Hello all! Welcome to the very first community post! I am very excited to weave together all the fun conversations and tid-bits that I have collected in this experience to you, reader. In these series of posts I plan to answer some of the things that involve weebculture and asked my community of weebs to give insight into the experience of COSPLAY.
I was able to find a widespread of friends with varying years of observing and participating in the phenomenon that has swept conventions as well as social media platforms everywhere. Which brings me to the fundamental question of “What is Cosplay?”‘
Here is a short definition that I agree with:
- Literally “Costume Play.” Dressing up and pretending to be a fictional character (usually a sci-fi, comic book, or anime character).
But honestly, this definition is good too:
- It is a word that has it’s root in costume play. It is both a noun and a verb. Cosplay can mean the actual costume, as well as the action of wearing it
Contrary to popular belief, many cosplayers (well over 98%) do not believe they are the characters they are “cosplaying” as. Cosplays are typically worn to anime conventions.
I agree that cosplay is “costume play” but I also know that cosplays are worn by people outside the weeby community too. Dressing up like a character from a TV show, movie, book are also valid characters to cosplay and you don’t have to be in a convention. Thanks to technology you can post a picture anywhere and share it with the world.
For those of you that are looking to cosplay sometime in the future here are some things to consider.
*I will give all the interviewees nicknames.
My first convention was when I learned that cosplaying was a thing, until then, I had only known about anime and manga. I instantly loved the concept of cosplaying and started that year.MomoPeach
Fun to cosplay with friends and also commissioning an artist to help me create it. But what I look forward to is going to conventions and seeing everyone else in their outfits and being inspired.SuperS
Cosplay in the flesh is as eye-opening as it is dazzling. It can shake someone to their core and it can make a heart skip a beat. So every cosplayer felt for the art and like anyone when they fall they fall HARD. Beginning to explain the abstract concept of costuming is a challenging feat.
Crying, Bleed a little, Cry, freak out with a glue gun, then it’s done. Always has to be me wearing pj shorts on a bathroom floor somewhere.SuperS
The Kind of Cosplay
From group to solo there’s been highs and lows that add pressure to the community. Have it be race or craftsmanship, that creates stigma and personal insecurity it can also be incredibly rewarding and supportive. In a way, every cosplayer grows into the kind of cosplayer they want to be. Have it be crossplay, genderbent, casual, AU (alternate universe) or accuracy.
Building the cosplay can be a series of turbulences and often takes the longest to accomplish in the experience. But when asked everyone has a unique way of explaining their process because there is no right way. Although, there are tons of stores and sites that have already made cosplays waiting to be purchased. As well as seasoned cosplayers selling their worn cosplays. Although the traditional crafting and sewing route is still very popular and most contests consist of seasoned crafters it is still a well respected art in the community.
Start by seeing if someone online has a pattern made or see if they used a common brand of pattern and modified it for a cosplay. Drafting my own pattern from there, or purchase completed pieces as needed. Oh yes, and waiting till the last minute to do so. I’m pretty sure there is a Murphy’s Law about that somewhere…MomoPeach
I work backwards or deconstruct what I want to accomplish.Nyan
Getting a group together, getting tips and tricks from other cosplayers.QueenPluto
Not doing it. Letting friends do it for me. Or Throwing money at it.Once
Why you do it and loving the craft
Cosplaying is nothing to take lightly. It’s costly and stressful. There’s a lot of planning and deadlines, so why put yourself through this pain and suffering? It’s the take-away.
Months making something and people recognizing it.SuperS
Completing a project.Nyan
When you get to see the whole group together! “Oh my gosh we actually made this happen!” and getting recognized. Being able to pose with friends and surprise the community.QueenPluto
The excitement of people recognizing what I’m cosplaying and instantly having something to talk to them about.MomoPeach
There’s a number of reasons that began the one journey of cosplay and honestly, you don’t need a reason. You can make it yourself or have others make it for you it honestly doesn’t matter as long as you are having fun. At the end of the day, you are doing this for you.
I want to thank all the friends that participated in my interviews and surveys it was a blast and I am truly fortunate to have you as part of my weeby family.