What is cosplay, you ask? For anyone who is new to the concept of cosplay, it is a contraction of the words ‘costume’ and ‘play’. In layman and arguably ignorant terms, it the art of playing dress-up. However, when you actually dive into the what it really is, you’re mind will be blown. While many people still haven’t grasped the idea and concept of cosplay, it’s impossible to overlook the sheer number of people who actually cosplay.

People who cosplay are called cosplayers. It’s not just dressing up for fun though because many people actually do this as a profession. Not only do they dress up as a character, they also embody and role play as them. From imitating the voice, down to the characters quirks, they do it all. So, it’s more than just playing dress-up. It’s more like a dramatical representation.

This pop-culture phenomenon actually originated in Japan back in the ’90s. It started by people dressing up as their favourite manga, anime and comic book characters. Since then, it’s become significant in other parts of Asia and even in the Western world.

There are actually dedicated cosplay conventions and competitions, which cater to specific audiences. Other than these conventions, you can actually spot cosplayers at Comic-Con and other fan-events that celebrate these fictional characters. While you have the casual cosplayer who dress up with basic stuff, you also have the extremely serious cosplayers. These people spend a lot of money to design and build their costumes. Needless to say that many people even decided to take their hobby and make it a profession.

It’s amazing to see how far cosplay has come since being coined all the way back in 1984. If you think it’s weird, think about this: Back in ancient times, our ancestors used to dress up as animals, gods and various other powerful mythical creatures and reenacted stories that were important to them. So, why can’t people who are enthusiastic and passionate about something do the same? Think of cosplay as storytelling through the art of imitation and costume.

So why is it so popular? Well, cosplay became popular mostly because it was a great escape for people. It was like Halloween, you get to dress up and escape your life while you’re in the costume. Another major reason for its popularity lies with the fact that there were huge fandoms of various comics and movies. Honestly, who didn’t want to dress up as Batman? The cosplay community is also a very warm and friendly one. The people are welcoming, easy going and truly love what they do. So, it’s easy to feel at home!

To some, cosplay is a lot more than just a part of pop culture. It is a lifestyle and an art that they dedicate their entire life towards. They hone their talents and craftsmanship to unbelievable levels in order to perfect their craft and show their talent to the world. You’ll understand what we mean by that when you actually notice any professional cosplayer’s costume.

If you had the chance, what character would you cosplay as? Let us know in the comments below.

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