A tenderfoot would proclaim cosplaying as another ingenuity word for Halloween or playing dress up as a means for recreation. Cosplay is undermined in its structure as a whole as people who partake in such eccentric portray of visuals do so because of the emotions attached to it. It is an escape to our childhood whilst being in one’s teen years or so and the escape is embellished with our favorite characters from our treasured cartoons.
Although, the incompetent dreams of being as powerful as Naruto or having privileges of being crowned as a queen were outgrown by most of us as we adapted to reality, the excitement still dangles with momentary sparks of joy when opportunities like cosplaying erupts. Reality check was a forceful knock out to everyone’s dreams when we gradually realized that capturing a Pokémon and raising it is another imagination disguised as dejection. Some may eventually let go of such unrealistic fantasies, where the arc of an evil character is demolished by the torch-bearer, nonetheless, the rest just have stepped into a new form of art – Cosplay.
Cosplay is an abbreviation of ‘costume play’. The street culture of cosplay has been around for years however, it was recently popularized and adapted by the anime, cartoon and fictional enthusiasts and fanatics in Bangladesh. It’s a minor detour to school days – when on ‘dress as you like’ competitions some adorned themselves as doctors, some as teachers or others were living the dream of impersonating as their dearest cartoon character. Similarly, it gives every cosplay participant a form of short-lived recognition and appearance through hair, makeup and power of their favorite virtual world.
It all started with 2011’s Mazecon in Bangladesh, an anime convention. In 2012, Bangladesh secured third place in ‘Asia Pacific Category of Otaku House Cosplay Idol Competition’ with multi-talented cosplayers competing from around the globe. This resonance created through the achievement brought a limelight to this field of creativity, ushering in all the anime and movie lovers. From the excitement of choosing which character to play to the triumph of accomplishing and pulling off such an event, it all clusters off as a festivity for the loving pop culture hearts. It’s a unique state of art where innovation and imagination are channeled through one’s inner raging Harley Quinn reputation or to fathom the love of dragons and become the Queen of Andals, Daenerys for a day or two.
The cosplay community is no different from those set of people who sing, paint or indulge in sports. It’s taking their vision and hobbies a step further and sharing it with the rest. As fondly as we recall the best female arc – Wonder Woman; one cannot just simply show up in such attires. Every meticulous detail has to be considered to put life into such wonders. Cosplayers put definition into their miraculous imagination through wigs, masks, robes, cloaks, shields, swords, makeup and other props.
‘MazeCity’ has an annual MazeCon for cosplay lovers to showcase their talents and as the community grows and may the event be small or big, meet and greets are what the optimistic cosplayers look forward to the most. It’s like standing right next to Superman, without actually having to stutter while one’s cheek spill a crimson red color talking to Henry Cavill. The heart still flutters at the sight of the costume and to depict such resemblance from a fan’s favorite comic book, film or anime, why wouldn’t one put their heart and soul to be as closely accurate to the actual character as possible?
Cosplay is more than just celebrating Halloween early each year but it is pure joy scattering amongst those who showcase and those who adore. It has been made far more relatable by Danika Stone, from ‘All the Feels’ who once said – “Cosplay. Why you just said the magic word!”