Post Reply Cosplay in North America
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Posted 12/12/08 , edited 12/13/08
Anime convention activity in the United States and Canada has become a much larger and much more popular trend in the 2000s. With the added public attention coming from such popular animated series imported from Japan (see anime) including Naruto, Fullmetal Alchemist, One Piece, Death Note, Inuyasha and Bleach, cosplayers and the anime world have peeked their heads into the world of mainstream pop culture, on at least a relatively underground scale. More and more convention-goers cosplay as their favorite characters from their favorite anime, and thus, the cosplay and anime subcultures have been able to have enough influence to further the creation of anime conventions to accommodate for the increasing number of cosplayers.

Conventions in America often include both cosplay and costume contests.The cosplay, or "masque", (masquerade) is a skit contest done in cosplay costume. The costume contest is often a test of skill, design, and audience reaction. The contestants are judged either beforehand or on stage and then walk across said stage while the audience cheers (or not, depending on the etiquette of the venue). The increased popularity of convention costuming has led to the addition of several relatively new cosplay-based events, adding to the traditional masquerade and hall costume contests. Such events include the Anime Dating Game and Cosplay Human Chess, where participating cosplayers act out their characters' role in the game accordingly.

Competition has led to the development of many cosplay groups that plan for conventions months in advance. Non-competitive cosplay can often be seen at opening nights for science-fiction and fantasy movies, especially those with an established following. Even in small towns, some cosplayers wait in line for hours before showings of movies in franchises like Star Wars, Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. Even cult hits like Serenity have drawn opening night cosplay.

In the UK, US and elsewhere, fans of The Rocky Horror Picture Show attend screenings of the cult film in the costumes of its characters. This tradition began soon after the film's release in 1975.

The annual Bay to Breakers footrace in San Francisco has been a favorite cosplay venue for decades. A large number of cosplayers run or walk in their favorite costumes amongst serious competitive runners.[citation needed]

In the CBS hit show CSI: NY, one of the victims that was found dead on the episode "Down the Rabbit Hole" was cosplaying as her avatar, as was the victim's killer.

Starting on July 4th, 2008, a limited number of cosplay j-pop influenced dance parties have been springing up in the city of Chicago after a recent Wizard World Convention.

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