The masquerade is the highlight of Anime Expo with everyone showcasing his or her costuming skills at cosplay. It was an amazing show of a little less than 50 acts and parade of costumes. All of them were impressive but in the end the awards were only given to a few.
The industry awards went as follows: The CLAMP/Delray award went to the Tsubasa group, which made matching costumes of Sakura and Li. The ADV award went to the Chrono Crusade group, who were a family, with the most adorable little girl. The Geneon award went to a group that did Hellsing. The costumes were right on and the actors moved incredibly well.
The craftsmanship awards were given to two VERY impressive costumes that took a lot of originality and creativity to put together. The runner up was a “duct tape” Yoko from xxxHolic. Her entire dress was made from duct tape. It was very impressive, it was shaped perfectly and the only way you knew it was duct tape was the slight shine it had and that it didn’t move as fluidly as cloth. But the originality and creativity in the creation was amazing. The winner was a gentleman who created Nightmare’s costume from Soul Calibur. The armor was actually made of metal and you could hear it ‘clink’ as he walked. To complete the costume he had a very accurate, even the size was proportional, sword that looked exactly like the one from the game. I was very impressed.
For the group craftsmanship award the runner up was a Trinity Blood skit. During the skit she came out in one costume but actually changed onstage in a most impressive manner. So that when she left she looked totally different. It was very original in the way that they executed this. The winners were a Tsubasa group with amazing costumes and well synced choreography.
The individual presentation awards went to the Trinity Blood skit again and the winner being Kingdom Hearts 2, it’s still good. The Kingdom Hearts skit was the main character from the game dropping a Popsicle and hearing a voice over of Mickey mouse tell him its still good. It was cute and original, the actor emoted well and it made me laugh, and they did well with the whole thing in character.
The group presentation awards went to Final Fantasy X2 as runner up and Final Fantasy 6, Signing Bonus, as winner. The Final Fantasy X2 was very cute and funny. It had each of the female characters plus Auron. The skit had them all picking on one another and ended with Auron “Pimp slapping” Yuna. Believe it or not it was all very tasteful. The winning group was original as well with all of the characters in FF6 fighting the last boss as Setzer walks in late handing out Disney merchandise because he just came from his Kingdom Hearts cameo. All of the girls are quite annoyed and use this distraction to kill the final boss, which Setzer resurrects and gives a contract to so that they can participate in Kingdom Hearts 3. The costumes for both groups were very colorful and masterfully done.
The skill categories were broken down into four areas, novice, intermediate, advanced intermediate and expert. The novice awards went to Samus for runner up and the Bermesian Soldier. Both costumes were very well done. Samus was colorful and even detailed down to the arm cannon, and the Bermsian soldier was amazingly done as well. For intermediate the awards were given to Denaria from Haust Violin and the winner Kingdom Hearts 2 “It’s still good” skit. Both were impressive costumes. For Advanced Intermediate the winners were the Soul Calibur Idol, which was most of the female character from Soul Calibur, and Nintnedon’ts, which seemed to me like chaos on stage. For expert the winners were the Trinity Blood Angelique costume, which was a brilliant costume change on stage, and unfortunately I did not catch the first place winner. They read everything so fast.
Each judge also gave an award to his or her favorite. These were Alucard from Hellsing (which won the Geneon award as well), If you were gay from D Grey man, the Totoro giant rabbit, the power of the Clow (my personal favorite), and the Silent Hill gang (my second favorite if not just for the amazingly detailed and accurate costumes).
The last awards to be given out were the overall awards and Best in Show. For the overall awards the runner up was Chrono Crusade (With the cute family and adorable little girl awwwwww), third was the Hellsing by Assassins Inc (also won judges award and Geneon award), second was the Soul Calibur 3 award (also won Advanced Intermediate costume skill category), and first was Final Fantasy 6 Signing Bonus (also won group presentation award). Best in show went to my personal favorite and what I believe was the funniest skit in the entire show, Power of the Clow, the Captain Planet skit. We should be uploading some video from the Masquerade soon! So look for it!
All in all it was a great time and really fun to watch. See you at Anime Expo next year!