The cosplay (コ ス プ レ, kosupure?) Etymologically of English costume play, costume game, consists of disguising some character (real or inspired) of a manga, anime, movie, book, videogame or even singers and musical groups and try to interpret it in as much as possible. Those who follow this practice are known as cosplayers, being for them one of their main hobbies.
The phenomenon of cosplay arose over the 70s in the Comic Market of Japan, which are held in Odaiba (Tokyo) places of purchase / sale of Dôjinshi. This event is still going on. There, groups of Japanese dressed in their favorite characters of manga, anime and video games. Thus, this practice has always been closely related to these products, but, over the years, it has been extended to cross the borders of the country of the rising sun and cover other fields.
The number of followers of the cosplay has always been increasing, it is increasingly common to see people in disguise at any convention, and it is not uncommon, nowadays, to see that in the premieres of the great film productions some groups meet dressed in his best clothes in movie theaters. Cosplay contests are very common in comic conventions and in some you have the opportunity to enter for free by wearing your costume. Of course, these events abound the so-called kameko (kamera kozo, camera boy) who take pictures of the cosplayers, after which they offer copies as a gift.
Those who feel cosplayers and who do not do it by a simple fashion, try to resemble the character as much as possible. You can spend a whole year planning how to make the suit and in which parts it is divided, what materials to use, such as your physical constitution, your hairstyle, your makeup … It is more than a hobby and is almost a way of life, because it they feel obliged to attend all possible events and, if possible, premiering dressed. Especially the cosplayers of members of Japanese music groups do not usually participate in the contests that take place at the conventions, going to them for the pure pleasure of showing off their work.
Usually a cosplayer will make his own suit, although he who does not know about sewing or does not want to learn, can hire the services of a seamstress and ask the family for help. As the cosplay phenomenon has spread so much, it is also possible to find lots of costumes and accessories on the Internet. In general, the accessories are manufactured by themselves, mainly because of the difficulty of getting them or how expensive they can be.
Within the cosplay there are some trends where you could highlight the crossplay, which consists of dressing a character of the opposite sex.
The crossplay is a variant of cosplay in which a person disguises himself as a character of the opposite genre. The person performing the crossplay is known as crossplayers. Sometimes cosplayers who engage in crossplay are usually fond of yaoi-themed sleeves.
In America, male crossplayers disguised as female characters have received some attention on the internet. Sailor Moon and Card Captor Sakura characters are popular among crossplayers, although in Japan the Maria-sama ga Miteru series has recently become a very popular series among crossplayers.
In Japan, cosplayer women who dress as male characters are more common and have become so popular and accepted that they do not receive as much special attention as “subgenre” of cosplay. Bishonen characters from games like Final Fantasy or hollywood movies like Harry Potter are very popular with female cosplayers. Possibly this is due to the fact that the number of female crosplayers greatly exceeds the number of male crosplayers, due to the small amount of cosplayers of this sex that characterize female characters; and possibly because of the popularity of sympathetic yaoi characters among otaku women.
In Japan, photographers ask male crossplayers to pose sensually. Interestingly, photographers do not. What can be seen in this BBC interview (link Realvideo).
Annually, in the Japanese city of Nagoya, the World Cosplay Summit is held, a cosplay contest organized by the TV network TV Aichi, which brings together cosplayers from Japan, Spain (Those in the photo on the left are the representatives of Spain in the WCS 2008, Mei and Nico), Germany, France, United States, Italy, Brazil, Korea, China, Thailand. Recently, Mexico, Singapore and Denmark were annexed.
The choice of participants is different in each of the countries and they travel a week to Japan, with all expenses paid, to participate not only in the contest, but in various events related to it, such as press wheels