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!


Cosplay On A Dime

So now that you've been introduced to the world of cosplay, you want to cosplay yourself. You've got your character in mind, you've found your reference pictures, and you've looked around on the internet at the various cosplay sites. But, oh! These cosplay sites ask too much for the costume you need! Sadly, your meager budget will only allow for one item from the costume you desire. Never fear, my fellow cosplayer! There are ways to do this cosplay, go to that convention, AND have money left for merchandise!

The expensive nature of cosplaying often discourages fans from participating. As I've said, however, there are ways around the expensive costume. That's what this week's feature is all about! Read on and learn these secrets...

  • Look through your closet. While your character may have a wild and outlandish style, you may be able to find a piece of your normal, everyday clothes that could serve your purpose. If you don't have to buy something, don't buy it!
  • Go to your local thrift store or pawn shop. Like your own closet, these may offer up articles of clothing to serve your purpose. You could also check at your local Wal-Mart, Fred's, Target, or K-Mart.
  • Make your costume. Even if you yourself are not an expert sewer, you may have a relative, friend, or neighbor who could open their own clothing business if they wanted. Go to this person and cut a deal with them. Offer to buy the fabric needed, the pattern, and any accessories (such as zippers or buttons) needed to make the costume or costume piece. You can often find patterns for less than $1 at Wal-Mart and Hobby Lobby, as well as the nearest fabrics store.
  • The pattern does not have to be an exact match. If you choose to have your costume custom-made, chances are you will not find the exact pattern you need. Find a pattern that is as close as possible and make any necessary adjustments. If you're having someone else do the sewing, tell them what you want modified on the pattern.
  • Wigs are not always necessary. If your hair is close to that of your character, don't buy a wig. Style your hair as needed. If your hair is the right length but not the right color, buy some temporary hair dye. Or, if you really want, buy a more permanent hair dye. If you choose the permanent route, make sure it's okay with your parents or guardians, if they may have a problem with it. If your hair is the right color but is too long, you can cut it, if you wish. Again, make sure this is okay with your parents or guardians.
  • If your hair is too short, or you don't want to cut/color it, then you can go on a search for a wig. However, when you're searching, don't use the character's name! Character-specific wigs are often expensive. Instead, search for the color of the hair. For example, if you're planning to cosplay as Sephiroth, search for a long, silver wig. If you're planning to cosplay as Sora, search for a shaggy, brown wig. Remember, wigs can be styled just like real hair.
  • Shoes are also something to consider. As with your clothing, look in your closet first, then hit the thrift stores and pawn shops. You can also search on eBay and Amazon, if need be. As with the wigs, do not search for character-specific shoes! This will yield expensive results.
  • If your character has jewelry, weapons, or wears a mask, consider making it instead of buying it. These items are often simple to make and tutorials can be found in a myriad of places.

Cosplaying doesn't have to be expensive! While it will take more effort to do a cheaper cosplay, you will save money in the end. I realize I may not have answered everyone's questions, so if you have them, feel free to send me a Private Message! I'm always willing to help in any way I can. And 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.

Well, stay classy, Otakuites, and happy playing!


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!