chance to share the same title.
The first was @KarmaLunacosplay, a duo made up of @Lunaladyoflight and @Karmada from Michigan with their Thunderbolt Fantasy cosplay skit. I know nothing about Thunderbolt Fantasy but even I was impressed with the attention to detail on display. Fun fact, Lunaladyoflight is apparently a three-time USA WCS Preliminary winner and Karmaluna was the 2015 WCS runner up. They were followed up by Ash & Chaosity who call themselves @Re:Star. they qualified with their cosplay of Fang and Coda from IDOLiSH7 from Holiday Matsuri 2019 which was definitely more comedy focused compared to what we saw before. Finally, we closed things out with Something Extraordinary Cosplay made up of Amy and Justin from Texas with a very heartfelt Inu Yasha performance. After the performances, the Japanese girl group SG5 performed while the judges moved to the back to deliberate all the winners.
The judges were made up former cosplay summit champions including Frea Ma (@pistachio0s), @Twin Cosplay (a cosplay duo from Mexico) and YayaHan (@Yayahan). First they went through all the individual Masquerade winners (some handles are the same on both Twitter and IG; some are IG only):
- Best Craftsmanship: @MaybeMagicCosplay as Pyrrha and Viola from Soul Calibur V
- Best Performance: @Chibibaby13 as Chibiusa and Helios from Sailor Moon SuperS
- Best Intermediate: @Kate_squareddd as Pucci and Dio from JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure
- Best Masters: J_Caito (and his performance partner, katieotten13) with their historical Kyo and Tohru from Fruits Basket
- Best in Show: @koorinotsuki (Hikaru), @konekoanni (Fuu), @KiraMasquerade (Umi) from Magic Knight Rayearth
Then the moment of truth came down to see who would be representing the USA in the World Cosplay Summit with that honor graciously going to the cosplay pair KarmaLuna. If you’re at all curious about the event, we were able to record the awards ceremony which you can find here. KarmaLuna will compete at the international event on August 5-7 in Nagoya Japan alongside winning representatives from around the world.
Myself and the rest of the Anime News Network team wish everyone nothing but best wishes as they continue to hone their crafts. As for KarmaLuma, good luck preparing for what comes next! It was an honor to see another example of how people can wear their love of cosplay on their sleeves.