Cosplay - a way to be someone else
Have you ever heard of cosplay?
The phenomenon appeared the first time in the 1940´s in the United States with Forrest J. Ackerman who disguised himself as a "man from the future" at the World Science Fiction Convention, but it is not before 1983 that we speak about cosplay. It has developed a lot during the last fifteen years in Japan and is now really famous.
To cosplay is to dress up with make-up and a good costume; the aim of it? To imitate the character portrayed as likewise as possible. The term "cosplay" is actually a short way of saying "costume play".
In Tokyo, you will be able to see many cosplayers (cosplay participants) on the street dressed up as nurses, samurais, serial killers, famous singers, or characters from fantasy movies, mangas and animes… There are even special coffee shops for them, known as Butler Cafés and Maid Cafés in Tokyo where the waiters and waitresses are masqueraded.
Costumes represent a big part of the cosplay, but it is not just about that, the cosplayer's talent for acting is also of high importance. He or she has to copy the portrayed character's way of talking and behavior. It is like a big role-playing game.
The cosplayers are between 15 and 25 years old and have a lot of fun playing and being photographed. The best place to meet them is to go to big conventions like the Comic Market in Tokyo. There are thousands of them!