Cosplay: The Series

Thursday, 29 September 2011, 8:00 | Author : Janet
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COSPLAY: The Series is a live action/drama web series that follows the daily lives of several high school cosplayers in Bandung, Indonesia.  The theme of the show–“nation’s pride”–is evoked in the first episode and, thereafter, the producers explore how cosplay might align with Indonesia cultural pride and expression.

The story begins with an urgent crisis for the Q-Cosushinkai cosplay club.  The high school’s headmistress has disbanded the cosplay club for not exemplifying the school’s core values of national pride.  Personally, I don’t find “national pride” to be a significant component of the overall plot.  Rather, the producers of COSPLAY: The Series seem to be using this web series as a means to bridge their love of cosplay and their own national pride.  In terms of storytelling, this web series more aptly explores themes related to being different from your peers, defying cultural norms, finding acceptance and support amongst your friends, and defending cosplay against criticism.

Each episode focuses on a different story or event, whether it provides the backstory for a character or focuses on some crisis affecting the members of the cosplay club.  The episodes themselves are relatively short (three to five minutes) and they allude to a larger story that will be revealed in Season Two.  Many viewers will enjoy the spontaneity of these episodes and the storytelling techniques.  For example, in Episode 8, instead of showing two cosplayers apologizing to the cosplay club, we get to watch them dancing to a South Korean “Sorry, Sorry” song.

Although there are many highlights to this web series, there is also room for improvement.  The overall production quality is weak in comparison to other web series.  Oftentimes, I heard white noise in the background or the chatter of nearby pedestrians.  If they could better control their filming environments or improve upon their equipment, we might better be able to focus on the characters and their stories.  Nevertheless, this drama represents a worthwhile endeavor to raise awareness about cosplay and provide relate-able themes for a general audience.  As I discussed in a previous blog post, it is challenging to create engaging and interesting stories related to cosplay and I applaud the efforts of the cast and crew to create a drama-driven cosplay web series!

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