Cosplay Subculture

Cosplay is a youth subculture originating in Japan. The moniker is derived from the words “costume” and “play”, and is believed to have been first thought up in 1984 by a Japanese studio executive named Nov Takahashi. When he wrote for Japanese science fiction magazines about the impressive costumes worn by attendees at the Los Angeles World Science Fiction Convention, he gradually adopted the portmanteau term cosplay, which is used to describe the trend today.

The main feature of cosplay is that participants enjoy dressing up as their favorite characters from anime, comic books, and video games. It has developed to include, particularly when adopted in the west, people dressing up as characters from popular non-Asian fantasy and science fiction movies and games, such as Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Doctor Who and World of Warcraft.

As a fashion concept, cosplay has also been seen to extend towards a style of dressing up not only as established, famous characters, but as characters that the enthusiast has developed themselves. This is often a crossover into the Japanese Lolita style of dress, where girls wear a distinctive, cute style. This allows girls who like the look but do not want to fully adopt the Lolita style as street dress to enjoy the less serious “Cosplay Lolita” style at cosplay events and venues.

Additional trends and sub-genres in cosplay include “crossplay”, which involves wearing the costume of a character of the opposite sex, and participants called “dollars”, who wear full body suits and masks to play characters without their own faces on show, rather like sports mascots.

Cosplay is usually something that takes place at parties, concerts, conventions and venues where likeminded people meet to show off their (often hand crafted) costumes, socialize, and photograph other enthusiasts. The most popular area for these kind of activities is the fashionable Harajuku area of Tokyo. In the district of Akihabara, a number of cosplay themed cafes have been opened during the last decade to cater to the cosplayers, and the staff all wear anime themed costumes themselves.

Twice a year, hundreds of thousands of cosplayers flock to Tokyo to visit the Comiket convention and market – the largest event in the world for cosplay enthusiasts.

The concept of dressing up and of taking part in role play based around popular characters also exists in the west, where cosplay style outfits are worn to attend science fiction and comic book conventions. The largest of these is held annually in San Diego.

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Harajuku Girls – How to Get the Look

Gwen Stefani has brought the concept of Harajuku girls into popular western culture and introduced a new generation to this fashion style from Japan. In fact this style of fashion was popular long before Gwen discovered it and Harajuku has been a fashion hub for many years. But just what exactly is a Harajuku girl and where do you start to look for clothes if you want to dress like one?

Harajuku is a trendy area of Tokyo where young people go to hang out with their friends, show off their latest fashions and hopefully get spotted by one of the street fashion photographers or model head hunters looking for the coolest new looks. It is also a popular hangout for cosplayers where teenagers will gather at the weekends dressed up as their favorite anime character.

There are various sub cultures within Japanese Fashion including Goth, Lolita and Gothic Lolita, Visual Kei, and Ganguro. The Harajuku girls from the Gwen Stefani world wear bright colors, mix and match with lots of accessories – the crazier and more individual the look the better.

If you’d like to dress like a Harajuku girl then there are lots of websites selling outfits from Japan which can provide good base pieces for your collection. EBay is another great place to look for outfits and accessories. The easiest way to get this look however is just to be creative – Harajuku fashion is all about being individual and experimenting.

Get brave with your clothes – wear lots of layers that mix and match, the brighter the better. Experiment with your hair and makeup too, trying crazy new styles that you wouldn’t normally consider. Accessories should be large and bold and you should wear lots of them! Wear your whole look with confidence and try out new ideas every time you put together a new outfit.

Customizing Vs Buying Cosplay Costumes

Most of us do not know what cosplay actually is? Well, cosplay means a Japanese costume that is used for plays and drama. It is identified that cosplay costume buying craze is found more in teenagers as they enjoy trying a unique costume on different occasions.

Japanese anime characters are becoming more popular, as they are the most watched by kids and liked by them. These characters are used everywhere in video games, and TVin fact there is an anime channel reserved for amines which is the now the center of attraction for every kid.It seems like Japanese culture is being spread through these cosplay costumes and people really get attracted with such costumes and specially buy cosplay costumes for their children.

These cosplay costumes are likely to be seen on occasions like Halloween, Christmas and other festivals where kids, teens even adults are dressed up like their favorite characters. Cosplay events are held, where everyone has to dress up like an animated character. There are hundreds of anime characters and among those hundreds of options it is fun to choose the one. Also choosing a cosplay outfit is not a big deal as there are numerous choices for every age boys and girls even for small kids. Being a girl you can choose a fairy, princess or any other fantasy character even a fictitious one. For boys’ ninja characters like Naruto, Sasuke are wonderful options.

The cosplay costumes reflect your taste and personality so girls’ dresses must be in soft colors with big bows and colorful accessories and boys costumes should also have a lot of accessories because without them a cosplay costume is incomplete.

The Choice Is Always Yours To Buy Or To Make Your Own:

You can also make your own costume. And to make your dress, you just need to gather few accessories and out of these accessories several are available at your place. It is not easy to design dress so you must use your creativity to design a different and unique one. It is a wonderful opportunity to show your skills and get appreciation from loved ones.

Not to worry if you are not a designer or don’t have a creative mind, but still in love with your favorite anime? You can buy your favorite dress from the market. Visit complete market once before purchasing dress for you and then make a final choice. Buying a cosplay costume is not a big deal; all you need to have is the right budget and ability to choose the best dress out of all available options.