Into The Creative World of Cosplay
Photo by Z3LL Photography
Gamers, otakus (anime fans), illustrators and comic book readers are said to belong in a specific group, and are mostly addressed as “geeks”. Some of these people are known to express their creativity, hobby or interest through a process called cosplay. Cosplay comes from the mix of the words “costume” and “play”, where the person is given the desire to dress up as the character of his or her choice. Cosplaying is a huge influence in the Japanese culture. It also influences Japanese street fashion. Cosplaying is also famous for annual conventions and competitions and, also, it helps boost the creativity of one’s mind, wherein the person starts analyzing how to make the costume, how to act as the character, how the makeup should be done. Sources of cosplay include video games, anime, manga, books, TV shows, comic books, and movies.
Cosplay can also be an entrance into the virtual-fantasy world as a reward of escaping the hard life that is reality. For a day or two, people are given the chance to dress up weird, yet unique. They get to act differently, maybe cute if you’re an anime school girl, or maybe superior if you’re a superhero, or possibly a super villain. It is a day to show off the creative costumes. The bizarre colors of the clothes are shown and the hardcore, flashy props are displayed along with the costume. These cosplayers would pretend that they’re in their own universe where they will be given to chance to rule and save the city or to diminish it to pieces. Basically, the cosplayer is cosplaying as the character he or she desires, so whatever the character’s personality is, good or bad, the cosplayer would have to act just like it.
One of the known characters being cosplayed in this contemporary time are Finn the Human, Marceline the Vampire, and Bubblegum of Adventure Time, Hatsune Miku of Vocaloid, Daenerys Targaryen of Game of Thrones, Thor, Loki and Iron Man of Marvel, Light and L of Death Note, Joker of Batman, Final Fantasy characters, and many more.
In the University, majority of the cosplayers are to be found in the College of Architecture and Fine Arts. During CAFA week, there is an annual cosplay contest held where the students are given the chance to compete with each other whilst express their creativity in cosplay. Two Fine Arts students were given the chance to express their own understanding of cosplay.
Eunice Enrera, a second year student taking up Bachelor of Fine Arts Major in Advertising Arts is known for her talent in makeup. She recently won “Best Female Cosplayer” in the eSports Festival 2013. She stated that her friends influenced her to cosplay because not only could she talk to her friends in their interest of anime, Japanese culture, fashion, language, and other stuff, but she gets to express those different interests through the process of cosplay, and she thinks that it’s good to cosplay together with her friends.
She loves to cosplay characters whom she loves, especially her favorite characters from different anime series, Japanese or western video games, Japanese icons like Vocaloid characters, etc., as long as the character gives a huge impact on her. Most of all, she loves to cosplay characters who are strong, confident and independent.
She cosplays as a hobby. She doesn’t do it for the sake of getting famous. Other people do it for the sake of photoshoots, TV guestings, or to become brand ambassadors. She believes that cosplay is something people do for fun.
“It is fun to wear different colors of wigs, transform your face through the use of makeup, shopping for different types of fabrics, to study the characters biography and personality, and most of all, to become the character itself for a day or two. It is fun to become another person once in a while.”, she adds.
Mary Catherine “Claire” Codilla, a second year student taking up Bachelor of Fine Arts Major in Advertising Arts is one of the famous cosplayers in Cebu. She is best known for hosting cosplay events such as Torch, ARCHON, Comicon, eSports Festival, and many more. Her most iconic cosplay character is Katarina from the game League of Legends. She stated that she started cosplay back in high school. She thought that the idea of cosplay was pretty foreign to her, and that cosplay was a tad bit too daring and a little weird, then suddenly her idea of cosplay turned upside down.
“It was back in high school. When I was in my first year, I heard about a club called “Alternate Hobbies”, and it catered to like-minded individuals sharing the love of their hobbies and interests, which was mostly anime, manga and gaming. The club would organize a big annual hobby convention every year, up until this very day. Back then, I was still an extremely shy ‘closet anime freak’ and I didn’t consider joining at all. “, she said.
She stated that the person who influenced her most to cosplay was no other than famous Filipina cosplayer Jessica Ouano. She was bumming around school when a “very pretty, statuesque, doe-eyed girl” – states Codilla, from her year level introduced herself and stated that she was a huge fan of anime, and wanted to be friends. “We then talked about our interests, shared a few laughs and she introduced me to cosplaying, in which I was hesitant to do.”, adds Codilla, “Jessica assured me that it would be a fun experience to cosplay. She would even let me borrow her own costume so I could know what it feels like to cosplay. It was a start of one of the most beautiful friendships, and this friendship bloomed into a new hobby of mine which is cosplay.”
Most of all, cosplay is done for fun, and as a hobby for others. Cosplay is also the chance for gamers, comic book enthusiasts, illustrators, otakus, and the creative people to bond and share their interests together. To know more about what cosplay is, why not browse through http://www.deviantart.com and http://www.tumblr.com for inspiring cosplay photographs, or join upcoming cosplay events.
Cosplay seems weird, but it’s interesting, isn’t it?
Upcoming cosplay event: ARCHON 2013 on October 2013.