From cosplay champ to guest judge

Dr Emerald King from the School of Languages and Cultures is the current Madman National Cosplay Champion and was recently a guest judge at the Madman National Cosplay Championship, held at AICon 2017 in Tasmania.

Dr Emerald King, dressed in a golden robe, with a sword over her white-wigged head, as Kogitsunemaru from Toukenranbu.
Emerald as Kogitsunemaru from Toukenranbu (photo by Sammit; edit by Tessu).

AICon is Tasmania’s longest running pop culture festival focusing on the Japanese Anime Industry.  It was founded by the Not-For-Profit University Society, Tasmanian Pop Culture Society (TasPop) to provide a stage for a growing number of emerging artists, costumers, video editors, writers and actors on the island.  

The 2017 event was held on the 4th and 5th of March and featured a variety of cultural demonstrations, theatre sports, video gaming, screenings and competitions, including the first round of the Madman National Cosplay Championship 2017.

Cosplay is a performance art in which participants fashion specially crafted costumes and roleplay as characters from manga, anime, comic books, video games, live-action films and more.  The Championship is hosted every year at festivals and expos around Australia to crown the country’s most talented cosplayers.   

This is the 5th time Emerald has been invited to judge at AICon and the first time judging a Madman National Cosplay Championship round.  Emerald says she is always amazed at how diverse popular culture conventions are throughout Australia and New Zealand.  

"AICon is a growing event, but still holds true to its university club roots."

Emerald's current work on cosplay focuses on the ways in which fans create their own costumes to further explore and experience a character's existence.  She considers this an act of fan translation.

For more see her article in SIGNATA. Annales des sémiotiques/Annals of semiotics 7/2016. Traduire: signes, textes, pratiques/Translating: Signs, Texts, Practices (volume co-edited by SLC's Dr Marco Sonzogni).

There is a New Zealand round of the Madman National Cosplay Championship to be held at Overload in Auckland in September this year.