Cosplay History

Andrew Hillock

The history of cosplay: From science fiction conventions to global fandom

Basic, History

Cosplay History

Cosplay, short for costume play, is a type of performance art that involves participants dressing up in costumes and accessories to portray characters from various sources of media, such as anime, manga, comic books, and video games.

Cosplay has become a popular hobby and subculture around the world, but its roots can be traced back to the early days of science fiction conventions.

The Cosplay History you Need to Know

In the 1930s, science fiction fans started to gather at conventions to share their love for the genre. These fans would sometimes dress up in costumes inspired by their favorite characters from science fiction novels and films. However, it wasn’t until the 1970s that the term “cosplay” was coined by Japanese journalist Nov Takahashi.

ReadWhat is cosplay

Anime conventions played a significant role in the growth of cosplay. In the 1980s, anime (Japanese animated TV shows and movies) started to gain popularity outside of Japan.

Fans would gather at anime conventions, often dressing up as their favorite anime characters. This trend continued to grow in the 1990s, and cosplay soon became a prominent feature of anime conventions around the world.

Cosplay also became a part of the larger fandom culture that emerged in the 1990s. Fans of various media would gather at conventions to share their passion for their favorite shows, movies, and games. Cosplay was a way for fans to express their creativity and show their love for their favorite characters.

Historical reenactment also played a role in the development of cosplay. In the 1970s, historical reenactment groups began to emerge, where participants would dress up in period costumes and reenact historical events. This inspired some cosplayers to create costumes based on historical figures, such as knights and samurai.

Pop culture events, such as comic book conventions, also played a significant role in the growth of cosplay. In the 2000s, comic book adaptations started to dominate the film industry, and comic book conventions became increasingly popular. Cosplayers would often dress up as their favorite comic book characters, and cosplay competitions became a regular feature of these events.

The cosplay community has grown tremendously over the years, with countless online forums and social media groups dedicated to the hobby.

Cosplay has become more than just a hobby; it’s a way for fans to connect with each other and express their creativity. Costume design has become an integral part of the cosplay experience, with many cosplayers creating their own costumes from scratch.

Masquerade balls and fantasy role-playing have also become popular cosplay events. These events often have themes, such as medieval or Victorian, and participants are encouraged to dress up accordingly. DIY costumes have become a staple of cosplay, with many cosplayers creating elaborate costumes using inexpensive materials and household items.

Cosplay competitions have become a regular feature of conventions and events. These competitions often have strict rules and judging criteria, and participants are judged on their costume design, accuracy, and performance.

Fan art has also become an integral part of the cosplay community. Many cosplayers commission artists to create artwork of them in their costumes, and fan art of popular cosplayers can be found all over the internet.

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In conclusion, the history of cosplay is a fascinating one, from its roots in science fiction conventions to its global popularity today.

Now, if you are still confused why do people cosplay, here is the answer. Cosplay has become a way for fans to express their creativity, connect with each other, and show their love for their favorite characters.

Whether you’re a seasoned cosplayer or just starting, there’s no denying the appeal of this vibrant and creative subculture.

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