Heroes of Cosplayby Aly Runke, contributing writer

Heroes of Cosplay is a reality show on the Syfy channel, which follows cosplayers through cosplay competitions at different conventions around the country. The show debuted last summer with the first six episodes of season one. There were mixed feelings from viewers about the reality show. Many felt that there was way too much drama and not enough technique showcased. Others felt that the show painted cosplay in a bad light. Because of such criticisms the second part of season one will be watched with much scrutiny.

The cast of cosplayers for the show include international sensation Yaya Han, who has been cosplaying for 14 years and has turned into a cosplay celebrity around the world. Throughout the show we follow her as she returns to competition, judges cosplay contests across the globe, and mentors fellow cosplayers. Han is joined by Jessica Merizan and Holly Conrad, who are working hard to get their own fabrication business off the ground; Chloe Dykstra, who hosts her own YouTube show about Cosplay; Riki Lecotoy, who also has ambitions for a career in fabrication; and Jesse Lagers, who is looking to be a renowned prop maker. All of these cosplayers are returning cast members from the first half of the season.

New to the show this summer, we have Carl Martin, a self-taught costume creator; Indra Rojas, who has been mentored by Yaya Han and is looking to make a career out of selling her costumes; Katie George, who has been cosplaying since sixth grade and has a degree in costuming; Meg Turney, who has been cosplaying for 13 years and balances a regular 9-to-5 job with her hobby; and finally, Miguel Guifarro a self-described alpha-male, a trait he aims to show off in his cosplay. Three cosplayers from the first part of the season last summer are not returning: Becky Young, Monika Lee, and Victoria Schmidt. These three girls in the first half of season one were the center of almost all drama, which was something highly criticized by the audience.

ComikazeThis summer, the first episode follows Han, Merizan, and Conrad, Legers, Rojas, and Dykstra through the beginning of the con season. Han has been invited to Argentina and is not present for the con that is the focus of the episode, Stan Lee’s Comikaze in Los Angeles. Han creates a magnificent cosplay, Sheryl Nome, for the con Arte de Cosplay. She also gives Rojas input on her She-Ra cosplay. In this episode, Leger uses inspiration from old arcade games for his cosplay and decides to create Megaman, a nostalgic character, unlike any other he has done. Both Leger and Rojas compete in the solo contest at Comikaze.

Dykstra, Merizan, and Conrad team up in this episode to help each other out. Dykstra is part of a “Women of the Internet” cosplay group who cosplay as burlesque versions of websites and normally quite-modest Conrad and Merizan reluctantly agree to help out in exchange for Dykstra to compete in the group contest with them. All of the “Heroes” featured in this episode exhibit amazing skill and wonderful cosplay.

Without the three girls from last season the first episode of this summer was refreshingly drama-free. There was much more focus on friendship and ambitious cosplay. Hopefully such a trend holds with the other new cast members as the season progresses. The next episode airs on Syfy Tuesday at 9/8c and will be take place at Ottawa Pop Expo in Canada. It is an international convention with much prestige hanging on any award won by the cosplayers. There will also be a live tweeting event to interact with the cast as the show airs. It seems like bigger and better things are coming to Heroes of Cosplay and hopefully its target audience will receive a show they want. Either way, this cosplayer will be watching and enjoying. What do you think of the second half of season one? Sound off in comments below!

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