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What to Expect in a Cosplay Contest Judging Room…

Your first time in a judging room can be a frightening experience. You’ll be standing in front of panel of 3-10 experts of the craft, dressed in the costume you spent months working on that you were really proud of up until 5 minutes ago, wondering why you didn’t redo that imperfect seam, or why you chose that shade of green when the other fabric was such the better option (although 4x the cost). Over and over I hear the biggest regret of those that participate in cosplay contests is that they were so nervous during the judging that they forgot to mention a piece of their costume that they are really proud of. I’m here to give you a little insight into what the judging room is like and a few tips that may get you on the panel’s good side.

1) The judges……are there to judge. Shocker I know. However, cosplayers sometimes forget that the judges are not like the other convention-goers who stop you and ask for your picture while complimenting you on your cosplay prowess. They are there to find the strengths and weakness of your costume, and compare it to other costumes. That is what they are there to do. Judge costumes, and figure out which one was best.

2) They will pick apart your costume. Be prepared to be tugged, touched, twirled, tapped, and other “t” verbs. They will lift skirts to inspect seams, stare into your eyes to see if you shelled out the extra $20 for the circle lenses, and a lot of other things that seem odly similar to an airport security check.

3) I have found, that Hall of Cosplay judges are much more quiet and reserved than the Cosplay judging portion of a Masquerade competition. Masquerade judges are a little more friendly, and give their opinion more the HoC judges. This is because there is more than one judging requirment for the masquerade, and masquerade judges have a longer time period to judge all the costumes in the group. Masquerade judges are scheduled to last about 15 minutes, and HoC judging only last between 2-3 minutes. Not a lot of time for chit-chat :/. HoC judges look intimidating and mean, but they are just trying to be impartial because the 2 minutes you are standing in front of them is all they have.

So there’s 3 things to expect inside the judging room. Now here’s some tips to help calm your nerves and make you well prepared for the judging room!

1) Present your references professionaly! You should consider the judging room to be like an interview. Are you going to hand your potential future boss your resume/portfolio that’s been folding and wrinkled?? Hopfully the answer is no. Take pictures of your progress, and in a Word document, add a brief description of what the picture is showing. Take your “instruction book” with a few reference images you got from google, and put it in a binder, or one of those plastic essay covers that your 4th grade teacher made you turn all your essays in with. It’s a really impressive presentation and shows how much you effort you really put in. It also helps in case you forget to mention an important aspect of your cosplay construction.

2) Have and index card pointing out all of the impressive aspects of injinuity and creativity your cosplay contains. Each year there has been something I forgot to told the judges that I wish I had. Don’t be like me….BRING AN INDEX CARD!!

3) Relax :) I know, I know…I sound like your mother right before your SATs or a big dance recitial. However, its the truth. 99.99% of cosplayers do make it out of the judging room alive. The more relaxed you are, the less likely you are to forget something, and the more you can really enjoy the experience as a whole.

By: Melanie Braverman

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CAN’T STOP [SINGLE] - HinSaru* & Kenji Astro

Artists: HinSaru* & Kenji Astro feat. Phyllip Miland 

Song name: Can’t Stop

S.O.U.L Entertainment, LLC

S.O.U.L Entertainment presents two artists, Hinsaru* & Kenji Astro, who have been recognized for remixing popular Kpop music, such as Taeyang and Untouchables, an original song that’ll keep you pressing repeat over and over again, featuring an industry recognized singer, Phyllip Miland. This R&B/Pop song is catchy, making the listener want to show their friends and then show their friends and then show their friends! This is the type of song that makes you want to bump and grind in the club! Definitely worth listening to and adding to your playlist on your MP3 player. Take a listen!

Follow Hinsaru*

Follow Kenji Astro

By: Christina Jacildo


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G-Dragon Releases ‘ONE OF A KIND’ MV

He’s at it again! BIGBANG’s leader G-Dragon has finally released his first MV from his long awaited comeback as a solo artist! We haven’t seen any solo work since his 2009 hit album, Heartbreaker.

So now we have G-Dragon back and bragging about his talents. He sure is “one of a kind” with this comeback. Cute animals, tigers, noodle hair extensions, police line ups, a life-sized Barbie doll, tennis, and that’s just part of what’s in this video. We even get a little bit of Taeyang in the video too. This video is one big bragging fest from G-Dragon and the fans will still go crazy. It’s fun, playful, and we get to watch G-Dragon do what he does best… which is be G-Dragon. 

If you haven’t already, check out the MV for G-Dragon’s ‘ONE OF A KIND’! 

To keep up to date with GD, check out the following links!




By Lara Visconti

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The Otakon video game: Crisis Heart Brawlers: Clash at Otakon is about to start the Kickstarter with Studio Nasu!   Join is starting tonight at 8:00 PM EST to help support this amazing creation!

Check out the Otakon, Crisis Heart Brawlers: Clash at Otakon! Support this upcoming game with the Kickstarter! 

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KPOP UNITED x Aimee Lee Lucas to Host “KPOP MVP” Dance Workshop in LA This Saturday

Are you in LA this Saturday and want to do something fun? Check out this awesome dance workshop being held at the LA Convention Center by KPOP UNITED and dancer Aimee Lee Lucas! For those of you who may not be familiar with Aimee, she’s worked closely with some of K-pop biggest groups such as BIGBANG and 2NE1! 

Check out the flyer above for specifics.

Click here to buy your advance ticket!

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JYJ’s Junsu Releases First Teaser for New Single “Uncommitted”

Seeing Junsu’s past solo songs (TARANTALLEGRA and INTOXICATION), I’ve always seen him as some raunchy, hip thrusting, dance machine. When I read what the title is for his newest upcoming single, this didn’t come as a shock. For a guy with such a cute face, he seems to have this bad boy image he’s trying to get for himself. It’s somewhat hilarious and cute at the same time. Here’s what the YouTube description says about the song:

XIA is ready to rock the world AGAIN!! The first MV teaser is here! 
XIA will release his Single Album(Eng.ver) which includes UNCOMMITTED and English version of TARANTALLEGRA! 
This music video is showing delicate feelings of a man who swears he’d love only one girl. In this first MV teaser, you can see what “UNCOMMITTED”means through actor’s eyes. He(XIA) thinks about another girl even he is with his girl friend.. she just wants to believe his pure love. Who is “UNCOMMITTED”in this music video? Is she saying this word to him? Or Is he saying this word to himself? 

I, for one, and excited to hear this new song plus an English version to TARANTALLEGRA. His English seems to be improving from what I’m hearing so far. Wishing all the best of luck to Junsu and his raunchy, bad boy image of a man who’s just looking for love.

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Studio Ghibli’s Trailer for “From Up on Poppy Hill”

Studio Ghibli’s has released a trailer for an English subtitled version of their movie “From Up on Poppy Hill.” The movie had already been released in Japan last year in July. An English dubbed version is in the works and this film will be in theaters for a limited time from September 13-26. 

From Up on Poppy Hill is a movie which is based off of a Japanese comic of the same name. Here’s what the description says:

Set in Yokohama, From Up On Poppy Hill is a high school love story that take place in the year before the 1964 Tokyo Summer Olympics. As the country begins to pick itself up from the devastation of the Second World War, the new generation struggles to move towards a prosperous future whilst trying not to lose the essence of their past. The film’s rich and vibrant animation captures the entrancing beauty of Yokohama’s harbour and lush surrounding hillsides and, with a soundtrack that draws inspiration from the finest music of the time, perfectly captures the thrills of young romance and the hope of a new dawn.

The film looks absolutely beautiful. As a huge Studio Ghibli fan, I’ll definitely try to see this movie!

By Lara Visconti

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Happy ten years, buddy.

Absolutely love this sketch!



Happy ten years, buddy.

Absolutely love this sketch!

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Otakon 2012 Report

It’s been a week since Otakon has ended. We’re still reminiscing about how much fun we had! Myself and fellow writer Melanie Braverman headed to Baltimore, Maryland last week and prepared ourselves for a ton of fun! We even came prepared with our own hand-made cosplays!

Otakon was definitely bigger than before. Every year, we always see an increase in con-goers. We weren’t surprised with the large number of over 32,000 attendees. If Otakon sold daily passes, I’m sure the number of individual attendees would rise… but where would we put everyone? Otakon’s always crowded but crowded with a ton of people who all share similar interests. What’s not to like?

Because Melanie and I wore our cosplays both Friday and Saturday, it was a little hard to really get a good look at all of the panels and other events since it would take us a while to get ready. We’ve always found that being in costume for Otakon has been that much more fun even though we missed out on a few panels. Just by being in costume, we were able to meet even more people who shared the same interests and make new friends. 

We did attend the VIXX concert Friday night. If you’re interested in seeing pictures and a quick review, click here to check it out!

Saturday night, we decided to go watch the masquerade. This was our first year not participating in it ourselves but it was a good experience to see what others can come up with in terms of a skit and costume. There were people who did solo skits and some who did larger group dance skits. From sitting in the audience, these are the common trends we saw: Party Rocking (LMFAO), Ballet, Live Performances (not pre-recorded dialog), and Michael Jackson. Remember, if anyone plans on entering the masquerade next year, I would highly suggest not doing any of those. I would say that I personally was disappointed with the skits this year but I can only hope they’ll be better next year. Who knows, maybe we’ll participate again.

On Sunday, everyone takes time to catch up with the Dealers Room and the Artists Alley. The lines to get into these rooms were ridiculously long but I can only assume it was tough trying to accommodate all of the people trying to get last minute items (myself included). 

Overall, this Otakon was fun. Meeting new people is one of my favorite things and I’ve also learned new things to improve on my cosplaying skills. I’ve never really had a bad experience with people at Otakon and everyone is incredibly friendly. The panels are great, the anime and other movie showings are fun, and the guests just keep on coming.

I’m expecting great things for next year’s Otakon that will be August 9-11, 2013! See you there!

Want to see some pictures from Otakon 2012? We didn’t get to take as many as we hoped but click to take a look at what we have!

By Lara Visconti