Cosplay—what is it

The first official festival of its fans will celebrate its 50th anniversary next year. But due to the fact that in our country this hobby, which eventually grew into a subculture, came relatively recently, even the word itself is not yet familiar to everyone.

Today we will talk about what is cosplay, who are the cosplayers, what is the history and the present trend.

Cosplay—what is it

The word “cosplay” is a phonetic tracing of the English language. The word Cosplay was coined in 1984 by a journalist from Japan, Takahashi, after he visited one of the thematic conventions in Los Angeles.

The term is an abbreviation of costume play, which translates as "costume play. By the way, in Japanese itself it sounds like "kosupure".

Cosplay is dressing up in the costume of a chosen character and then imitating his characteristic behavior and speech.

The word kastplay is also used in a similar meaning. If we talk about the analogue from the native vocabulary, but the closest would be play reincarnation.

The term “cosplay” as a neologism has caught on well in Russian-speaking reality. This is proved by the fact that it already has derivative words:

  • Cosplay—to engage in cosplay, to copy some character.
  • A cosplayer is a person who engages in cosplay.
  • “Cosplay” is also used with ironic connotations instead of the word “plagiarize.”

History of the subculture

The roots of cosplay as an original hobby go back to the 1930s-60s, a time when science fiction, fantasy and steampunk triumphed. It was these literary genres that aroused the greatest interest in the reincarnation of unusual characters.

At the first “gatherings” of cosplayers in the western world, the images of mutants, astronauts, scientists, aliens prevailed… In the 60s, groups of fans began to unite in the States, and in 1970 the first ever San Diego Comic-Con was held. Today, the festival is held all over the world.

Separately, it is worth looking at the eastern branch of cosplay. For Japan and China, the leading (and almost only) theme of overplay has been anime (what is that?) and manga. The respective Wikipedia pages for these countries' definitions of the term “cosplay” refer exclusively to these genres.

Varieties and characteristics of modern cosplay

The source of inspiration for XXI century cosplayers are:

  • Movies and TV series.
  • Computer games.
  • Comic books.
  • Books.
  • Anime and manga.

As the images for the embodiment of choosing vivid, memorable characters. In recent times, these are overwatch costumes. It is important that they have some characteristic traits in behavior, have an original appearance, clothes.