View Full Version : Your thoughts on Original Cosplay?

11-18-2007, 10:51 PM
So I have searched high and low on Cosplay.com for this and came up empty handed. I want to know how everyone feels about "Original Cosplay" as a whole. I understand that there are many different types of "original", but for the most part I am talking about "Original Character" cosplays. Cosplay either based on other characters or completely unique.

What are the pros and cons of Original Cosplay, have you personally taken on an Original character, and what are your experiences with others at cons?

11-18-2007, 10:56 PM
I've cosplayed an OC recently. Lots of fun. =]

I think one pro of cosplaying as an original character is the fact that it shows how you can use your imagination and just bring this charcter from your thoughts to life. That is how some of the great characters come to life.

I see no cons in this at all. I think it's one of the best experiences.

11-18-2007, 11:00 PM
OC's can be very creative, or very lacking in the creative department.
But you know what? You can dress however you like at the con. As long as it follows the rules, and isn't like nude XD
Back when I read fanfics, there was this awesome girl OC who made her own outfits, she wore a corset, skirt, and a mini-crown on her head. I thought the outfit idea was pretty <3 of course you don't see many people wandering around with a corset on, let alone a mini-crown.

The Hag
11-19-2007, 06:12 AM
You might be interested in this thread here:

or this one here:

My personal opinion: any creative, interesting, well-made costume is a win. SF/Fantasy people have been doing it for years and I don't see any reason why it shouldn't be done in the anime genre as well.

Angel Tifa
11-19-2007, 12:41 PM
Looking at the big picture, I think Original Designs of cosplay is a very cool thing ;). When my friend suzushichan cosplayed a lot, she would always do such amazing and unique designs (she said she doesn't cosplay much anymore because she's now doing a lot of guitar playing which is still cool :cool:).

Taking the Devils Advocate here though, original cosplay has been used in the past as a gateway to laziness (ie. I have seen pics of cosplayers just throwing on clothes and calling that original cosplay). That is when original cosplay turns out to not be so good. So if it's creative, carefully and uniquely designed without laziness, I give thumbs up all the way to original cosplay :bigtu:. I'm also re-doing my original Design of my Fem-Cloud Strife. I finished the sketch, but still have yet to make it.

11-19-2007, 01:13 PM
Original Cosplays are interesting to see when done right. It's also a creative way of creating an outfit for ur character that is purely ur own. But I believe that one thing that should be remembered when creating the original outfit would be that it still reflects the character's personality and not go beyond that.

11-19-2007, 01:18 PM
So I have searched high and low on Cosplay.com for this and came up empty handed.

Search function -> "original character"


11-19-2007, 02:56 PM
Thanks Angathol, The search board function isn't all that great... -_-;

... and no one seems to be wanting to answer my questions.

11-19-2007, 09:01 PM
Pros: You can be creative with your costume and be one-of-a-kind.
Cons: If you are cosplaying a completely original character, other people may mistake you for some other character.

Personally, I have never cosplayed an original character, but I hope to do so sometime in the future.

I agree with Angel Tifa. Original cosplays shouldn't be an excuse for a haphazardly done costume.

11-19-2007, 09:12 PM
Your average original character costume (by that, I mean the majority of them) turn out very unoriginal. Most of them are "generic ninja/pirate/cowboy/superhero/supervillain/astronaut/abomination from a fanfic I wrote and two of my friends read" To go even further, these types of cosplays, in my eyes are doing nothing but casting all cosplayer, and indeed, the entire hobby in a negative light, and we would be better off without the 15 year old original forehead protector wearing messes. Not all are this way, but many, if not most, are.

11-19-2007, 09:23 PM
I could be wrong, but I think they go over better at mulit-genre cons where people are definitely wanting to see costumes of all sorts of different things.

11-19-2007, 10:03 PM
Pros: It can be an awesome way to challenge yourself creatively. You're not only deciding how best the costume goes together, you're full on designing it! I think it's great for the experience, and it will help you learn to appreciate the work that goes into character design.

Cons: Unless working with something easily identifiable as a base, you're not going to get a huge amount of recognition unless your costume *really* stands out, or as Megwa said, you might get confused with someone else. There's also the issues others mentioned about it being an excuse for people to just pull a costume together and get incensed if someone doesn't think they're cosplaying.

My overall opinion: I encourage it! Just make sure to take a realistic approach as far as con recognition goes. If you're the type that enjoys posing for pictures, I wouldn't recommend it so highly.

I'm working on my own original cosplay at the moment. I came up with an original design white mage (Final Fantasy style, of course) one day doodling in my sketchbook, and I always wanted to see it come to life. The nice thing about it is it's a white mage, and so long as you have the white with red triangles, you're easily recognizable. I have the cloak done; I'm hoping to get the rest of it done before ALA.

11-19-2007, 10:44 PM
On one hand, I have seen my fair share of terrible original cosplays. Just some preteens slopping on a pair of chain pants and cat ears, or a clingy pair of shorts and a not-gunblade made of broken cardboard. These kids are just anime-high enough to wish they were as cool as or as hot as so-and-so in such-and-such anime and "Hey, I kinda look like XYZ so I'll put on this and this from my closet and I'll be original but like him but not." No. Please, just. No.

And on the other, I have stumbled across a handful of gorgeous men and women who made themselves into some of the most fantastic originals I have ever set my sight upon. Sadly, these great people are the struggling minority in a swarm of not-so-original characters allthatsgeek so eloquently described.

Like an other cosplay, if it is pleasing to the viewer's eye and as detailed and accurate as you can make, then go for the prize and show us that you are one of those cosplayers who is dedicated to proper-looking, original attire. :3

11-20-2007, 12:24 AM
I do only original stuff. Even if I do something else I'm still me so it becomes original. My characters have a whole world built around them which you can see on my homepage and galleries.

If you care too much about what other people think it can be demoralizing. I got out of it back in the early 80s because all the characters then were taken over by Star Wars. Now I don't care and I have costumes that nobody has anything like and I can be whatever I want.


11-20-2007, 12:46 AM
I like:

1. Costumes from games and shows I enjoy.
2. Costumes that are awesome.

If a costume is both, then partypants. If it's just one, it's still partypants.

11-20-2007, 03:52 PM
Lol Mango.

11-20-2007, 05:18 PM
I ONLY cosplay original characters. It's not really a requirment to me, I just want to be my own character. The only time I won't is when I'll look at sayyyyy, a random Naruto episode, look in the backround and see some random backround character that will never show up, and I'll cosplay them.

The pro's are very numerous. You can feel good about a character that only you designed(or a group of friends). You can have a lot of fun designing your backstory and what you look like. Many a con-goer will be interested in your character if you make it well.

The Cons? God, there are many: People assume they know who you are, call out a name, and get angry when you don't respond. Sometimes they harrass you for this.

Bonus: You can bet someone five bucks they'll never guess it when they tell you they "know" who you are!

11-20-2007, 05:37 PM
I think, regardless the pros and cons, the one thing that you must always keep in the mind is how much work do you put into your "original character". I have seen too much of "original character" at cons that simply toss abunch of store bought stuff together in 20minutes and claim its an original design (while you cannot even tell the difference in that and street wear). Its saddening when people simple dress up as lolli or neko cat boy walking around claiming is their original design..

11-20-2007, 06:09 PM
I appreciate well-done costumes, plain and simple. Most of the time I don't know who it's supposed to be anyway, so if it's original and it looks great, that's just fine. Frankly if you're in your Hot Topic finest and some animal ears that's fine, too, it's your own business. Just please don't expect people to snap pictures of you or be impressed by your cleverness. It will get a lot more attention if there's skill and artistry involved.


11-20-2007, 07:10 PM
Original designs work best if you put a lot of effort and creativity into them. If it's well thought out, flows well, has nice effort put into the construction and doesn't look like street clothes it should go over well.

I like the freedom of creativity with original designs.

11-21-2007, 03:03 AM
Effort is definitely key. I know I'm just reiterating what's already been said, but it's true.

The only real problem I have with it comes from a brief encounter I had at ani-magic, where this random guy was criticizing everyone's costumes and ragging on all of us for being "unoriginal"- and what was he wearing? A shirt, jeans, and a Naruto head band. Thus, he was an "original" character. It was very bad form overall on his part. Seriously, he had no right to criticize other people.

I myself have only gotten into cosplaying in the last six months or so, so I'm still a noob just feeling for my boundaries. I am going to try for a new version of a pre-existing character at my next con, so we'll see how that goes.

11-21-2007, 01:30 PM
I got great reactions for an original costume I did this past weekend at AnimeUSA, a fursuit-style leopard named Colby. I had a furry leopard mask, paws, and a tail - hadn't finished my feet yet so I just wore fuzzy leopard-spotted house slippers.

A lot of it is how you present yourself. I sort of sold myself as "just another catgirl" as a joke, and wandered the artists alley poking at shiny objects and letting people scratch my ears and give me hugs.

Part of the appeal of original character costumes, to me, would be giving them personality. Don't just wander around saying "I'm an OC, his name is this and he does this" - act it out! People aren't going to know who you are, so SHOW them! Act like your character and have fun with it. :) I was a kitty, so I acted like a kitty. If I had brought my dragon head, I would have acted like a dragon. Etc. etc.

LU Metal LikaTM
11-21-2007, 01:35 PM
Nice, I make a original cosplay (of Lika, my pink Barl Elf) --> http://img409.imageshack.us/img409/253/likajiaxj1.jpg

11-21-2007, 01:45 PM
Part of the appeal of original character costumes, to me, would be giving them personality. Don't just wander around saying "I'm an OC, his name is this and he does this" - act it out! People aren't going to know who you are, so SHOW them! Act like your character and have fun with it. :) I was a kitty, so I acted like a kitty. If I had brought my dragon head, I would have acted like a dragon. Etc. etc.

EXACTLY! Thank you! The one thing to keep in-mind is that nobody (unless they're a friend of yours already) is going to know what or who you're cosplaying as. This is an excellent way to make yourself stand out from the crowd, and get people interested in your cosplay, as well as meet new people.

As conventions, people tend to take pictures of the characters they know, or the ones they find very interesting. There's a reason why the characters you see getting stopped nearly non-stop for pictures are from popular series, or have outright amazing costumes. Since the former is definitely out of the question for an original work, the latter is going to be much more widely accepted and not met with a blank stare

Wanzer Radio
11-21-2007, 03:08 PM
Nothing wrong with letting your alter-ego shine through. My designs draw more from outlandish fashion concepts than the tried and true future/fantasy ideology. I like taking the 'daring yet attainable' approach. With some style, excitement and functionality mixed in, it works. Consider how plenty of our favorite characters (at least from video games) could be your crazy neighbor.

11-21-2007, 07:36 PM
In this, I think you can go crazy, and have lots of fun making your OC, but you will certainly have people wondering, asking, what the h-ll you are cosplaying as. I would love to try it some time though, because sometimes you can't put together the costume you want in time, so you have to improvise! ^.^