Cosplay contest gives anime fans local outlet

November 4, 2010

by Haley Kraemer, Staff Reporter

Anime Ichiban hosted its third annual cosplay contest Oct. 27 where students dressed up as their favorite anime character and competed for the best costume.

Cosplay is short for “costume play” and is an occasion where participants wear costumes and accessories to represent their favorite character. The event included the cosplay contest, a pizza dinner and viewing of Halloween-themed anime. 

David Hyde, president of Anime Ichiban, said he likes to host this event around Halloween when everyone else is also wearing costumes.

“The main point of the club is to break the stigma of anime,” Hyde said. “We like to bring people together to help them understand anime as a culture.”

He said anime is viewed as porn in Japan and much of the U.S. because of the big-breasted women and gore.

Hyde also said artists, teachers and students enjoyed this event, and they appreciated the convenience of its location on Tech’s campus.

William Watts, a senior chemistry major, was a member of the club when it first began seven years ago, and he always enjoys the cosplay contest this time of year.

“I think this time a few less people dressed up, but there is no reason to stop because everyone had fun,” he said. “I have been to a convention in Lafayette called MechaCon, but this is a whole lot more convenient, and you get to see people dressing up without going places.” 

Unlike Watts, others have not had the opportunity or resources needed to travel to the conventions.

Spencer Young, a junior graphic design major, said he has always wanted to go to a cosplay convention.

“I like the creativity of the costume designs of their favorite character,” he said.

Young said piecing together a costume is a time-consuming process, but it is worth it because looking at all of the different costumes is the best part of a cosplay or anime event.

“I want to see this event grow,” he said. “I’d like to see more people dress up.”

Young also said as a graphic design major said he appreciates anime as an art.

“You don’t see that every day here,” he said. “It is not just a cartoon. There is a lot more work put into the episodes.”

Young said he enjoys attending the Anime Ichiban meetings because of the fun atmosphere.

“You are not just stuck in your room watching [anime] by yourself, and the in-show commentary is hilarious,” he said.

The club covers a wide variety of anime, Young said. 

“We do not just try to show the mainstream anime series,” he said. “We like to introduce people to different kinds of anime.”

The students who participated in the cosplay contest represented five different types of anime characters such as a tsunade, a steampunk character, Catwoman, The Undertaker and a fictional medieval princess.

The winner of the cosplay contest was Brittany Lane Jones, a freshman psychology major, who dressed as The Undertaker from the popular anime series “Kuroshitsuji.”

Hyde said only five people dressed up for the contest this year, but there should be more opportunities for fun this year.

Last month, the club became nationally certified as the Lambda Delta chapter of Mu Epsilon Kappa, which is a national fraternity of anime clubs that started in Texas and has grown to include 14 chapters. The objective of this fraternity is to create a network of anime organizations with several college campuses. 

He said “Since we earned the Mu Epsilon Kappa certification, we are going to plan more social events later on in the year.”

E-mail comments to hek002@latech.edu.