This one’s for all the Naruto fans out there!
Philippine cosplayers Jin Joson Jameson and AC Hernandez, collectively known as Team Namizake, took home a top award at the 2021 World Cosplay Summit (WCS) in Nagoya, Japan.
The pair took home the Brother Special Award, a prize presented by Japanese electronics equipment company Brother Industries that recognizes the best costume making judged from a crop of video presentations submitted beforehand. Jin, who cosplayed as Uzumaki Naruto, and AC, who went as Jiraiya, both from the popular anime series Naruto, bested participants from “30 competing countries and 1 observer country,” per WCS’ post.
The overall winner of the WCS 2021 Video Championship was Team Germany.
What made the moment even more special was the fact that prominent Japanese voice actor Toru Furuya handed the prize to the pair. Furuya is best known for lending his voice to Sailor Moon’s Tuxedo Mask, One Piece’s Sabo, Mobile Suit Gundam’s Amuro Ray, and Dragon Ball Z’s Yamcha. He has also earned credits for voicing characters in several anime series and films like Inu Yasha, Detective Conan, Paprika, and Bleach: Hell Verse.
Following their triumphant outing, Jin poured her heart out on a social media post where she revealed that winning the award was unexpected given it’s only their first time to join the international contest.
“I felt like it was such an honor just to be the first to bring our beloved Naruto to the WCS stage and to get the kind of comments that we did from the judges and the viewers, BUT on top of that we get a major award for the Philippines (presented by Toru Furuya!) and plant our flag on the list of awardees for a historic first time!” said Jin, who also posted a screengrab of their victory on stage.
Explaining their choice of characters, the pair said in their introduction at WCS 2021 that the Naruto mainstays were one of the first characters they portrayed and were responsible for defining their cosplay journey.
You can watch Team Namizake’s official entry to the WCS 2021 below: