JACON has grown by leaps and bounds over the years and 2004 is no exception. Space was in high demand as special events spilled over from the University of Central Florida campus to the conference rooms of the Radisson Hotel. Cosplay Lab was on hand for two of the three days to capture some of the excitement. I attempted to fill in for Maboroshi of RishingSun.net in his absence, however those are big shoes to fill. Several people actually thought I was him, so I guess that says something. ^_^ Click here for a tenth of the photos he would have taken Friday.
Friday Cosplay Contest
Different this year was the day of the cosplay contest ~ Friday. Given the small number of contestants that participated, this event ran under an hour. It would be nice to see it occur the same day of the costume contest to help consolidate some of the time involved moving people around. I will say I'm glad it wasn't held on Sunday though. Click here for a collection of photos taken during the cosplay contest.
Cosplay, Iron Chef style
One of the most anticipated and exciting new events at JACON this year was Iron Cosplay hosted by Anime Sushi. The concept was simple: the best costume made in 2 hours wins. Iron Cosplayer Joe Torres, aka Mara-chan, and his two assistants Dottie and Cassie, defended the title against challenger Jennifer Urda with Trent and Carolann. This cosplay parody did a fantastic job simulating the feel of the original Iron Chef show complete with announcer Jared-san and comic relief provided by Andrew-san. They kept everyone in high spirits while Chairman Kaga (John-san) presided over all the evening's antics. Click here to read more and view photos from the event. A highlights video may be available soon. We'll keep you posted.
A sea of cosplayers had already assembled by 10am when doors opened. Graduation ceremonies for many students had just occurred, so a bevy of new digital cameras helped capture the energy surging through these fan-filled halls. I would have taken more pictures had the area not been so crowded, but I was saving up for the costume contest. Here are a few shots taken Saturday afternoon.
Taking it to the Stage
Over 112 cosplayers survived the line for pre-juding and made their way to the JACON stage. Ninjas seemed to be a recurring theme, particularly among Naruto fans. The audience jammed into their seats to catch a glimpes of the latest styles gracing the cat walk. Here are the contestants and the winners.
JACON is one of my favorite cons since it is so close to home and is where many friends gather. As long as the con remains on the campus of UCF, its size will be restricted, and the amount of programming they can offer will be hindered. I'd like to see some bigger name guests at JACON, and I've got to believe that funding should be adequate to get someone good. If Iron Cosplay happens at a reasonable hour, I might even have enough energy to take more pictures. ^_^