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Lolita (ロリータ・ファッション, ? roriita fasshon) is a fashion subculture in Japan that is primarily influenced by Victorian children’s clothing as well as costumes from the Rococo period. Lolita has made this into a unique fashion by adding gothic and original design elements to the look. From this, Lolita fashion has evolved into several different sub styles and has created a devoted subculture in Japan. The Lolita look consists primarily of a knee length skirt or dress, headdress, blouse, petticoat, knee length socks or stockings and rocking horse or high heel/platform shoes. Teddy bears and dolls such as Super Dollfies are often carried to emphasize the childlike look.[1]


A kuro lolita in Harajuku, Tokyo.Although the origin of Lolita fashion is unclear, it is likely the movement started in the late 1970s when famous labels including Pink House and Milk, began selling clothes that would be considered "Lolita" by today's standards. Shortly after that came Baby, The Stars Shine Bright, and Metamorphose temps de fille. In the 1990s, Lolita fashion became better recognised, with bands like Malice Mizer and other Visual Kei (or visual type) bands coming into popularity. These bands wore intricate costumes, which fans began adopting as their own style.[2] The style soon spread from its origins in the Kansai region, and ultimately reached Tokyo where it became popularized throughout Japanese youth culture. Today, Lolita fashion has grown so much in popularity that it can be found even in department stores in Japan. Today many young people wear the fashion all around the world.


Subtypes of lolita
Gothic Lolita
Sweet Lolita
Classic Lolita
Punk Lolita

Other subtypes
Wa Lolita
Qi Lolita
Ōuji/kodona/dandy (male Lolita fashions)
Hime Lolita




[edit] Subtypes

[edit] Gothic Lolita
Gothic Lolita (known in Japan as gosurori, "goth-loli") is a mixture of the Gothic and Lolita fashion. The origins of the Japanese Gothic style can be traced back to the English New Wave Movement during the 1980s: however, the Japanese Gothic scene is fundamentally different than the Gothic subcultures of the west.[3] This Gothic fashion has been adopted into the Lolita fashion through the use of darker make up, clothing, and themes in the design. Unlike other Lolita Styles, in Gothic Lolita darker colors are used for makeup. Red lipstick and smoky or neatly defined eyes, created using black eyeliner, are typical styles.[4] The Gothic Lolita makeup is not as heavy or dramatic as the Western gothic counterparts. Newer makeup styles emphasize lighter colors but still retain the heavy eye makeup.[5]

The outfits themselves use dark color schemes like black, dark blues and purples. Black and white is the most common color scheme in this look. The KuroLoli subset uses a strict black-on-black color scheme. Gothic Lolita outfits often use less detailed fabric than other Lolita styles. Cross jewelry and other religious symbols are also used to accessorize the gothic Lolita look. Other accessories, like bags and purses, are often in uncommon shapes like bats, coffins, and crucifixes. [6]

Like many other Lolita fashions, the Japanese visual kei movement was responsible for helping to introduce and popularize the Gothic Lolita style. One artist in particular, Mana, a Japanese musician and fashion-designer, is considered to be the major force behind the popularization of the Gothic Lolita style, though he is not credited with creating it. Mana’s own Gothic Lolita fashion label, Moi-même-Moitié, has grown to be very successful. To describe the designs of his new label, he coined the terms Elegant Gothic Lolita (EGL) and Elegant Gothic Aristocrat (EGA) .[7]


[edit] Sweet Lolita

Sweet LolitaSweet Lolita (amaloli) is heavily influenced by Rococo styles as well as shojo manga (girls' manga). Focusing on the child and fantasy aspects of Lolita, the Sweet Lolita style adopts the basic Lolita format and uses lighter colors and child fantasy themes in its design.

Makeup used in sweet Lolita is common throughout most Lolita styles. A natural look is emphasized, to help maintain the child like feel of Lolita. Light pastels, light pink, and natural colors make up the Lolita makeup color scheme.[8]

Sweet Lolita fashion places its focus on the child-like aspects of Lolita design. Outfits consist of pastels, gingham or other colorful prints, lace, bows, and ribbons to emphasize the cuteness in the design. Popular themes in the sweet Lolita are references to Alice in Wonderland, fruits, and cake.[9] To keep with the child feel of sweet Lolita, the shoes usually have a smaller heel than that of other Lolita styles.

Jewelry often reflects this fantasy theme: Popular motifs include cherries, cakes, hearts, ribbons, and bows. Headdresses and bows are also a popular hair accessory to the sweet Lolita look. Bags and purses are often in the shape of stuffed animals or hearts. [10]

Also included in Sweet Lolita are the sub-genres of ShiroLoli (WhiteLoli), which uses a strict white-on-white color scheme, and Country Lolita, which incorporates gingham prints and straw baskets, with hairstyles such as hair-braiding, and simple buns.

Momoko, a protagonist in the book/film Shimotsuma Monogatari (Kamikaze Girls in the US), is a popular example of sweet Lolita. She idealizes the rococo period and likes to spend her time acting like a sweet and innocent child. She wears a popular Sweet Lolita brand called Baby, The Stars Shine Bright. Other Lolita brands include Manifesteange Metamorphose temps de fille and Angelic Pretty. Emily Temple cute (sister brand of Shirley Temple, a Japanese boutique for little girls), Jane Marple, and MILK are milder ama-loli (Sweet Lolita), and one can buy them at department stores in Japan.[11]


[edit] Classic Lolita

A Classical Lolita and an Aristocrat. Note the man's contact lenses.Classical Lolita (Classic Lolita) is a more mature style of Lolita that focuses on Baroque and Rocaille styles. This look can be seen as the more sophisticated, mature Lolita style because of its use of small, intricate patterns, as well more muted colors on the fabric and in the overall design. The colors in the classic Lolita style are lighter than those in the gothic Lolita, but are not as light as those used in sweet Lolita .[12] Empire waist dresses are also used to add to the more mature look of the classic Lolita. Shoes and accessories are less whimsical and more functional. Jewelry with intricate designs is also common. The makeup used in classic Lolita is often a more muted version of the sweet Lolita makeup, with an emphasis placed on natural coloring. This Lolita style uses slimmer dress silhouettes than its counterparts to add to the mature style. An example of the classical Lolita brands are Juliette et Justine, Innocent World, Victorian Maiden and Mary Magdalene.


[edit] Punk Lolita
Punk Lolita (or Lolita Punk) adds punk fashion elements to Lolita fashion. Motifs that are usually found in punk clothing, such as tattered fabric, ties, safety pins and chains, screen-printed fabrics, plaids, and short, androgynous hairstyles are incorporated into the Lolita look. The most popular garments are blouses or cutsews and skirts, although dresses and jumper skirts are also worn. Common footwear includes boots, Mary Janes or oxfords with platforms. [13] Common Punk Lolita brands are A+Lidel, Putumayo, h. NAOTO and Na+H. Many of the Japanese punk Lolita fashion brands take influence from London's famous Camden Town Markets. Vivienne Westwood, who, though not a Lolita designer, has items and collections that reflect Lolita sensibilities, especially in her Japanese collections, is popular in the punk Lolita scene.


[edit] Other subtypes
Because of the do it yourself nature of Lolita fashion, many other subtypes have come out of the basic Lolita frame. These styles are often not as well known as the ones mentioned above, but they do showcase the creative nature of the Lolita fashion, and illustrate how people make the fashion their own.[14] Listed below are just a few examples of the smaller subtypes of Lolita fashion.


[edit] Wa Lolita

An example of Waloli.Wa Lolita (or Waloli) combines traditional Japanese clothing styles with the Lolita fashion. Wa Lolita usually consists of kimono or hakama modified to fit with common Lolita garments. The bottom half of the garment is altered to accommodate a petticoat, or a kimono-style blouse is used as a top to accompany a plain Lolita skirt. Outerwear can include haori or adult-sized hifu-vests. The shoes and accessories used in this style are typical of traditional Japanese garb including kanzashi flowers, and geta, zori, or Okobo. These shoes are often used in place of the normal Lolita platform and high-heeled shoes.


[edit] Qi Lolita
Qi Lolita is a similar style but uses Chinese clothing and accessories in place of Japanese. Usually this includes qipao and cheongsam-dresses modified to accommodate a petticoat. Accessories include platform-slippers for footwear and bun-covers as hair accessories.[citation needed]

Ōuji/kodona/dandy (male Lolita fashions)
Ōuji (王子/王子様, Ōuji or Ōujisama?), meaning "prince", is a Japanese fashion that is considered the male version of Lolita fashion. This style takes its influence from the clothing boys in the Victorian era wore.[15]

Ōuji is inspired by what was worn by Victorian boys, but can be worn by either gender and includes masculine blouses and shirts, knickerbockers and other styles of short trousers, knee high socks, top hats, and newsboy caps. The colors usually used are black, white, blue and burgundy, though there are feminine versions of the fashion with a broader palette. Make-up, when worn with the fashion, is usually light and minimal, though sometimes when women wear it, more make-up is used than what they would wear with Lolita. Ryūtarō from Plastic Tree and Yukke from MUCC are two of the most popular wearers of the ōujisama style.

The term kodona (from "kodomo otona", literally "child-adult") was coined by Plastic Tree's vocalist Ryūtarō Arimura as he described his dress sense and is often used as the Western name for the fashion.


Hime Lolita
Hime or "Princess" Lolita is characterized by a princess-style look based upon the European aristocratic style

[edit] Lolita culture
In Japan, despite still being a subculture and fringe fashion, Lolita fashion is mass-marketed and has wide visibility particularly in the streets of Tokyo and Osaka, on television, in manga (see Paradise Kiss by Ai Yazawa for an example of gothloli inspired manga) and computer games. Outside of Japan it is still a widely unknown fringe fashion although it has slowly begun to spread to other countries. Lolita fashion, along with cosplay and other Japanese cultural phenomena, can sometimes be seen at concerts and anime conventions throughout Europe and the United States. The style has not yet been mass marketed outside of Japan, although increasingly Japanese brands are available for purchase abroad directly from the brands. However, there are plenty of dedicated fans filling the still-remaining gap. Lolita fashion magazines are widely available for purchase on the Internet and at Japanese bookstores which also deal in anime and manga. Adherents often sew their own homemade lolita outfits, sometimes offering them for sale to make up for the difficulty of acquiring them from Japan. Apart from most western fashions, Lolita tends to hold higher expectations to those that dress it. Higher quality clothes are favored over "cheap" lace and cosplay-esque designs. [20] Many adherents also purchase lolita outfits, accessories and dolls online from Japanese brands such as Baby, The Stars Shine Bright or other fellow lolitas.

Gothic & Lolita Bible
One magazine in particular, the seasonally published Gothic & Lolita Bible, has played an instrumental role in promoting and standardizing the style. The 100+ page magazine includes fashion tips, photos, sewing patterns, catalog descriptions, decorating ideas, and recipes. Tokyopop has been releasing the English language version of the magazine since February 2008








GANGURO

Ganguro (ガングロ) is an alternative fashion trend among young Japanese women which peaked in popularity around the year 2000, but remains evident today. The Shibuya and Ikebukuro districts of Tokyo are the center of ganguro fashion.




[edit] Characteristics
Ganguro appeared as a new fashion style in Japan in the early 1990s and is prevalent mostly among young women and women in their early 20s to this date. In ganguro fashion, a deep tan is combined with hair dyed in shades of orange to blonde, or a silver grey known as "high bleached". Black ink is used as eye-liner and white concealer is used as lipstick and eyeshadow. False eyelashes, plastic facial gems, and pearl powder are often added to this. Platform shoes and brightly-coloured outfits complete the ganguro look. Also typical of ganguro fashion are tie-dyed sarongs, miniskirts, stickers on the face, and lots of bracelets, rings, and necklaces.

Ganguro falls into the larger subculture of gyaru (from English "gal"), a slang term used for various groups of young women, usually referring to overly childish or rebellious girls. Researchers in the field of Japanese studies believe that ganguro is a form of revenge against traditional Japanese society due to resentment of neglect, isolation, and constraint of Japanese society. This is their attempt at individuality, self-expression, and freedom, in open defiance of school standards and regulations.[1] The deep ganguro tan is in direct conflict with traditional Japanese ideas of feminine beauty. Due to this, as well as their use of slang, unconventional fashion sense, and perceived lack of hygiene, ganguro gals are almost always portrayed negatively by the Japanese media.[citation needed]

Fashion magazines like Egg and Kawaii magazine have had a direct influence on the ganguro. Other popular ganguro magazines include Popteen and Ego System. The ganguro culture is often linked with Para Para, a Japanese dance style. However, most para para dancers are not ganguro, and most ganguro are not para para dancers, though there are many who are ganguro or gal and dance para para.

One of the most famous early ganguro girls was known as Buriteri, nicknamed after the black soy sauce used to flavour yellowtail fish in teriyaki cooking. Egg made her a star by frequently featuring her in its pages during the height of the ganguro craze. After modelling and advertising for the Shibuya tanning salon "Blacky", social pressure and negative press convinced Buriteri to retire from the ganguro lifestyle.[2]

Yamanba and manba

YamanbaYamanba (ヤマンバ, Yamanba?) and manba (マンバ, manba?) are terms often used to describe extreme practitioners of ganguro fashion. Old school Yamanba and Manba; (particularly known as 2004 Manba); featured dark tans and white lipstick, pastel eye make-up, tiny metallic or glittery adhesives below the eyes, brightly-coloured contact lenses, plastic dayglo-coloured clothing, and incongruous accessories, such as Hawaiian Leis (often the Alba Rosa brand). Stickers on the face died out shortly after 2004, and for a while, Manba died. Yamanba is now more extreme, and hair is often multicoloured, and usually synthetic. 2008's Manba has seen a darker tan, and no facial decoration (stickers). Hair is usually neon/bright colours, with pink being a favourite. Wool, extensions and clips are worn to make hair appear longer. Clothing remains the same, although Leis are worn less frequently now. Manba and Yamanba are not to be confused. Yamanba has white make-up only above the eye, while Manba has makeup below the eye also. Stuffed animals, bracelets, bells and hibiscuses are worn. The male equivalent is called a "center guy" (センター街, Sentāgai?, Center Street), a pun on the name of a pedestrian shopping street near Shibuya Station in Tokyo where yamanba and center guys are often seen.

The "Yamanba" picture seen on the right, is in fact a picture of a Manba, Yuka, from the most famous Japanese gal circle, AngeleeK (she graduated in 2007)

Etymology
Blackface#Japan
The etymology of the word "ganguro" is disputed. Some academics claim that the name derives from the word ganguro (顔黒, ganguro? blackface), but ganguro practitioners invariably say it derives from the phrase gangankuro (ガンガン黒, gangankuro? exceptionally dark). The term yamanba derives from Yama-uba, the name of a mountain hag in Japanese folklore whom the fashion is thought to resemble. Ganguro is now used to describe girls, or gals, with a tan, lightened hair and some brand clothing. This can often be confused with Oneegyaru and Serebu, although Oneegyaru is usually associated with a lot of expensive gal brands, and Serebu focuses on expensive western fashions




GYARU

Gyaru (ギャル, Gyaru?) is a Japanese transliteration of the English word gal. The name originated from a 1970s brand of jeans called "gals", with the advertising slogan: "I can't live without men", and was applied to fashion- and peer-conscious girls in their teens and early twenties. Its usage peaked in the 1980s and has gradually declined. The term gradually drifted to apply to a younger group, whose seeming lack of interest in work or marriage gained the word a "childish" image. It is now used almost interchangeably with kogyaru and younger generations may consider it clichéd or even archaic.








RAVER
Raver is a word that has been used since the 1960s to describe people who are enthusiastic attendees of parties. For this purpose, the term is most common in the UK.

The popularity of the term has ebbed and flowed in reflection of the constant changes in youth cultures in each decade. The meaning has also altered slightly as different youth cultures have adapted the word (and related words) to suit their milieu and lifestyles.

In its original 1960s incarnation the word was a synonym for the American slang term “party animal” – a gregarious fun-loving individual. In its second incarnation (from the 1980s onwards) the word has come to mean anyone who attends extended night-time music events known as “raves”. In the post-1980s meaning – the essence of the word relates primarily to the type of events the person attends rather than to the personality of the individual.




KOGAL

Kogal (コギャル, kogyaru?) is a subculture of girls and young women in urban Japan, one of several types of so-called gyaru. They are characterized by conspicuously displaying their disposable income through distinctive tastes in fashion, music, and social activity. In general, the kogal "look" roughly approximates a sun-tanned California Valley Girl, and indeed, there are even some linguistic similarities between these Western groups and Kogal. Both subcultures have derived entire sets of slang terms (such as "Kogalese" (コギャル語, kogyaru-go?)). Kogals are not to be confused with the ganguro subculture, although they are similar.

Kogals are known for wearing platform boots, a miniskirt, copious amounts of makeup, hair coloring (usually blonde or brown), artificial suntans, and designer accessories. If in school uniform, the look typically includes skirts pinned very high and loose socks (large baggy socks that go up to the knee). Kogals' busy social lives and desire for new material goods lead them to be among the first consumers of Japanese mobile phone technology, and their taste in clothes tends toward Burberry scarves and Louis Vuitton handbags. Kogals spend much of their free time (and their parents' income) shopping, and their culture centers on the Shibuya district of Tokyo, in particular the 109 building, although major Japanese cities are sure to have a small population. During the summer, kogals may sometimes be seen at the beach. They are generally not seen in high-end department stores.

Critics of the Kogal subculture decry its materialism as reflecting a larger psychological or spiritual emptiness in modern Japanese life. Some kogals support their lifestyle with allowances from wealthy parents, living a "freeter" or "parasite single" existence that grates against traditional principles of duty and industry.

The kogal phenomenon emerged in the mid-1990s and its effects can still be seen today in its numerous off-shoots of sub-categories, although conservative tastes in dress and hair color seem to be on the upswing. The Gothic Lolita aesthetic has been described as a reaction to the kogal look, since it attempts to reclaim childhood innocence, though skeptics point out that most Lolita merely model after J-rock cosplay and spend just as much, if not more money on their appearance when compared to kogals.

The term's etymology is disputed. The most common theory is that it was derived from the Japanese word for "high school", kōtō gakkō (高等学校, kōtō gakkō?), or kōkō (高校, kōkō?) for short, although others claim that it comes from ko (子), the Japanese word for "girl" or "child". The "gal" originates from English.[1]. See gyaru.






COSPLAY

Cosplay (コスプレ, kosupure?), short for "costume play",[1] is a type of performance art whose participants outfit themselves, with often-elaborate costumes and accessories, as a specific character. Characters are usually sourced in various Japanese and East Asian media, including manga, anime, tokusatsu, comic books, graphic novels, video games, and fantasy movies. Other sources include performers from J-pop, J-rock, Visual Kei, fantasy music stories (such as stories by the band Sound Horizon), novels, and objects from cyberspace or the real world that are unique and dramatic (especially if they have or can be given an anthropomorphic form).

Cosplay participants ("cosplayers") form a subculture centered around wearing their costumes and reenacting scenes or inventing likely behavior inspired by their chosen sources. In some circles, the term cosplay has been broadened to include simply wearing a costume, without special consideration given to enacting characters in a performance context.
Nov Takahashi, from the Japanese studio called Studio Hard, coined the term cosplay – a contraction of the English-language words costume play – while attending the 1984 Los Angeles Science Fiction Worldcon.[citation needed] He was so impressed by the hall and masquerade costuming there that he reported about it frequently in Japanese science fiction magazines. This follows a common Japanese method of abbreviation: combining the first two moras of each word to form an independent compound. Costume becomes kosu (コス), and play

Cosplay can be seen at public events such as video game shows, as well as at dedicated cosplay parties at nightclubs or amusement parks. It is not unusual for Japanese teenagers to gather with like-minded friends in places like Tokyo's Harajuku district to engage in cosplay. Since 1998, Tokyo's Akihabara district has contained a large number of cosplay cafés, catering to devoted anime and cosplay fans. The waitresses at such cafés dress as game or anime characters; maid (or meido) costumes are particularly popular.

Possibly the single largest and most famous event attended by cosplayers is the semiannual doujinshi market, Comiket. This event, held in summer and winter, attracts hundreds of thousands of manga otaku and many thousands of cosplayers who congregate on the roof of the exhibition center, often in unbearably hot or cold conditions.

Cosplayers in Japan refer to themselves as reyazu (レヤズ, reyazu?); pronounced "layers" (by writing the word cosplayers in katakana, コスプレヤズ, it is possible to shorten it in this way). Those who photograph players are called cameko, short for "Camera Kozo" or "Camera Boy". The cameko give prints of their photos to the players as gifts. Tensions between players and cameko have increased due to perceived stalker-like behavior among some obsessive males who push female cosplayers to exchange personal email addresses or do private photo sessions. One result of this has been a tightening of restrictions on photography at events such as Comiket.

While cosplay at fan events in Japan is thought to have originated in 1978,[2] one should not be confused with the idea that cosplay is considered typical behavior in Japan. While some do attend cosplay functions that are held in districts such as Akihabara, most Japanese people find cosplay to be rather silly. [3]


[edit] Cosplay costumes
Cosplay costumes are radically different from typical Halloween costumes. Because the object of cosplay is literally to become one's character, the intricate details of the costumes are critical. Costumes must meticulously adhere to the designs of the characters' attire, and even more generic costumes are often elaborately artistic.[4] Rigorous attention to detail may include ensuring the seams are aligned properly, thread colors are appropriate, and fabric colors precisely match the character and their attire. Some cosplayers will buy their costumes from talented artists, while others may spend months creating the perfect cosplay outfit.

Because the costumes are so elaborate, like-minded people gather to see others' costumes, show off their own elaborate handmade creations, take lots of pictures, and possibly participate in best costume contests at different cosplay events


A recent trend at Japanese cosplay events is an increase in the popularity of non-Japanese fantasy and science fiction movie characters, perhaps due to the international success of such films as The Matrix, Star Wars and Lord of the Rings. Characters from the Harry Potter films have a particularly high number of female fans in Japan, with female cosplayers playing either male or female characters, Draco Malfoy being an extremely popular choice.[citation needed]


Jerry Polence, a Filipina cosplayer, dressed as Fran from Final Fantasy XIICosplaying as characters of the opposite sex is called "crossplay", and cosplaying as characters who dress as the opposite sex is called "cross-dressing". The main reason that people do “crossplay” or “cross-dressing” is because in anime there is an abundance of bishounen (beautiful youths), who are very attractive and feminine-looking male characters.[5] Therefore, in the reality, females can often act as these characters better than the males. “Crossplay” and “cross-dressing” often coincide, but since some Japanese characters cross-dress to start with, it is possible to do one without the other.

For example, a female cosplayer cosplaying as a male character would be cross-dressing and crossplaying. However, a female cosplayer dressing as someone like Mana (male artist from the Visual Kei band Malice Mizer known for dressing in female clothes) would be crossplaying, but not cross-dressing; and a male cosplayer also cosplaying as Mana would be cross-dressing, but not crossplaying.

A small niche group in the crossplaying field are dollers, a subset of kigurumi cosplayers; usually male, they wear bodysuits and masks to transform fully into female characters.

By the late 1980s, rather than cosplay being a chance to roleplay as a favourite character, it was a chance to be seen. A new kind of cosplayer emerged - a cosplayer who attended events not to participate, but to be photographed. Also, photographers came to take photographs of the cosplayers, several of those photographers were from adult magazines.


Cosplayer Ying-Ching Heung at the University of Hong Kong dressed as Wikipedia's anime mascot, Wikipe-tan.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.[7]


Filipina cosplayer as a Priston Tale priestessIn 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,[8][9] 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 .[10]



[edit] Cosplay in North America

A cosplayer dressed as Power GirlAnime 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.[11] 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.[12]


[edit] Cosplay in Indonesia
The first cosplay activity started in early 2000 when Gelar Jepang Universitas Indonesia (Indonesian University Japan Culture) added cosplay as one of its main events. It started attracting attention of a few youngsters who built their own costumes and showed them at the events.

Indonesian cosplayers form groups such us Infiniteam, The Endless Illusion, Cosparty, AAC, MaCherie, Machipot, and etc. They make dramatic presentations using their costumes, called a cabaret. The event is normally held by a university or local magazine. Cosplay events are frequently held in Jakarta, Bandung, and Bogor.


PROFFESIONAL COSPLAYS
Ginny McQueen and Francesca Dani are internationally famous cosplayers.
Forrest J Ackerman attended the 1st World Science Fiction Convention in 1939 where he wore the first "futuristicostume" (designed and created by Myrtle R. Douglas), which sparked fan costuming.[citation needed]
Lee Teng-hui, former President of the Republic of China (Taiwan), dressed up as the fictional character Edajima Heihachi of the anime series Sakigake!! Otokojuku.[13][14]
Daisuke Enomoto, a Japanese entrepreneur, was set to be the 4th person to go into space with Space Adventures as a private individual in October 2006. He intended to go into space wearing a Gundam costume of Char Aznable. He failed to pass physical examinations. [15]
Vic Mignogna, a voice actor for FUNimation Entertainment, has dressed up on many occasions at anime conventions and Risembool Ranger Dinners as characters he voiced.
Tiffany Grant, a voice actress best known for having dubbed the voice of Asuka Langley Soryu for the English-language version of Neon Genesis Evangelion, has attended many conventions dressed as Asuka. As she has explained, a fan at a convention once asked her for her costume measurements and her address, so she could mail her a costume. What Grant did not realize was that the fan's mother was actually a professional costume maker, so the resulting red "plugsuit" costume she received was of particularly high quality, and subsequently, Grant began wearing it to conventions.
Yuri Lowenthal, a voice actor best known for his role as Sasuke on Naruto, was found at Anime Expo 2007 dressed up as Haseo (another one of his characters) from the .hack series.
Mike McFarland cosplayed his character Ranka Fujioka (a drag queen) from Ouran High School Host Club at Anime Expo 2008; all the regular cast members also wore blue Ouran Jackets.











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Posted 1/7/09
cosplays are the best:)
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Posted 1/17/09
...Loli-loli-LOLITAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAS...!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted 1/18/09 , edited 1/18/09
I've heard GYARU before... I really dont know what it meant...
Thanks to this I've learned the meaning of it and everything!
even though lots are for gals... I've still learned something.

Professional Cosplayers rock!
THANKS Visual_Kei_Princess
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i love professional cosplay >.< a friend of mine cosplayed as ichigo from bleach.......... and he looked like an orange covered in chocolate...............
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Cupcake-chann wrote:

i love professional cosplay >.< a friend of mine cosplayed as ichigo from bleach.......... and he looked like an orange covered in chocolate...............


...shame...
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yinyang_cali wrote:


Cupcake-chann wrote:

i love professional cosplay >.< a friend of mine cosplayed as ichigo from bleach.......... and he looked like an orange covered in chocolate...............


...shame...


ya they sent him a brown kimono, and he tried to die it.......... but he bleached it instead....... so he had to order another one...... but they sent him a brown one again....... so he gave up and wore that.........and the wig hung down from his head cuz he couldn't spike it enough..........and he couldn't carry the sword around..... he said it was too big =.=
haha XD it was an interesting costume tho~ XP
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ChaosShinn-sama wrote:

I've heard GYARU before... I really dont know what it meant...
Thanks to this I've learned the meaning of it and everything!
even though lots are for gals... I've still learned something.

Professional Cosplayers rock!
THANKS Visual_Kei_Princess


Join my sisters cosplay group its on my favorite groups
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Posted 3/7/09
I like ganguro,lolita,kogals....can someone upload a pic of visual kei? Cuz i dont get it
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Posted 3/18/09
i'm cosplaying too!!..^^
my 1st cosplay is only a lolita...i'm in a made costume
then i cosplayed yuna of final fantasy...
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yay I love {{ cosplay

out fits in japan are so cool ^^
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