This past August, Hinchinbrooke’s own Meaghan Mueller travelled with her cosplay partner Annie Derochie (of Brockville, Ontario) to Nagoya, Japan to represent Canada on the world stage at the World Cosplay Summit. This annual competition brings together teams from 33 countries from across the globe to compete for the title of World Cosplay Champion.
After having been selected as Team Canada in August of 2022 it was a long year for Mueller and Derochie, who were anxiously awaiting the arrival of the 2023 competition which is also held annually in August. Though the wait was long there was certainly no lack of work to keep these teammates occupied; between speaker appearances at local conventions to the refinement of their presentation and costumes, these two cosplayers made the most of the time given to them. “June and July were just filled with excitement and intense work getting costumes ready, updating props, rehearsals, and submitting paperwork,” said Mueller.
The schedule certainly did not relax once they landed in Japan. Starting on Aug 1 it included seven days of meeting and bonding with other teams; meet-and-greets with local officials like the governor of Aichi; parade events; cultural exchanges; rehearsals; pre-judging; and finally, the competition itself.
Reflecting on the day of the competition Mueller recounted, “[It] went really well! We are very pleased with how we performed. We thoroughly enjoyed how quiet the audience was during our dramatic performance. You could have heard a pin drop from the back of the room!” Each country was given two and a half minutes to perform a skit on stage incorporating sound design, lighting cues, and practical effects to help showcase their expertly crafted costumes – two and a half minutes to captivate the audience and judges with a condensed theatrical performance.
The winners were announced as follows; Team Mexico placed third, Team Latvia placed second, and Team UK took home the champion’s title. “The skills that were displayed through costumes and stage performance were so inspiring… I am so grateful to have had this experience. It was amazing to meet people from all over the world sharing the same passion,” says Meuller.
Now back home, she has had time to decompress from the whirlwind events of this past year, but she is not done crafting yet: “I want to try my hand at more elaborate and detailed costumes in the future.” Setting her sights on even more challenges, she looks forward to what’s next. “I want to level up my technical skills, so I’m choosing projects that will challenge me in that regard. I have my eye set on more international competitions!”
In talking about cosplay as a hobby, Mueller wants to encourage anyone to give it a try. “You can learn new skills to make your own [costume], you can thrift your own, you can commission one to be made custom to your measurements, and you can even buy premade ones for decent prices. All it comes down to is getting the courage to start, choosing a character, and then getting into cosplay… So, if you really want to try cosplay, just do it.”
You can follow Mueller and Derochie in their costuming endeavours on Facebook at MaeGwynCosplay and AnniechieDesigns.