Cosplay is becoming trendy and going from the fringes of society to mainstream. Popularity of this imaginary state of play is increasing rapidly. All over the world there are members that engage in this activity. However, in no other place but Japan has the admiration become more apparent.
Cosplay in Japan began growing rapidly in the 90’s and has continued to be revered and celebrated. Cosplay parties are thrown on a regular basis and have begun to be broadcast on Japanese television in addition to magazines and newspaper articles. The practice transformed from a youth culture fad or craze to a recognized trend of Japanese youth culture.
The cosplayers go all the way with their play. Hair is dyed, make-up is almost professionally applied and some go as far as wearing colored contact lenses to complete the costume. Annually during the summer months on the waterfront of Tokyo, a magnificent costume play ball takes place for three days. The cosplay culture is so large that over 100,000 “players” come from all over the country of Japan to attend the three day ball.
These massive cosplay parties are no long limited to the annual waterfront affair in Tokyo. They are appearing all over the country. The larger affairs attract thousands of people dancing and posing for photographs in the most admired costumes.
The most popular characters that they immolate are their favourites from video games and well-liked cartoon characters. Cosplay is definitely becoming a mainstay for the youth culture in Japan. What many had predicted as a passing fancy has taken root and grown.
Retailers that offer the costumes for the cosplay culture have increased and become more wide-spread. In addition, prices of costumes purchased in the retail stores have increased also. Entire outfits have been known to go for enormous sums of money. One reported case indicated a woman purchased her favourite character costume for more than 1 million yen, which converts to over $7000 American dollars. She advised mediocre or substandard apparel would “tarnish” her favourite characters image.
Psychologists suggest this type of activity accomplished with cosplay may be an expansion of childhood fantasies. The players are able to escape from their reality and convey any feelings that may have been pent up for years. Cosplay allows the players to communicate more effectively. Psychologists view this generation has having difficulty with close relationships. The cosplay is a way to communicate more effectively because they are hidden by their costume.
Of late cosplaying has gone worldwide. Cosplay parties are being held as far away as France. Dedicated Japanese costume fans are attending balls and parties worldwide.
Since going worldwide Cosplay has been recognized for being more than just a fad and continues to extend enormously.