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The 3 Most Popular Types of Cosplay

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Cosplay (a combination of the words “costume” and “play”) refers to the activity of dressing up and pretending to be a character from a movie, television show, video game, book, or other forms of media. Cosplayers often create and wear detailed costumes and accessories to resemble their chosen character and participate in cosplay events and conventions to showcase their costumes and immerse themselves in the fandom culture.

Cosplay is a great form of self-expression, creativity, and social activity, and it has gained popularity worldwide. It’s also incredibly social: online cosplay communities regularly meet up at conventions and other more informal gatherings to bond over their shared interests and love of dressing up. This article will look at the four main types of cosplay. So let’s jump right in! 

Manga & Anime Cosplay

Cosplay based on manga and anime is extremely popular and always has a significant presence in cosplay events and conventions. Indeed, manga and anime are often the source material for many popular cosplay trends. These cosplays can range from classic and well-known characters to more obscure ones that only true fans will recognize.

Most Popular Types of Cosplay

In general, cosplay based on manga and anime requires a great attention to detail, as the characters’ designs are often very intricate and unique. It’s also common for cosplayers to style their wigs- and other cosplay supplies they’ve purchased- to achieve the distinctive looks many anime and manga characters have. 

Popular anime and manga series like Naruto, One Piece, Dragon Ball, Attack on Titan, and Sailor Moon has a large and highly dedicated fan base, which leads to an abundance of cosplay inspired by these series. And, as new series become popular, they inevitably inspire new cosplay trends and bring fresh, creative costume designs to the community, allowing manga & anime cosplay to evolve constantly. 

Video Game Cosplay

Cosplay based on video games is also incredibly popular and has a large presence at cosplay events and conventions. Many popular video games have developed a dedicated fan base that creates and showcases cosplays of their favorite characters from the games. Cosplays based on video games often require attention to detail, similar to anime and manga cosplay, as video game characters typically have intricate and unique designs

Video game cosplay can range from classic characters from beloved franchises like Super Mario or The Legend of Zelda to more modern games like Overwatch and Fortnite. They can also include cosplays based on specific game genres, such as survival horror games like Resident Evil, or fighting games like Street Fighter.

Like anime and manga conventions, video game conventions and events allow fans to showcase their cosplays and interact with other fans. Gaming conventions such as PAX and E3 also often have cosplay competitions, where cosplayers can compete for prizes and recognition for their work.

Disney Movie Cosplay

Disney movies are a classic source of inspiration for cosplay, with many popular characters like Belle from Beauty and the Beast, Ariel from The Little Mermaid, and Elsa from Frozen being common cosplay choices. Many Disney cosplays require creating elaborate costumes, such as Cinderella’s ball gown or the complex design of Maleficent’s horns. ​​

Some cosplayers even create their own unique takes on classic characters, creating alternative costumes and designs based on their personal interpretation of the character. Disney conventions and events allow fans to showcase their cosplays and interact with other fans. Like PAX and E3, these events also often include cosplay competitions and masquerades. 

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