What Is Cosplay?

Did you know that Cosplay competitions hold strict rules on individual contestant on-stage time? Did you also know that contestants can only fall into 1 of 4 common categories; failing to abide to these rulings may mean disqualification? As you can probably tell, today’s article is all about Cosplay!

So what is Cosplay?

Cosplay is a term used for costumed role-playing individuals, who dress up as characters from video games, comics, cartoons, manga, anime and also films or TV series. So in short, participants can dress up as who/what you want!

When did it start?

Kicking off back in the 1990s, Cosplay has rapidly grown and has become very popular in far east countries Asia and japan, and has now ventured into lands as far as the USA!

Are there many variations or classifications of costume?

Cosplay costumes can be varied depending on the individuals personal preference, for example some people choose easy and simple themed clothing to make a bold statement whereas others go for highly detailed costumes with a mass of complexity to show off their artistic flair. Many even go as far as making their own costumes because either they want it as close as the real thing as possible or are unable to find what they are looking for online. With a mass of styles and themes available, many Cosplayers even mix a character they want to portray with a style of their choice, for example, steampunk. Cosplay is different to Halloween and Mardi Gras, however, as Cosplay is the act of having the intention to replicate a character whereas, Halloween and Mardi Gras is reflecting the symbolism and culture of a holiday event.

Is Cosplay expensive?

When buying Cosplay costumes, the look you want to go with can vary in price and quality. So for example, you could buy something cheap from a local store but loose out to bad quality. Alternatively you have the other end of the scale, where you buy something a lot more expensive and really look the part. There are, however, plenty of cheap Cosplay costumes available that still do look great and a topic we will cover in another article.

Some people actually do commission work based around Cosplay, creating the custom character clothing you want or the props which you can’t find or make yourself and as we all know, the fine details make the final piece look at its best.

Where can I Cosplay?

You can Cosplay at almost any fan convention you’d like. Large amounts of Cosplayers go to Comic-Cons around the USA and a lot of people cosplay as their favourite games characters for games conventions. Often at these conventions there are competitions for the best Cosplay, some have different rules such as, the Cosplay must be self-made, you have to act as your chosen character does and do an act or dance, etc.

Any tips for a new-to-Cosplay person?

Study your topic, add a style if you like but remember, have fun!

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