Cosplay: From Fandom to Identity

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techgnotic's avatar

Welcome to a whole new level.

Cosplay is taking over the world and our only surprise is what took it so long. There is so much to explore in this current Cosplay crusade. Let’s take a look beyond the headlines and thriving Con event circuit and get to the heart of what makes Cosplay so special to so many around the Earth Sphere. This is your chance to share with us the important elements, storylines, issues, and community members you would like to see highlighted.

To get this party started we’re running a series of profiles and tutorials throughout October starting with Lillyxandra.

Now there is the ongoing process of the multiplying and diversifying of distinct cosplay communities into so many different ways of coming together, online and in–person, to express themselves (not just becoming characters from manga, anime, comic books, graphic novels, videogames, TV & movies, but also transforming themselves with renaissance, fetish, “furry”, gender–reversal and even entirely Virtual immersions). It seems to us that what had once been an expression of group fandom, and then morphed into a sort of mass “political” expression of a specific cultural sensibility—is now becoming something more for some: a true commitment to a set of pop cultural characters, in their world and according to their rules and ethos.

by metalguppy

Cosplay is my way of showing my dedication to my favorite comic, film or game. When I cosplay, I say, “I love this character, and I want to bring it to life.” I've put literal blood, sweat, and tears into my costumes, and the final transformation has always been worth it.”


Halloween costume play has come a very long way.

It’s passed even beyond consumer culture fandom and now become an important part of who we are—our virtual identity. Who can even speculate on where things are ultimately going? At least, right now, rather than being circumscribed in your “identity” at all times by where you were born and to whom you were born… now it’s possible to don the costume of whomever you have chosen to be—the “identity” that is your free choice, not the one the world “gave” you without your permission. That just might be a really great thing, even if it is for just a week, or weekend, at a convention somewhere in the world, we can all go on a voyage of discovery to find out the person we truly are.

One of the greatest experiences in cosplaying is seeing the face of a complete stranger light up when they see you, because they are suddenly standing face to face with their favorite character. The passion fans have is simply inspiring. They shout your character’s name from across the convention hall as they brave the crowds to get close to you, or tap your shoulder while you check your phone, and wait eagerly but patiently while you are engaged in conversations to ask for a photo. Knowing that your little expression of fandom love has brightened the day of another human being justifies all the stress and money that goes into building a cosplay.”


Questions for the Reader

  1. Which elements of the Cosplay movement would you like to see highlighted?
  2. Which deviants in the community might be best to contact for an interview about their process?
  3. Are there any elements in Cosplay that never seem to get mentioned that you feel need to be brought to the forefront of the conversation?
  4. In your opinion which Cons represent the best that Cosplay have to offer?
  5. Even if you have never dressed for a Con which character would you choose to emulate if you did decide to particpate?
  6. While dressed up in a costume, is there a difference between people who role play versus people who don't embody the traits of the character?

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MasterPlanner's avatar
I love cosplay and have nothing but respect for those artists who work hard to bring the characters they love to life! That said, I see way too many slobs squeezing their fat rolls into skimpy costumes of characters with thinner body types, people who don't make an effort, and "slutty" versions of characters who are reserved in canon. Like it or not, your looks and body type are part of the cosplay, and if you're not going to embody the characters, you're not truly cosplaying, you're just dressing up.
1.I think that it's really fun to be able to change your character, like if someone is usually really quiet,like canada from hetalia,then they could cosplay someone and be able to be more confident and be as loud as black*star(Which is a huuuge difference!).
2.I don't know to many, Sorry!
4.Sakura con in seattle, washington!
5.China from Hetalia and Death The Kid from soul eater! <3
Barry11crona's avatar
ive only just become an Envy cosplayer
andromedasengineer's avatar
Fighting Dreamers Productions are my favorite cosplayers and would be excellent to interview.

I'm currently putting together my Naruto Uzumaki cosplay (which I have always wanted to do! ^.^) and am ready to attend my first ever convention! (Metrocon in Tampa, FL June 15-17).

After Naruto, I would love to cosplay Lightning from FFXIII!
Dera-Michaelis's avatar
Uh, I would like to answer Number Three in the questions. I think something that isn't often talked about in Cosplay is the opposition that comes with expressing yourself thus. For example, I have a small group of friends will Cosplay with me at school events and such, but one of them, who loves to Cosplay, isn't exactly allowed to. Her mother doesn't approve of Cosplaying as a guy, so she has to do it behind her mother's back. Of course when she moves on to collage she'll be able to do as much Cosplay as she wants. This doesn't seem to me a very isolated incident, and I could see this happening to a lot of younger cosplayers. Another problem I myself have with cosplaying is finding the right materials to do so. I don't have a lot of money, so I can't buy actual costumes, or wigs. My cosplay comes from my own wardrobe, and my hair is cut a certain way, and dyed a certain way, for one or two characters. If I need anything else, I have to sew it myself, or buy clothes that I can cut, slice, rearrange, and dye to look like I want. If I'm ever allowed to make an expensive purchase for cosplay I have to choose extremely carefully what I want because I'm usually limited to one purchase at a time and I need to make the most of it. And where I live there are rarely any official cosplay events. Which means cosplay opportunities are few and far between, unless you decide to walk around in cosplay. (which i do) hahahaha.
inkdeathLJlover's avatar
I love cosplay and everything it represents, me and my friend have been considering doing it at some point, though I do believe it is more successful if you resemble the character in some way, I do like how anyone can be whoever they want!
I believe that ~MuzzaThePerv is a really good cosplayer to talk to. :)
HuskeyNinja's avatar
i love cosplay even thorgh i have done it only once at that was the last day of school and i would love to do again and i love manga and anime
HuskeyNinja's avatar
if i do agian i would do it as lady Tsunade from naruto as her outfit is easy to do
stellarlemons's avatar
omg that first one is URD! I <3 OhMyGoddess!

In answer to the question who would I dress up as, most likey Alice from PandoraHearts. :)
Audiffred's avatar
im going to try this whith my brother !!!!
Mylittlepony0804's avatar
I love cosplay and anime
Mylittlepony0804's avatar
I love anime and cosplay
KiriSosha's avatar
I love cosplay and cosplay culture
animangamisfit's avatar
1 everything cosplay is so much fun for everyone no only those who dress up but for those who didn't.
2 sorry not that well conected
3.details it would be great to see the smallest details paid attention to^-^
4. so sorry -.-'
5. america from aph my word though the england above is sooooooo awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Fate-Wolffe's avatar
1. The preparations of the cosplayers b4 d con. Choosing the character that their going to cosplay, props, costume, pepping themselves up to be that character, etc...
2. Professional cosplayers or cosplayers who have a positive feedback , anime enthusiast, cosplay photographers, & frequent visitors of cons.
3. The extent or limit in portraying a character??
4. Sorry i really don't know
5. Ai Enma from the anime Jigoku Shoujo or Alice Lidell from Alice : Madness Returns. I noticed that i don't actually smile in any of my photographs.
HimeGabi's avatar
Cosplayer for 14 yrs here.

1. I would like to see the process of "I want to do this costume" to actually putting it on. I love the spark in someone's eye when they decide they MUST do a particular character.

2. ScruffyRebel would be a good choice. She's been creating for around a decade and knows how to make exactly what she wants.

3. Fabric/materials shopping, just about everyone skips that. Maybe cause it's boring to the uninitiated but the things you need don't appear out of nowhere. You have to know where to look and the hunt can be inspiring or make you quit.

4. Best con is Dragon*Con in Atlanta during Labor day weekend. Never will you find such diversity in media, skills, age, fandoms.

5. Still an active cosplayer myself so I choose lots of things. If I could choose one, I'd say RoseBride from Utena. Still one of my favorite costumes I ever made.
tallkidgotswag's avatar
I think keepyjane and tealpirate would be great for interviews!
StupidityReignsPro's avatar
i think the reason people chose a certain character should be brought up more. when i chose a character i do have a sort of comfort and ability range but moving asides from that i chose a character that has an element to them that i love and or also associate with. Thats what i love about cosplaying, through a character i get to express an emotion or side of me i would never get to on a regular basis.
Lilythorns's avatar
It'd be cool if some of us got more creative with costumes and not buy it form some random store BUT still try and look like that character?
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