AnimeNEXT 2014 – Masquerade/World Cosplay Summit Northeastern Prelims

The new host for the masquerade is Uncle Yo which is hilarious as always. He had an awesome opening that is reminiscent of other masquerades that he hosted back when NYAF still existed. Definitely was super entertaining. You can catch the entire show on the Anime Next youtube channel.

For the last few years, I’ve been disappointed by the masquerade at Anime Next. I don’t have high expectations of the event, but my initial years at this con yielded some wonderful memories of the show which made me look forward to it again and again. This year, the number of entries was also dwindling…but the quality of the entries was better than before. Definitely an improvement then the last few years.

The show opened with an exhibition skit with Sailor Moon cosplayers in club clothing dancing to Girl’s Generation’s I’m a Genie for You. They were the same group that performed another Korean dance number during the masquerade in 2012. I hope it’s going to be regular thing with Senshi Generation. ^.^ Yay! (I’m a Genie for you, Mamo-chan! – Sailor Moon Timestamp: 8:58)

(A Fool’s Paradise Madoka Magica Timestamp: 14:15) Best in Show! Skit number 1 again! (Ying was the first skit when she was doing Vocaloid a few years back.) I may be biased as this is Ying’s skit…but it has all the elements of awesomeness at a masquerade. Props, good use of music (besides dancing) and a moving story. Despite the track starting before they were ready, it was still fantastic.

(Star Soldiers Final Fantasy Timestamp: 20:50) Final Fantasy dance skit is always a good mix especially if there is good choregraphy. I love the fact they mixed the character distinctive style in the dance.

(The Puppetmaster’s Dance Black Butler Timestamp: 24:40). This is a novice skit with a nice idea behind it.

(Claws of Steel Homestuck Timestamp: 29:15) Precious Egg Judge’s Award. Nice pop-n-lock dance. She won a chocolate egg with a marshmellow peep inside. XD

Uncle Yo even surprised us with a ventriloquist puppet, Thrack the Cyclops. He was actually pretty good holding a conversation with himself. ^_^ (Timestamp: 32:40)

(Piltover’s Finest League of Legends Timestamp: 32:57) Won Best Propwork Award. Um…an awesome cosplay…but more of a Hallcontest entry.

(A Commercial Break Various Timestamp: 34:33) Best Craftsmanship Award and Best Performance Award. This has audience participation! A fav and definitely in the running for Best in Show (if Ying’s group didn’t win. ^_^) I give it extra props for eluding to Drammatical Murder. It’s hilarious, innovative. And it has audience participation! Yes, the audience did shout directions at the stage. ^-^ Hilarious Eva segment.

(Sakura Blossom Cosplay Naruto Timestamp: 39:20) Another short…would be Hallcosplay skit. ^^;

(Girls Rule! Various Timestamp: 40:45) Judge’s Award. Nice dance! Good choregraphy and really the best coordinated dance skit of the evening.

It seems that a special performance of Cosplay Burlesque is becoming a regular thing now. The Disney princess cosplayer who I admire came on stage in iridescent cloth wings and a loose pants to dance a seductive and beautiful number. His hair is so long and beautiful. *hair envy* (Timestamp: 45:00)

A spinoff of Senshi Generation, there is another exhibition skit to close the ‘masquerade’ portion of the evening. I gotta give them props of doing the Generals to one of Shinee’s songs. Yay! (I’m so Curious, who are you, Sailor Moon? Sailor Moon Timestamp: 49:48) Nice dance! Good choreography and really the best sync skit of the evening.

What was surprising was the inclusion of the WCS North East preliminaries being held at Anime Next. I guess the South East entries was the one at Katsucon. For the WCS prelims to be at New York Anime Festival are one thing…but for a smaller con like Anime Next was definitely news to me. And unlike Katsucon with a full show, there were only 3 entries. Definitely, the quality of the 3 were above those during the masquerade. Like Katsucon, before the entries, they show an intro clip to the WCS. Since there were only 3 entries though…I knew immediately which one was going to go to the finals at Acen. Check out TheFansPOV for the video and the WCS entries. (Timestamp: 56:35)

The first entry was Phantasy Star Online at timestamp: 1:01:33. I saw them perform at Katsucon as well. As expected, the cosplays and props were wonderfully done. The storyline they were trying to express was lost on me. Perhaps it’s because I don’t know the game?

The second entry was Gundam Build Fighters at timestamp: 1:05:00. Gunpla battle! It’s so awesome! XD As a fan, I am totally biased…but the cosplays were awesome. Add in the steam and the choreographed moves that are sure not easy in the armor. Plus, they did Amazing Exia and Star Build Strike Gundams. Awesome!

The last entry was Black Butler at timestamp: 1:09:13. An obvious winner though Gundam had them in the running for a bit. Innovative, beautiful and easily understood regardless of language. Truly WCS caliber. (Plus, yay for using the Circus Arc. ^_^)

After the masquerade portion was the hall cosplay entries. There was some amazing entries this year as always, though my favorite is the Sakura cosplayer who did the sakura outfit on Friday and the ‘in a tube’ white outfit for Saturday. Biased…but she is gorgeous.

Definitely, the masquerade itself was incredibly short, but thanks to Uncle Yo, he was able to entertain us while we waited for the judges decisions. I love his Sailor Moon spiel which is incredibly funny. (His birthday was yesterday…6/6 I think? Happy b-day, Uncle Yo! ^__^)

After the jokes and laughter, the hallcosplay judges appeared onstage and presented the awards. Since Brothers is affiliated with the WCS, the hallcosplay winners were awarded with Brothers sewing machine. Sugoi! Sakura won for Best of Friday in the novice division. (That was novice?!? Amazing!)

Special mention goes to the Howl’s Moving Castle cosplay since Sophie was cosplayed by Howl’s mother. That’s awesome! The family that cosplays together stays together. ^^b

They announced the masquerade winners. The judge’s awards and the winners for the masquerade were announced next. I thought the winners would also be granted Brothers sewing machine…when I realized that the winning group had 6 people…and they all got the sewing machine. It truly was an amazing performance despite initial technical issues.

The World Cosplay Summit results. Surprisingly, the two awards (Resume Award and Preliminary winner) were granted to the same team.