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What's Cosplay about?

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So, what is Cosplay?

Cosplay is a Performance Art.  The term Cosplay was invented by Nobuyuki Takahashi  while attending the 1983 

World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon) in Los Angeles.    

Most cosplayers create handmade outfits, much time and effort is given to detail.  Because of the difficulty of replicating some details and materials, cosplayers often educate themselves in crafting specialties such as textiles, sculpture, face paint, fiberglass, fashion design, woodworking and other uses of materials to create a true likeness of their chosen subject.  Cosplayers often wear wigs. In DIY Cosplay, simple outfits may be compensated for their lack of complexity by paying attention to fabric choice,and quality.  The process of creation maybe long and time-consuming, making it a very personal journey and achievement.  This taxing and often expensive process is known to unite cosplayers and is considered a part of the culture of cosplay.

Cosplayers may modify their body. Contact lenses that imitate anime and manga characters can be used. Temporary tattoos, permanent marker and body paint are methods used to achieve the desired look. Permanent and temporary hair dye, spray-in hair coloring, and specialized extreme styling products are all used by some cosplayers whose natural hair can achieve the desired hairstyle.

Cosplayers often interact to create a subculture centered on role play (in settings other than a stage).  Such as Conventions.


Popular conventions include:

world cosplay summit

Comiket held in Japan during summer and winter.

world cosplay summit

San Diego Comic-Con.

world summit cosplay

LondonMCM Expo

world cosplay summit

France at JapanExpo in Paris

world cosplay summit

AnimeExpo in Los Angeles

world cosplay summit

Canada has AnimeNorth

world cosplay summit

AVCon in Adelaide, Australia

world cosplay summit

ArmageddonExpo in New Zealand!

These Cosplay Videos include many cosplayers from Cosplay Conventions:

Many conventions have come to feature a contest surrounding cosplay that may be the main feature of the convention. Contestants present their cosplay, and often to be judged for an award, the cosplay must be self-made. The contestants may choose to perform a skit, which may consist of a short performed script or dance with optional accompanying audio, video and/or images shown on a screen overhead.  Other contestants may simply choose to pose as their characters. Often, contestants are briefly interviewed on stage by an MC. The audience is given a chance to take photos of the cosplayers. Cosplayers may compete solo or in a group. Awards are presented,and these awards may vary greatly. Generally there will be a best cosplayer award, and best group award, with runner-up prizes as well. Awards mayalso goto the best skit, and a number of cosplay skill subcategories, such as master tailor, master weapon-maker, master armourer, etc. The teams may be judged on these criteria: costumes, performance, and the level of faithfulness towards the original work.

World Cosplay Summit winners 2013

World cosplay summit winner

First place ANA Award

Team Italy
Massimo and Andrea
Series cosplayed: Mazinkaiser

World cosplay summit winnerWorld Summit Cosplay

2nd Place / Livedam Award

Team USA
Tiffany and Cassandra
Series cosplayed: Alice in the Country of Hearts 

(Alice and Vivaldi Queen of Hearts; thanks again to Sephina Darkwinds for the info)

World Summit Cosplay winner

3rd Place / Bushiroad Award

Team Thailand
Chittaworn and Pongwat
Series cosplayed: Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (Raiden and Monsoon)

Favorite sources include manga, anime, comic books, videogames, and movies.

world cosplay summit

Anime and Manga sources are:  DeathNote, Bleach, AnimeFreak.TV, Tokyo Mew Mew
(with about 65,000 anime characters to chose from the possibilities are endless)

world cosplay summit

Comic book sources are:  MarvelSuper Heroes - Wolverine, Iron Man 3,Spiderman, Thor, Batman,Hulk.

world cosplay summit

Video games sources are:  Leagueof Legends, Final Fantasy, Minecraft,Assassins Creed, World ofWarcraft, Runescape, The Elder Scrolls Online

world cosplay summit

Popular movie sources are:  StarWars, Iron Man 3, Resident Evil, Avatar, TimBurton's Corpse Bride, The Matrix, Star Trek, Dr Who

world cosplay summit

Popular TV series sources are:  The Walking Dead, Kakashifrom Naruto,Hatsune Miku from Vocaloid, Teenage Mutant  Ninja Turtles,Power Rangers

Rapid growth in the number of people cosplaying as a hobby since 1990 has made the phenomenon a significant aspect of popular culture.

This is particularly the case in Asia, where cosplay influences Japanese street fashion.

Happy Cosplaying!

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