Japan seems to have a long tradition of dressing up. Think about geishas with their beautiful dresses and white-colored faces. Think about samurais with their magnificent armors and traditional masks, making them look like demons of war. Considering this, it seems not to be surprising that cosplay, a culture of dressing up as favorite characters from video games, anime, movies, and more, is directly linked to Japan. In fact, however, it seems that the birth of cosplay world should be considered as a co-creation of Nippon and the United States.
In 1980s, Noboyuki Takahashi, a man who these days we could even call an anime scholar, attended a science-fiction convention in Los Angeles, called a WorldCon. There, he met with a number of young Americans dressed as the characters from Star Trek – one of the most iconic TV series and sci-fi worlds in history. After coming back to Japan, he visited a few local Tokyo conventions which were also gathering young people in costumes of their favorite fictional characters.
These events happened to be a stimulus for Noboyuki to write a special article for My Anime magazine. In the piece, he talked about the new growing trend, which he calledkosuchuumu puree (costume play) and kosupure (cosplay). The second name is being used until today.
Beyond the Outfit of a favorite fictional character
It quickly became clear, however, that cosplay is more than just wearing an outfit of a favorite fictional character. Just like any other subculture, kosupureis well beyond fashion.
In 2000s, anime, manga, and other phenomenons related to them, became hot topics for some of the scholars. Nicolle Lamerichs, for example, highlighted the four most important things in being a cosplayer. One of them is, obviously, the outfit, a costume imitating the one of the original character. But thereismore.
The first is a narrative, combining of both the story of the character, and their personality. Second thing is the idea of mimicking the character in front of other people: behaving silly when dressed as Goku from Dragon Ball, or proud and cold when imitating his nemesis, Vegeta. Finally, there is also the role of the cosplayers themselves, making each of their costume plays unique, because of one’s own attributes.
Becoming a Cosplayer
As you can see, being a cosplayer requires something more than putting a random costume and walking around a geek event. To be a true cosplayer, you need to put all your heart in impersonating the character you like so much.
But everyone need to start with something. In the case of cosplay, the starting point is, indeed, the costume itself. Without it, nothing else matters.
At Cosplay87.com, we dedicate our time to helping those who want to make their first step in the cosplay world. We cruise through the internet in order to find the best outfits and their detailed parts. If you ever wanted to become your favorite character but never had enough courage to try it out – you came to the right place.
We hope that at Cosplay87.com each geek will find something for themselves.