This video is probably one of my favorites on all of YouTube, and that’s saying a lot with how many cat videos there are.
Cosplay. What do I say about it? It seems to be taking the world by storm, with shows like ‘Heroes of Cosplay’ on SyFy Channel and the popularity of faces like YaYa Han and Jessica Ngiri. If you do not know of the people who I speak of, I apologize for your confusion.
Cosplay, straight up, stands for ‘Costume Play’ and is gaining popularity with comic book fans, otaku (or fans of Japanese anime and manga), video gamers and those who participate in Live Action Role Play. I can tell you that there is a lot of people who I have met that are just as into it as I am, and they are nothing short of wonderful people.
But what I don’t fully understand is a weird sort of attitude in the cosplay community, and that is with people who create their own original costumes and not basing them off of any existing character already.
I am someone who enjoys making an original piece much more then the same old stuff you see on the convention floor. To me, it brings a fresh face and some much-needed originality to the event. Not everyone seems to feel that way though, and I have noticed a lot of people turn their nose up at people who make their own creations. Unless you’re famous in the cosplay circuit, no one seems to bat an eye at you for all of the hard work you put into a single piece.
Unless, of course, you are an ample-breasted woman who has them hanging out of a low fitting shirt or have mile-long wings that open and close.
You can see it simply from cosplay masquerade rules at various conventions. Oftentimes they will not allow anything original to be entered for judging on the grounds that they have nothing to compare it to (meaning a hard source for a reference image). This is an understandable reason to this, but you can still judge someone on the technical merit and methods that went into the creation process.
This attitude towards orginal pieces is not just there but often for those who make a humanized version of non-human characters. This method is called gijinka and you often see it done with My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and Pokemon. But competitions will not allow gijinka into their ranks to be scored for the same reason original pieces cannot.
Here is an example of cosplayer Jessica Ngiri’s gijinka of the Pokemon Charizard, for those who do not understand the concept. I have participated in this part of cosplay by making a humanized version of Amaterasu from the video game Okami, seen to the left.
Why the looking-down or outright hate of original pieces? They take just as much work to create as copyrighted characters, or arguably even more since you need to design EVERYTHING from shoes to hair style and gravity-defying armor builds. I definitely think that more people need to get over that mindset that original is bad for costumes.
Got some thoughts? Arguments? Agreeing with the opinion? State your voice on the post and let the world see what YOU have to say!
*Note: I am in no way bashing the cosplays done by YaYa and Ngiri. This is not a hate article and the opinion of the author is in no way saying that shaming cosplayers is positive. You should never shame someone at their craft.*