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Unread 04-13-2014, 12:12 AM   #1
Indy Tarquinson
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Unwritten rules of cosplaying in Japan?

I'm really nervous about cosplaying here in Japan (Tokyo region ) because:
A. I'm mildly overweight and don't feel I particularly look 'just' any anime character in particular (I can pull off Toph and Kiba but left those at home, lol).
B. A bit anxious about making a social faux pas.

I've read up on the actual rules, I.e. not cosplaying in public, using the changing room, asking permission to take pics, etc. I'm probably going to end up going by myself and I'm afraid I'm just going to end up standing awkwardly by myself. My Japanese is elementary and I can ask for pics and comment 'cool' or 'cute' and that's about it, lol.

I feel like the people who cosplay here all look like models and their costumes are impeccable. Like you'll have to bring your A++++ game, no casual cosplays or forgetting a belt! Eek...still, despite it all, I'm up for the challenge.

Is it advisable to cosplay here as western properties like DC or Marvel, or even Avatar?

Are there any overweight cosplayers here at all?
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Unread 04-13-2014, 09:01 AM   #2
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While I can't give advice on Japan specifically, as I've never been there, I have cosplayed in a foreign country with a language barrier. I was in Taiwan. I know how scary it can be to go to overseas events. Not being able to communicate effectively makes it even scarier. So I'll try to be as general as I can with this advice.

I would recommend finding someone to go with you. Do you have any Japanese friends who would be willing to? That would definitely help with a lot of your problems. Another option would be to bring a friend who is more fluent in Japanese than you are, to help mitigate communication issues. But the most important part is to not be alone! Just having someone there to share your nerves will make thing a lot easier.

Are you in Japan as a student, or working? If you're a student maybe you can see if there are any clubs or student groups who focus on cosplay. That's what I did, and it's how I made some of my closest friends while I was overseas. It's also how I learned about a lot of the cosplay events and mini-cons that went on throughout the year.
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Unread 04-13-2014, 01:22 PM   #3
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Don't let the looks of others scare you. The cosplayers in Japan are not all super-professional, model-like people. Some have cosplays that don't look that well-made, others have problems with their wig and there's also overweight people. I've been looking around Cure Cosplay for a while now and Japanese cosplayers are overall all not much different from those with other nationalities.
As for the con itself, I'd go with what AnnaJieJie said.
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Unread 04-13-2014, 02:26 PM   #4
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I'm going to information-dump, sorry. >.< And my experience is Taiwan, so while the culture is similar (Taiwan is known as "Little Japan") it won't be exactly the same as in Japan.
As someone else who as cosplayed in Taiwan, I completely and totally second that you should find someone to go with you. Find several someones to go with you. Cry on the train until old ladies escort you in (not really but you get the point).
If your friends/acquaintances do not want to be seen at an anime convention, bribe them with food/whatever they will accept. Have them escort you to the convention/cosplay room and then they can probably leave.
Also, don't feel bad about being a different shape than anyone else! My Italian friend and I were both on the larger side of our respective body spectrum (exchange student weight is killer) and we had so many people stop and talk to us, ask for pictures, etc. We were a hit and it was a huge confidence boost.
And it's perfectly fine to cosplay Western franchises. I saw people as Captain America, an Umbrella Corp soldier, and various other Western characters. Do what you want.

Oh, and I don't know about anyone else, but I get kind of loud during events with crowds and that is definitely a thing I should not have done. Weirder stares than normal were sent my way.

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