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hellangel

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Define Cosplay
« on: December 16, 2006, 09:34:53 PM »

Hello, everyone!

For my senior project, I'm writing a paper on what defines cosplay. So! I figured this would be a good place to have a discussion. Post anything that you feel relates to the subject:

What defines cosplay?

If you're stuck, think about reasons why you cosplay, why you think it's becoming more and more popular, why it is popular on a global scale, etc. Basically anything is fine- just keep the discussion rolling and about cosplay!

Thanks!

---------I'll start------------

I feel that cosplay is more than a hobby- it's an art form. Cosplay, for me, is a wonderful pastime because I get to challenge myself with projects, feel pride in displaying the products, and connect with others (plus make fans of the character really happy ^__^). What I really love the most is the energy I feel when I'm cosplaying amongst a group or attending a gathering
I think cosplay is popular on a global scale because, well, anime/manga are. There's no prerequisites involved- if you love something, then just make it. Some people say that cosplayers do what they do because they want to "escape from reality." I only somewhat agree- true, that's part of the fun, but I think it's a little more about bringing the impossibility into the reality.

What I'm curious to know is: What exactly do you think cosplay is? Does it include Loli styles (EGL, Gothic, Sweet, ect.) and Visual Kei? Does it only include outfits from anime/manga/sci-fi, or are live movies included also?
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KimaLucifer

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Re: Define Cosplay
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2006, 09:50:47 PM »

Quote from: "hellangel"
What I'm curious to know is: What exactly do you think cosplay is? Does it include Loli styles (EGL, Gothic, Sweet, ect.) and Visual Kei? Does it only include outfits from anime/manga/sci-fi, or are live movies included also?


I disagree that cosplays include Lolita styles as people do wear them as an everyday fashion. Even though a good chunk of Gothic lolita has come from cosplays of Malice Mizer originally, the fact that there are stores and people dressed in Lolita makes it feel like it`s not cosplay. This idea is similar to the idea of the "punk" style and how some wear it normally as an everday wear.

V-kei is not exactly a look; it refers to a type of music style. If you`re regarding V-kei cosplays, yes it is a cosplay because you`re dressed like the band member of whatever you like.

Cosplay in general means "Costume Play", so it`s not limited to the things you have listed. If you look up Cosplay in Japanese, you can possibly get general "costumes" -like polices, maids, etc. In short terms, I believe that cosplay is just dressing up in general as something you aren`t.

I believe that "cosplay" is a form of interacting with people who also share the same love as you. Since some people don`t sew their cosplays and buy one instead, I can`t say that it`s to show off your skills.
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hellangel

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Re: Define Cosplay
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2006, 01:23:32 PM »

Quote from: "KimaLucifer"
Since some people don`t sew their cosplays and buy one instead, I can`t say that it`s to show off your skills.


Yeah, I guess I kind of feel that way, too? It seems there's much more emphasis on the portrayal of a character. But, there's some disagreements in that, too. Some people feel that the accurate representation of the character is more important- others believe that the meticulousness of the cosplay itself is even more essential. Personally, I think it's a bit of both. I think true cosplay comes out when people really make some sort of effort both ways. I think it's fine that some commission others to make their outfits, as long as they really try hard to portray the character well. Or something. Whatever the case, I think having fun and bonding with people are the most important things ^__^

Then again, what exactly *is* "good" cosplay?
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zoupzuop2

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Define Cosplay
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2006, 02:09:21 PM »

Well, who's to say that purchased/commissioned cosplays aren't art? It's not just the "costume" that's the art; it's the other factors that come into play. One person could wear the clothing and just appear to be wearing a silly costume; another could wear them and appear to BE the very living incarnation of the character.
If anything, a purchased cosplay is still art; however, it simply decreases the amount of artistry that's attributed to the one wearing it. If the commissioned piece is done well enough, the cosplayer can then focus his/her energies to portraying the character with more accuracy, if they so choose.
Consider Halloween, the biggest night of Masquerades in society today. Whether or not something is totally purchased for $1.50, if the person can utilize that stuff to scare other people to total oblivion, his/her proffession in the art extends further than the individual who simply uses the objects for an inferior result. (I think this idea was brought up before me... -_-)

And, Visual Kei is much like Hair Metal in America: It's a combination of arts, visual and musical. The music of a visual kei band is still "Visual Kei", and it has its own specific sound that distinguishes it from other subgenres of rock. The appearance of Visual Kei is still Visual Kei, as well. Simulating the appearance would still be Cosplay; provided, of course, the cosplayer reflected the character accurately.

Basically, I see the "art" of Cosplay as two things:
*Visual Appearance and generation
*Character Reflection
By "Generation", I mean its creation; how the cosplayer interprets the appearance of the character. If the piece is commissioned, the former point is lost, but the latter is not. If the cosplayer loses the latter, however, the whole point of it is lost, and the cosplay itself becomes a costume as high/low quality as the work put into it.

...I'm reading pretty deep into something I hardly do... *sigh* if I have no place in talking about this, I'll shut up.
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hellangel

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Define Cosplay
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2006, 03:26:40 PM »

Quote from: "zoupzuop2"
Basically, I see the "art" of Cosplay as two things:
*Visual Appearance and generation
*Character Reflection
By "Generation", I mean its creation; how the cosplayer interprets the appearance of the character. If the piece is commissioned, the former point is lost, but the latter is not. If the cosplayer loses the latter, however, the whole point of it is lost, and the cosplay itself becomes a costume as high/low quality as the work put into it.


That makes sense to me.

What would you say is more important, though? I know there's a controversy in reasons to cosplay- some people cosplay b/c they love the character, while others just like the design. What I mean to say is, what if someone made a gorgeous cosplay but doesn't know anything about the character?

In that context, I think, for me, the character reflection is more important. If I like a design, I try to research into the background of the character as much as possible- then end up loving the anime/manga altogether ^__^ I think cosplay is more "live" that way...

Quote from: "zoupzuop2"
...I'm reading pretty deep into something I hardly do... *sigh* if I have no place in talking about this, I'll shut up.


Oh, no! I want everybody's opinions ^__^
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luckyends

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Define Cosplay
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2006, 06:11:12 PM »

ok here are my views and feel free to disagree but ok

so cosplay should just be characters of anime scifi what ever not generic street fashions like the hole g loli thing
also cosplay is about geting into the character and being some one else for an hour or a day and if you dont do a good job or go out of character it makes it seem crapy
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luckyends

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Define Cosplay
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2006, 06:14:48 PM »

ok here are my views and feel free to disagree but ok

so cosplay should just be characters of anime scifi what ever not generic street fashions like the hole g loli thing
also cosplay is about geting into the character and being some one else for an hour or a day and if you dont do a good job or go out of character it makes it seem crapy
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luckyends

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Define Cosplay
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2006, 06:16:26 PM »

ok here are my views and feel free to disagree but ok

so cosplay should just be characters of anime scifi what ever not generic street fashions like the hole g loli thing
also cosplay is about geting into the character and being some one else for an hour or a day and if you dont do a good job or go out of character it makes it seem crapy
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hellangel

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Define Cosplay
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2006, 04:46:51 PM »

Quote from: "luckyends"
so cosplay should just be characters of anime scifi what ever not generic street fashions like the hole g loli thing
also cosplay is about geting into the character and being some one else for an hour or a day and if you dont do a good job or go out of character it makes it seem crapy


So where does anime/movie/character-inspired clothing come in? Or does it at all?
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ININ

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Define Cosplay
« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2006, 01:25:13 PM »

Cosplay is a person who dresses up as a character from a TV series, movie, manga, or comic book . . . any entertainment medium.  

The reason why I cosplay is to meet people.  I meet people at anime conventions, especially cosplay gatherings where cosplayers from a series meet.  I cosplay my favorite characters from my favorite series.  Cosplayers must know their character and the series as best as possible to pose correctly for pictures and to participate in conversations talking about the series.  I meet lots of people at anime cons and at online BBS forums.  Furthermore, cosplayers discuss cosplaying at websites such as cosplay.com.

Cosplaying is an activity at anime cons.  We are the walking decorations.  When congoers see cosplayers, they know they’re at an anime con.  Anyone can cosplay.  I saw a baby cosplay at one con.  The mother made a Ryo-Ohki costume for her infant.  I saw a grandmother cosplay as Cologne.

I started taking pictures of cosplayers in 2002.  Since 2004, I have been taking cosplay pics and I cosplayed, and I have more respect for the cosplayers who take the time and money to create awesome cosplays.

One person said the following, “No cosplay, no con.”   :wink:  That’s true for me XD
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hellangel

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Define Cosplay
« Reply #10 on: December 25, 2006, 10:04:52 PM »

Quote from: "ININ"
One person said the following, “No cosplay, no con.”


Haha, yup. 'tis my motto, as you've probably figured out.  :D

Did Cosplay originate in the US? I heard it started at Sci-Fi cons...
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ININ

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Define Cosplay
« Reply #11 on: December 27, 2006, 02:32:07 PM »

Yes, it's your motto, hellangel.  I saw the quote on your Cosplaylab.  Awesome ^_^

I know the term Cosplay came from Japanese meaning Costume Play.  Wikipeida has an entry on Cosplay, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosplay.
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