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05 April 2012

....Or anyone outside of the active community (Photographers, helpers, avid Animanga fans etc). Because they always ask me questions I find difficult to answer and I always find myself unable to justify and uphold the hobby.

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Person X: So what do you do during Cosplays?

Me: erm.... take pictures and go to events ...

Person X: oh I see... what do you guys do when you attend events?

Me: erm.... mingle with other fans, watch the stage activities and stalls and. ...... take pictures.

And it's not like they are even trying to bring the hobby down, they were just being inquisitive! Double fun is how everyone always ask the same questions xD I guess they really don't have a clue eh?

Strangely, no matter how much I enjoy the hobby, every fun factor in the hobby suddenly pales and wither when a non-Animanga fan queries about it =___= ||||

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I mean, taking pictures is fun to me! But explaining that to someone else never fails to put a rock in my throat. I think I need some help in coming up with intelligent answers!

The next dreadful comment would be this “Oh, I think the Japanese Cosplayers are awesome but Singaporean/ Caucasian ones are far from it”.

Seriously, sometimes I wonder what's the purpose of telling me that. Were they expecting me to bow in agreement and do a cheers hug with them ? Are they trying to prove that they know something about this hobby. Or are they trying to imply I won't ever be as good as my Japanese counterpart?

Person Y: Oh you cosplay?

Me: yeah...........

Person Y: Ooh, I've seen some really awesome Japanese cosplayers, they really look like the characters!

Me: haha yeah...

Person Y: ...but the ones in Singapore can't really match up....

Me: Haha I can't really agree. There are actually a lot of really good cosplays here...

Person Y: But the Japanese ones are REALLY good! The ones I've seen are really good! You should see it

Me: Erm okay, personally I admire western cosplayers more.

Person Y: hahah the Caucasian ones are, I'm sorry to say very far from good

Me: Well actually there are a lot of very good Caucasian cosplayers. Have you seen some

of their costumes? It's really awesome.

Person Y: Well maybe they win by their costume but looks is another thing

Me: *getting agitated* That's where you're wrong :D! Imagine how those final fantasy characters are all modelled after Caucasians! If a westerner can do a good job on their costume (and be of the right physique), they will look even closer to the characters than an Asian will ever be!

Person Y: Hmm but I still think Japanese are better. If you've seen the pictures I've seen...

Me: *Getting VERY annoyed* Of course I'm sure I've seen a lot of very good Japanese cosplay but I don't think they are the best...

Person Y: I still think they are the best , I think it's a personal preference thing

*The above conversation is a re-enactment of an actual conversation but highly unreliable as is based on my failing memory *

My point is, can we STOP GENERALISING?!!!! Yes, there are some very good Asian Cosplayers and some bad Western cosplayers but who's to say a specific race is better than another when the hobby itself is so varied in presentation?

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JiakiDarkness cosplay Gakupo BRS by ~Jiakidarkness

The same cosplayer can be awesome as Character X ( example: Deedlit, Gakupo) but fail desperately as Character Y (example: Uzumaki Naruto, Hatsune Miku). There is no such thing as a "1-person-fits-all" nor a “1-race-fits-all” !


Uzumaki Naruto is back by ~WammysCosplay

I have nothing against Japanese Cosplayers and yes, a lot of them are really awesome. But I definitely wouldn't reign them as my personal throne master. It could be due to the fact that my language obstacle has stopped me from seeing more of their cosplays. But from my admittedly skewed and shallow perspective, I find their cosplays too made-up and lacking in variety.  Then again, I guess I don’t see enough of it as a whole to judge *shrug*. I guess I should schedule a trip to Comiket soon huh?

Anyway I digressed.

Coming back to the discussion, why is someone who have never cosplayed before giving me his/her Critics and Comments and expecting me to take it?

What I dislike most is the jab in the eye by a supposed "outsider" implying I should know lesser than them! Every time one of them tell me "If you've seen the pictures I've seen..."  I pulled a muscle restraining myself from retorting " What makes you think I would have seen any lesser than you?".

Phew! That’s a lot of anger and retort and bitching going on above. Truth be told, this entry was written maybe 6 months ago but I never got around to finishing it until today. Had been very busy =(

I hope nobody takes what I say personally. As usual, I’m not being vindictive nor am I discriminating anyone/any race. My objective here is to share my observation of the reaction from non-Cosplayers and start the discussion rolling with like minded Cosplayers (or at least people in this community).

Am I the only one who gets responses like these when someone finds out you Cosplay?

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Comment and share your thoughts about this!

22 Responses so far.

  1. 美亜 says:

    Ahhh I always get frustrated talking to people about cosplay. They start asking things like "Well are you Japanese?" "No? Then don't do it 8D"
    Makes me want to hurl a table at them XD

    I think Japanese cosplays are nice, but it's also because they have access to alot more resources and fandom items than other parts of the world do. If anything Im proud of foreign cosplayers for being able to make do with the materials they have :)

  2. pandayuyu says:

    I totally know how you feel D: !!!

    I really hate when people start saying that only one race can cosplay or that one race is better than the other =A= ... specially when like you said many characaters are actually designed to look caucasian (or half half ^^) or are actually caucasian (kuroshitsuji characters for example)
    There are excellent, good, bad and horrible cosplayers everywhere !!!
    I live in Europe (Belgium), and we do have lots of really good cosplayers :D !!!
    I do admire and really look up to cosplayers in other countries like America, Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam, China, Canada etc as well but I think even in my country we still do a good job :) !

    and then again, who are we to judge other's cosplays :/ cosplay is made for fun so we should not go openly critisise all the cosplays that we find "bad" :( ...

    of course we can all think what we want and think constructive critisism (I often "critisise" in my mind when I see some other cosplayers, and I notice taht they do not wear make up, or do not wear a proper wig or just no wig, or the wig was not cut or badly cut, or the character does not really fit them in general :/) but then again, that takes away a part of the fun of cosplay because in the end it makes me wonder if others think the same about my cosplays :(

    THe person that you talked with should seriously start looking up cosplayers from all over the world !!! not just the ones from Japan !!! and maybe start watching some videos from Acksonl ! he is a "cosplay cameraman" from America that makes amazing videos !!! in there you can see lots of examples of AMAZING cosplays (both asian and non asian :D !) !!!!!

    http://www.youtube.com/user/acksonl?ob=0

    and another guy to check is Omaru :D he is a french "cosplay cameraman" as well and he does the same kind of amazing videos ^^ (but from cosplayers in France and Belgium)

    http://www.youtube.com/user/cosplaymag?ob=0

    with here the two videos he made during a Belgian convention ^^ :
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LioSmJpX3qo&list=UUrkUNl8YnOY48cSSqfRpxjg&index=5&feature=plcp

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1vlkbwm4aM&feature=relmfu
    (I appear at 00:18 in this one ;D and my best friend at 00:53 ^^)

  3. Nariko says:
    This comment has been removed by the author.
  4. I totally get what you mean! I hate it even more when my mum adds that "cosplay is for xiao meimeis" >_>;;

    Anyways wanted to share...As I usually take a cab to conventions in full cosplay (or at least 60% of it), I usually have interesting conversations with the cab driver.

    But one cab driver was being totally understanding even though he knew nothing about the hobby! I was explaining what we cosplayers do and was really like "Awww uncle ;A;" when he said, "I think that's a very good hobby. Even if your parents don't understand. You get to meet friends and learn new skills. At least you are not gambling, not smoking and not taking drugs. I think people should be more understanding about that, you guys aren't doing anything bad" Of course all in Chinese and he went on about how youngsters these days are.. Haha.

    What the cab driver said really touched my heart, for someone who took time to somewhat understand our hobby :3 I wish more people thought about that way instead of judging.

  5. Caroline says:

    gosh that is so irritating! I think everyones good at cosplaying no matter what race but I do think when asians do it is cuter but doesnt always capture the real authenticity of it, which is how a lot of non-asians are very good because most animes and mangas dont actually have asians since we dont have naturally blonde or brown hair.
    & that is so rude of that person to say to you, a singaporean cosplayer, that singaporean cosplayers arent very good!

  6. Mikan says:

    Oh my goodness. That conversation. I hate it when people are really narrow-minded like that. They (for whatever reason) refuse to expand their search and pretty much WORSHIP one race! Even worse when they start generalizing and putting down other races! >:( Unbelievable.

  7. I just don't ask.

    Each coser has his/her unique ways of skills. And their ways.

    I appreciate.

  8. Meru says:

    I believe the Cosplay community in Singapore has done its part in remaining positive and patient with the general public.

    Admittedly, we may not have the best Cosplays around, but who gets to decide what's "best" anyway? Only the individual himself.

    It's the same with sports - why do people continue to support other teams rather than the "best" team? Because they believe in their favored team of course!

    Likewise, I choose to believe in Singapore Cosplay, and Singaporeans; regardless of what people may say and/or think.

  9. Zaiden says:

    Personally I get a lot of Crap when talking to non cosplayers and sometimes cosplayers themselves. I get good comments as well but when i do receive negative ones it really gets me down.
    And thats because people tell me "oh you cant cosplay that character your to dark " or " Why are you cosplaying your black, your ruining it ".Even earlier today when i said i was cosplaying as Asato from Lamento someone said " well you better be tan " and i said i naturally was then i also said i was going to cosplay Zess from Uraboku and they were like " He's really pale though. " and Im sitting there like Why does it even matter, Im putting all my effort into it because i want it to look nice i want to achieve the level that the cosplayers i look up to have in their costumes and photos.

    I look up to a lot of cosplayers because i see the effort and detail they put into everything and a lot are stunning and breath taking race dosnt even matter to me. They come from all over and the community is diverse.

    I understand entirely how you feel though with trying to explain that race/ethnicity dosnt matter its the chance to meet new people and see how they create and bring to life characters though this art form.

  10. Hi Kaika! I am so glad that you're blog is up and running again...

    I totally understand this feeling. Ever since I started cosplaying and started to meet friends in the hobby these things also dawned on me.

    I think the only difference is sometimes I here those remarks from cosplayers themselves. O.O

    I think there is no such race that is better but it is actually how close a cosplayer can be to his/her character. It can be an obsession but as long as you enjoy it, who has the right to say otherwise.

  11. Never give up on sharing your art, even with those who don't understand your art.

    Alodia never gave up -- even when her parents didn't understand. Look what sharing her art has brought her. ;)

  12. I believe that even though the common folks may not understand the hobby, I can get through to them via something they do understand - effort. People don't usually see the background efforts and processes behind a cosplay/skit. So usually if I start talking about how a cosplayer does his/her props, things they have to do to get their makeup right, or even how they take care of their logistics at events, they would usually start being more appreciative.

    But to do that I have to first dispel the concept that Japanese cosplayers are a godlike race. I have seen pictures of cosplayers taken at one of the comiket last year and on the average, I don't really think there was all that much difference between them and the rest of Asia. I think this Japanese cosplay phenomenon might have been true in the past, but now it's being maintained by several other factors.

    1. People mostly share only great cosplay pictures when it comes to Japan. (I don't believe a country don't have bad cosplayers, but somehow for Japan they don't seem to make it out to the net)
    2. The westerners are too liberal in what they share and what they criticise, flooding the internet with pictures that pales in comparision.
    3. Each country's local community will of course see both the bad and the good cosplays due to attending events/sharing through friends/etc.

    Proposing my theory to non-fans isn't dissing the Japanese cosplayers but rather to make them realised that they have set their expectations too high.

  13. thanks for all your inputs guys >.<! Nice to hear different people's opinion =)

  14. Kai kuchiki says:

    I Agree! It kinda pisses me off when non-cosplayers expect that I should earn money whenever I cosplay (I sometimesdo, but I didn't really do it for the money in the first place)=.=
    I also get a bit annoyed when my mom says "you should do this, and that", or you should cosplay this one, because she's cute! (I'm glad my folks are supporting me, but me, they should let me do things on my own, or let me discover some things by myself.=.=

  15. Melody says:

    As a western cosplayer, I *HATE* when people thing only the Asian race can cosplay well. Far too many times has an anime-manga fan found out I cosplay, only to snort and say "But you're not Asian. You can't cosplay."
    Cosplay is not a race-specific hobby! HELL, westerners are MORE than suited to cosplay, since anime characters are MODELED after us. Bigger eyes, whiter skin... arrrghh it just makes me so angry!
    > w < There are SO many talented cosplayers, White or Asian or Black! It's not fair that so many people have it tied down to just one ethnicity. :\

  16. *sigh* for me, one thing to stop the questions is to jump straight to the point.

    So if asked why we do it, I simply tell or inform them that, "Cosplay is just a hobby, that anyone and everyone should enjoy. nothing more or less."

    If asked what we do, I say "It's like a walking piece of art you created that everyone can either appreciate or hate. "

  17. sharmine1997 says:

    It pisses me off when people say anime characters are modeled after caucasians. They aren't. Japanese just like big eyes and pale skin. Have you seen real caucasian characters in anime? They look sickishly pale, they always have blonde hair and blue eyes, and their noses are always huge and super tall. Compare that to an average anime or manga character.

  18. kindo says:

    I completely agree with sharmine1997. Anime characters are NOT modeled after Caucasians lol What a ridiculous idea.

  19. Ayasaka Mao says:

    For me, everyone can cosplay the character they want to protray...

    As I always say to my colleagues at work and fellow cosplayers: "Cosplay is not a profession but a passion". We can all see the passion these people put into portraying the characters. Sure, some may not make their own armor, props, costumes, etc. But cosplayers deserve respect for bringing our favorite fictional characters to life~

    And as to the people who says: this race are bad cosplayers and this race is the best...as I said, everyone can cosplay! XDDD

  20. Jerry Polence says:

    I find it dumb, that people who know so little about the hobby, usually nothing but pics they see online, will try to engage me in a 'full' , rather 'fool' conversation about it, and they try to pass themselves as someone so knowledgable of it. If I were talking to a non-otaku, I will usually just divert the subject, but if its media, I kinda want to bang their heads on the table, for not even doing a full research on it, like what are intelligible questions to ask perse, especially if they just attend the event to meet their feature article deadlines.

  21. Melissatheguy says:

    It always make me upset when talking to non cosplayers because they say things like " oh of course you look good in cosplay, you're Asian."

    WHAT. DID YOU JUST WHAT?

    Why would you say that? It's basically saying if I weren't asian I wouldn't be good at cosplay and all my other cosplay talents are dismissed since all that really matters is my race?

  22. Hiya. I noticed your blogger template and I like it's layout. Can you tell me how you made the changes from the previous layout as in colors and labels, etc. I need some help. Please and thank you!!!

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