I talk a lot about this favorite hobby of mine, but I want to get back to basics! Over the next few weeks, I’ll be putting out a series of Cosplay 101 posts to cover all the cosplay topics a beginner needs to know – and I’d love your input, too! If there’s a topic you want covered, or if you have anything to add, feel free to say so in the comments section!
Today, let’s start from the beginning – what is cosplay?
What is Cosplay?
The term “cosplay” comes from the Japanese portmanteau, “kosupure” (コスプレ), which combines “costume” and “play.” In the US, this hobby has been traditionally known as “costuming,” typically from historical or sci-fi materials. After anime and subsequently anime conventions exploded in the 90s and 2000s, the term “cosplay” became more and more popular.
“Cosplay” can refer to a character or idea from any medium – so Western comics, manga, anime, video games, fan art, books, television, movies… anything!
The word itself can be used as either a noun or a verb (I cosplay as Ramona Flowers! or, This is my Ramona Flowers cosplay!). Personally, I tend to say “cosplay” when I talk about the hobby and “costume” when I refer to the actual worn pieces.
Why Do People Cosplay?
Where Do People Cosplay?
What Skills Do Cosplayers Have?
What’s the Difference Between Cosplay and Halloween Costumes?
Don’t Cosplayers Act Like Their Characters?
For many cosplayers, getting into character is a large part of cosplay. It can be really fun to act as your character at a convention or photo shoot. However, it’s definitely not required! If acting isn’t your strong suit, you are timid, or you just plain don’t want to, you can still be yourself while in costume. I hop in and out – sometimes, I’ll talk in character, especially if someone is excited to see my costume, but most of the time, I’m just me!