Cosplay is a subculture where people dress up as their favorite character from a book, movie, or show. Japanese anime in particular is heavily represented in cosplay, which is for good reason! Anime characters often have distinctive outfits and personalities, so it can be a lot of fun to imitate one of them at a convention. However, cosplay is much more than just putting on an outfit. Putting yourself in the right mindset and expressing confidence appropriately can help you embody the character to the same extent as the outfit you choose to wear.
Part 1 of 4: Assume the Role of the Character
Step 1. Pick a recognizable character
You could worship a character and believe that you can cosplay her perfectly; however, if it is not well known, it is likely that you will not get a significant response from other people. The best characters to cosplay are iconic and distinctive. These don't have to be the best known characters; however, at least a fraction of the convention attendees must know your character.
If your priority is to be perceived as an attractive girl, consider which are the characters that the members of the fan community consider the most attractive, and which are the most beautiful
Step 2. Get to know your character
Cosplay is considered by some to be the art of costumes, but truly dedicated cosplayers represent their character. This requires a solid understanding of the character's motivations, history, and psychology. Review the reference material and take a crash course on the character. Ask yourself questions and try to answer them yourself. What is your darkest secret? How would you react to a stranger? What hobbies do you have? These questions may not have a significant effect on your character's personality, but they will help you get into the right mindset.
For example, if you are playing Rei Ayanami from the Neon Genesis Evangelion universe, it will be helpful if you watch the series in the days leading up to the convention. Observe the way they animate her and pay attention to her character arc. A good cosplayer might only act shy and mysterious, but the best ones will try to assume the true mindset of the character
Step 3. Plan some poses
To be a great cosplayer, you need to be able to capture the essence of your character in just one pose. Without moving or speaking, position your body in a position that expresses something of the character's personality. Practice some poses in front of the mirror and see if something stands out. If you're having a hard time finding something that actually works, check out artwork or promotional photos of the character you're cosplaying as and imitate them.
- For example, an action-focused character (like one from the Kingdom Hearts series) might fit into a fighting stance. Anime characters are often characterized boldly, so it shouldn't be difficult to detail the dominant tone of the character you'll be playing.
- The poses are more suitable for the occasions when you take photos. You will get a lot of attention if your outfit is impressive enough. Having a few poses will maximize how good you look in the photos.
Step 4. Ignore negative attention
Sadly, for all the great things conventions can offer, conventions are also notorious for attracting envious and unsavory people. If you dress up as an attractive anime girl, this can be an open invitation to some of these less desirable people. If someone like that approaches you or makes a comment that makes you uncomfortable, the best thing to do is ignore them and walk away. Nothing spoils the character like actual stress, plus negative feelings shouldn't interfere with your experience at the convention.
It's a good idea to contact security personnel if someone is constantly harassing you
Step 5. Be confident
Cosplay is essentially about expressing yourself, and the most effective way to do this is through security. If you are confident in what you do, the act of cosplay will emerge more naturally. Obviously, for many people, this will be easier said than done. Security is not something that happens overnight. However, you should be pleased to simply go out and express yourself through cosplay. This activity takes courage, and just being interested in it means you have what it takes.
Part 2 of 4: Make an outfit
Step 1. Look for inspiration on the Internet
One of the great things about cosplay is that it is a community activity. There are likely other people who will cosplay the same anime character that you have chosen. You will get a lot of inspiration if you check out websites like Cosplay.com and Kotaku. Look at the details of the outfits you see. Have any liberties been taken in relation to the reference material? Have they used any effective makeup techniques? In the end, you'll have to be your own hot anime girl, but it doesn't hurt to employ other people's innovations if you're feeling stuck.
Some cosplayers combine characters to perform a hybrid cosplay. This is only recommended if you really know what you are doing
Step 2. Design an outfit
Look for images of the anime character you have chosen to have a reference. From there, you should be able to determine what you will need for the outfit. Some outfits are easier to put together than others. Many anime characters employ a "school girl" aesthetic; you can buy clothes for these types of outfits in stores. More complicated designs will require that stuff. If you want to have an attractive outfit, it will be important that your outfit shows your figure. This does not mean that you will always have to wear a high-cut skirt, but you will have to wear outfits that cover your figure.
If you find yourself in a pinch, the Japanese "school girl" costume is a great option. Even if you don't get to represent a particular character, you will definitely fit in with the crowd
Step 3. Wear a skirt
It is recommended to center the items of your outfit on a certain character; however, a skirt will give you the standard Japanese school girl look. Many anime girls fit this look. Fortunately, you can buy skirts like this at a department store, or you can buy them online.
Step 4. Get colorful boots
Anime is usually very stylized; therefore, the shoes of the characters are usually bright and daring. Boots are an eye-catching type of garment and will make your outfit attract more attention. Boots fit into many anime outfit designs, but you should choose appropriate footwear for the character you have chosen.
- If you want to look like a schoolgirl, the boots are likely too assertive.
- Cosplay outfits can be very expensive. At the beginning, it is recommended that you spend the minimum. This will ensure that you have money for other outfits as time goes on. Only experienced cosplayers should dedicate themselves to a single outfit.
Step 5. Modify a pattern or garment you have
How you create an outfit will depend on how skilled you are at sewing. You can make a more specific outfit for your anime character by sewing, cutting, and hemming items you have; this way you will make them fit your outfit. In most cases, the garments you use for this purpose will change permanently; Therefore, it is better that you wear old clothes that you would not normally wear anymore, or that you go to a used clothing store.
Step 6. Use a plain or natural fabric
Flimsy, stretchy, or shiny fabrics are often very difficult to sew, which can result in very unflattering outfits. You should not use these fabrics, unless you are very good at sewing. Simple, medium weight fabrics will allow beginners to sew with the greatest of ease. Look for natural fabrics like poplin, cotton veil, and lightweight wool.
- Darker prints will make it easier to hide imperfect seams.
- If you are using patterned fabric, use a small pattern instead of a large one. If you are using a large pattern, you will have to match it with the seams, which is much more difficult to achieve.
Step 7. Make your outfit unmistakable
In many cases, people will only have a few seconds to admire your outfit before looking away. Detailed outfits are great, but if you're in a pinch, you can usually do something simple to make your outfit unmistakable or recognizable. Based on your knowledge of anime, you could come up with some ways to improve your appearance. Even if you only have a schoolgirl outfit, including a pokeball (from the Pokémon universe) will indicate to everyone that you are playing a character from that world.
Part 3 of 4: Achieving Anime Hair and Makeup
Step 1. Make your eyes bigger
Anime is quite a characteristic animation style, and its most distinctive feature is surely the way the eyes are exaggerated. If you are cosplaying an anime girl, you can achieve these bigger eyes by wearing makeup. Line your eyes with a white eyeliner, and extend the edges of your eyes using light-toned shadows. Shadows should be used to create a new, wider shape for the eyes. Spread the shadow a bit where it ends for a blended look.
This could be a heavier amount of shade than you normally use; however, the rest of your eye makeup should be applied lightly. This will make your bigger eyes more realistic. Exceptions should be made if your character wears a different type of eye makeup
Step 2. Wear contact lenses
Eyes are very important to the anime drawing style; therefore, your eyes will have to capture as much attention as possible. Contact lenses are a quick and relatively affordable way to improve your appearance. Study the design of your character's eyes, and determine at your discretion whether colored contact lenses would be suitable for their appearance.
Step 3. Color your cheeks
Female anime characters are usually very stylized. Many anime girls have the appearance of dolls, and makeup must be used to achieve that appearance. You can use blush to achieve reddened cheeks of anime characters. You may also need to make your face look paler by using foundation and concealer. If you need specific inspiration for looks, watch the anime your character belongs to. The best cosplays focus specifically on the details of a character.
Makeup is a less important part of cosplay, so you shouldn't worry too much if it's not your strong suit
Step 4. Straighten your hair and form a fringe
There is no single "anime hairstyle" for girls. It is recommended that you try to style your hair based on a character. However, straightening your hair will give you a more Japanese look. Bangs are also a basic hairstyle in anime. It is recommended that you find a picture of your favorite anime character and ask a stylist to make your hair look like it.
You can also wear wigs. You can find wigs suitable for your outfit at a costume store
Part 4 of 4: Planning for Conventions
Step 1. Enter the community
Cosplay has a very passionate and inclusive community. If you don't already have friends who like cosplay, it's a good idea to meet some fans. This is a very popular subculture; therefore, you will be able to communicate with cosplay groups very easily on the Internet. Look for public groups on social media pages like Facebook. By joining one of these groups, you can start making friends by listing some of your favorite anime.
Step 2. Pick a convention
The thought of attending conventions can overwhelm you if you haven't already got into the habit of attending them. Depending on where you live, you may have to travel a bit. Anime conventions vary considerably in size and scope. At the beginning, it is recommended that you choose a small one. These are less overwhelming, and it is easier to make friends with people if there is less chaos.
In the US, attendance at conventions typically costs about $ 20 to $ 60 per day
Step 3. Consider the option of going in a group
There is no problem with doing a cosplay project on your own; however, many cosplayers find it more enjoyable to go in a group. If you plan to go to a convention with some friends, they might decide that they will dress up as characters from a certain anime. Compared to individual outfits, these groups tend to make a much bigger impression at conventions.
It is also safer to go in a group. Conventions sometimes carry the risk of exposing yourself to guys who harass attractive cosplayers. If you are in a group, you can keep them under control more easily
Step 4. Determine if you want your photo taken
Some people attend cosplay conventions mainly to observe other people's cosplays. Some of them might be interested in taking your picture. This is often seen as a compliment; However, if someone asks you for a photo, you will be the one to decide if you feel comfortable with it. Refuse politely and get on with it if you don't like this.
If you are concerned about being harassed, you can ease this pressure by going in a group. It is often recommended that you have a friend watch over you in case there is a small chance of a problem
Step 5. Heat up
At first you might think otherwise, but cosplay conventions can be physically exhausting. Walking around and posing all day can take a toll and fatigue anyone. It is recommended that you get ready for a convention day by doing light stretching and warm-up for 5 to 10 minutes before leaving for the event. Stretch your arms and legs to make sure they are more flexible. Rotating your neck and arms will lower your risk of straining throughout the day.
Step 6. Have fun
The most important thing about any convention is to have fun. Getting ready for a convention can stress you out, and the conventions themselves can feel overwhelming at first. However, after getting over the worst of them, these can be a lot of fun. There are many things you can do to enjoy conventions to the fullest. These are some of them:
- Take your photos. Why wait for others to take photos of you? Take pictures of yourself and other cosplayers. This is a great way to immortalize the memory.
- Visit the anime stalls. Many interesting products are usually sold for fans. If you are an anime fan, you will find many things that you will adore. It can be fun to bring a little money to buy souvenirs.
- Socialize and meet other people. Basically everyone at the convention will be there because they love the same kind of art. This can be the basis for meeting friends whose friendship lasts a lifetime. Even if you don't make lasting friendships, it can still be a great time to talk about your common interests.
- Cosplayers often prepare their characters for a convention, but you don't have to go anywhere to enjoy it.
- Bring a sewing repair kit to the convention. It can be horrible to lose your hard work on convention day. Most tears can be easily fixed if you take care of them quickly.
- Many cosplayers like to "reverse the sex" of the characters, and thus turn a male character into a female cosplay. This requires a bit of additional innovation and ingenuity; however, it is something you can keep in mind as you gain more experience.
- Pay attention to your heart. At its most basic, cosplay is about expressing your love for a certain character or hobby. The more you care about a character, the more enthusiastic you will play him in cosplay. You will be more motivated to take on the role of the character if you really love him.
- As a rule, anime girls feature unrealistic figures. Don't try to compare yourself to an imaginary girl. Even if your figure is different, you can embody your character's appearance just as well.
- If you are going to cosplay an anime girl, you have to be careful with the unpleasant people who sometimes accompany this hobby. Embrace the good and the bad, and talk to someone if you are being bullied.
- Be realistic with your skill level. If you've decided to create your own outfit, but don't have much skill at sewing, don't commit to sewing a very complicated outfit from scratch.
- Costume contests only accept handmade ones. If you want to compete in them, you will not be able to use the outfits that are sold in stores.