Heroes of Cosplay earned “jeers” from TV Guide in that magazine’s
September 9-15 edition. Under the heading “Facebook Jeer” and with
a factoid claiming “56% of fans jeer it,” the magazine published a
Facebook quote from a Kirsten Catie:
It’s one of the worst shows. It disgusts me as a cosplayer. It’s
a misrepresentation, and these cosplayers need to get their egos in
check. The show is nothing like how cosplay really works. It’s
Though I remain interested in the six-episode series, I find myself
watching the show and wondering why its producers haven’t seen the
screaming flaws I’ve been seeing. The main problem is that there
is too much - hopefully phony - reality show crap woven into every
The fourth episode took place at Anime Matsuri in Houston, Texas.
Monika, the young cosplayer who, in her previous appearance, went
with sex over substance, teams with Victoria to compete as a team.
Monika came off as an arrogant bitch and Victoria came off as just
plain needy, wanting to impress Monika while still being unable to
budget her and boyfriend Jinyo’s time to complete her own costume
in a successful and timely manner. Part of Victoria’s costume fell
off during pre-judging.
But the Monika nastiness that left a lingering bad vibe came when
Becky, the cosplayer who portrayed Merida from Pixar’s Brave in the
show’s first episode, visited Monika and Victoria’s hotel room to
ask about teaming up for Planet Comicon. From the episode summary
on the SyFy website...
Monika's response: they're not friends and Becky's "the last
person" she would think to pair up with. Becky mouths the same
"wow" we do as Monika goes on that she doesn't think much of
Becky's craftsmanship, so what would Becky contribute? Becky leaves
in tears, as Victoria shrugs that Becky's being a baby.
I don’t recall Victoria saying that, but I couldn’t bring myself to
watch the scene again to confirm it. It was a hateful moment and
I’d really like to believe Monika was performing at the behest of
a director. If the show was looking for a villain, it found one.
Online fans seem to be responding to this series with the churlish
and personal insults that are far too typical of fan interaction on
the Internet. They crap on the cosplayers and they crap on those
cosplayers whose body types aren’t exact matches for the characters
they portray. Even on the show’s Facebook page, the commentary is
ugly. No one is covering themselves in glory...with the possible
exception of Becky and cosplaying partners Holly and Jessica. I’d
watch these three ladies anytime.
What I like about Holly and Jessica is their strong friendship and
a dedication to their craft that doesn’t rule out having fun doing
what they do. YaYa Han might talk about her own brand and how she
makes a living from cosplaying, but these two women did a monster
for Pacific Rim. To me, that trumps anything the other cosplayers
have accomplished by a factor of one million.
Additionally, and maybe I’m falling for reality show manipulation,
it warmed my heart to see Holly and Jessica being so supportive of
Becky and, in doing so, expressing both the fun and camaraderie of
cosplaying. The professional aspects of cosplaying are intriguing,
but the heart of the hobby doesn’t lie with them.
YaYa disturbs me more with each episode. It was painful to watch
her squeeze into a too-tight corset for her calendar shoot. That
was insanity, though, to be fair, Holly wearing a material she was
allergic to, was equally insane.
In YaYa’s case, and at the risk of sounding as nasty as some of the
commentators I decried earlier, her too-tight Jessica Rabbit outfit
and her action figure shoot of the previous week sadly emphasized
that her breasts aren’t original issue. They look grotesque to me.
YaYa comes off as less genuine each week.
If I were called upon to do so, I would give Heroes of Cosplay low
marks overall. The reality show aspects are a major turn-off for
me. I don’t want to think any of the regulars are as unpleasant as
they have been portrayed.
Male cosplayers are crazy under-represented on the show. We have
the largely absent Jesse, the weary Jinyo and various boyfriends,
husbands, and roommates. I think more balance would be beneficial
to the series.
Where are the cosplayers who do this for fun and not because they
want to advance their careers by winning prizes? I want to see a
lot more floor costumes. I want to see interviews with cosplayers
who might not be body doubles for Captain America or Zatanna, but
are just enjoying themselves dressing up like beloved characters.
I want to see the pleasure non-cosplayers like me get seeing these
representations of such characters. To me, these omissions are Heroes
of Cosplay’s biggest failure.
Tomorrow, SyFy airs the first part of Heroes of Cosplay’s two-week
finale. It takes place at Planet Comicon in Kansas City. Look for
my comments on week five of the series later this week.
I’ll be back tomorrow with more stuff.
© 2013 Tony Isabella