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Do you know about cosplay?

12 Apr 2024

About Cosplay

Cosplay, an abbreviation for costume play, was introduced by Nov. Takahashi. His inspiration came from the international masquerade ball in San Francisco, USA, and his enthusiasm for cosplay, as expressed in his article published in the Japanese magazine "My Anime" in 1982, sparked the cosplay movement in Japan during 1982-83. While cosplay didn't originate in Japan, it has greatly influenced the current cosplay scene in the United States.

Cosplay (noun) = wearing costumes related to anime characters.

Cosplay (verb) = dressing up in costumes related to anime characters.

Cosplayer = a person who dresses in costumes.

Crossplay (verb) = a part of cosplay: portraying a character of the opposite gender.

Crossplayer = a person who portrays a character of the opposite gender in cosplay.


Cosplay refers to the intentional dressing up in self-made costumes resembling characters from ACG (anime, comics, and games), movies, TV shows, or idol groups, by individuals who are passionate fans. They meticulously coordinate their outfits with props, makeup, body language, and more, in order to authentically portray and embody their favorite characters. Initially, it began as a spontaneous program to enhance the atmosphere at fan gatherings such as conventions and enthusiast clubs. However, with the increasing fervor of enthusiasts, dedicated cosplay events gradually emerged.

Modern Development

The term "cosplay" became widely known around the mid-1990s. This subculture, which had previously received limited coverage, gained significant attention due to the immense popularity of anime series like "Neon Genesis Evangelion." As a result, the usage and practice of cosplay became more widespread.

Starting in the 1990s, commercial interests also began focusing on cosplay. Costumes, which were previously solely handmade by individuals, started being produced and sold as ready-to-wear garments by businesses. Compared to privately made costumes that relied on the skills of individual creators, commercially produced items gained favor due to their ability to maintain a certain level of quality. While cosplay had traditionally been associated with activities such as fan conventions like Comic Market, or events like Wonder Festival and the Japan SF Convention, standalone cosplay events began to be organized. Two basic forms emerged, either individually engaging in cosplay and dancing to music or anime songs at themed parties, or gathering at venues to facilitate interaction among cosplay enthusiasts, allowing them to take photos of each other and attracting amateur photographers (commonly known as "camera maniacs").

Although cosplay activities often take place at event venues and various exhibition spaces, dance club venues are more commonly used for party-style activities. In addition, various amusement parks and theme parks started organizing cosplay events, following the lead of Tokyo Dome City Attractions (formerly known as LaQua) in hosting Halloween costume events. Other events, such as "Tokyo Game Show" and "Chara-Fes," began allowing cosplay displays and activities.

However, in recent times, due to concerns about public order and safety, event venues and organizers have imposed restrictions on costumes that expose too much skin or on cross-dressing. Additionally, units like Comic Market prohibit the entry of weapon-like objects (such as model knives or guns) or long objects like sticks for security reasons. Similarly, in the realm of photography, measures have been taken to prevent issues such as unauthorized photography or infringement of the rights of cosplayers (e.g., unauthorized submissions of their photos to magazines or their unauthorized use on various websites). Depending on the event organizer, restrictions may also be placed on the type of cameras, lenses, and photography equipment that can be used, often requiring prior registration or on-site registration on the day of the event.

Furthermore, starting from the 1990s, there was a frequent occurrence of cosplay being covered in television programs and magazines. Even animation and gaming magazines began including cosplay-related content, and general magazines, news programs, and variety shows also started featuring special articles on cosplay. In fact, there are now specialized journals and magazines solely dedicated to cosplay, such as "COSMODE" (Inforest Publishing) and "Dengeki Layers" (Media Works), which have been published since 2005.

What are some classic cosplay costumes?

Re:Zero -Starting Life in Another World

Re:Zero -Starting Life in Another World - Rem

Neon Genesis Evangelion EVA

Neon Genesis Evangelion EVA - Asuka

Cardcaptor Sakura

Cardcaptor Sakura - Kinomoto Sakura

The store is currently adding products gradually. You can check out the collection for more details.

How should beginners typically get started with cosplay?

Black cat cosplay cute paw female JK skirt

For more products, please check out the collection.

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