monika lee

Backstage at Anime Matsuri

• My two friends were both qualifiers for the final round of prelims for World Cosplay Summit. When they got to judging, the people running the contest were talking about how Heroes of Cosplay wanted to ‘plant’ a skit in the competition and have the judges ‘let’ them win for the sake of the show. Keep in mind that this contest received its qualifiers very early in advance (September 14th of last year, to be exact) through separate prelims that took place in different conventions/dates across the country.
• The judges of course said no and the crew was threw a fit about it.
• The girls who did the Fushigi Yugi skit actually STOLE their skit from the World Cosplay Summit 2010 USA representatives (look up ‘Anime Matsuri 2013 Fushigi Yugi’ on YouTube and then search ‘World Cosplay Summit 2010 Fushigi Yugi’ for comparison). It has a lot of the same movements, props and actions, albeit condensed and to different music.
• The best part about this is, one of the 2010 USA reps. was a masquerade judge. Remember Rynn? She was the one who performed the original WCS skit with her friend Sumikins (who was also at the convention with her) and the HoC girls performed almost an exact copy of it right in front of them.
They were not docked points because of her headdress breaking. They were disqualified because their skit was completely stolen.
• Due to unexpected fog machines during the contest, two of my friends started having asthma problems backstage. They headed back to the green room to get their inhalers, only to find that the Heroes of Cosplay crew locked themselves inside. Upon knocking at the door, they were screamed at by a camera man and told to keep quiet. One of my friends was on the verge of passing out, so my other friend ran to get security.
• It turns out, they took everything inside the green-room (bags/purses, even props and backdrops from WCS performances) and dumped them into an unsupervised hallway where things were rummaged through and stolen. Of course, they only learned this almost an HOUR after getting security because the crew refused to cooperate.
• SyFy offered to provide a cash prize of $1,800 to the cosplay contest. Anime Matsuri people happily agreed, though they were shocked to discovered that the crew expected the money to go to one of their planted skits (the Cats girls or the Fushigi Yugi girls). Again, the judges said no. Two of my friends actually won Best in Show (they were not even shown in the episode) and did not know it came with a cash prize. They were over the moon excited…until they found out that they wouldn’t be receiving the money until AFTER the convention.
• Six months pass. No word from Anime Matsuri about the money. They made a big post about it to Tumblr, tagging the show and SyFy and hoping that they can spread the word. Anime Matsuri sees the post and had to give them their cash prize out of the CONVENTION FUNDING because SyFy refused to pay people who weren’t the cast.
• Becky was interviewing people backstage as they came off. Did you notice how they only showed the interview with the Fushigi Yugi girls? This was because every time a group was interviewed and they were asked what they were cosplaying, the crew would get annoyed and say things like, “Yeah, nobody is going to know what that is.”
• They tried interviewing my friends after they won Best in Show and cut them off right as they said what they were from, then just left.
• The throwing up during the Cats skit was fake. She started fake barfing into the garbage cans and when people rushed to help her or bring her water, the crew screamed at them and told them to go away. One girl got in their faces and ignored them, only to have one of the girls say, “It’s okay, I’m actually alright.”
• Notice how everyone seems to be ignoring her while she’s throwing up in line? That’s not people being rude; it’s the crew scaring them away from helping her to make them look bad.