Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Mia. Mia Wonders, “Why do people cosplay?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Mia!
What's your favorite holiday? It would be hard to find a kid who didn't love the winter holidays. After all, who doesn't like getting Christmas or Hanukkah presents? You might also like watching fireworks on Independence Day.
For a lot of kids, though, it's hard to beat Halloween. Eating a ton of candy is only surpassed by the fun you have dressing up as a goblin, a ghoul, a ghost, or one of your favorite comic book, television, or movie characters.
If you really love dressing up like your favorite fictional characters, there's no reason to limit your fun to Halloween. Welcome to the world of cosplay!
If you've ever been to a comic book or science fiction convention, such as Comic Con, you may have seen people — lots of people! — dressed up as a wide variety of characters from comic books, anime, manga, movies, books, and television shows.
Who are these people? They're cosplayers! They have fun engaging in cosplay, which is a type of performance art. "Cosplay" is a contraction or portmanteau of the words "costume" and "play."
Cosplay involves dressing up as a favorite fictional character from a wide variety of sources, including science fiction or fantasy books, graphic novels, movies, television shows, comic books, anime, manga, and video games. Costumes can range from simple and homemade to extremely elaborate outfits custom made by professionals.
Cosplayers do more than simply dress like their favorite characters, though. To express their creative side and show the depth of their fandom, they also behave and speak like their characters, sometimes acting out their favorite scenes with their friends.
Historians believe cosplay got its start in Japan in the 1970s when college students would dress up like their favorite manga and anime characters at sci-fi conventions. The term "cosplay" was first used in a June 1983 article by Nobuyuki Takahashi in My Anime magazine.
Cosplay spread from Japan to other areas all over the world over the following decades. Cosplay gained popularity in the United States in the 2000s. Today, if you attend a comic book or sci-fi convention, the majority of attendees will be in costume.
Cosplay isn't limited to just conventions, though. Today, cosplayers gather together at special events at clubs, movie theaters, amusement parks, fairs, cafes, and a variety of other places where friends can gather to celebrate the things they enjoy.