(Update) Otaku House Cosplay Idol: Should This Be Allowed?
Update 20 Dec 2013 (GMT+8 1:15pm)
We have updated this blog post to answer the many questions raised regarding Fahr Sindram’s submissions, why we chose her current 3 entries, and why we have gone public with this issue.
Part of the very clear instructions on our email on what to submit for ALL finalists is this:
2. Who chose the three (3) solo cosplay pictures?
Our rules state these points about the photos:
* Preferably non of which that you have previously submitted for the qualifiers.
* You are encouraged to submit different characters for each photo to display your versatility.
* Photos are required to show at least 2/3 of the body and costume
Fahr Sindram have instead submitted 8 photos. While 95% of the finalists follow our instructions correctly, there are some finalists who send us part of their collection anyway. What we usually do to expedite the process is either choose our favorite 3 or the 3 that best suit our requirements. If we can’t choose because they all look equally good, we’ll ask the cosplayer to shortlist the pictures themselves and resubmit to us again. To be honest, it is usually pretty troublesome when contestants don’t follow our rules and one of the main reasons for delays in starting the Finals.
For Fahr Sindram’s case, out of the 8 photos we received, 2 photos were with another cosplayer (not solo), 1 photo was a repeat submission from the qualifiers, 1 showed less than 2/3 of herself. So it was easy to strike out 4. Of the remaining 4, 1 was another Loki cosplay, which to be perfectly honest, looked equally digitally enhanced in terms of color filtering and special effect. We had no way of knowing the one we thought looked better had a shopped armor. So we chose our favorite out of the 2 Loki, which was the one of her in chains because we felt it made a great story setting and showed more costume details (the other one was a tshirt and what looked like jeans).
And why did we allow ‘Sweet Lolita’? Regular watchers of our contest will know we allow original character design cosplays including Lolita style characters inspired from Japanese Lolita fashion. Although she stated “Myself in my normal clothes” in the description, she did not submit this portrayal in the casual photo of what we really needed of ‘herself in her normal clothes’ (the one beside her biography). So we accepted Sweet Lolita as an original character design and the description as what Sweet Lolita may say. We also felt this showcased her versatility well since her other 2 characters were male.
Why we made this issue public
Yes, we needed to go public with this issue because we were facing an internal crisis where we were receiving a complaint about her misleading the voters almost every hour. We needed to address all the complaints as soon as possible, and decided on a public platform because we think it is an opportunity for both sides to have their say in a very public manner.
This is a cosplay contest where popularity and public voting is a huge factor so we made a decision to post the allegations publicly so fans can judge. We will also post rebuttals and proofs from the other side.
But I concur that perhaps we could have waited a longer for her reply. This post is in no way meant to humiliate the cosplayer as some commenters have claimed. We find her cosplay pictures stunning, and it is clear that she is leading the contest in her category so most voters think so too. If she wins the contest, we want our winner to win with her head held high, and those who voted for her convinced that she deserved it.
We appreciated that Fahr Sindram had been candid with her costumes’ process in her deviantart, but did not want voters who didn’t know because these facts were left our in her description submitted to us feeling like they voted for something misrepresented after the results are announced and found out through other means. So we decided the best course of action was to make this issue known before the Finals end, and voters can tell us whether they are agreeable with her photos.
I think the public have spoken up well on their views with regards to whether they can accept the cosplay photos submitted by Fahr Sindram now that they have full knowledge of the backstory regarding her costumes. And I think this should put an end to the complaints about her entries.
Disclaimer: We did send 2 emails to Fahr Sindram before asking for public opinion. The first one bounced back to us, and she has since replied to our second email and clarified with us with pictures and videos of her costumes. However, we received this clarification after our original post is up. We are now satisfied that at the majority of her costumes in her photos are intact before digital enhancement.
So yes, Fahr Sindram is staying in our Finals with our full approval in view of our current rules. No further complaints regurgitating these same discrepancies will be entertained.
Update 24 Dec 2013 (GMT+8 12pm)
Video of Fahr’s video to clarify that the ice crystals in her Frost cosplay costume were made and not photoshopped on, contrary to what she said in her deviantart account which spiked the initial controversy to this costume. Video shared with Fahr’s permission.