1.What is a workable definition of cosplay?
Cosplay is an activity about the art performance, that participants express their affection to the characters whom they like through dressing up as popular characters. Those popular characters are taken form anime, Japanese anime, video games, movies, popular novels, bands, pop idols, and even from internet memes (Mountfort, Peirson-Smith & Geczy; 2019). Cosplayers always create subcultures through the interaction, and the number of cosplayers has grown rapidly since the 1990s. Cosplay has become an essential aspect of popular culture in Japan, the rest of Asia, and the western world (Cosplay, 2019). Despite the pivotal role of clothing, photography also plays a significant part in Cosplay. Photos and video not only reflect how role playing is carried out, but also play a role in shaping the role (Mountfort, Peirson-Smith & Geczy; 2018).
In order to further understand the concept of Cosplay, there is a history of Cosplay that people need to know. At the beginning of time, Cosplay was called as costuming, which began in the late 1930s in North America at the time. At that time, Cosplay did not need to imitate their favorite role. On the other hand, people only needed to wear an appropriate cloth in their own style. Anyone in the best costume would win a prize. In Japan, manga promoted cosplay, Japanese college students have started dressing up as their favorite characters at parties. This concept took a page from the American playbook, fans tried to recreate their favorite scenes. This increased their excitement and allowed them to express their love for the comic strip. However, the term “Cosplay” was not invented until 1984. The term was coined by Japanese journalist Nobuyuki Takahashi from Costume and play after he attended the world congress in Los Angeles and chose cosplay because he thought Costume balls were too outdated for Japanese audiences (Origin of the word cosplay, 2008).
In addition, we need to understand how Cosplay has become an important aspect of popular culture. First, people find it interesting to dress up as their favorite characters. Cosplay is a great way to spice up people’s lives. Secondly, when people participate in role-playing activities, they are likely to meet thousands of people, which is a new and interesting way to socialize. More importantly, people want to identify with a character. Because the character means so much to them, they like the freedom to dress up as them. It’s an opportunity to express themselves to the world (Evans, 2017). In the modern world, it is limit for people to show their imagination to the world. However, Cosplay gives people the opportunity to do so. Finally, while many cosplayers do it for fun, others do it for a living. These cosplayers have a huge following on social media, which they use for influential marketing and a living. They often sell autographed photos of themselves, and most importantly, they often get paid for consulting work while developing video games. Cosplay as a performing art has its emergence and popularity factor, which still exists to this day. Therefore, Cosplay will remain one of the popular cultures in our society for a long time to come.
Cosplay. (2019). Retrieved October 27, 2019, from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosplay
Evans, R. (2017, January 27). The Muslim cosplayer who uses the hijab in her outfits. Retrieved from: https://www.bbc.com/news/av/magazine-41400973/the-muslim-cosplayer-who-uses-the-hijab-in-her-outfits
Mountfort, P., Peirson-Smith, A., & Geczy, A. (2019). Cosplay at Armageddon Expo. Retrieved from: https://blackboard.aut.ac.nz/bbcswebdav/pid-4925188-dt-content-rid-10439194_4/institution/Papers/ENGL602/Publish/Mountfort%202019_Cosplay%20at%20Armageddon%20Expo.pdf
Mountfort, P., Peirson-Smith, A., & Geczy, A. (2018). Planet Cosplay: Costume Play, Identity and Global Fandom. Intellect Books. Retrieved from: https://blackboard.aut.ac.nz/bbcswebdav/pid-4925188-dt-content-rid-10439193_4/institution/Papers/ENGL602/Publish/Mountfort%202018_Cosphotogrphy%20as%20Fan%20Capital.pdf
Origin of the word cosplay. (2008). Retrieved October 27, 2019, from: https://web.archive.org/web/20120705013049/http://yeinjee.com/tag/nobuyuki-nov-takahashi/