The term Cosplay comes from the term ‘Costume Play’ which is used to describe the act of dressing up as a character from popular culture or works of fiction. Many Cosplay costume designs are based on characters from popular alternative sources such as Anime, Manga and Comic Books.
Cosplay has developed over the years into a large sub-culture of the nerd/geek community with Cosplay Models competing on an international level with their cosplays. Cosplayers have been known to spend months if not years working on a costume, making each individual part of a cosplay to mimic that of their chosen character. At Conventions Cosplayers will show off their Cosplay in competitions such as masquerades and win awards for their costume.
Thanks to the Internet, the Cosplay Community has managed to grow into a vast social network with cosplayers from all over the world creating new friends and meeting at conventions for Cosplay photo-shoots. Tutorials and online craft suppliers have led to the level of Cosplays throughout the globe increasing in quality and complexity with a multitude of forums and websites dedicated to the craft.
There are many reasons for someone to become involved in Cosplay but the majority of people keep coming back for a mixture of the following reasons:
● They enjoy the craftsmanship that is involved with making their cosplays. Cosplayers will dedicate huge budgets and hours of hard work into their cosplay. These cosplayers are more likely to be involved with Masquerades and engage in professional photoshoots.
● They want to express their love for a certain character. This type of cosplayer often strives to become more like their favourite character and will often have an in depth knowledge of the character. This kind of fan is often referred too as an 'Otaku'.
● They enjoy the attention that comes with certain Cosplays. Some cosplays come with a certain fandom attatched too them and with that comes the recognition from the characters fans.
● They enjoy the community. Many cosplayers will go back time and time again to conventions to share a common interest with fellow like minded people. Generally cosplayers who cosplay for this sense of community will be less likely to compete in competitions or put as much dedication into their cosplay.
The most popular form of presentation of Cosplay is by wearing it to a convention. Conventions are held all over the world with various fan orientated themes. Convention themes range from as generalized as Anime and Video Games to as specific as Star Trek.
The single largest event featuring cosplay is the semi-annual Doujinshi Market, Comiket, held in Japan during summer and winter. It attracts hundreds of thousands of Manga and Anime fans, where thousands of cosplayers congregate on the roof of the exhibition center. The largest event for cosplayers outside Asia is the annual San Diego Comic-Con. The biggest event in the UK is the London MCM Expo, while the biggest event in all of Europe takes place in France at Japan Expo in Paris, with an attendance of over 200,000 in 2012. The biggest anime convention in North America is Anime Expo, currently held in Los Angeles. The largest event in the southern hemisphere is AVCon in Adelaide, Australia.
Cosplay costumes come in a large variety of different themes and quality. Although similar to dressing up for Halloween and Mardi Gras, when in Cosplay Cosplayers will try to accurately portray a character adapting mannerisms and body language of the character. Characters chosen to cosplay are often sourced from Video Games, Anime, Manga, Comic Books and characters from other popular sources.
Cross-Play is the art of cosplaying a character of the opposite sex tp yourself. Due to the high number of androgynous Japanese anime and manga characters Crossplay became a some what practical way to accurately depict certain characters..
- main Fetishes page