Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Cosplay Complex Anime Review

Cosplay Complex
ADV Films
Complete Collection - 1 disc
90 mins. - 3 episodes
$26.98 (2009) w/Magical Play
$19.98 (2008) w/My Dear Marie
$24.98 (2004)
ISBN 702727052828
Japanese/English Audio - English Subtitles
Director - Shinichiro Kimura
Studio - Wonder Farm

Synopsis: The cosplay club at the East Oizumi Academy is serious business.  The members dream of one day competing in the Cosplay World Series and becoming champions!  Each member gives their all to achieve the perfect cosplay costume and performance.  The club consists of these members:
  • Gourou - president of the club and highly skilled cosplayer, shiny bald head, melodramatic ham at every opportunity, in love with team member Reika
  • Chako - pink-haired and air-headed, great positive attitude and really enjoys cosplaying, tries very hard to do a good job, lacks self-confidence
  • Maria - wears glasses and one of the original members of the club, highly protective of her little sister
  • Athena - Maria's little sister, honorary member of the club (although too young to attend the academy yet)
  • Reika - manages the club and tries to be responsible, has difficulty wrangling the other members to achieve their goals, stubborn and bull-headed
  • Coach - gym teacher and faculty sponsor of the cosplay club (for some reason), frequently hospitalized
The girls of the Cosplay Club (from left) - Chako (topless),
Reika, Maria, and Athena
The club is helped by Delmo, a pint-sized "cosplay fairy" dressed in a Playboy bunny costume, and her companion, Ikebukuro, an owl.  Delmo has magical powers (besides being very small) to transform into costumes (when she's feeling generous) for the cosplayers (particularly Chako) to wear and even change the physical shape of the girls wearing them (like increasing their bust sizes).  Ikebukuro is an excellent assistant who can sew, iron, and is sometimes a cosplay judge.  
Delmo transforms into a swimsuit for Chako and gives her bigger boobs!
Chako is a promising young member of the team, but gets her feathers ruffled by Jenny, a buxom foreign exchange student who wants to join the club.  Jenny takes a particularly unhealthy interest in Athena (according to big sis Maria).  The year is heating up for the club as Chako finds a cute love interest in a college reporter, they head to the hot springs to mentally prepare for the season, and then get challenged by the Shin-Takarazuka cosplay club, the most recent Cosplay World Series champs!  Can Chako and crew step up their game and go for the gold?
Jenny (blonde hair) and Chako have an intense cosplay battle
while Delmo cheers them on
Pros: Lots of fan-service and a little yuri (lesbians), decent animation, a ton of references/costumes from other anime series
Kosuke Tamiya is a photographer who Chako has a crush on
Cons: Silly, no explanation for Delmo and Ikebukuro, weak plot, ending is unsatisfying and no sequels
Jenny has a wardrobe malfunction!
Mike Tells It Straight: Cosplay Complex is pure cheesecake and fan-service masquerading under the banner of cosplay.  It has a silly plot with no real resolutions at the end.  From a story standpoint it was completely pointless, but I honestly wasn't expecting much.  Based purely on an entertainment level the show was funny and naughty on several occasions.
Maria is just in time to stop Jenny from 'helping' Athena get changed
The characters were mildly endearing (although Gourou was kinda annoying with his constant over-acting).  Jenny's lesbian lolita fixation on Athena was a little offensive until she got blindsided by Chako's mom.  I didn't see that one coming and rolled on the floor!  It was obvious the director planned to have a sequel based on vague ending.  If you like lighthearted, silly fan-service shows then Cosplay Complex has it in spades.  Looking for a storyline?  No chance, this one's all guilty pleasure.
"Cosplay or die, fool!"

TO BUY and Recommendations: