The cosplay phenomenon reaches the CPP community

By Shannon HernandezOctober 12, 2021

The anime and video game community grew during the pandemic as millions of people had to follow the COVID-19 stay-at-home order, allowing everyone to explore new interests and new people.

Cosplay is an activity used to bring characters from shows, movies, comics, or video games to life with the creative process of making a costume, wearing wigs, and using crafts to portray a fictional character in a way unique to cosplayers.

“Cosplay gives me a huge confidence boost and serves as my alter ego as I am normally such an introverted and reserved person,” said Brionne Moore (21, applied math), former president of Cosplay Corner.

In the midst of the pandemic, the Cosplay Corner at CPP was created virtually for all students interested in the cosplay process. Moore and biology student Savannah Palombi bonded over cosplay when they met at CPP’s Anime Club during one of their cosplay events.

Palombi and Moore started Cosplay Corner to showcase their passions and network with other students who are interested in cosplaying or want to learn more about the process.

“When I started reading manga or watching anime and I saw that there is a community of people who make their own outfits to look like these characters, I was very fascinated,” said Moore. “I see cosplay as an important hobby and creative outlet that allows me to express my ideas and show off my skills.”

Moore cosplays an original character, a fairy named Hana. (Photo courtesy of Brionne Moore)

The club has weekly meetings to share cosplay tips. At the end of each meeting, club members have the opportunity to provide additional information on the topic.

“I love going to conventions because you’re surrounded by and interacting with people who enjoy the same manga, anime, or even comics that you do,” Moore said.

These conventions and the cosplay community are growing in popularity as many people are learning about the phenomenon of cosplay and how the creative aspects can make anyone feel welcome and accepted. “Just as some people join sports clubs or fraternities to become part of a community, conventions create a sense of community among a crowd that otherwise doesn’t get much attention: nerds, geeks, weebs, gamers, and cosplayers. “, said. Moore

The conventions contain many different aspects for cosplayers and anime lovers to enjoy, such as panels from animation companies and the chance to see exclusive sneak peeks and trailers for shows or movies. Q&A sessions are held for the audience to learn about the process behind a show, to ask the voice actors about their experience working on the show, and any questions the audience wants to direct to the cast or creators. At conventions, cosplayers dress up as their favorite characters, and if asked politely, people can take photos with their favorite characters brought to life by the cosplayer.

According to the Anime Expo website, Anime Expo received 350,000 attendees in 2019 from all over the world. Although the 2020 event was online, it received more than 500,000 views on live streams.

Faith Kim, a computer science student, has been a huge fan of watching anime and reading manga. She started cosplaying during the pandemic and creating her own accessories to complete the character.

“Cosplaying is so much fun, and I love that the community continues to grow because the same characters will be dressing up, but each individual will bring their own creative flair,” Kim said. “It takes a lot of time and effort, but the result is always worth it because you feel like the badass character you chose.”

Featured image courtesy of Brionne Moore.