WEEK 9

What is a workable definition of cosplay?

Cosplay is a subculture / fan culture activity with high visibility in the mass media, but only limited to the surface visibility. In fact, the public is in a state of half understanding and often stereotyped and biased towards cosplay (“Cosplay”, 2019) .

Cosplay is the fan culture of anime. Anime fans take costumes as their characters to express their love for anime in the gathering of anime fans, rather than a “show yourself” youth entertainment.

Cosplay has been developing in Taiwan for ten years. The number of participants is increasing day by day, the activity force is more and more vigorous, and the activities are held more and more frequently. However, in recent years, there have been major differences within cosplay. The disputes are: is Lolita / self-created a Cosplay? Where is the boundary of cosplay?

In order to explore the solution to this problem, first should returns to the source of cosplay – holography, and the motivation of producing homograph – Homo spirit, to redefine cosplay, establish the scope of cosplay, and analyze the practice and activity mode of cosplay, starting from the practice of cosplay, to study the causes of differences.

Cosplay is an activity closely related to photography in terms of activity mode. Cosplay community uses photography to record, share and communicate. The online album represents a member’s identity and is the foundation of building a community. Therefore, by analyzing the function and significance of cosplay using photography, we can find out the influence of photography on cosplay. Because of cosplay’s extensive use of photography, another ethnic group – Photography players can participate in Cosplay’s activities in a large number and actively. The photography habits and activities of photography players make

Cosplay’s community composition, activity space and spiritual significance began to change from “human culture” to “visual culture”.

The so-called “fans” refers to the people who are extremely fond of and identify with, or even obsessed with, specific media texts such as stars, movies, TV programs, pop orchestras, brands, etc., and can interpret the texts in various ways to produce their own interpretations. In addition to interpretation, fans are more able to produce their own texts through the original texts. They exchange ideas with each other and form a community rather than a group of alienated individuals (Marchese, 2017) .

“Homograph” and “Cosplay” are one of the expressions of fan interpretation text in anime painting. “「同人誌」i” was originally a Japanese Chinese character. It refers to the cartoon or other kinds of art works created by the fans with their favorite anime works as the theme. In Western terms, 「同人誌」 is a kind of “Fan Art”. Cosplay is a cartoon fan who imitates the appearance and performance of a character by wearing similar costumes, matching props, makeup and body language.

With the popularity of Japanese anime, the “fan culture” of Japanese Anime – 「同人誌」and cosplay – was also introduced into the world in the early 1990s (Garon, 2017) . Opened the era of business companies holding activities with others 4. From self-financing to business operation, the scale of 「同人誌」Fair has become larger and larger, also with the amount of people who are interested in cosplay.

Reference List:

Cosplay. (2019). Retrieved 20 October 2019, from https://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosplay

Marchese, C. (2017). Setting Cosplay in Motion. IEEE Potentials36(4), 44-46. doi: 10.1109/mpot.2017.2684246

Garon, J. (2017). Fandom and Creativity, Including Fan Art, Fan Fiction, and Cosplay. SSRN Electronic Journal. doi: 10.2139/ssrn.3007404

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