- What is “cosplay” ?
Cosplay is a Japanese word コスプレ (kosupure) coming from the contraction of two English terms : costume and role-play. This is a hobby in which participants called “cosplayers” wear costumes and accessories to represent a specific character. Those characters could come from manga, anime, comics, films, video-games and so more.
Even if “cosplay” is a Japanese term, it originally was an American hobby called ‘costuming’ where the main subjects in 1908 were the Mr-Skygack-from-Mars ‘s character from Armundo Dreisbach -A.D. Condo’s science-fiction comic. But the first apparition of costuming dates back to the “futuristicostume” of Forest J Ackerman during the first World Science Fiction Convention (WorldCon) in 1939, New-York, USA. The word cosplay appears many years later during the 1984 WorldCon in Los Angeles. Japanese Nobuyuki Takahashi of Studio Hard who was impressed by the hall and the costumed fans, reported in the magazine My Anime where the two terms “costume” and “play” became コス (kosu) and プレ (pure). Cosplay was born.
- Cosplay today
Today’s cosplay is more related to its Japanese “origin”. Since the 2000’s, cosplay’s popularity has increased with the spread of anime and manga worldwide and the multiplication of conventions. But the trends are also following the development of video-games and the international success of some films such as Star Wars, The Lord of the Ring or the Marvel’s films. This is why we can find cosplayers in all kinds of conventions.
Cosplay in Japan
In Japan, what actually matters in cosplay is ‘appearance’. Japanese often buy their costume. This subculture is a true business, with a lot of shops selling costumes, wigs, accessories…
That explains the complete lack of cosplay contest in the country. During conventions, cosplayers are not allowed to move around, except if they don’t stop for photos not to disturb non-cosplayer visitors. They are supposed to stay where they are told to.
The only cosplay contest in Japan is the World Cosplay Summit which is an international contest. As the other contests around the world, the cosplay must be totally hand-made, from the little accessory to the huge weapon without forgetting sewing the dress.
Cosplay in Western culture
In North America and Europe, cosplay is more about performance and acting. One of the most significant things about it is the hand-made costume … Costumes which have been bought are completely banned from contests and the market of cosplay is mostly based on wigs and crafting materials such as fabrics, worbla, EVA foam, …
Contrary to Japan, western countries’ conventions welcome the cosplayers which are now a huge part of the animation. Visitors often come to take photos and to watch the numerous contests. In those contest, the cosplayers are judged according to their acting, the quality of their hand-made cosplay. As said before, bought costumes are banned, and the cosplayers wearing those are called hall-cosplayers and are definitely apart from classic cosplayers.
Travel, what’s that? Some would say it’s going out of your home town, others would see things larger and say it’s leaving your country for a while. I would say it’s simply challenging yourself. No matter where you go, to me, a real trip is something that still looks impossible one week before the big departure. It’s one of those things you see others do, but don’t believe you can achieve yourself before you actually do. You wish you could do it one day and, in the end, you never really go for it.
So let’s do this! When can you go? Different possibilities for different ages. When you’re young, around 20-25, you can actually travel during summer holidays or take a gap year at uni or even right after, just before you jump into professional life. If you’ve already been working for a while, there are two possibilities: ask your company for an unpaid leave during the year or go when on holiday. Eventually, if you’ve retired, you can go whenever you want, you are one of those who have absolutely no excuses not to travel!
Where to go? That is entirely up to you, but I highly recommend a region of the world where nature has taken over. Places where you can look around and see nothing but breath-taking landscapes, where there’s no human beings within 100 miles at least. Why am I advocating that? Because I strongly believe that’s how it should be done if you want to experience something that really is going to change you.
Not convinced yet? Alright, here are some example of people who took the plunge.
SYLVAIN & KEVIN SET OUT TO CONQUER ICELANDIC DESERT
Who are they? Sylvain, 21, and Kevin, 23, are two students from Nantes in France.
What was their plan? Just the two of them, walking through the cold desert of Iceland. Two pals travelling with nothing else but two backpacks and a tent.
For how long? Only 10 days, as they had to carry with them all the food they will eat.
Why this destination? Contrasted landscapes, and a very sporty challenge.
Best memory? Smoking a cigar in a spot where the view were sensational.
Final words? “It always seems impossible before it’s done.”
KENDRICK & DAVID, A VERY MUCH IN LOVE COUPLE WALKING AMERICA
Who are they? Kendrick and David are a couple but also professional photographers living in Los Angeles in the US.
What was their plan? To travel America taking pictures each day with the exact same pose, a lovely ode to love.
For how long? Over one year, taking breaks at some points.
Why this destination? America holds quite a lot of amazing places, that’s all they needed to shoot their love pictures.
Best memory? When they found out their special pose had gone viral on Twitter and Instagram, couples started taking the same picture all over America.
Final words? “We went on a creative field trip, that’s it.”
OLEG BROUGHT HIS TENT TO TAJIKISTAN MOUNTAIN
Who is he? Oleg Grigoryev is a Russian photographer.
What was their plan? To see the beauty of the Fann Mountains in Tajikistan and their amazing lakes.
For how long? Several weeks, not more.
Why this destination? Imagine waking up each morning in a different place, with each day a different view when you open you’re tent.
Best memory? When he drank a warm coffee and the outside temperature were nice although he was high in the mountains.
Final words? “After that I just want to love people.”
And there you go ! You no longer have any excuses not to pack your things and just go for it.
You are about to plunge: you have decided to rent an apartment with some of your friends! What a groundbreaking change in your student life, unless you have not weighed the pros and the cons… You will quickly realize that flat-sharing could be a marvelous adventure as long as everyone follows these simple rules…
Here are five rules you have to respect in order to maintain a peace and love feeling in your roommate.
It has been a few weeks now that you suddenly started seeing more moustaches than usual and you are wondering why ?
In 2003, two Australian blokes, Travis Garone and Luke Slattery founded a charity called Movember. They actually realized that the moustache was not fashionable anymore. The first year, they succeeded in reruiting 30 Mo Bros (short for Movember brother) but unfortunatly they raised £0.
£527,492 had been raised
Thanks to word of mouth, by 2005, £527,492 had been raised and Movember found its first official partner : Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (PCFA). A few years later, the charity can count on Mo Bros from 21 countries worldwide and in 2013, GQ Australia magazine awarded the Social Force of the Year award to the foundation.
Today, the Movember Foundation can rely on a little less than 5 million Mo Bros et Mo Sistas. For sure, you know one of them…maybe you ARE one of them. But what is the motivation for people to get involved in this project ? Why this charity more than any other ?
Well, we can’t say that there is a lot of prevention around male deseases. The Medias rarely deal with this subject. That’s where the moustache comes in!
It generally is intriguing and leads people to wonder why some men are actually wearing it. It is a way to start conversations, put down taboos and eventually move to more serious topics.
Moreover, the movement has a real festive side ! First, you can openly make fun of your friends wearing the moustache, especially if they look like idiots with it. And believe me, it has no price. Then, the charity encourages Mo Bros and Sis to organize parties and events to collect even more money.
Finally, I think you should have a look at the TedxToronto conference Adam Garone gave in 2011. He is telling his story, his “Movember journey”, giving us some quite funny anecdotes and sharing all his love.
So, next year, think about it and speak about it around you. It is so important for the research and the education above all. Let’s keep in mind that faster a cancer is revealed, more luck there is to recover from it.
Two weeks ago you went to the Gala at the INSA, you enjoyed the night, but still something got on your nerves. Security and their ugly bastard dog? People having cooler suits than yours? Try to think harder, I’m talking about the number one problem here… And of course it is ECOLOGICAL REUSABLE CUPS!
Some eco-friendly evil genius was like: “The world is in danger, we should like get rid of all plastic pint glasses and replace it with reusable cups. How cool, genius me!” (To be read with that eco-friendly people stupid and irritating voice).
So, you go to the festival or a random event and then you head to the bar. Or not even the bar, you need to buy tickets/coins first that will be exchanged against drinks. So, you go to the coin desk, and you buy your goddamn coins. And then the girl tells you: “But Sir, you need to buy a pint-sized reusable cup for you to drink at the bar. I’m going to charge you 1€ for that.” and you go: “What !? Ok, I’ll pay. What choice do I have, my hands?“. You sigh, that’s one buck you won’t spend on drinks.
Then you head to the bar, you buy your beer. Pretty expensive, but that’s okay, the queue for the coin desk made you thirsty. You go back to the concert to meet your friends. You drink your beer. And, there comes the trouble. You are left with a huge empty plastic reusable cup. You want to dance, to enjoy the party but you are way too afraid of losing your cup. You want to have your hands free, to clap your hands. But, you are stuck with that cup from hell.
But of course INSANE is here to help you on how to deal with that bastard cup.
Solution 1: YOLO
Ok, people of the festival you have won. You decide to throw your cup toward a random person’s face within the crowd. You’ve lost 1€ but what is the price of freedom? Maybe you will eventually find another cup that someone threw, like you. Or you’ll buy another one…
Solution 2: Hide it
Do you see that carpeting fixed to some fence for decoration? Maybe you can insert your cup between the carpet and the fence, your cup won’t get stolen that way you are sure! But snap! Someone saw you do that and is now heading toward the carpet, stealing your cup. Basically the kind of guy who is funding his festival tickets on stolen reusable cup. But maybe no one saw you, cool…
Solution 3: Bag it
One of your girl friends decided to bring a bag to the festival, the kind of in-couple friend, who took the bigger handbag she could find to show that she is not available. Ask her kindly to store your cup while you head to the mosh pit. When some of the alcohol in you circulatory system has worn off and you decide to drink again, you can’t find the girl. Yeah, she was bored and went home. You check your phone “Hi Dude, I was a little tired and went home. I will give you back your cup on monday! XOXO”. No comment.
Or you can bring your own bag. Put your cup in your bag. Though, when you get out of the mosh pit, you’ll find it crushed.
Solution 4: Wear a collar
I hope this article will help you even if, I admit, there is no universal solution to that problem. There is always a risk of your cup being lost. Good luck with that at your next festival!