Hi, everyone! Excel, reporting for duty! I'll be your guide through the wonderful world of cosplay. In this world, you'll find many helpful tips for doing a great cosplay. I'll try to post at least once a week with some advice on topics such as cosplaying on a dime, getting character personalities right, and finding rare cosplay items. I'll also feature my own cosplay from time to time, and maybe even some of yours! If you have any questions or ideas on what you would like to see featured, feel free to PM me.

As always, stay classy, Otakuites!

~~Why draw anime when you can BE anime?~~

Hair: Does It Make The Man?

So, we're all anime and video game fans here, right? Then that means we've all seen those anime and video game characters with the wild and crazy hair. In anime and video games, the rule of "art imitating life" does not apply. Some of the heads of our most beloved characters are crowned with gravity-defying, mind-boggling manes, am I right? Let's face it: NONE OF US are born with such crazy 'dos! So how does one go about obtaining these funky styles? Read on, my friends.

  • If your hair style is close to that of your chosen character, consider using styling gel or hairspray before splurging on a wig. As I've said before, wigs can be quite uncomfortable. For example, if you have slightly shaggy blonde hair, and you're planning a Cloud Strife cosplay, you can find a good gel or hairspray at your local Wal-Mart, Fred's, Target, or K-Mart.
  • Consider a hair cut if your hair is the right color, but too long. Even after the cosplay, the change could be refreshing.
  • What if your hair is curly, but the character's is straight, or vice versa? Most girls own either a straightener or a curling iron. If you don't own one yourself, borrow one from your mom, grandma, or other female guardian.
  • So, your hair is the right length and style, but it's the wrong color. Try a spray-in color or temporary dye. These can be found for a fair price at Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Fred's, and Target, especially around Halloween. Hot Topic also sells a great brand of temporary hair dyes in a rainbow of wacky colors. Feeling more bold? Go for a permanent dye! However, before putting ANY hair color in your hair, PLEASE ask your parent or legal guardian for permission!! It is never good to anger those in power.
  • If none of these options work for you, buy a wig. If you've got the money to splurge and you want your costume to look perfect, search for "[Character's Name] Wig". If you're tight on money or you want to save your money for the Dealer's Room or Artist Alley, though, consider searching for the color and style of the wig you want. Attaching the character's name to the wig will often yield only expensive results. I've stumbled across wigs that cost around $100, even!

Now, I realize it sounds like I'm against wigs. This isn't the case, folks! Heck, I own two, as I can't cut my hair short (due to it's frizzyness) and can't dye it (temporary dye hates my hair, probably the frizzyness). In my experience of wearing wigs around all day, I've come to the realization that they are a nuisance. They itch, they can be easily knocked off, and if they're long, they can get tangled and ruined.

As always, remember to take pictures of your cosplay! Document the experience. Learn from what you did. If something worked for you, share it! Or if it didn't work for you, find out why it didn't work and fix the problem. If you would like, I'll also be willing to feature your cosplay on this world. Just send me a couple of pictures (or links to them) and a description of the cosplay.

I'm also open to suggestions for the next guide or feature, as well as any questions. If I can't answer your questions, I can direct you to someone who can.

Stay classy, Otakuites, and happy playing!


When Cosplay Goes Wrong, Pt. 1

Okay, so this isn't meant to run anybody down, really. But here's some examples of bad cosplay. This is not meant to offend anybody! I actually applaud these players' efforts! No flamers, please.

First, we have a typical example of horrible cosplay: Overweight-Middle-Aged-Man as Sailor Moon!
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When anyone mentions bad cosplay, the image most of us receive is that of an overweight man who appears to be in his 30s or 40s dressed as Sailor Moon, or some other short-skirted heroin.

Next up, we have someone who went too cheap: Cheap Kakashi!
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While it is good to do a cheap cosplay, it is not always good to be THIS cheap! Wigs can be expensive, but toilet paper is a poor excuse for hair...

Now we come to something that can be truly disturbing: Existing Characters' Love Child!
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While we all know that Jessi and James were destined to be together, we did not expect them to reproduce...Pokemon will never be the same for me...

Oh, look! More cheap things: Cardboard costumes!
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If you choose to use cardboard to make a mecha, please please PLEASE put some real effort into making your costume! Wearing a cardboard box and writing "Gundam" on it does not work.

Finally, we have a cosplay nightmare: A furry!

Now, don't get me wrong. A lot of people actually like furries. But please remember that CHILDREN often attend conventions!! Do not ruin their childhood by trying to be a sexy furry!

Well, that's all I have for now, as theO only allows up to 5 pictures in a post. Look out for more of When Cosplay Goes Wrong!

Stay classy, Otakuites!


First-Time Cosplay

So, you're an anime fan, you're snooping around on the internet looking for pictures of your favorite characters, and behold! You come across images of real people dressed as your favorite character! What's this? Has your favorite character come to life? No, my friend, this is called cosplay.

Costume Roleplay, or just "cosplay" is a common phenomenon among fans of anime, manga, video games, and other such media. It involves the player dressing up in a costume representative of a character, or sometimes even an idea. One can find a myriad of cosplayers at any media convention such as anime and video game conventions.

Now that you know what cosplay is, you may have decided that you would like to partake in this fantasy world. Welcome, fellow player! Before simply jumping into this wonderful world, you may want to listen to a little advice from a veteran player:

  • First, choose a character you know very well. Cosplay is not simply looking like the character, but actually acting like a character.
  • Next, you'll want a full-body image of your character. There are Cosplay Nazis out there who will tear you to pieces if your costume is full of mistakes. Nothing can break your spirit like flack from a Cosplay Nazi. When going out to gather the items for your costume, you'll want to have a front, side, and back view image of your character so that you don't leave out any necessary items.
  • Now you can go out and find those items! There are many cosplay resources on the internet. Sites such as Cosplay Magic and Cosplay.com offer a wide selection of cosplay costumes and accessories. However, sites like these usually have expensive items. If you don't have a large budget, try looking on eBay or Amazon for your items. Later, I'll do a feature on cheap cosplay.
  • A lot of characters have wild and funky hair styles. You can find wigs at the cosplay sites, eBay, and Amazon, but there are also sites specifically geared towards wigs. Wigs.com and Best Wig Outlet offer a variety of wigs. However, not all characters require you to buy a wig. If your hair is very close to the character you've chosen and you can easily style your hair to match the character, it's best to save your money and skip out on buying a wig, as it would be unnecessary and itchy.
  • Take pictures! Document your first cosplay and learn from it. Did something go wrong? Remember what went wrong, or what didn't work for you and build on it. Or, if it turned out great, remember that as well! Share your cosplay with your friends and fellow anime fans.

Now that you're acquainted with the world of cosplay, go out there and give it a try! If you'd like, you can PM me with your first cosplay. I'll even feature it if you want me to!

Stay classy, Otakuites, and happy playing!