Heroes of Cosplay: The First of Its Kind

SyFy channel’s Heroes of Cosplay has garnered a mixed reception, with cosplayers expressing admiration, skepticism, and hatred of the show. For a costume nut like me, it definitely deserved a look.

The Show 
This is a show about cosplay competitions, not cosplay itself. For me, cosplay is about having fun and paying homage to my favorite characters. HoC is about those who put hours of artistry into a costume with the intention of being judged. I’ve seen them at Cons before – it’s hard not to admire them and their extraordinary attention to detail.

In the premiere episode, we were primarily introduced to the people; many of them are familiar to people in the cosplaying world like Yaya Han and Chloe Dykstra. The second episode stuck to the same formula as we were introduced to more cosplayers and their adventures. The costumes showcased so far were stunning, particularly a steampunk Poison Ivy and a picture-perfect Merida. It’s hard not to enjoy seeing these creations walk down the runway, even if you’re a nay-sayer.

Yaya Han
The Controversy
Speaking of nay-sayers, forums were buzzing after the premier about the reality-TV-ness of the show. “They’ve turn our beloved cosplay into just another cheesy reality TV show!” many ranted. And I agree with them. But I also think that this is necessary. Besides, the tension they showcase is not fake: everyone who has cosplayed has felt the pressures of a deadline. But they did add dramatic music and use emotionally manipulative editing. Some have said they’re disappointed that only the best of the best are depicted, but I don’t mind that HoC is decidedly “elitist.” If we want a cosplay show at all, I’m afraid we’ll have to put up with these tactics. It might be formulaic and frustrating, but it’s a successful way to run a TV show.

My only real complaint so far is that we only get glimpses of the actual construction process of the costumes. For someone like me, that’s torturous. I was really hoping to learn some of the tricks of the trade by watching the best of the best. Alas, even in the second installment of the show, there isn’t much to be seen. I yearn to feel like I’m really getting to see the whole process, which the show has yet to deliver.

Should You Watch?
Overall, I’m not overjoyed with the show so far. Reality TV just isn’t my favorite. Will I avoid making plans so I can sit and watch the show? Ehhh, no. But I will almost certainly set up my TiVo and watch it when I have the time. If you feel like tuning in, it airs on SyFy Tuesdays at 10pm, right after Face Off. If nothing else, you get to see some of the best cosplayers in their natural environment, so I encourage you to give it a try and report back!

MyScaryBlog's Costume Consultant Marie Sumner is an avid cosplayer and passionate writer who owns more superhero movies and comic books than anyone should be allowed to. To fuel her hobbies and childhood addictions she writes for WholesaleHalloweenCostumes.com which gives her an excuse to talk about comics, movies, and different types of outfits all day.


  1. Personally, from the camerman's point of view, I thought it was a show about Yaya's Yayas. Watched the first two, there won't be a third. Terrible disappointment, agreed there should be more focus on the reality of building the costumes and competition and not the players lives.

    1. Marie Sumner8/22/13, 2:20 PM

      Hi Mark! Thanks for the comment. Yaya's Yayas are distracting, right?! I can't imagine the back pain she must get. She's not the worst "Ambassador of Cosplay" we could come by, but I wish she would talk more specifically about the craftsmanship of the costumes. I feel like she's been very vague.


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