Difference of Japanese Cosplay and American Cosplay

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  • most japanese cosplay might exceed the american cosplay(also other countries)...but to some extent, i believe in the hearts of our anime fans in the US....it is stronger...and that strong obsession allows them to surpass the resemblesence between cosplayer and character than the japanese.(uh if this makes sense)

    so wat is ur opinion about this topic?

  • Not being biased but I really think the Japanese rule cosplay. That's what I think. Honestly, the best cosplayers I've seen are all Japanese. They can possess the anime look easily somehow which I can't seem to explain why either.

    And anyway, I believe the obsession of Japanese are very strong as well, since anime and manga originated from Japan, so did anime/manga cosplay.

  • Eheh, not really. Remeber its pretty easy to *buy* character outfits in Japan, there are amazing Japanese cosplayers, but same in America, I've seen loads of Jaw-dropping costumes in these galleries, and honestly not that many awe-inspiring Japanese costumes. If you can't see that, then you probably haven't been cosplaying very long. ^^:;

    And yeah, I like costumes and anime and all, but I'm not obbessive. o.o

  • To be honest,from what I've noticed about a lot of Japanese cosplay is that they tend to alter their costumes to make them look cuter or sexier even though it's inaccurate.I noticed this when I saw a a pic japanese girl cosplaying a character I've cosplayed before.After that I started taking more notice of inaccuracies in their cosplay.Granted a lot of japanese cosplay is awesome but I believe that a lotta western cosplayers concentrate more on accuracy of their costumes vs cutenss/sexyness (obviously this isn't true for everyone).
    But like Dewy said,it does make one's life a lot easier when you can just buy a costume off the rack!

    Or even online!!:[url]http://www.cosmates.jp/[/url]

  • I really don't think this can be properly judged. One of my friendss idolize this other chinese cosplayer, because her costumes are amazingly well done and accurate, and she looks exactly like that character she is cosing. Also, I was looking at korean sites yesterday, and I found a group of cosplayers that were awesome, and a photography website I was blownh away by. I think it all depends on what you are looking at, and through what perspective.

  • Frankly, the priorities of costuming in Japan vs. the West are very different.

    Costuming has been around in North America for decades (since the 1939 World Science Fiction Convention), and here we tend to focus more on making things ourselves and doing good workmanship. We also have the 'Masquerade' system of presenting our costumes onstage. We also have a strong tradition of creating our own costume ideas and designs.

    Japan borrowed the idea of cosplay from us, actually - a Japanese man visiting Worldcon in the 80s saw costumers and then came up with the term 'cosplay' to describe what he'd seen to Japanese people. Please remember that he wasn't looking at anime costumes, so cosplay isn't just about anime! In Japan cosplay is more about 'playing' an existing character, looking and acting like that character (and they use the term 'cosplay' for any type of character, whether it's from anime, games, movies, books, TV - LOTR is still cosplay for them).

    They don't have the same type of cons we do, and they don't usually compete in masquerades. Mostly they go to an event, get dressed there (nobody would dare wear their costume on the train), have their pictures taken in costume, then take their costume off and go home. At Comiket you're only allowed to wear costumes in the photo area; you can't wear them around the convention floor. Gothic Lolita outfits and the like are only worn in certain neighbourhoods on certain days. Also, as mentioned above one can buy complete costumes in stores in Japan, and there isn't the emphasis on "I made it myself" like we have here. There is also an emphasis on young, pretty females.

  • Just thought I'd point something out...

    Many times in anime the characters aren't even "really" japanese. Depending on the art-style, a Japanese girl is drawn comparatively to any other nationality of girl. Look at Chrono Crusade for instance.

    So I never really understood the whole "Oh he's japanese so he makes a better *insert character here* than that white guy." This is the same reason I see a lot of people think Japanese cosplayers are considerably better than other nationalities. From what I've seen, there really "is" no difference in quality or worksmanship. (and I'm talking about involved costumes... not the guys that slap on a headband and say they're cosplaying someone from naruto...)

    The biggest thing I like about Japanese cosplay is the whole "anything goes" mentality. It doesn't necesarily need to be anime or manga to be accepted. I'm somewhat worried about the comments I'll get at my next con for wearing a superhero costume (even if he is in MvC2). I remember pics (from a con I believe) of Neo, Trinity, and Morpheus cosplayers running away from a stampede of Smith cosplayers. Stuff llike that, whether at an anime con, a scifi con, or outside your dorm room, is just INSANELY COOL to see.

    ... wow, that turned into a bit of a rant... sorry :razz:

  • [COLOR=green]
    I think saying that one entire group of cosplayers is superior to another group of cosplayers is not only an unrealistic statement encompassing far to many variables but is impossible to prove without a definate set of perameters and controlled study.

    i.e. all japanese cosplayers of average looks, 5'5", and 120 pounds, with 100$ to spend, and a week to produce thier Yuna costumes, will always produce superior quality costumes, and will have a more pleasant and accurate overall appearance than western costumers with the same qualifications?

    XD See how silly that is?

    I know of often appears that costumers hailing from places like Japan are "better" cosplayers. With the focus being more on the modelling aspect and a pleathora of magazines and internet site dedicated to promoting droves of handpicked photos of the most gorgeous costume shots both professional and amature [U]it's really a case of how cosplay there is viewed and marketed and ultimately what we are exposed to as a result[/U].

    It's a different branch of a similar tree, i.e. how beautiful costuming en masse is thought to be a relatively new phenomenon attributed to the popularity of anime because documenting this current generation's imediately overwhelming interest has been historically the easiest and most prolific.. In fact it's [U]not[/U] a new phenomenon at all. Literary, Historical, Sci fi and Fantasy costumers have been doing it hard and heavy since contemproray popular media has become available to the masses in the electronic age. HOWEVER, these groups have not had the TWO MAJOR ADVANTAGES that this current generation of costumers enjoy which is

    1) The advent of the relatively inexpensive and easily aquired DIGITAL CAMERA which allows even the most pedestrian user to take and store hundreds of pictures. The advantage of this being twofold, there are more pictures available of all subjects at a much more economical price than film photography method. Even untrainned users have a much higher precentage chance of capturing a beautiful photo even if it's only one in evey 40.

    2) The now mainstream exsistance of the world wide web, allowing people to share these pictures and thier information more freely and widely and MUCH MUCH more economically.

    Back to my original point. Because those forerunners of this latest anime craze, (despite their AMAZING workmanship and fantastic achievements), aren't up on the web and out there to be seen they are all but non exsistant in the public psyche.

    It's all about what is put out there. Perception is only based on available information or lack of available information.

    The japanese have proliferated the current media of choice, (the internet) and youth culture with thier images of thier ideals of thier hobby. Thus equating the japanese with perfect cosplay is ingrained in our public psyche, whether it reflects the truth of the situation or not.

    If we in the west had the same type of emphasis on the types and amount of cosplay we show in our media as they do in japan perceptions would change immediately.

    In my personal opinion. I think there are VERY TALENTED and AMAZING cosplayers of all shapes, sizes, ages, genders, races and nationalities all over the world, and personally I wish we got to see and meet more of them, we are sure to be pleasently suprised ! :cheers:


    * Ps. May I point out that I make little distinction between cosplaying as we know it and costuming in general.

    **Further note: sorry for being so longwinded. *wry chuckle*

  • Oh boy, how to make this short and to the point....

    I used to think Japan ruled cosplay too....but...

    It's about even on all sides. Give it about 3-4 years being in the cosplay world and you're going to see the most awesome non japanese cosplayers and some not so good.
    Eventually after surfing japanese sites you'll see the same thing.

    The reasons people think costumes are better in Japan are varied. Personally I suspect that the prominent Japanese cosplayers are the ones with the sites that are easy to find. And of course the whole reason they are prominent is because their costumes are good. Therefore most of the time we see a site it's because they made a site cause their costumes are good, no one is going to make a well known site about their bad cosplay. That means most of what we see if only going to be the good stuff.
    But go to their other links....look at pictures from the cons over there...chances are you are going to find good and not so good cosplay.

    Another factor that I think plays a roll is who is photographed. Could it be that they just only pick out their best pictures to show? Could it be that they actually filter out not so good cosplay by not taking photos of it?

  • I'm impressed - there are some wonderful coments in this thread, with lots of information (most notably Sarcasm and Kaijugal).

    I have to clarify about Comiket, though. One can wear their costume anywhere at comiket, even the dealer's rooms (I and many other people did). BUT you cannot take photos anywhere (of people in costume, and maybe in general) but the designated photo areas. They are very strict about dressing and undressing the costume at the convention, as mentioned. And few will admit to the hobby if you meet them outside of a con.

    Also, think of the budget. The Japanese, despite their "recession", have a very large expendable income. Especially young women, who usually live at home and get money from their parents. They can afford to spend hundreds of dollars on their costumes to get them from a store, professionally made, or in materials. How many cosplayers have this type of expendable income?

    They're also quite into the modelling aspect of it, as also mentioned. No one cares if you make or don't make your outfit. They just want to have fun.

    I wouldn't dare generalize and put one group of cosplayers ahead of another - there are talented people everywhere. And know what? I saw many average and beginner level costumes at Comiket. They just woulnd't make it into the best galleries or into the mags and whatever.

    Also, something that's different in Japan is often companies will make outfits (usually the big ones, like mechas) and have someone wear them. Or else a group of friends will form a "guild" and they will support one another and share skills (welding, badge making, sewing, crafting, etc) to help make everyone great costumes. That type of thing is rarely done in other countries in the costume world. (At least, this is how I understood some of the costume world based on a convo at AX:TOKYO in 2004; I have limited Japanese, but that's what it sounded like to me).

  • I agree with a lot of the comments here: judge by a person to person basis, not country to country. There could be one amazing cosplayer in Japan or Canada or America, but the rest could just buy their outfits or "slap a headband on" as said before, one shouldn't judge an entire people because of a few. No one is superior, we all have our shining stars to be proud of but I don't believe anyone "owns" anyone in this field. Until I see a scientific study proving me wrong, I think this is a pointless discussion.

  • in no way is any group of cosplayers any better than others. Costume wise, or "heart" wise. Especially when they're grouped by something as generic as their country.
    You can't represent the quality of cosplay in a country as a whole.
    Especially one you've never been to and seen for yourself.

    My opinion: Stupid topic.