Cosplay Facts
Cosplay Facts

26 Exciting Cosplay Facts

Karin Lehnardt
By Karin Lehnardt, Senior Writer
Published August 29, 2019
  • The word "cosplay" is short for "costume play" and refers to people who dress up as characters from anima, manga, or video games. They are known as "cosplayers" or, more simply, "players."[11]
  • There are three general categories of cosplayers: 1) those who dress up like imaginary characters from anima, manga, or video games, 2) those who dress up like certain professionals, such as nurses or military figures, and 3) those who create their own costumes.[11]
  • An "Awase Cosplay" is a group of cosplayers who dress up according to a similar theme.[11]
  • Gender-bending cosplay is when cosplayers dress up and portray characters of the opposite gender.[8]
  • Interesting Cosplay Facts
    What would you dress up as?
  • The word "layer" is the Japanese slang word for "cosplayer."[14]
  • "Layer Support" is a cleaning service designed specifically for cosplay costumes.[14]
  • Japanese reporter and manga publisher Takahashi Nobuyuki first coined the term "cosplay" after attending Worldcon in Los Angeles.[14]
  • The popular anime Sailor Moon last aired in 1997 and inspired a "gazillion cosplayers" to wear Japanese schoolgirl miniskirts.[1]
  • In 1999, the first cosplay cafe opened in Akihabra, Tokyo, with many more following.[1]
  • Dengeki Layers, a magazine targeting the Japanese cosplay community, launched in 2003.[1]
  • In 2003, the first World Cosplay Summit was held in Nagoya, Japan.[1]
  • Jessica Nigri became one of the world's most well-known cosplay celebrities in 2009, after she was photographed at San Diego Comic Con in a sexy Pikachu costume.[1]
  • After a few people showed up to conventions nude in the 1970s and 1980s, cosplay organizers created the "No Costume is No Costume" rule. Partial nudity is still allowed if it is a legitimate representation of a character.[14]
  • During the 32nd WorldCon convention in 1974, Kris Lundi appeared as a nude harpy. She received an honorable mention in the competition.[4]
  • Cosplay costumes are different than Halloween or Mardi Gras costumes because cosplay costumes are meant to represent specific characters rather than to reflect the symbolism of a holiday event.[9]
  • Sexual harassment at cosplay conventions has become such a problem that women have started a "Cosplay is Not Consent movement." The movement highlights that it is not ok to take pictures without permission, verbally abuse, touch or grope other cosplayers, regardless of gender.[13]
  • Cosplay Sexual Harassment
    Cosplay is not consent

  • Cosplay costume manufacturers from Japan report an annual profit of 35 billion yen ($3 million).[5]
  • For some cosplayers, dressing up as heroes and famous characters boosts their self-esteem and confidence.[6]
  • At the 30th WorldCon in 1972, one cosplay attendee wore a blaster prop that fired real flames; organizers banned fire at the event thereafter.[2]
  • During one cosplay festival, a woman called the police over a cosplayer's "underboob" (the bottom part of the breast). The cosplayer was in character as Ryuko Matoi, the main protagonist from the anime Kill la Kill.[3]
  • The semiannual doujinish market, Comic Market (Comiket), is the single, largest cosplay event. Held in Japan, Comiket attracts hundreds of thousands of manga and anime fans as well as thousands of cosplayers.[12]
  • Cosplay Costume Facts
    Peanut butter does not make a good costume
  • At the 30th WorldCon in 1972, Scott Shaw wore a peanut butter costume to represent a character called "The Turd." The peanut butter rubbed off, which damaged other people's costumes, furniture, and began to go rancid under the hot lighting. Not surprisingly, food and other messy substances were subsequently banned.[9]
  • Those who have leveraged their cosplay hobby into a professional career face copyright challenges.[7]
  • The most popular cosplayer events in North America are the San Diego Comic-Con and New York Comic Con.[2]
  • Initially called "costuming," cosplay began in the late 1930s in North America when sci-fi writer Forrest Ackerman appeared at a sci-fi convention in a futuristic costume.[2]
  • The World Cosplay Summit is the most well-known cosplay contest. Held in Japan, cosplayers from over 20 countries compete.[10]

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