You know how cosplay is pretty niche, here in the West? Well, in Japan…it’s pretty much the same. Beloved by a small group of enthusiasts, and mainly ignored by everyone else. I’m actually really into it as a spectator affair, even if you won’t find me dancing around in a spiky blue wig. I won’t say I’m not curious, but most of those costumes involve a lot of leather, and leather doesn’t breathe in the way that cotton does.
Shinjuku isn’t my usual haunt, but there’s a powerful vibe of fun there. Folks cast off their daily shackles and dress up as fictional characters they reall love, and the whole thing is dang infectious. People work so hard in this city; I guess if that’s how you want to let off steam and exercise your creativity, I’m 100% down with it. I even saw someone cosplaying Yard-Raptor Baklava, which was my ultimate favourite show when I was seven. Alright…maybe getting me in a blue spiky wig isn’t totally out of the question.
I’m surprised to hear that Brentley hasn’t ever cosplayed. In fact, I have my doubts that he’s even telling the truth right now, because I can totally see him climbing inside a raptor costume, complete with improbably-long blonde twin ponytails, and asking if anyone wants to sample his baklava.
Anyway, I find cosplay pretty ridiculous. Sounds harsh, but the whole culture is just really offputting. You don’t try to make yourself look real, not for 99% of the time anyway. Instead, all the costumes are ill-fitting and cheap-looking, the wigs are totally ridiculous, and people don’t even try to dress up as a character who suits them or their body type. I’ve been to Shinjuku, but I can’t say I enjoyed it very much; I’m not much into what they call ‘high-fashion’, and if you’re not there to gawk at people (and- heaven forbid- you have a single hair out of place or some dust on your boots!) then you just don’t end up feeling welcome.
Sorry, but none of it is really my ‘thing’.
I’ve heard myself described as ‘straight-laced’ in the past. I think it might have been meant as a compliment, but it sure didn’t feel like it at the time.
Well, here’s a plot twist: I love Shinjuku, and I love cosplay…from a distance. A few times I’ve been down, gotten myself a bubble tea and sat in the window of a cafe to watch the droves of them pass by. I’d never dress up myself, but there’s a contagious, youthful exuberance that I find very refreshing, and every now and then you get a burst of true creativity. Someone will strut by in a costume that they clearly either made themselves or had custom-made by someone who takes their craft seriously. Their props will be lovingly crafted to look authentic, they’ve matched the character to their physique, and even the makeup is flawless.
I just appreciate the immense amount of effort that goes into that sort of presentation, even if it is rare as hen’s teeth and the adult equivalent of playing dress-up. But the fact that it’s rare makes it all the more special.