This last weekend, as part of the Midwest Media Expo I covered, I was privileged to see the North American finals for the World Cosplay Summit. Nine duos from across the United States competed to see who would win the honor of being “Team USA” at the World Cosplay Summit 2015 finals in Japan later this year.
The competition clearly had heart and everybody was at the top of their game. All nine of the teams, all eighteen cosplayers, were among the best cosplayers I’ve ever seen. Before I reveal the results, and who will be “Team USA 2015,” I want to first take time to appreciate each of the teams for their time, energy, and sacrifices to even get this far.
All of these teams performed a skit or dance as their chosen characters, often impressing the crowd with mid-performance costume changes, subtractions, or additions. None of these teams failed to impress, even, as we’ll get to later, the night’s tragedy.
I apologize for the photos. I was trying to compensate for the movement and stage lighting, but I’m not a photographer.
Team 3 – Karmaluna Cosplay – Cosplaying Puella Magi Madoka Magica
Team 4 – Team Magpie – Cosplaying Persona 4
This was the tragedy of the evening. As the pair ascended from backstage, evidently part of a costume or prop broke. They spent a while trying to get it fixed enough to perform the skit, but after almost a minute of prep on stage were forced to tearfully admit that the skit could not be performed because of the broken element.
Their costumes, as can be seen in the photos, were outstanding and they handled themselves like true champions even in the face of such bad circumstances.
Team 5 – Elemental Moon Cosplay – Cosplaying Howl’s Moving Castle
Team 6 – Something Clever Cosplay – Cosplaying Paradise Kiss
Team 7 – Team Guava Drunk Kero – Cosplaying Cardcaptor Sakura
Team 8 – Ennui KILLED the Cosplay –Cosplaying The World of Mystic Wiz
Team 9 – Slim Zeus – Cosplaying Megaman and Samus as they appeared in Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U
While all of the teams were impressive and undoubtedly deserved the honor, there could only be one Team USA (and one runner-up team). The judges, all former World Cosplay Summit competitors, agonized over the decision but eventually came to a consensus over the team that would represent the United States in the 2015 championships. But first, the runners-up.
The runners-up were given a suite and platinum passes for Midwest Media Expo’s parent convention, Youmacon, held at the Detroit Renaissance center around Halloween each year.
The Runners-Up: Karmaluna Cosplay
The winners, in addition to being given the honor of representing the United States in Japan for the 2015 finals, was granted a gift bag of items the judges had found useful in Japan. The first item, gifted to Team 2014 from Team 2013, was an iron, an item that was both surprisingly useful and rare during the competition.
This year, in addition to Team 2013’s iron, Team 2014 added a universal power converter to the bag, something they’d found necessary upon entering Japan.
In addition, they each gave their words of support and encouragement to the upcoming Team USA, wishing them to think of this opportunity in terms of friends gained and experiences had, rather than focusing on winning or losing. Both members of Team 2014 said that, while it took 4 years of their life to get to the point where they could represent the United States, they regretted none of it. They made great friends, learned a lot, and had a lot of fun.
Without further ado, the judges announced the winners.
The Winners and Team USA 2015: Something Clever Cosplay
We at GeekDad would like to congratulate Team USA 2015, and wish them luck in Japan, but we would also like to once again thank and congratulate all the teams that competed in the World Cosplay Summit North American finals.