Think You’re a Cosplay Expert? How Many of These 4 Cosplay Facts Do You Know?

  • OTAKU
  • CULTURE
  • Cosplayers are always interesting to look at. It takes courage, confidence, and a whole lot of boldness to nail portraying someone else. “Cosplay” is actually a mash-up of the words, “costume” and “play.” From its name, people wear costumes and accessories in order to portray a character of their choice.

    Cosplay is a popular activity, especially in Japan, where people usually take inspiration from their favorite characters in anime, manga, and games. When cosplayers are in costumes, they are not only wearing their favorite character’s outfit, they are also channeling their personality.

    Cosplay is truly an interesting activity, and here are four things about it that you may or may not know.

    1. Cosplay Etiquette

    In Japan, cosplay is so common that cosplayers have their own set of rules and proper etiquette.

    One of the rules is that cosplayers should bring their costume instead of wearing them on the way to the convention or event. And right after the event is finished, they should change into their regular clothing again. This is because the sometimes-complicated costume can disturb and get in someone’s way, especially when riding public transportation.

    Another rule is that one should pay extra attention to what they do when they are in costume. Since children are quite familiar with anime, manga, and games, the people who portray the characters should behave nicely and be careful not to make a bad example.

    2. Crossplay

    A post shared by Lexine (@lexine90) on

    While it is common for females to dress as female characters and males to dress as male characters, some take it to the next level by dressing up and portraying characters of the opposite gender. This is also called “gender-bending cosplay.”

    3. Expensive and Detailed Costumes

    Depending on how complex the costumes are, cosplayers spend thousands to tens of thousands on just one costume. The costume can be bought from various companies and manufacturers, or if they choose to be craftier, they can also make their own costumes. Cosplay costumes can range from simple themed clothing to very detailed ones.

    For passionate cosplayers, the more details in the costume, the better. This is because the whole point of cosplay is to replicate the character they choose. When coming up with outfit ideas, cosplayers will use an image of the character to help with the process. The skill of a cosplayer is measured by how close they can make the costume look like the original. Oftentimes, they will learn how to face paint, do fashion design, woodworking, and even sculpture just to improve their costume making skills.

    In order to look even more like the characters, usually, cosplayers will need to change their eye and hair color. Thus, they will have to wear contact lenses and wigs or spray color their hair. They will also copy the tattoos of their chosen character if there are any.

    4. Animegao (アニメ顔) Kigurumi

    “Animegao” literally means “anime face” in English. Animegao kigurumi is the term used for cosplayers who wear a mask made from clay or fiberglass so that their whole face is covered, then they just wear the character’s costume. This way, they don’t have to worry about replicating the character’s face and just concentrate on the outfit.

    These are just some of the things about cosplay that many are probably not familiar with. How many of them did you already know?