Cosplay is a anime/manga concept
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The practice of dressing like characters from anime, manga, video games, and even novels, TV shows, celebrities, etc.


Although the term "cosplay" was coined by Japanese studio exec Nov Takahashi, he coined it at the Los Angeles Science Fiction World Convention in 1984, impressed with the costumes he saw in the convention hall. The term is a typical Japanese portmanteau of the words "costume" and "play" and in Japanese is written as コスプレ (kosupure). In spite of this, costuming has been a significant part of western fandom for nearly fifty years, probably tracing back in large portion to Star Trek.

When anime began to boom in North America in the 1990s, particularly with increasing convention attendance, cosplay of Japanese media became a significant part of most people's convention experience. North America is now represented at the World Cosplay Summit in Japan.

Differences between Western and Japanese Cosplay

At conventions in North America and Europe, you're more likely to see cosplay of western materials, naturally: this particularly includes sci-fi series (Star Trek and Star Wars) and fantasy series (Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Pirates of the Caribbean, etc). It is a stereotype that there seem to be more "casual" cosplayers (i.e. people who put together costumes from materials they have at home or just wearing a head or arm band from a series and don't spend a lot of time at the cosplay photographing areas) than in Japan, where most cosplayers seem to sew their own costumes and spend most of their time at events posing for photos.  Many Western cosplayers sew their own costumes as well.

In Japan you're more likely to see costumes of mascots, particularly for fast food joints, although Donald McDonald (as he's known in Japan) has spread to North America as an oddity.
General Information Edit
Concept Name Cosplay
Japanese Name: コスプレ
Romaji Name: kosupure
1st manga book:
1st anime episode:
1st anime movie:
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