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The study and history of cosplaying.

Zachary Williamson

on 7 May 2010

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Transcript of Cosplay

Cosplay What exactly is cosplaying? According to Wikipedia, Cosplay (コスプレ, kosupure), is a type of performance art in which participants don costumes and accessories to represent a specific character or idea. C splay is a c mp und w rd that means c stume play
WESTERN COSPLAY Technically, the term was coined by Nobuyuki Takahashi when he attended the Science Fiction Worldcon in 1984. He brought the term back to Japan with him and talked about it in Japanese scifi magazines. Thus, even though it is primarily focused on Japanese anime, manga and video games, it technically originated in America. Though the term could cover any sort of costuming or character roleplaying, it generally refers to dressing up like/acting as characters from Japanese sources of media (comic books, TV shows, video games) Cosplay can be confusing at times,
and can be treated by itself as an activity
with multiple side effects, such as: Before that it was known as masquerading (hiding behind masks/costumes) which began at Worldcon 1939 But in the United States and surrounding areas, cosplay is usually with American media, whether it be movies, cartoons, or even books. In the 1990s, though, the increase in popularity of Japanese media sparked the base of Americans wanting to dress up like Japanese characters. Ironically, many Japanese cosplayers like to dress up as characters from Western films and sources of media due to their incresing popularity as well. Here in the West, many cosplayers take pride in their work because usually they make their own costumes, props, wigs and such. And many American cosplayers take their roles very seriously. But, it's not always advised to do that, otherwise you might end up having an... But many people, even Americans themselves, say that the United States shouldn't cosplay for various reasons: we don't look as cool, our costumes aren't as detailed, etc.
Regardless, anyone can cosplay, and don't let people tell you otherwise. EASTERN COSPLAY The one major advantage that cosplayers in Japan have is that they have shops and stores that sell cosplay props and costumes galore, while in America we have few if any at all. And as said before, many people think that Japanese cosplayers have a more polished look than Americans do. But that's no reason to fight. Cosplay is all about having fun, not fighting over who's the best. Cosplay has reached the point where there are magazines in Asia exclusively based on the topic! But look at it this way: more often than not, Japanese cosplayers buy their props and outfits, as opposed to handmaking them like many Americans do.
If you do spend money on costumes and props, don't let the spending go to your head or else... GENDER COSPLAY Sometimes characters are so popular that everyone wants to cosplay as them, be it boy or girl. There are two forms of this: crossplaying and crossdressing. They are NOT the same, but they are similar in a way. Crossplay Crossplaying is when someone cosplays as a member of the opposite sex example: girl cosplaying as a boy As you probably figured out the cross- part means crossing over to the other gender Crossdress Crossdressing is when someone cosplays as someone who dresses up as the opposite sex. example: girl cosplaying as a girl who dresses like a boy However, make sure you pay attention to the gender of your character. Otherwise, it might get confusing... ANIME/MANGA Americans cosplay as popular anime characters quite a bit, but don't get your characters and storylines confused. EPIC BATTLES Cosplaying, however, can be very intense and fun. Especially if you really get into your character role... As you've seen, cosplay may be considered a serious topic to many, or a ridiculous one. So, in conclusion, cosplay is a broad topic that involves having fun, dressing up, acting and all sorts of other fun activities.
To finish, let's answer some frequently asked questions...
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