Post Reply International cosplay
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Posted 12/12/08 , edited 12/13/08
Cosplay in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom differs from Japanese cosplay culture in some ways. Cosplay concerning Star Trek, Star Wars, other science fiction worlds, Renaissance-era characters, and historical re-enactments (e.g. Civil War battles), especially at science fiction conventions, are far more popular in America than they are in Japan. Alternatively, some costumes that might be seen as in bad taste elsewhere (such as Nazi uniforms from certain comics or games) may be seen at events in Japan.

For almost fifty years, costume fandom has had a consistent and widespread following with costumers in the West; from the first Worldcon onward, with the influx of anime costumes, the word cosplay is becoming a more and more commonly used term to describe costumes of specifically Japanese media origins.

An issue with cosplaying anime and manga characters is that these characters generally do not have bodily proportions that can easily be mimicked by many typical cosplayers (e.g. incredibly long legs, huge muscles or giant breasts), and there is debate among fans about how important this element is when cosplaying.

In Mexico, cosplay is commonly seen inside conventions that can be video game-, science fiction- or anime-themed. It is common that cosplayers will also organize their own reunions which can be themed or free for the sake of taking pictures together. Cosplay in Mexico is competitive in a healthy level, with well-established representatives. This phenomenon also can be viewed in other Latin American countries, like Brazil, Argentina and Chile.

In Australia, the trend mirrors the American in that the subject costumes may be selected from sources other than manga or anime. Sources include American comics, computer games, science fiction/fantasy movies and TV shows, animation shorts or features, period drama, novels—any source that provides vivid and graphic inspiration of a character and their costume. Usually the term cosplay is not used to cover historical recreation as the focus is on representational accuracy, not historical accuracy. In general, Australian cosplay is most commonly seen in the larger population centers such as the capital cities and major regional centers, as these have the population base to support the diversity among fringe interests. The display of the costumes is not limited to conventions, although it is not unusual for dedicated cosplayers to travel extensively throughout Australia following the convention trail during the year. In addition to the social convening at conventions, many smaller social groupings exist, hosting their own local events.

In France, cosplay is a widespread activity in anime and manga conventions. Large conventions like Japan Expo can attract more than 500 cosplayers. While the majority of French cosplayers choose anime and manga for inspiration, many people like to dress like movie characters, famous singers or even television actors even if it is not directly related to the theme of the convention. Unlike the Japanese, French cosplayers use almost exclusively hand-made costumes which are often used only once. Buying or reusing costumes is seen as unfair competition (in some contests, they can not compete). French cosplayers are mainly focused on cosplay contests, which take place in nearly all manga, science fiction, fantasy or role-playing game conventions. They are not really competitive; they are more of an occasion to show off the costume and appear as good as possible instead (e.g. scene, lighting, soundtrack, etc.). Acting and singing skills are highly valued in contests, and some groups reenact fighting or musical comedy scenes also. For example, being able to do a cartwheel stunt in costume is part of the Japan Expo tradition and one of the most valued figures in the contest.

In Belgium, cosplay plays an increasingly important role in the F.A.C.T.S. convention, with hundreds of people dressed up in costume from different anime series - though there is an equally large group of cosplays inspired by Western fandoms such as Star Wars, Stargate, Harry Potter, Marvel or DC comics, Disney and much more.

Also, B.I.F.F.F., Asianim and even Hypercon are organizing competitions as it gives conventions a unique additional value.

Cosplay is rapidly entering the mainstream in the Philippines, where cosplay events are often held within an anime, manga, gaming, or sci-fi convention. More often than not, these conventions and events are sponsored, and debates have raged on whether or not judges' perspectives are influenced by the organizers of a cosplay event. Also, Filipino cosplay rules overlook and allow professional fully commissioned costumes to participate in competitions.

Cosplay also has followers in other parts of Asia such as South Korea, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan,Thailand and Indonesia. As well as attending comic festivals and events, cosplayers there also frequent districts popular with teenagers.

Besides pictorial artworks, there is another form of cosplay, which is taking a source from something in the real world being unique and dramatic and then changing its appearance and spirit as the anthropomorphic form for the convenience and vividness of a human cosplaying it: for example, "Princess SP1900"—the anthropomorphic form of electric multiple unit rolling-stock SP1900 of Kowloon-Canton Railway in Hong Kong .

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