Heroes of Cosplay on SyFy is a new running show which encompasses the world of cosplay for TV purposes. But perhaps SyFy is making cosplay more of a joke, than something that people take serious.
The show follows the feats of nine cosplayers, only one of whom who is a male. It chronicles their journeys in cosplay making from concept to finish as well as to the conventions they attend to compete in or judge competition.
I find it a little disappointing that only one male is featured on the show when men are actually the minority in cosplay. The title of the show is also unfortunately a little pretentious. No one can truly be a “Hero of Cosplay” but I suppose they were trying to say they were inspirational. Instead, it makes them sound like they are the top names of cosplay when in fact there can be none. Another angle that SyFy misrepresents is the “responsibilities” of the cosplayers, such as Yaya Han’s. Yaya Han is a large cosplay name, often being a judge at conventions and even having appeared on King of the Nerds as a judge earlier this year. But the show presents that she (and the others on the show) are constantly trying to find new ways to gain popularity rather than work on costumes. In my opinion, no one honestly really cares if they don’t have a new costume by the next convention. Yes, it’s human for them to worry about disappointing their fans, but really no one is going to be mad if Yaya shows up in her Chun Li costume to a couple cons in a row without debuting a new one. Cosplay in general is NOT about getting fans and being popular. The point is to have fun dressing up as a character you adore. The most disappointing aspect of the show though is the editing. The editing is done purposefully to make the show be filled with more drama, stressing conversations the people have about cosplay and making it look like they are being rude or over dramatic. Yaya Han and some of the other “contestants” said seemingly unflattering comments about people who are overweight cosplaying and have had to release damage control statements this past week to clarify that their words were cut and twisted together by editing. Also, using stock footage from a con that isn’t even being attended in the episode is probably not a good idea…
If I have so many issues with this show, why am I writing about it? There are some upsides to Heroes of Cosplay. I quite enjoy that, 1) it’s about cosplay. Cosplay is such an underground scene in public, it is interesting for it to be coming to the mainstream. I like that they show how much hard work can be put into cosplay. I actually like that they show the extremes of cosplay. In the first episode, one of the “contestants” is shown trying to completely emulate the character and bring her to life. Not everyone does that, but I’m glad they show that some people do. I like that in the first episode they showed that sometimes costumes never get finished, even when they get taken to con to be finished in the hotel room. I LOVE that it isn’t a competition. A lot of people expressed their distaste that it wasn’t a show more like Face Off, but honestly a cosplay show like Face Off would be a waste for showing off what the cosplay community is like. I also like that the stars themselves try not to present themselves as pretentious about cosplay as the narrator does. Yaya Han denies being a “cosplay queen” but more of a “cosplay ambassador” in the first episode. It’s also great that some of the cosplayers are well established while some of them are just starting out.
Will Heroes of Cosplay be a failure or a success? Will it accurately represent the cosplay community? Will it satisfy the cosplay community? Every cosplayer will answer these questions differently. Who’s to say what’s in store though? Only two episodes have aired. Only time will tell.
Have an opinion on the show? Drop a comment down there!
Visit the Official Website: http://www.syfy.com/heroesofcosplay
Catch the show on Tuesday nights at 10 on SyFy