Saturday, June 18, 2011

Cosplay Spotlight Saturday: Banzai! Productions

Cosplay entertainment has the green light for this group of four girls.  I'm talking about Banzai! Productions, and they are breaking ground in comedic insanity.  On May 28, OzTheNekoMaster, ChEsHiRe-K, SuperWeaselPrincess, and ValdaAbyss celebrated their first year anniversary, and together have quickly found sweet success in the cosplay community.

But it hasn't always been the foursome we know and love today.  For nearly a year and a half prior to their official debut, Banzai! only consisted of OzTheNekoMaster, a girl who dreamed of having a group where she could share her love of cosplay with friends.  Devoted to her pastime, she uploaded her own cosplay videos to Youtube.  At last, after convincing her childhood friend, ChEsHiRe-K, to cosplay, and meeting ValdaAbyss and SuperWeaselPrincess at the Kaigi Picnic, Oz had the cosplay group she had been waiting for.  That's when they feel Banzai! truly began.  I asked Oz if she ever felt discouraged, and she said, "At times, I was. Cosplay was a huge hobby of mine and even though I had a lot of friends, none of them cosplayed and I wanted to share that hobby with someone. But there were times when I was completely content on my own. But to be honest, my creativity was definitely not as good as it is now with the other members contributing."  What kept Oz going until the three others came around?  "I suppose you could say Banzai! Productions went on a temporary hiatus. It was simply what I called my Youtube channel and I was 'OztheNekoMaster.' What kept me going with Banzai is my complete love for cosplay and small hope that I would find someone who I could get along with that I could cosplay with."

So what advice does Oz have for anyone looking to start a cosplay group of their own?  "Advice I would give to cosplayers trying to start a new group is to just remember to have fun. It's probably a good idea to get your closer friends together. If you don't have any close cosplaying friends, there's great people in the cosplay community that you could get to know--and regardless, it's always great to get to know your fellow cosplayers. Be patient. Wonderful relationships could come from that. When you're in a cosplay group, you have to be negotiable, able to communicate well, and be considerate of each other. And it's probably a really good idea to avoid drama. But the number one piece of advice, is to always, always have fun!"

With the group finally complete, it was Go, Go, Go! for Banzai! Productions.  They participated in their first masquerade at Taiyou Con 2011 and won Best In Show, and soon after won Masters Best In Performance in their second masquerade at Phoenix Comicon 2011.  Nice work!  Patience and commitment really paid off.  The key to performing is staying in character, so what does Banzai! do to get ready?  "We usually cosplay characters that have similar personalities to us or that we can easily relate to. For example, it's really easy to get into character for Vocaloid because our personalities are already really similar to the 'default fanmade' personalities given to them. Otherwise, we research the characters and study them."  They also don't limit cosplaying to just conventions.  This group takes any chance they get at gatherings, picnics, making Youtube videos, or just for the fun of it.

In addition to their participation in masquerades, Banzai! Productions hosted their very first panel at Phoenix Comicon 2011 and plan on doing more in the future.  For all the cosplayers and convention goers, I say, "Please do!"  Their panel was a shining star- hilarious, informative, well executed and highly entertaining with mini skits and a Powerpoint presentation, and completely family friendly.  Future panelists and cosplayers could really learn from these girls' examples.

With these experiences under their belt and more to surely come, what do the girls feel is the key to their success?  "Our bond. Even though we've known each other all together for a year, we are incredibly close. We cry together, laugh together, and just happen to be very close friends who happen to be cosplayers. We often think of each other as sisters."

Is there anyone Banzai! would like to thank? "Definitely our parents for supporting us and even helping us out with finances. Our fans for keeping up with us and supporting us. And our friends for hanging out with us, collaborating with us, and being awesome!"

Thank you, Banzai! Productions!  And to my readers who haven't seen their work yet, please go visit their pages.  Their videos are priceless and cosplays are beautiful.  You will not want to miss out watching this group!

Banzai! Productions on  

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