Fantasy Girls

By | March 31, 2009

Cosplay, Kosupure… And Boys

Suze came across this site and sent me the link because she knows that I’m interested in the phenomenon that is Cosplay (コスプレ Kosupure), and that I’ve covered it before on this blog.

It doesn’t have to be sexual, though certain elements of it do emphasise sexuality, both overtly and by the very nature of cosplay. The whole subculture is theatrical, like heavy metal styles, New Romantics and indeed many of the styles of the 1980s. That sense of theatre is beguiling and evokes a mood of escapism, glamour and fantasy that can be very sexually liberating.

As a way of having fun and escaping from your work-a-day world cosplay is something that I think more people in the west would consider if it weren’t so obviously different from anything else in the western world. It’s a bit too different for most people to wear in the street, yet many people would recognise the Manga styling of the characters.

That’s of course another way in which the sexual side of cosplay is apparent, it’s obvious visual queues taken from Hentai. As you can imagine this leads to Kosupure being linked to everything from a little play between couples in their own bedrooms to the full service at image clubs (imekura or イメクラ) in Japan where devotees can indulge their fantasies with a naughty nurse or playful (adult) schoolgirl.

Anyway, the store is great and the prices don’t look half bad for the Kosupure Otaku (コスプレ オタク) out there. While I’d love to see people wearing some of the costumes I don’t know what the police would think of people waving around the huge swords that accompany some of them. To a greater or lesser degree the costumes are quite close to the cartoon originals, the Final Fantasy ones are on the whole excellent.