Anime Central 2k Masquerade:
An Experience Within Itself
by Jenny Williams
On Saturday night, May 13th, the doors to Main Programming opened wide to let in the bunch of anxious otaku waiting outside. Once the crowd packed the grand hall, Isaac Sher stepped up to the podium, and the Anime Central 2k Masquerade was underway, only 33 minutes behind schedule.
Isaac started off by mentioning how amazing these cosplayers really were, and that the audience should appreciate their hard work. He also introduced a new way of running the masquerade, called the "gong" method. This involved a gong to be hit once a skit proved to be dragging and the show needed to move on. It wasn't a show of how much their skit was bad, nor would it disqualify them from winning any awards. There were just a great number of participants, and the show needed to move quickly.
The audience generally responded well to all of the skits, and there seemed to be no gonging for a while. Then, onto the stage appeared someone dressed as Gas-O from the dance video game, Bust a Move. The audience, looking for entertainment, began to chant, "Dance! Dance! Dance!", but the Gas-O just shook his head as he exited the stage.
The audience, now disappointed that they didn't get to see dancing, now chanted "Dance! Dance!" at nearly every cosplayer that got onstage. It seemed as if the masquerade had turned into a big dance show. The crowd became crazy enough to ask Isaac himself to dance, which he did, becoming the first to get gonged, as everyone cheered and laughed.
Next cosplayer on the stage: an ohmu from the series "Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind". As the insect crawled against the stage, he too was chanted at. Much to audience's enjoyment, that stubby little thing had to have been the best dancer in the entire hall. Some might agree that his skit was the highlight of the evening.
Many more wonderful skits passed through, all receiving attention from the incredible crowd. Then, onto the stage hopped a Jigglypuff. Before the audience could even begin chanting, some music broke out, and soon that pink puffball was bouncing around to the song, "Getting Jiggy with It". As it left the stage, the very talkative crowd began to chant to Isaac, "Sing! Sing! Sing!", obviously referring to the Jigglypuff song. Isaac, considering the thought, was stopped by one of Anime Central's hurly security men, who threatened the audience, "I will personally hurt all of you if he sings." Oh, the fun of having a large group of otaku all squished into one big room.
Everyone was impressed with how quickly ACen ran the masquerade. There were a total of 77 entries, done with in the span of two and a half hours, and all the crazy otaku still got time to goof around. Great job to all the staff involved! Also, here's some space to give a big round of applause to all the cosplayers that received prizes:
Best of Show: Mike Baranek as Godzilla
Best Performance - "Clef-hanger": Jenn Lindgren, Peter Heimsoth, Cynthia VanCleave as Clef, Eagle Vision, and Mokona
Best Group - "Fushigi Yuugi Presidential Campaign": Elizabeth Guccione, Karianne, Sarah Meador, Suzanne Guccione, Ashley Gala, Samantha Guccione, Gillian Blank as Chichiri, Koji, Hotohori, Nuriko, Tasuki, Tamahome, Miaka
Honorable Mention - "Cosplay Cuties": Alexia, Szewczuga, Mary Safranski, Sunny Szewczuga, Samantha Sostarich as Kero-chan, Sakura, Yuka, Umi
Honorable Mention - "Stop it Before It Breeds": Shobana Appavu as Jigglypuff
Honorable Mention - "Gainax Special": Heather Fenderson, Amy Fenderson, Nicole Glenn, Doug Weigel as Tiramisu, Devil Hunter Yohko, Sanosuke, Lina Inverse
Judge's Choice - Steve Bennett - "Death by Chocolate": Erika Wohlstadter as Chocolate Misu
Judge's Choice - Robert DeJesus: Chris Montoya as Solid Snake
Judge's Choice - Crispin Freeman - "Best Dancing Lusect": Jonathan Dicarlo as An Ohmu
Judge's Choice - Ryan Gavigan - "The Mirage Knights": Dave Zyn, Derek Letterson, Stephanie Letterson, Robert Bareneck as Landwand Spacorn, Nu-Sword Graphite, Li-Ex, Porsche
Judge's Choice - Lisa Ortiz: William Gauthier, Erica Moser, Adam Campos, Nicholas Selander, Jaci Gauthier as Emilia, Lina Inverse, Gaurry, Xelloss, Zelgadis
Congratulations to all who won a prize, and great job to all who participated! The show was very entertaining.