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Episode Recap: AniMelee
The cosplayers must create an original character inspired by their favorite anime.
Yvette shows up in the workroom wearing her most animated skirt for this week’s challenge: anime characters! In Round One they’ll create a signature accessory (a wand, a weapon, a wig, what have you) that will go with their full character, and that accessory must be animated, aka MOVE!
Jessie LOVES anime, there couldn’t be a better theme for her, and she makes a wand with a giant spinning heart and flapping wings for her character from the world of Magical Girl. The judges love what she did, they just wish the wings flapped a little better. One of Paul’s faves is a world called Hack, and so he creates a beetle-looking gauntlet for his beetle/human hybrid. The animation is a little rough, but the detail of the beetle’s entrails is strong. Jacqueline digs into the world of Records of Lodoss and builds a giant fire flower staff. She tries to install a fan to make it look like this beautiful weapon is actually emanating flames, but it doesn’t quite work. Meesha knows that anime characters often have outsized accessories, so she makes her dragon’s head staff almost as tall as herself! The dragon itself is awesome, with red lights inside the jaw to give the illusion of flame, but the staff holding it up lacks some detail. She won’t be moving on to Round Two.
Before the remaining contestants can get back to work, they must discover an additional element to incorporate into their creativity. Yvette motions to several swords from which the contestants must choose. Written on each sword is an archetype. Jessie, the first to draw, reveals “Bokukko and Delinquents” – that first word refers to tomboys and gender-fluid anime characters. Jacqueline draws “Moe”, or submissive female – not the archetype she had in mind for her fiery warrior! Paul won Round One, so he chooses the final sword – “Hero” – but then has the option to trade it for another. He switches with Jessie, bringing some serious relief to her – but Jacqueline has a steep road ahead of her.
In the lab, Jacqueline struggles to incorporate Moe into her character. She quickly realizes it’s going to be an overhaul of her backstory, but getting there is a slow process. When the judges stop by, they’re impressed with her shimmering wings – an item she’s never made for herself before – but are a little concerned that she won’t get this Moe thing off the ground.
Paul is zipping along, but Christian cautions him that he might be taking on a little too much. He has belts upon belts upon belts, and all of that material is going to take time to weather! Christian and LeeAnna are also a little worried about Jessie, who has some killer worbla armor, but plans on a quick change – i.e., she’s going to rip off one layer of clothing to reveal an entire second costume underneath. LeeAnna notes that’s a super tough thing to do, but Jessie has her heart and hot glue gun set on it.
When they hit the runway, it’s oohs and aahs from the judges for all three. Paul weathered the snot outta those belts, created a scarf that’s wired to look like it’s blowing in the wind, and is sporting a towering set of horn-antennae that bobble and float. Jessie is able to pull off (pun intended) her quick change seamlessly (pun not intended, but we’ll go with it). She starts out as a demure schoolgirl in a blouse and plaid skirt, and finishes with a plate of chest armor and a dazzling pink battle dress. And when Jacqueline takes the stage, the judges see that she kept the fierce protector she initially envisioned, but added the attitude of Moe with delicate eyelashes and soft, flowing fabric in a ruched and ruffled skirt. Her archetype was a challenge, and she vanquished it. She’s the champion this week, and can’t wait to invest her winnings into more cosplay!