This past Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015, Anime Club and Asian Student Union co-hosted a cosplay costume competition, offering a grand prize of a $100 gift card for the best costume.
The event attracted an audience of over 30 people and approximately 15 participants.
A three-person panel, comprised of both students and faculty, judged cosplay participants on criterion that evaluated appearance, showmanship, and creativity.
The event was founded and organized by Anime Club, while ASU contributed financial support and helping bodies.
Ming Ming Ong ’16, co-president of ASU, explained that, “cosplay is short for costume play, and the person dresses up like a fictional character.
Usually this character is from Japanese anime and manga, but can include sci-fi and comic book characters as well.”
Steven Apolo ’18, co-president of Anime Club, further described cosplay as an activity found throughout the world, where “people will just do it for the fun of it, but others are professionals who compete at anime conventions across the country.”
Sydney Paluch ’17 was the grand prizewinner of Union’s competition, dressing up as Harley Quinn from DC Comics’ Batman series.
Paluch first bought her costume on clearance, but decided to replace and alter certain aspects to add her own individual flair when embodying the character.
She said, “I wanted to add my own personality to Harley Quinn, so I added a baseball bat, a Jersey accent, some sassy swagger, and was good to go!”
Erkan Betram ’18 placed second for dressing up as a The Closer from the Japanese horror franchise Silent Hill, and Arielle Singer ’18 placed third for her rendition of Little Red Riding Hood.
Additionally, Adam Berrada ’19 won “best embodiment of character” and Yu Chang ’19 won “best technical skills,” for dressing up as the Joker from DC Comics and Kikyo from the Japanese manga series Inuyasha, respectively.
However, audience members had personal favorites throughout the competition.
Ong loved Angelica Rivera’s character, Misty from the Pokemon series, because “Misty was always represented as a very strong female character.”
Apolo said, “They were all great. But I was impressed especially by the craftsmanship and portrayal of characters that many contestants had.”
Both ASU and Manga Club board members are optimistic that the cosplay event represents a strong start in fostering and embracing different interests at Union.
Apolo said, “cosplay is ultimately about creativity, expression and fun. Cosplay by its nature breaks down barriers by bringing diverse people together.”
Ong concluded, “Union is on its way to more diversity, but accepting it is a slow process. This cosplay contest showed people that interests on this campus is extremely widespread, and also demonstrated the potential for future events that Union has never hosted before.”