After two years of being a strictly virtual event, the Crunchyroll Hime Cup is back with a physical presence at Crunchyroll Expo 2022. Hosted by Mario Bueno (@emp_maniac) and Linda Le (@VampyBitMe), the Hime Cup showcases dozens of cosplay finalists from all around the world. Before the contestants get introduced though, a shout-out to the amazing staff that help make such a large competition like this possible while also being such prominent voices in the cosplay community.
Backstage we have award-winning cosplayer Judith Ann Grivich (@allfrockedup) helping out the contestants as the Greenroom Manager, Jez Roth (@Jezeroth), the Owner of GamervsTailor, acting as the show’s stage manager and Luluko (@lulukohime) as the Cosplay Cup’s Chief of Staff. All three were there to help support the three pillars of cosplay competition: construction, innovation and performance. Finally we have Charlene Ingram (@tristencitrine) as the Cosplay Cup Director who gave a heartwarming speech followed by a shout-out by Crunchyroll‘s Hime herself.
The judges this year came from various corners of the cosplay community. First was Suncake Mooncake, one half of the award-winning cosplay duo SuncakeMooncakeCosplay who has been creating costumes from scratch for about 10 years. Then there’s Reagan Kathryn, an award-winning cosplayer, host, and voice actress. There’s Chris “Papa Bear” English who has helped spread positivity through the cosplay community all over, having been heavily involved at charity events as a member of the Costumers with a Cause organization and hosting free cosplay workshops to cosplayers and is a co-founder of Chicago P.O.C. Cosplayers. Finally, there’s Maridah, a cosplayer of more than 20 years. Her cosplays have appeared in books, magazines, tv shows, and websites. She also runs a blog focused on tutorials, sewing patterns, and guides for cosplayers.
The competition is divided into three skill categories: beginner, intermediate, and advanced. All cosplayers submitted videos showing off their cosplays in funny or creative skits which were played one at a time. Some submissions were done as a group while others were done solo with some assistance. Some performances went for comedy, some prioritized atmosphere, and some focused on crafting detail. A handful of participants were able to attend the con in person but many others weren’t and had to stream in via the virtual greenroom. These Crunchyroll Finalists are:
- AJ & KYO
- AVNER & GIH COSPLAY
- BAMBI LASHES
- CALROSI COSPLAY
- CARMILLA JO
- CHRISSY PLAYS DRESSUP
- EARL CRAY TEA
- ELI & NICOLE
- FABRICKIND COSPLAY
- FAELIAE KITSUNE
- GAMMA RAE COSPLAY
- GEEKY SEAMSTRESS
- KALEIDOSCOPE COSPLAY
- KNOVICE COSPLAY
- LEAFNIN COSPLAY
- LEXIBEE COSPLAY
- LUTAVIA COSPLAY
- OJIISANS COSPLAY
- SECOND STAR COSPLAY
- SHIWI HEROES
- SONG AND DANCE COSPLAY
- SONIA BLADE COSPLAY
- WE NEED DISGUISES COSPLAY
- XANJI SAN COSPLAY
Obviously I can’t go into detail about every skit, but some that stood out included Knovice Cosplay‘s Code Lyoko skit thanks to her uses of practical visual effects combined with some amazing location shots that were previewed before the skit began. Xanji San, Gamma Rae, and Lemonbar’s skits had me on the floor laughing as they leaned into the absurdity of the comedy revolving around their respective characters. I loved Lutavia’s detail and atmosphere through the woods and their sets. Simrell had a great blend of the adorable and comedic with her Yu-Gi-Oh! cosplay while Chrissy Plays was cute and colorful. Everyone brought something great to the table and the judges seemed to agree, giving commentary after every couple of submissions. The competition was broken up a few times with anime trailers and previews acting as commercial breaks with the final interlude being done by the legendary singer/composer Shihori.
Finally it was time to hand out the awards. All participants were to receive a Hime Cosplay Cup Medal for making it to the finals, but first was the Judges’ Awards where each judge would pick and present a small crystal award to a participant of their own choosing. Suncake Mooncake presented their award to Azurimi, Reagan Kathryn chose Song and Dance Cosplay, Papa Bear picked Lutavia Cosplay, and finally, Maridah gave their award to Carmilla Jo.
Then we move on to the category prizes. The prizes for each winner in the beginner and intermediate categories included a trophy, $250 cash, and a 1-year subscription to Crunchyroll:
- Best Construction Beginner: Ojiisans Cosplay
- Best Performance Beginner: Lemonbarcos
- Best Innovation Beginner: Gamma Rae Cosplay
- Best Construction Intermediate: Faeliae Kitsune
- Best Performance Intermediate: Knovice Cosplay
- Best Innovation Intermediate: Avner and Gih
- Best Construction Advanced: Sarcasm-Hime
- Best Performance Advanced: Rachsaysmer
- Best Innovation Advanced: Eli &Nicole
- Best in Show: Bambi Lashes Design
(Kalim from Twisted Wonderland!)
(Anya from SPY x FAMILY)
(Yamato from One Piece)
(Hatsume Miku from Vocaloid)
(Aelita from Code Lyoko)
(Akiza Izinski and Yusei Yudo from Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s)
(Wiess from RWBY)
(Hilda from Fire Emblem)
(Sophie and Howl from Howl’s Moving Castle)
(Yae Miko from Genshin Impact)
Then we had the award for Best Individual in All Skill Categories, which went to Jeyke, and the award for Best Group in All Categories, which went to We Need Disguises. They both received a crystal trophy, $1,000 cash, and a 1-year subscription to Crunchyroll. Next we had Crunchyroll Hime’s Rising Star award, which represents extreme talent and potential to light the cosplay world on fire. This was given the Chrissy Plays Dressup, so high hopes to see more of them return with even more dazzling stuff in the future. They received a crystal trophy, $2,000 cash, a 1-year subscription to Crunchyroll, and a new sewing machine. The Director’s Prize which included a trophy, a prize pack of the director’s favorite cosplay tools, a 1-year subscription to Crunchyroll, and compensated travel to be a judge for Hime Cosplay Cup 2023! This was awarded to Bird King Cosplay, who was surprisingly a Cosplay Cup Wildcard finalist. They entered the competition by a hair only to come out as one of the night’s biggest winners. Finally, Bambi Lashes Design from Ireland was awarded Best in Show and received a crystal trophy, 1-year subscription to Crunchyroll, and a $7,000 cash prize.
The competition ended with a very nice “above and beyond” staff award given to Luluko for going above and beyond to help make this year’s event such a success. After being remote for two years and coming back to a hybrid model, obviously a lot needed to be done to make everything go off without a hitch. Congratulations to the staff for making this all possible and to this year’s participants for once again showing everyone how wonderful an artform cosplay can be!
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