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I’ll be honest. One of the hardest things about cosplay is choosing a character. I’ve had some characters on my list for years and I haven’t done as much as write a shopping list for some. My first cosplay was supposed to be teenage Bulma from my favorite series Dragon Ball. It was my intention to make her costume from the cover of volume 10 of the original Dragon Ball manga. But…the only thing I still have for that costume is the pants…5 years later. (I’m pretty sure that they don’t fit anymore.) I plan on cosplaying forever so I’m sure that I will eventually finish it! (Why I love Cosplay)
One cosplay I am currently working on is Hanji from Attack on Titan; specifically, her incarnation from the junior high series. (The anime is awesome but the manga is better! Trust me!) She is my favorite Attack on Titan character because she’s awesome and I relate to her in several ways. (Although I’m currently not fighting titans.) I can’t wait to finish this one!
I don’t really have a formula to choose characters. I see a character and then I add them to my list. However, I DO have criteria for investing time in and going through with a cosplay. Here are five things that help me choose a cosplay character.
- Convention/Event Rules– Sure, you’ve had your heart set on your Cammy cosplay for months now but if you’re going to a con where the buttocks have to be covered, you’re out of luck. Anime Fest is one con that does not allow exposed butt cheeks . Men can’t be shirtless either. While this may seem unfair, cons must adhere to the rules of their venues and the law. Laws against “indecent exposure” vary from state to state. I have not had issues with dress code with any of my costumes. I just make sure that I am aware of the dress code so that I am not disappointed.
- Craftsmanship/Skill Level– I have never tried building armor so I have never chosen a character who has armor. Sure, I’ve done lots of crazy things to complete a cosplay because I like to challenge myself. But if I don’t feel that I am capable of executing a cosplay properly, I won’t do it. I don’t want to waste time on something that I am not ready for. I would rather take time learning how to do something properly. I am currently improving my sewing machine skills. I think that I am an okay-ish seamstress.
(my poor fingers)
- Likability– I don’t necessarily chose characters that I have a connection to. I may find a character cool or funny. For example, I have loved Human Luna’s design ever since I saw the Sailor Moon S movie as a child so I knew that I would cosplay her one day. I decided to cosplay as Kuranosuke from Princess Jellyfish because I love his outfits and I think he is Being a longtime fan or expert is not a criteria for choosing a character. Cosplay is about having fun and connecting with others.
- Cost– If a character makes it past the list stage, I start hunting for items online and in stores. This includes wigs, fabric, shoes, accessories, weapons, and even thread. I write down the prices of these items so that I can estimate the total cost of the cosplay. (I also search for items in my closet and around the house). I always make sure that I find ALL of the items at a reasonable price BEFORE I start the cosplay and make purchases.
- Time– Is the con in 5 weeks? Or is it in 5 months? Time is a huge factor in deciding on a cosplay. But if you have 5 weeks, you can easily pull off a new cosplay. Establishing a line up early is a good practice so that I know how to manage my time and reach my goal. But I’m not a super human. I’ve worked on cosplay at 3 am….the day of the con. It happens. But I finish before I pull out the parking lot!
(Twas the night before the con…”)
As stated before, I am not a guru. The list above is based on my experiences over the past 3 years. Following this criteria has helped me finish my cosplays on time without breaking the bank! But do what works best for you and as always, have fun!
How do you choose cosplays? Leave a comment below!