1994 - B.C. = Before Cosplay: "In the Beginning..."
The prehistory of AGSMA begins in 1994, when a few of the now core members dressed up at the
San Diego Comic Convention (SDCC) for a walkabout. The characters belonged to the once
pseudo-prominent (but now pushing up daisies) comic group, Valiant. After getting published
in a month's worth of Valiant comics, costume ideas for next year began to spawn. However,
with the discovery of the Masquerade that was held at the SDCC, ideas changed, and creativity
flowed and infected many acquaintances of these initial costumers.
1995 - The Dawn of Time: "Year of Ranma 1/2"
Assignments for costumes were made one month in advance, and the group of 7 descended
upon San Diego one week early for preparations of the script and perfection of the costumes.
The theme would be Ranma 1/2 with the characters Ranma, Akane, Ryoga, Shampoo, Mousse, Ukyo and
Kuno. Shampoo encountered technical difficulties and was changed to a background character for
the skit. The rest were perfecting their costumes to the last minute. And I do mean... last
minute. The group was tentatively titled The Anything Goes School of Martial Arts. The
theme song choice had bounced around, but finally the group decided on Love Panic (It's Love...
Panic!) from the Ranma 1/2 OAVs. The skit would be roughly based upon the OAV intro as well,
for simplicity's sake. Dubbed dialogue proved to be too difficult at last minute and was
scrapped. Cues were assigned and a pretty cute skit was planned. Little did Ranma-kun know
that Akane would be making contact with the mallet with full force, and not just a little tap.
And little would Ranma-kun know that his sorry carcass would be dragged off stage by none other
than Akane herself, with the rest of the members taking free shots. "Kick him when he's down, it's
1996 - The Dark Ages: "Year of the Mortal Fiasco"
This marked another year for a SDCC Masquerade, but for AGSMA, is known as the Dark Ages.
Choreography was difficult, and disagreements regarding the script abounded. Last minute
adjustments were made, as well as the addition of last minute stage ninjas. Arguments
ensued and the skit fell to pieces literally. Many a lesson were learned that day. And
after that day, the members of AGSMA left to pursue their own destiny...
1997 - Solitaire: "Year of the Lone Cosplayers"
At SDCC 1997, Riyoga went on stage alone as Piccolo with the American
"I-wrote-this-song-while-I-was-on-something" theme to Dragon Ball Z. Ucchan went on
stage alone as well, as Battle Angel Alita, strutting her stuff to "Supermodel". Mousse
with his myopia must have gotten some faulty directions from Riyoga because there was not a
trace of him at that Masquerade. The rest of AGSMA at that time were on leave.
1998 - Rising From The Ashes: "Year of Redemption"
New in 1998, AGSMA stepped into the world of the Anime Expo. Trunks represented
the group at Anime Expo Masquerade, with his newly designed Mr. Satan costume worn by new
AGSMA member Tenchi. Tenchi, at his first convention, honestly did not expect the crowd to be cheering "Satan, Satan"
when he started posing on stage, for he did not believe Trunks' opinion on Mr. Satan's
popularity. One person yelled out "Elvis lives!" The first half of the tape did not get played by the coordinators, and AGSMA
operatives in the field later reported that the "parabolic" microphones did not work and the dialogue was not heard.
However, after the slow start, the skit progressed well after that and the change to Super Saiyan Trunks went flawlessly. We left the convention early since we were starved and dehydrated, and ate like true saiyans at home.
In the deep summer of 1998, at the SDCC Masquerade, a new full team assembled with the
enlistment of four prospective members. Hand picked by the Triumvirate for their dedication,
skills and ability to tolerate each other's presence for at least one week. Differences were
reconciled, and a vow was made not to repeat the Mortal Fiasco. The Triumvirate had already
started the contingency in winter, and now the plan would come to fruition. The ultimate in
crossover events (next to Marvel vs. Capcom) Star Wars and South Park would collide to become...
South Wars. Read the results and the full chronicles at the
SDCC 1998 Section.
1999 - Method to the Madness: "Year of Expansion"
Always looking for new mis-adventures in 1999, AGSMA appeared on the scene at Fanime Con. This was the first time AGSMA has made an appearance at Fanime Con, and it was hella fun. And no better time than the 5th Anniversary and at a hotel! Still made plenty of purchases, and made plenty of new friends and contacts. At Fanime, AGSMA would be involved in an unprecedented TWO skits on the same night. Absolutely nuts. First skit would be pure AGSMA chaos. And the second, was a partnership with the Northern Cali Cosplay.
While on business in Chicago, AGSMA sends a tendril of influence over to Anime Central. It was a covert operation. Mission to establish contacts and explore the territory. Success rate: 80%.
A holy alliance is formed in Texas, as AGSMA joins up with goddesses (Team Ah My Cosplay) and Genjistu again at Texas, Project Akon. Undercover work for the bodyguards proved to be quite challenging, but the true intentions of the alliance were revealed on Saturday, with a troupe of Sakura Taisen. As the sole representation of the COSP ML at that time from California, many friends were made from across the Rockies. Did we mention it was also the 10th anniversary of Project Akon? The Sakura Wars ended in victory, as the Best Presentation Trophy was bestowed on the team (in pure haste).
In sunny territory, back in California, new members are added to the AGSMA roster, with a couple of veterans for the Anime Expo. The biggest fear of the mission was a replay of the Mortal Fiasco, as Capcom Double Date Drama, has many elements similar to that horrible nightmare. 1. Based on a video game. 2. Fighting. 3. A scroll. 4. A big red heavy cardboard prop. But this time, rehearsals without the tape paid off. Even though we had technical problems with the tape just like last year, we prepared for such a contingency by practicing the skit acapella. Yeah, it would have been nice to have the music, then Mousse wouldn't have stood idle on stage for a minute or so looking like a statue. But anyways, no faults with the skit. Lines were just as practiced, and the props didn't fall apart, all the gags where there down to the lipstick, and we got a good audience response. And as promised, we stuck around for pictures.... ^^; It was really hard trying to get home, without the girls getting stopped every other minute.
Lastly for 1999, at the SDCC Masquerade, new and old members gathered together for a mish-mosh of skit with anime and video game characters. In true AGSMA fashion, at least one of the costumes was being completed minutes before the competition. Not only that, but an entire script and soundtrack were created in a mere week. And that is how the Saotome Family Feud came to be. Read the results and the full chronicles at the
Saotome Family Feud Section.
2000 - Valley Girl: "Year of Riding High with a Downer"
First event of the year. Fanime Con 2K. A one day venture for another holy alliance with the Ah My Cosplay and Genjitsu and Northern Cali Cosplay for a full on Final Fantasy Fiasco, with characters mixed in from FF7 and FF8. Even though props where falling apart left and right, we must thank the plastic silverware that was obtained from Project Akon 10 of all places! This venture ended up with a First Prize award and many pictures.
Next up, Showdown at Anime Expo 2K. This time we have it pinned down, with a Mononoke Hime skit, on home grounds, on the year the movie it was released, and a little Disney action to boot. Sure Benma was last minute and nearly forgot about the convention all together and nearly disqualified us. And sure Wayne left for a wedding on Saturday with a speedy return just in time for the masquerade, but we still pulled a Judges award from it. This was the most rehearsed for skit AGSMA's ever had in it's history, mainly thanks to the insistence of Kurumi and Natsume, who'd be brand new performers at AX.
Let's just gloss by the Batman Beyond skit that happened at SDCC 2K. Similar in caliber to Mortal Fiasco, but not as bad. Too many costumes planned with not enough time nor practice.
Spirits were bright again at AniMagic 2K. A very low tension, low pressure situation and a Pokemon skit with iPLAY turned up a Pim.... Judge's Award! Lancaster is quite a calm place, very far out, but still reachable by automobile.
Even lighter and smaller were Comic World 1 and Comic World 2. Strider, who was initially presented at SDCC2K got recognized with 3rd Place at CW1 (awarded a shitajiki, gundam figure, and some cards), while at a slightly larger CW2, another team up with iPLAY, as Kensou and Athena, again took third place. Cute little Pokemon stress balls (Gengar and Jigglypuff), as well as some other stuff was the prize.
2001 - Easy Listening: "Year of Pop"
This year was literally littered with skits with pop music in the soundtrack. The first event this time is retro-activated as Miss Hinako had attended Katsucon with Britney Spears "Stronger" in a Violinist of Hameln skit along with AMC, Genjitsu and Barbie Fetish, which won them an award. Major recruitment for AGSMA occurred in at Fanime Con 01. AGSMA experienced major increase in ranks, with the addition of Miss Hinako and the bolstering of AGSMA Northern Campus with Nabiki, Ukyo and Tsubasa (AKG). Along with Genri as Touya, the group put together a fine rendition of Card Captor Sakura, without a Sakura since Morrigan was competing with Ah! My Cosplay in a Malice Mizer skit. Again, we are noted for leaving tons of props and debris on stage, but both groups won awards that night. Also Miss Hinako managed to attend Anime North, to compete in Suppi-chan girl.
The most frightful collection of pop music was unleashed at Anime Expo 2001. Britney Spears vs. Christina Aguilera is transformed into Sailor Moon and Queen Beryl, with 'N Sync and the Backstreet Boys thrown in for good measure. Great crowd response. Even if we were up finishing Britney Moon 30 minutes prior to the convention, using parts of Miss Hinako's Miyu and some quick stitching to get all of it done. Good thing the wig was completed days before. Now you know why AGSMA doesn't do dancing skits.
We collaborate with Genri and Ah! My Cosplay for SDCC 2K. And thus ends the trend in pop music as Ah! My Cosplay absolutely refuses to have any pop music in the Charlie's Angels Spoof "Chun Li's Angels". Fortunately or unfortunately, this also marks the appearance of Chun Lee.
Per Miss Hinako's request AniMagic 2001 was the Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne themed skit. Keeping in tradition with the 80's music trend for Animagic, the soundtrack chosen was One Night in Bangkok. The theme and anime and song choice were all esoteric, but the select few that understood the skit loved it, even if Miss Hinako, the theatre major forgot to look at the audience. Heee.
2002 - Melting Pot: "Year of Team Ups"
Every single skit this year was done in conjunction with cosplayers from other teams. Genjitsu and Mini Kimi joined in the Angelic Layer fun at Fanime Con 02. In keeping with traditions for Fanime, Genjitsu wore one of Wayne's costumes and we incorporated Morning Musume into the skit. This time it was Koi no Dance Site for Wizard's forcefield summon. Fanime 2002 also marks the debut of USA Musume which was the epitomy of team up.
Collaboration with Genjitsu, Mini Kimi, Studio Unmei and the Baby Neko Twins lead to the formation of a Movie Escaflowne group at Anime Expo 2002. In the fashion of Anime Expo 2000, the entire Escaflowne movie was compressed into a quaint 2 minutes. Northern Campus competed with their own performance of Fruits Basket. The Fruits Basket skit had a great crowd responsen while they lay silent during the seriousness of Escaflowne. Both entries end up with judges awards and fun was had by all. We were still amazed that a serious re-enactment was able score with the judges.
The horror of pop returns at SDCC 2002 with the sequel to Moon Sync. MooN Sync, Episode II required the brainwashing of Genjitsu, Matto of Studio Unmei, Karrie of iPLAY, and the Baby Neko Twins in order to bring the Black Moon Clan to the stage. Britney Moon acquires some new powers! But of course she is still defeated. The audience response rivaled that of the original.
In complete randomness at AniMagic 2002 with iPLAY where Let's Naruto was performed. This was a completely random skit with Naruto characters and Samurai Jack. The best part of the skit was the emcee introduction. We're still trying to understand our own skit ourselves.
2003 - Divided Goals: "Year of Independent Thinking"
Everyone branched out and pretty much did their own thing this year. Starting off at Fanime Con 03 was a large production for USA Musume which was the one year anniversary.
Anime Expo 2003 marked a team up for Yu-Gi-Oh-My-God! including the Neko Twins, Darryl and Lance. We also inaugurated a new member, Satsuki! Miss Hinako and Nodoka competed with A!MC for their Chicago routine. Luckily our entries were back to back and both did well.
Benma takes the solo stage at SDCC 2003 with Too Sexy Tidus, winning him a well deserved award. Nodoka and her LOTR friends took home the Best of Show with their One Ring Circus
USA Musume pretty much took the spotlight at AniMagic 2003 while AGSMA members enjoyed the casual setting and hall cosplay
2004 - Unity: "Year of Regrouping"
Deadly alliances were formed including working with the dynamic duo Rice and Ramen of Cosplay Marionettes.
2005 - One for the Record Books: "Year of New Heights"
The Ten Year Anniversary for AGSMA proved to be quite memorable. With the addition of two new members to the group!
AGSMA was brought to you today, by the symbol $, the symbol
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