Cosplay (pronounced "kosupure" in Japanese), is a contraction of the words "costume" and "play". Cosplayers are people who dress up in costumes most commonly to look like characters from anime, manga, video games, and movies. Cosplayers have known to dress up in a variety of different types of costumes from a Gundam to Vash from Trigun, from a gaming console to a box of Pocky, from Captain Planet to the Green Giant, and from Naruto to a tentacle. The possibilities are endless! Cosplayers also often take their own artistic liberties to create original designs or to spice up their costumes. Many people will crossplay (the act of cosplaying as the opposite sex) to add an extra element of humor.
Cosplay's popularity first began in Japan, but has spread world-wide in recent years with the increasing popularity of anime, manga, video games, movies, and music. The most common place people cosplay at are at anime conventions. In the past few years, PSAO has started a tradition of attending anime conventions (usually Katsucon and Otakon). Many of our members who attend the conventions take up the cosplay challenge and find themselves having a lot of fun.
While many cosplayers buy their costumes pre-made or have a friend or family member to make them, most cosplayers make their own costumes. Attempting to make a costume for the first time can be very intimidating, but there are many ways to approach making a costume and one can adapt ways for costume construction to fit their skill-level, budget, and time constraints. Even top cosplayers seek advice, feedback, and motivation from the Internet and friends while making costumes. The PSAO holds costume workshops before our Halloween party and conventions for this purpose. However, the PSAO would like to invite anyone who is feeling crafty to attend, as cosplay allows the cosplayer to draw from a wide variety of art forms to construct a costume. (This includes the arts of using duct tape, hot glue, and staples).
While you are surfing, you may find the following links informative, if not amusing:
Good luck and happy cosplaying!
-Joe Cortese (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Conventions and Cosplay Director