What is cosplay?

What Does cosplay Mean

The term cosplay is not part of the dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy ( RAE ). In any case, this concept of English origin is used in our language to refer to the trend or habit of using costumes for entertainment .

Cosplay comes from the expression costume play , which can be translated as "costume game" . Currently, cosplay can be considered as a subculture : its members seek to represent an idea or embody a character through their clothing and even playing a role.
In general, cosplay is based on characters from comics, anime, movies, video games or literature . Whoever dresses up and participates in this type of action is called a cosplayer .

Cosplay emerged in the 1970s in the so-called comic markets of Japan , whose meetings many people began to attend in costumes. Over time the trend became popular around the world and reached different areas.
Nowadays, cosplay appears in almost all the great events related to comics . It is also common for fans to dress up to attend movie premieres or the launch of fantasy novels. There are even cosplay contests where the best costumes are awarded.
In Japan , on the other hand, there are cosplay restaurants and bars in which waitresses and waiters serve diners in costume. In these establishments certain rituals are followed so that customers have a different experience in contact with the cosplayers.
Although at first glance cosplay seems to revolve around fun, the process of creating the costumes is long and very laborious, especially for those who decide to do it on their own. It should be noted that most cosplayers make their own costumes, since this stage is a fundamental part of the experience.
In any case, since it is not something economic or immediate, it is important to be very clear about the character we want to represent well in advance. This decision is not easy, since sometimes it is not enough to choose the one we most admire, but we must opt ​​for the one with whom we share the most physical characteristics, or one that we can incarnate with our body .
This does not mean that we should choose a character very similar to ourselves; Part of the fun, after all, is transforming ourselves into another being. The important thing is to keep your feet on the ground with respect to the budget and the complexity involved in the process of making the costume; Simply put, humanoid characters are preferred over a giant dinosaur or spider, although the most daring cosplayers can embark on any project.

Cosplay differs greatly from a traditional costume party, particularly in the degree of attention to detail that fans often pay to their heroes' costumes: far from being a vague representation of the general appearance of the characters, it is usually a an almost perfect reflection of each garment, each accessory, each wrinkle, with a color palette as wide as the original and a display of materials worthy of admiration.
To be able to work at this level in a costume it is necessary to have reference images , something that today is very easy to achieve. Whether they are screenshots of the show, movie or video game in which our favorite character appears, or drawings made by other fans , the possibilities are many. To find the smallest details, it is recommended to look for drawings published by the creators of the character in media such as magazines or books, where they tend to have a larger finish.

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