[Cosplayflying] —— Is Cosplay a Disadvantage to Anime?
The growth of cosplay has been massive in the past years. For what might have started as a trend is now a whole sub-culture of passionate cosplayer dedicated to pay homage to their favorite characters. Notable cosplayers have now achieved the status of mini-celebrities at conventions. However, some recent happenings and take on the culture has us wondering if cosplay is actually killing anime – from where it all started? Is there really a dark side to what looks like a glorious world out there?
To point out a few instances, there seems to be some building displeasure amongst the anime and comic-book artists regarding the growing popularity of cosplay. Cosplay might be glorifying the genre but some artists are of the opinion that it might actually be causing more harm than good. Recently Star Wars artist Dave Dorman’s wife Denise Dorman wrote how they might be losing sales owing to the cosplay business.
Another notable blow was Artist Patrick Broderick’s Facebook post telling off cosplayers not to send him invitations and claimed that he will not participate in any activity. He thinks that weird costuming will get in the way of anime development.
He wrote, “If you’re a cosplay personality, please don’t send me a friend request. If you’re a convention promoter and you’re building your show around cosplay events and mega multiple media guest don’t invite me….You bring nothing of value to the shows, and if you’re a promoter pushing cosplay as your main attraction you’re not helping the industry or comics market..Thank you.”
Come to think of it, his arguments really doesn’t hold fast as Cosplay does help in furthering the popularity of anime and can’t be seen as a major hindrance to it. The entire fact doesn’t point to the conclusion that cosplayers aren’t contributing or bringing value to the comic book industry. What the artists might be missing is that these cosplayers actually form a major part of the consumer base for the industry. And, they also help in sparking interest about these anime characters at conventions.
The other accusation that has long saddled the cosplay culture is the debate on discrimination against women cosplayers. It has often been seen as objectifying women who dress up as scantily clad characters. Women and girls often face slut shaming at wrong advances at conventions. Some might also be looked upon as having no real interest in the anime industry and their cosplays are called out as “attention seeking”.
Since there are few men who can compare to the level of female cosplayers like Yaya Han or Jessica Nigiri, it doesn’t stop the men from attributing the success of female cosplaying to objectification sometimes, rather than a celebration of female anime characters.
It seems the negatives and positives of the cosplay world are forever at play, and the debates can go on. But, does it really feel like anime or the comic book industry is being victimized and hindered by the cosplay culture? There can be two-sides to a coin but in case of cosplay the coin is really being flipped by the passionate anime fans who love to dress up and celebrate through cosplay!
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