In the final episode of the season, Cosplay Melee had contestants create characters that could exist in their favorite anime universe. This strikes me as quite the broad challenge. Unless I’m mistaken (and I’m by no means an expert), all anime really means is that it’s Japanese animation, but the universes in which these animated stories can take place are vastly diverse. This would be like saying, “create characters from a novel.” A character from Pride and Prejudice would be very different from a character created for A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. This was a crazy and underdeveloped theme for these contestants, which is reflected in the characters that were created.
The four cosplayers had to first create a weapon that could “animate,” or move around.
Jessie is a seamstress from Los Angeles. She created a character from Mahou Shouju Maduko Magica. Of course. This is some kind of wand/ scepter that spins. I don’t remember how is serves as a weapon. Presumably, it’s a magic wand that does cool stuff.
Jacqueline is also from Los Angeles. She created a fire flower weapon for her character from Lodoss War. Of course. I thought this was a cool idea (not knowing anything about the source material). The main criticism Jacqueline received was that the purple petals looked fake.
Paul is a prop-maker from California. He created a character who exists in Hack. Of course. The “weapon” he created was a bug for his arm. Huh? And he won this part of the challenge! I don’t get it. His weapon was easily my least favorite.
Meesha is a veterinary assistant from Aurora, Colorado. Her anime universe was Monster World. Of course. In all seriousness, I was actually upset that she was sent home. Her weapon and back-story were the most interesting, and her costume was the one I would have most liked to have seen completed. She created a character who could bring animals back to life. This weapon is a dragon’s skull that breathes life into the dead (I think… I’m a little fuzzy on the details). The main criticism was that Meesha spent so much time working on the dragon skull that the staff is weak and unfinished. Really? Meesha would have been my hands-down winner, and she was sent home. This is the first time all season where the judges and I have not seen eye-to-eye at all.
The remaining three contestants got to complete their costumes. They also had to draw swords and give their characters some personality trait that had to be reflected in the final look, or something like that. I had a fussy baby while watching this episode…
Paul’s character had to be a delinquent thief. He made him into some kind of bug. I guess. Like I said, this particular challenge was really broad and the results were a little underwhelming. That thing on his head doesn’t make any sense, and it rendered him unable to lift his head as he walked and wobbled down the runway.
So this whole “heroic schoolgirl” thing that Jessie has going on? This is what I immediately think of when I think of anime. Jessie also did this cool thing where she changed the look of her outfit on the runway, Violet Chachki style. I thought Jessie may have won based on her runway performance alone, but I guess the judges found her overall look underwhelming.
See what I mean about anime being all over the place as a category. Fairies? Well, whatever. Jacqueline won the competition, which is interesting because she chose not to fix her petals, the one thing the judges criticized about her weapon. Her wings were cool, though, and her costume is pretty to look at. Still, the entire time that she was on the runway, I kept thinking about how she will probably find glitter on her skin for months.