[Staff Editorial] The Cosplay Police: Who Asked You?

Anime Expo 2001. I was perusing through the Hyatt and found several stormtroopers stationed at the City of Hope table. “Why are those people here? Don’t they have their own convention?” whispered my Lina Inverse cosplay partner. I simply replied, “I think it’s cool to see different things. I can’t really afford to do comic con in two weeks.”

Dogma Cosplay @ AniMagic 2005

Scenarios like this happen every now and then.  Some anime attendees scratch their head why jedis, stormtroopers, doctors, trolls, ponies, j-rockers, etc gallivant the halls of their precious convention space. On the other hand there is the camp of people who live and let live; they accept people having a good time regardless of their choice of dress.

Matrix @ Nisei Week 2003

I never quite understood why people get so uppity about seeing non-anime cosplay at conventions. This debate has recently stemmed again from the Homestuck invasion. While I am not the biggest Homestuck fan (not my type of thing, but I do make lots of Rob Liefeld drawing Homestuck jokes), if this is something that makes a group of people happy and as long as no one is being hurt, have a good time.

Disney @ Anime Expo 2007

There is plenty of crossover in the anime community. All of us are big nerds at heart. We may like anime, but also enjoy British science fiction. We may read manga, but also enjoy naming the various background ponies in Equestria. Some of us enjoy all forms of costuming and fashion from faire, Star Wars, lolita, and other fandoms. The point being, dressing up is expressing oneself.

Conventions, regardless of genre, are safe spaces to do it. I have worn my share of sweet and classic lolita at science fiction, comic book conventions, and charity events just to express my love of a quixotic fashion that I normally can’t get away wearing to school, work, or a fancy family reunion. I have also worn My Little Pony at Anime Los Angeles 2012. Part of creating cosplay from scratch is the desire to show it off and get as much wearage as possible. As my colleague chortled, “We spend more time making the damn thing than wearing them!”

Dr Who @ Anime Central 2010

I do not judge people who choose to wear DC / Marvel universe, Disney, My Little Pony, Star Wars, Dr. Who, steampunk, etc at anime conventions, particularly where it’s an environment that also encourages cosplay from different genres. If it’s a series you enjoy, then go for it and wear it with confidence.

Ponies @ Anime Los Angeles 2012

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