Every enthusiastic cosplayer will confirm this – cosplay is certainly more than just a simple hobby. It is also much more exciting than throwing yourself into a costume at carnival or Halloween and making a good figure at the party. First of all, cosplay is much more elaborate in terms of the quality of the costume, the loving details and the accessories. Secondly, it’s not only about putting on a costume, but the chosen characters should also be portrayed as convincingly and faithfully as possible in their character traits, their behavior, their movements, etc. A real cosplayer therefore slips fully into the role and is always a bit of an actor. And many performances are actually ready for the stage!

Cosplay

In this article we will take a closer look at the topic of cosplay together with you – enjoy reading!

What exactly is cosplay and where does it actually come from?

Cosplay has its origins in faraway Japan. That’s where anime and mangas come from and originally these protagonists, heroes and anti-heroes were used by the fans as inspiration to recreate them as closely as possible. Little by little the repertoire has been expanded and now also characters from comics – especially Marvel and DC of course – but also film and television, even novel heroes serve as models.

Marvel

Many cosplayers specialize in one genre, for example:

  • anime
  • Manga
  • video games
  • Film / TV
  • Books

Of course the costume plays a very important role and this is usually designed, sewn and made by a real and passionate cosplayer. At the very least, a purchased costume is personalized so that it is something special and not an off-the-peg costume. Helpful are of course well sorted online shops, where you can find not only complete costume sets, but also lots of accessories like wigs, weapons, jewelry, masks, artificial body parts, contact lenses, make-up and much more.

The boom in Japan spilled over to the rest of the world in the 1990s and the fan base has been growing ever since. The social media have also contributed to this, as most of the cosplayers are very active in this area and use Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and most recently TikTok to draw attention to themselves and show off their great costumes and performances.

Many cosplayers also emphasize that cosplay is practically a lifestyle and the cosplayer community is almost like a family. They help each other with tips, sewing costumes, getting great accessories, etc. Accordingly, the atmosphere at trade fairs and conventions is simply huge and for this reason alone is worth the effort.

Cosplay has to really please you and arouse passion, because for a simple hobby the fun is quite expensive. Because a good costume with all the accessories can easily cost hundreds of Euros. On top of that, there is the trip to the convention, e.g. Comic Con or Cosplay championship, film premieres, book fairs, etc., plus admission and often accommodation and food.

What does the typical cosplayer look like?

Cosplayers can be found in all age groups, but most are rather young, between 14 and 35 years. Women may be slightly outnumbered, but on the whole, cosplay is equally popular with both sexes.

typical cosplayer

Most women like to choose pretty daring outfits, because who wouldn’t like to walk around in their free time in a sexy and revealing way. Cosplay is just about anything goes and most anime and comic characters are very feminine and attractive, both in appearance and clothing.

Of course, there’s always something nerdy about cosplay – unforgotten are the cosplay scenes from the Big Bang Theory, where Sheldon and Co. go to Comic Con in Star Trek outfits, or when Leonard shows up at Penny’s Halloween party as Frodo.

Fandom and Cosplay also belong together and so it’s not surprising that you’ll meet hordes of Harry Potters, Star Wars Stormtroopers and one or the other of the Avengers at the respective event.

Can you make money with cosplay?

Yes and no – because, as mentioned before, cosplay is an expensive pleasure. The costumes are expensive and the production is time consuming. On top of that there are the costs for attending the events, which are usually not low.

Nevertheless, there are different ways to earn money. Firstly, there are the particularly skilled cosplayers, who not only make stunning costumes for themselves, but also do this for a fee for less skilled cosplayers.

There are also some cosplayers who specialize in making certain accessories, such as wigs, jewelry, weapons, artificial body parts etc.

Some cosplayers also work as models for photo shootings or very often for events.

Most of the successful and well-known cosplayers have of course social media presence and are influencers.

Those who regularly take part in conventions at the competitions that take place there and are successful can also win prize money or attractive non-cash prizes.

In most cases, the money earned is then mainly enough to finance the next great costume and the trip to the convention – but it’s usually not enough for living.

But that doesn’t matter to most people, because it’s all about fun!

Conclusion

It’s certainly undisputed that cosplay is definitely more than just a simple hobby. It is more of a lifestyle. The community of cosplayers is close, warm and conspiratorial. To slip completely into the role, to play the favourite hero in attractive and above all creative costumes is simply fascinating. Once you’ve started, you usually can’t get away from it!

Our advice is therefore to try it out for yourself. Don’t worry, in the beginning even a bought costume in the middle price range will do. And you don’t have to dare to go on stage at the competition. Just dress up as your favourite hero from manga, anime, video game or film and stroll among like-minded people at the event and see if you enjoy it!