For some of the anime fans here nothing can make a convention more fun than cosplaying your favorite anime character. For those who are new to cosplay and are interested let me give you a brief introduction.
WHAT IS COSPLAY?
Wikipedia describes cosplay as such: a contraction (or portmanteau) of the English words "costume" and "play", is a Japanese subculture centered on dressing as characters from manga, anime, tokusatsu(sentai based characters), and video games, and, less commonly, Japanese live action television shows, fantasy movies, or Japanese pop music bands. However, in some circles, "cosplay" has been expanded to mean simply wearing a costume.
In Japan, "cosplay" as a hobby is usually an end unto itself. Likeminded people gather to see others' costumes, show off their own elaborate handmade creations, take lots of pictures, and possibly participate in best costume contests.
WHY WOULD I WANT TO DO THIS?:
Cosplay is a great way of self expression, and one of the best ways to show your fandom to a particular anime, video game etc.
HOW DO I GET STARTED?
1. Pick a Character. The best idea is to pick a character that your familiar with, and preferably one with alot of reference pictures (It'll make it easy on you)
2. Now once you picked the character you might need to decide which costume of theres you'd like to do, the more vibrant the costume is the more eye catching it will be to fellow con goers.
3. Now 'Print out' as many reference pictures of you can to keep with you, this will be crucial when you go fabric shopping. You'll need to match the color almost perfectly to keep as accurate as possible. Also consider the way the fabric feels, remember you're going to be wearing this so you have to make sure you'll be a bit comfortable. Fabric shopping can become...expensive so be ready with the money.
Note: Some clothing can be modified to make a costume, if you need a red turtle necked belly shirt. Go to a used clothing story and sew the bottom of the shirt higher. It'll save you alot of money on fabric, and alot of time cutting out patterns.
4. Now once you've gotten all the fabric you should find some patterns. patterns are usually fairly cheap, it comes in an envelope and looks like tissue paper or some cases cardboard. Patterns are the templates used to create outfits, I doubt you'll find one exact to what your looking for but if you know someone whos compitent in sewing they could probably help you modify the pattern.
5. After this, your going to need to be able to sew with a sewing machine. If you don't have one or just don't know how to operate then you're going to need to find someone who can. Remember accuracy is key to making a good costume, so don't take short cuts. The extra effort will go a long way in the final product, every little detail counts.
6. Its always a good idea to wear a wig even if your hair is completely accurate. Wigs are easier to work with as it doesn't have natural oils in it, making hairspray and gel hold better...it'll look neater. Once you find a decent match of a wig the best thing to do is bring in a reference image of your characters hair... preferably side,back,front shots. Again wigs can be pricy, and the cut will probably take more out of your pocket....but again the little extra effort will go a long way.
7. Make up. Yes guys, you too. Anime and Game characters have no pores, big eyes and espressive mouths, and people...don't. Make up can help out a bit in that department. Ask your girl friends to help, it helps.
-It can adjust your skin tone, make it look softer...darker...etc. It won't change it 100% but on film it'll look alot better than if you used nothing at all.
-Lip liner. For your lips? NO! For your eyebrows...the liquid stuff works best. By putting it underneath your brow, it'll give the illusion of colored eyebrows...this is only needed if your hair color is an unatural color ie: Pink, Purple. It adds more realism...to floresent hair :p
-Eyeliner, this is especially good for those evil characters with sharp eyes.
WHAT IF I GET MADE FUN OF?
Regardless of how dorky you look, you'll be surprised how many people will think you look cool. The community is very accepting of everything and if you cosplay a fangirl favorite...expect to get glomped....hard.
Cos PLAY Sure you got the costume, but do you got the character? Don't just stand there and get your picture taken, strike a pose and show off your knowledge of the character. Show you're ready to right wrongs and triumph over evil, prepare the biggest spirit bomb you've ever seen or preform the simplist Jutsu. The pose really makes the costume more realistic and makes the character come to life.
However, if you happen to be camera shy its okay to say no to a picture. You're not gonna get burned for being blasphemis, they'll go on to the next person. Some people prefer the personal satisfaction coming with completed cosplay while some try to show off their cosplay to the fandom. Either way as long as your having fun then who cares.
You just saw Vash the Stampede and you want to take his picture, What do you do? Politely go up to him and simple ask: "Can I take your picture" Alot of cosplayers are gonna fall to the stand there and smile. So give him some Direction: "Can you pretend your firing a gun" Usually they'll comply, but if they're shy they'll probably turn you down. Directions do help though
I WANT TO MAKE MY COSTUME ON MY OWN, BUT I NEED SOME HELP. WHAT CAN I DO?
Amethists Closet= These tutorials give information on how to make: ARMOR, PROPS and EVEN JEWELS. Check this out, a very interesting read.
Craft Foam Armor - submitted by Erica = I need easy to follow tutorial using craft foam. Nice read, informative
Roxas Wig Tutorial = Roxas cosplayers rejoice the impossible wig looks a bit more possible with this tutorial supplied by Erica. could also help with spiking wigs for other cosplays.
Boromir's Arm Armor :p = Another Great armor tutorial submitted by Erica. This one in particular is a Lord of the Rings style armor but I'm sure you could use it for a variety of projects.
Naruto Sandal = Naruto cosplay is very popular but its very rare that you see them with the right sandal. Heres how you can make a accurate Naruto-verse Sandal.
I'M NOT COMPITANT ENOUGH TO DO IT ON MY OWN. WHAT CAN I DO?
Well because the hobby is so popular, many people have opened websites to help fellow cosplayers make their lives easier (*cough* and make alot of money *cough*)
I'm warning you now though, most of the websites below can be pretty pricy...so make sure you have the money.
Katie Bair's Wigs = Katie Bair is one of the best wig designers I've seen on the net, but at the same time shes also the most expensive. Some of the wigs cost around: 100 dollars, and I've yet to see one below this. But before you get discouraged, please note that these wigs are the highest quality you'll find and pretty close in terms of accuracy.
Ebay = Search "Cosplay" or "Cosplay wigs" To find a huge selection of premade wigs and cosplay, not always the best quality but can be found at a resonable price and great for those casual cosplayers who don't want to spend a fortune for a simple costume.
Cosmates = Amazing costumes, but the price can be pretty high up. But if your planning on blowing away the competition. Give it a shot.
Hunny Lee = though an ebay store, the costumes are stunning and at a very resonable price. First choice here
Cosplay Galleria = I don't know anyone who ordered from here, but the props are amazing quality. Probably pretty pricy but if your interested try it out.
topleka From the VAA is accepting wig commissions for an affordably price. Contact her
Beckie From the VAA is accepting Cosplay Commissions for an afforadble Price. Contact her
_____________________ Got something to add? PM ME or IM me at HAKU2PURE on Aim and let me know. The more we add, the easier we can make the lives of cosplayers everywhere easier.