Cosplay can be confusing to some people, sometimes even baffling. It’s a strange world where people get dressed up as fantasy characters and go to events in support of them. If you find the whole cosplay world baffling, then we really can’t blame you. It’s one of those hobbies that are really specialized, and you either get it, or you don’t. When people speak of cosplay, you probably think that it’s a bunch of school girls with bright blue hair, but there’s a lot more to it than that. It’s a rather large hobby that has fans from all over the world. There are so many fans that events go on all over the world where people go to honor their favorite characters.
If you want to get down to the nitty-gritty, cosplay is simply a combination of two terms. Costume and Play. Sounds fun, doesn’t it? It’s truly a performance where people dress up in costumes and wigs; they carry props and then create a fantasy world around them in which they act like the character of their choice. The characters are generally from movies, video games, or cartoons. There are two types of cosplay: Basic and Masquerade. Basic is the ability to look like a certain character while Masquerade is to behave in the way in which that character would. If you aren’t into cosplay, then there are probably many things you don’t know about it. Open your mind and walk into the world of fantasy; you never know — you might actually like it.
15. Cosplay Is Not An Excuse To Be Creepy
Just because a girl is looking rather fetching in a skin-tight catsuit or is bearing cleavage doesn’t mean that she wants to be hit on by creepers, and that goes for men, too. Haven’t you learned anything yet? Cosplay is a chance for men and women to be uninhibited for a day and to become their favorite characters. That doesn’t mean they want anyone touching them or saying creepy things to them. So keep that in mind when you see a girl in costume. It’s not surprising to hear that a lot of conventions have had issues with aggressors who approach an attendee or even a journalist and behave inappropriately. It’s mostly women that have to deal with such behavior, but it happens to guys as well, and they aren’t any happier about it either. Many men have claimed that they were harassed verbally at conventions, and it puts a bad vibe on the whole event. So, if you’re just going there to be a creep, then don’t bother going.
14. Cosplay Is a Bigger World
There are much bigger connotations to cosplay then you could ever imagine. It’s not just confined to one type of characters like manga or anime. Cosplay isn’t structured in any way, that would, of course, defeat the whole point of it. It’s about broadening your mind and choosing any character that you would like and then bringing that character to life. It’s about being the character of your dreams, whatever that may be. There are no limitations to your character, and because there are different types of cosplay, you don’t have to just dress up; you can actually try and BE the character. If you think about it, dressing your kids up for Halloween and then sending them out is another form of cosplay. It’s about believing for one single moment that you’re that character and then bringing that character to life.
13. It’s Serious Business
You may be under the impression that cosplay is all fun and games, but it’s not. People take the act of cosplay very seriously. God help you if you show up to an event wearing the same costume as someone else — those are fighting words! You may end up in a duel of wits to find out who the “true” character really is, as cosplayers will try to outdo each other. It’s not seen as a lighthearted and fun experience for all; people can take it way too seriously, and instead of having fun at the events, some will take it way too competitively. The culture of cosplay in Singapore is highly competitive, and they are very competitive when they go to events; it’s serious business to them. If you don’t take it seriously, you might be in trouble when you run into one of them. Can you outwit a character that looks just like you?
12. You Can Make Your Own Character
If you’re not one of those people that like to be stuck inside a box, or a certain character, then you can make up your own character and run with it. It’s true! It’s called LARP, and it means “Live Action Role Play,” which sounds kinky, but it’s not. What it means is that it allows you to create your own character and then dress up as that character and act it out as well. This is your own character, and it can be anything that you imagine it to be. So instead of going to an event as a pre-made character, you can go as something of your creation and blow away all the minds around you. Just be prepared to have to explain your character’s background and even act it out. The reason why people tend to go this way is that “you are not a part of the game, but you created the game.” — which sounds pretty exciting on its own.
11. The Costumes Are Usually Handmade
The great thing about cosplay costumes is that the players really put a lot of effort into them. They spend a lot of time making sure their costume is amazing for their event. You would think they would just buy something off the internet and just go with it, but that’s not good enough. If you’ve tried to buy a costume off the internet, you probably know they come pretty basic and can look cheap at times. No one really cares if it’s just for Halloween, but people who go to Cosplay events do care, and they want the best. Cosplay players are faithful right down to the smallest details and have no problem spending hundreds of dollars on the costumes. They also have no problem spending hours on a costume, and they love talking about their creation. “If you think something looks great, you can go ahead and ask them how they made it and turn that into a conversation,” says Kaai.
10. Cosplayers Are People, Too!
It may be easy to put a Cosplayer into a category of “weirdo” because of the crazy costumes he or she gets into, but that would be a mistake. We tend to, as humans, categorize people into slots because they’re different from us; after all, not too many people would get into those crazy outfits and go out in public. But despite the craziness of cosplay, the ones who engage in it are just people like the rest of us, and some of them could be your neighbors or co-workers. “We’re more awkward than some people because that’s just part of our culture, being a little more reserved and less good at being super-friendly and outgoing,” says Kaai. “But we are people, and we talk like people, and we eat food like people. We’re not super-weird, and we’re not inhuman creatures.” They would probably be fun to party with because they have that adventurous side to them.
9. Forrest J Ackerman Was The First
Forrest J Ackerman was a magazine editor in the U.S as well as a literary agent and a science fiction writer, so you can see why he might be interested in cosplay. He was the original founder of science fiction fandom, and many considered him to be an expert in horror, science fiction, and fantasy films. Throughout his career, he represented many science fiction authors and was an avid collector of movie memorabilia and genre books. Amongst the people that he represented over the years, there were: Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, A.E. Van Vogt, Curt Siodmak, and L. Ron Hubbard. You may think that cosplay is a fairly new practice, but it isn’t at all. In fact, it was going on in the 30s. Forrest J Ackerman was the first person to try cosplay in 1939, but back in that time, they didn’t call it cosplay but “costuming.”
8. Cosplayers Are Shy People
You may think that cosplayers are overly outgoing people especially since they have no problem dressing up like a bright yellow angel warrior, but they aren’t. Most cosplayers are actually really shy and tend to be introverted people. So, how do they manage to be so “out there” when it comes to these events? Well, it’s because they’re playing a character, which allows them to not be themselves for a little while. Even Beyoncé has admitted that the only way that she’s able to get up on stage in front of thousands of people is because she goes into a “persona,” and it’s that persona that behaves so confidently and seductively onstage. Sometimes, it isn’t easy to connect with the cosplayer, but once you get them talking about their outfit, then you’re generally cool. “We don’t always know how to explain ourselves,” says Kaai. “But if you give us a chance and give us a little bit of leeway, we’ll get there.”
7. It’s Nothing Without Photographers
Let’s be honest; no one would go through all that effort to look amazing in costume and then not get his or her photograph taken. Obviously, you go to these events to have people look at your amazing costume and make an imprint on the event. Otherwise, why would you go? You want people to be in awe of your costume, but how can you truly immortalize the moment if there isn’t a picture to prove that you were even there? Well, that’s why the events are designed for photographers and journalists — so that these moments can be captured. The thing with photographers, though, is that you have to hope they really like your costume because they don’t have to take a picture of you if they don’t want to. You can’t demand them to either because they aren’t just there for your whim, so unless you pay them, you might be out of luck.
6. Denver Is The Place To Be
Denver is one of the best places for cosplayers to… well… play. Every single year, they have about a dozen conventions for the geeky event-goers that love to dress up and have fun. If you’re into cosplay and like to hit up as many events as you can, then you might want to check Denver if you haven’t already. They have a huge love there for cosplay. There’s one called “Running of the Leaves” as well as one called “Nan Desu Kan,” and they’re great events if you want to dress up and get into character. They also have the Denver County Fair that likes to get involved by having cosplay contests every year. Talk about a lot of fun if you ever go to Denver. The funny thing is there aren’t a lot of Denver locals that get involved in the events. They just seem to like watching the action but not getting into it themselves.
5. Cosplay Is a Passionate Hobby
Cosplayers take the art of cosplay seriously; it’s not just any hobby. It’s something that they truly believe in and throw a lot of passion into. That’s why they don’t care if creating a costume brings them to the brink of madness or if they spend their life savings on it. It’s all worthwhile because it’s something that they’re passionate about. It’s not just about dressing up in a crazy costume and showboating; there’s true mania behind it. If you really think about what goes into a costume, such as buying multiple crazy shades of contacts, or wigs of various colors, or the insane detail that goes into making a cosplay costume, then you’ll understand that it’s not just a hobby to some people. If you’re looking for a hobby that’s not only tons of fun but also something you can put your creativity into, then this is the one for you.
4. There Are Legends
Oh, I’m not kidding. We told you that cosplay was serious business, and some cosplayers aren’t messing around either. When it comes to being a cosplayer, many believe that you can’t be considered 100% into cosplay if you’ve never been to a convention. (Seems cold as ice… What if you can’t afford to go to these conventions? What if you spent all your money on your costume and just want to wear it around the house?) Legend has it, though, that they have an unspoken rule that if you don’t attend conventions, then you can’t be serious about cosplay and are therefore not a “true cosplayer.” Whether or not it’s that serious, we’re not sure, and it might not be something that’s followed strictly. I mean, who polices these things? Probably no one, so just go cosplay your little heart out.
3. It’s Expensive
As we said before, when people get into cosplay, they typically make their costumes from scratch, and that can be expensive, especially considering some of the costumes we’ve seen out there. It’s not just about money either; cosplay can be expensive when it comes to time as well. It’s a true hobby and one that takes a lot of hours out of your day, especially if you’re creating a costume. The art of cosplay is expensive, and that’s before you ever even get to an event or a convention. It’s never going to be a career, so don’t go out there thinking that you can make money off of it. It’s a hobby, and it’s one that you have to accept may take a lot of money. If you love this hobby, then you might want to get used to spending money, getting pricked by needles, and getting burnt by a hot glue gun.
2. They Like To Be Original
You may think that you have to design your costume exactly how it is for the character that you’ve chosen, but that’s just not the case. You can add little tweaks to your costume that make it original to your own personality. When it comes to being a cosplay nerd, part of being one is that you’re very creative, and you can think outside of the box. Cosplayers love to experiment with their costumes to make it original while still staying within the theme of their characters. You might be thinking of doing a comic book character but want to throw in a futuristic theme — now how cool would that be? The sky’s the limit for what you can create for your character, and there’s no reason why you have to stay within a certain box. Even when it comes to gender, a girl can certainly pull off a Deadpool costume, so don’t let gender rules stop you either.
1. Bathrooms Can Be Tricky
Many people make these elaborate costumes, and then they can’t figure out how to go to the bathroom properly. It’s very similar to trying to go to the bathroom wearing a wedding dress. If you’re going to go all out with your costume, you have to plan ahead to determine an effective way of going to the bathroom. If it takes a lot for you to get out of your costume to use the potty, then you need to allow yourself some time because one thing is for sure: there are never short bathroom lines at an event or convention. It’s just like going to the bathroom at a baseball stadium. This would mean that you need time to remove the many layers or appendages that could be keeping you from getting to the bathroom on time before there’s a mess. Trust me: this has happened many times, but not to me!