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What is Cosplay?

Cosplay is an abbreviation of Costumed Roleplay. In short, to cosplay is to dress as a character from a Japanese animated TV show or a video game, and to act as that character. Most Cosplay is done at Anime Conventions, which have large Cosplay contests as main events.

Cosplay originates from various Japanese fashion subcultures and countercultures. When people ask what is cosplay, they usually want to know about what people do in cosplay costumes. Cosplayers typically compete in masquerade events at anime conventions to try to win prizes. Most, however, are only interested in making friends with other people who are interested in the same anime or video games.

Anime fans, sometimes called Otaku, are the most prevalent participants. They like to don costumes, go to events, and hang out with people with similar interests. Costumes can consist of various parts and accessories. The main body often includes several layers, as the outfits worn in these shows are often very elaborate. Additionally, important care is taken to get the hair/wig just right. Some costumes include props, like giant staffs or oversized plastic guns.

Cosplay as Vocaloid
People cosplay as Vocaloid characters at AniMinneapolis 2011.