‘Cosplay’ is a mashup of ‘costume play’, in which mostly female Japanese fans of manga comics, video games and animation get dolled up in the most up-to-date outfits of their heroines.
It is essentially a form of performance art that started in the underground costume scene in Japan wherein participants put on costumes in order to represent a particular idea or character.
The term cosplay is a general idea of a more diverse culture, where the reiyas or cosplayers dedicate effort and time into perfecting the roles they undertake. It is not rare to see Japanese cosplay girls in public places such as Harajuku district in Tokyo, given that it is considered a regular meeting ground.
When observing Japanese cosplay girls for the first time, the visitors to the city have noted that the highlights are the carefully thought out costumes, make-up and wigs that range from the simple to the elaborate.
Despite the fact that there are a wide variety of characters, the fan favorites and most popular ones are high-school girl and maid uniforms.
As a concept of fashion, cosplay has been viewed as extending towards a method of dressing up as characters which have been developed by the enthusiasts themselves and not only as famous, established characters.
This is frequently a combination of cosplay and elements of the Japanese Lolita dress style, where girls dress up in a cute, distinctive style. That enables girls who like the look but would rather not completely take on the Lolita style for their street dress to take on a diluted version as “Cosplay Lolita” at different venues and events.
Though it began in the underground costume scene, Japanese cosplay girls are now a global phenomenon and they have established fan websites, clubs, conventions and even cosplay superstars who strut their stuff all over the world.