Light up the Stage: Heroes of Cosplay Ep 2 Review
Published on August 22nd, 2013 | by Brittany Johnston
Okay episode two you’ve got me, my wall of skepticism has been lowered. I genuinely enjoyed this episode. I
stand by my review of episode one but now I see what was being set up by the f irst episode and like how
this episode extended f rom that.
In this episode we are introduced to the last three ‘heroes’ Monika Lee, Riki LeCotey, and Chloe Dykstra.
These three cosplayers along with Victoria Schmidt and Jesse Lagers f rom episode one gear up to
compete in Emerald City Comic Con’s costume competition. Yaya Han returns as one of the judges f or the
contest. Holly Conrad and Jessica Merizan make only a brief appearance this episode to help Chloe with
her Sandworm prop.
It was exciting to see a little more construction of the costumes this episode. We saw some dyeing,
vacuum f orming, f ibre glass casting, and the development of an intricate LED light system. Since the f irst
episode had so many cast members to introduce and storylines to set up, it makes sense that it was less
about the making of the costumes and more about the cosplayers.
Riki LeCotey’s introduction shows Riki having her cosplay portf olio reviewed by the lead sculptor of
Ironhead Studio, Jose Fernandez, who has created costumes and creatures f or movies including Batman
Returns, Bicentennial Man, and Fantastic Four. Riki, like cast mate Jesse with his prop and costume
commissioning business, wants to turn her passion f or costuming into a career. It will be interesting to see
how Riki develops her skills and towards her goal of making props prof essionally.
Monika Lee is introduced as the young protégé who was given the opportunity to train under Yaya at the
age of thirteen during her summer job making cosplay accessories f or Yaya’s online store. Her segment
this episode demonstrated the challenges of cosplaying a sexy character. Cosplayers who dress as
sexualized characters get a lot of f lak f or putting their body out there. However as Yaya pointed out in a
recent post on her Facebook f anpage cosplaying a sexy character is challenging because the outf it needs
to f it your body perf ectly.
Many sexy characters have body types that the average person does not. Costumers must overcome this
challenge by constructing pieces such as corsets that modif y their body to achieve that look. Monika made
a beautif ul steampunk Poison Ivy costume but where she f ailed was in her portrayal of the vivacious Ivy.
Of ten the reason cosplayers choose a character who is sexy is because they admire their conf idence.
Characters like Poison Ivy, Jessica Rabbit, and Black Cat to name a f ew have a strong presence about
them. So the way you carry yourself as a character like Poison Ivy makes the dif f erence between modelling
an outf it that looks like her, and cosplaying her.
Image credit: video.syfy.com
I now see what direction they were going with the editing of Victoria’s scenes in the f irst episode. They
built of f the stress and tension f rom episode one in which Victoria does not complete her Lulu costume
f or the contest in order to add hype to the creation of her next costume. ‘Will she or won’t she make it onto
the stage this time?’ ‘Will the lights on her costume work?’ These are kind of questions the editors and
producers of the showwant you to ask yourself as they f ade out to the commercials.
Af ter the commercial break you are hanging at the edge of your seat with these questions eating away at
you (I honestly know people who get really into TV shows so I’m not being totally over dramatic here). It’s
moments bef ore Victoria walks out on that stage and…the dress lights up! The release of tension and
excitement you f eel f or Victoria is exactly what they were going f or. I know I’m stating the obvious here but
f or those like me who have criticized the drama in this show it should be acknowledged that it does serve a
purpose and helps push the plot f orward.
Emerald City Comic Con is cosplay hero Chloe Dykstra’s debut as a competitive costumer. I think that
Chloe’s storyline this episode of f ers something that people who are new to cosplay can connect with.
There is a scene where Chloe goes to dinner with Victoria and her boyf riend Jinyo, Yaya and her partner,
and Riki and Moinka. During this scene we hear the ladies discuss the competitive side of cosplay. Af ter the
conversation Chloe is lef t f eeling discouraged and out of her depth. She questions what she is doing
putting herself out there as a prof essional next to these experienced and talented cosplayers who have
made names f or themselves in competitive costuming.
Chloe pushes past her inhibitions and participates in the competition and gets the thrill of perf orming and
showcasing her costume on stage in f ront of an audience. I think that the take away is great f or new
cosplayers. You should not let inexperience hold you back f rom entering competitions if that is something
you are interested in doing. For your f irst competition or even f irst cosplay the important thing is to get out
there, have f un, and get as much f rom the experience that you can.
Image credit: channelguidemagblog.com
For those of you who saw this episode and the explosive reaction on social media to comments made by
Yaya and Riki during the dinner scene about body types in cosplay and internet bullying in the cosplay
community, I encourage you to read their responses to this situation on their Facebook pages here and
I am in love with the cast of this show. They are f un, nerdy, and many of them have a great sense of
humour. Here are some of my f avourite quotes f rom this episode:
“I was a total fail whale at Portland Wizard World”
- Victoria Schmidt
Challenge f or our readers…illustrate f or me what you envision a f ail whale to look like. Is it like an orca or a
“Yes I’m going to put my boobs everywhere”
“Please tell me you’re wearing underwear under here”
– Monika Lee and mother Linda Lee
It was endearing to see Linda’s motherly concern f or her daughter af ter seeing the design of Monika’s
steampunk Poison Ivy.
“Cheerio”(Jesse’s wife and friends in Chorus)
As someone who is f ascinated by steampunk I enjoyed watching Jesse and his wif e and f riends getting up
to shenanigans dressed in steampunk attire f or their “casual Sunday” outing.
As seen in the dinner discussion this episode everyone has a dif f erent take on what it means to cosplay
and be a cosplayer.
What’s your take on cosplay? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Join me next week for episode three in which our heroes take on Megacon! Hungry for more about
Heroes of Cosplay? Checkout Syfy’s website for extra footage and exclusive interviews with the
cast members. If you missed last nights episode you can catch it on Space’s website (may be
exclusive to Canada).
Enjoyed This Read? Click Here To Read My First Post On Heroes of Cosplay …
About the Author
Since Brittany attended her f irst anime convention in high school she has been captivated
by the talent, artistry, and passion of devoted cosplayers. Brittany loves to write and
contribute opinions on cosplay and cosplay culture. She is a general Arts student at
Queen's University studying English and Sociology. You can f ollow her on Twitter.
And so the Journey Begins: Heroes of Cosplay Ep 1 Review →
Heroes of Cosplay: Interview with Jesse Lagers →
Featured Cosplayer: Effektd Cosplay →
Featured Cosplayer: Katie George →