So, you're an anime fan, you're snooping around on the internet looking for pictures of your favorite characters, and behold! You come across images of real people dressed as your favorite character! What's this? Has your favorite character come to life? No, my friend, this is called cosplay.
Costume Roleplay, or just "cosplay" is a common phenomenon among fans of anime, manga, video games, and other such media. It involves the player dressing up in a costume representative of a character, or sometimes even an idea. One can find a myriad of cosplayers at any media convention such as anime and video game conventions.
Now that you know what cosplay is, you may have decided that you would like to partake in this fantasy world. Welcome, fellow player! Before simply jumping into this wonderful world, you may want to listen to a little advice from a veteran player:
- First, choose a character you know very well. Cosplay is not simply looking like the character, but actually acting like a character.
- Next, you'll want a full-body image of your character. There are Cosplay Nazis out there who will tear you to pieces if your costume is full of mistakes. Nothing can break your spirit like flack from a Cosplay Nazi. When going out to gather the items for your costume, you'll want to have a front, side, and back view image of your character so that you don't leave out any necessary items.
- Now you can go out and find those items! There are many cosplay resources on the internet. Sites such as Cosplay Magic and Cosplay.com offer a wide selection of cosplay costumes and accessories. However, sites like these usually have expensive items. If you don't have a large budget, try looking on eBay or Amazon for your items. Later, I'll do a feature on cheap cosplay.
- A lot of characters have wild and funky hair styles. You can find wigs at the cosplay sites, eBay, and Amazon, but there are also sites specifically geared towards wigs. Wigs.com and Best Wig Outlet offer a variety of wigs. However, not all characters require you to buy a wig. If your hair is very close to the character you've chosen and you can easily style your hair to match the character, it's best to save your money and skip out on buying a wig, as it would be unnecessary and itchy.
- Take pictures! Document your first cosplay and learn from it. Did something go wrong? Remember what went wrong, or what didn't work for you and build on it. Or, if it turned out great, remember that as well! Share your cosplay with your friends and fellow anime fans.
Now that you're acquainted with the world of cosplay, go out there and give it a try! If you'd like, you can PM me with your first cosplay. I'll even feature it if you want me to!
Stay classy, Otakuites, and happy playing!