Cosers Confess: What Is A “Real Fan”?

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Disclaimer: Submissions may be edited for clarity of reading and comprehension.

Dear The Magic Rain Team,

Why must one be a huge ‘real’ fan of something to be eligible to cosplay its character? If one were to cosplay a character from an anime they didn’t watch, most would judge them for it. I believe if one knows enough about the character and can portray them well without forgetting to have fun, shouldn’t it be fine?

Sincerely,
Curious

 

Dear Curious,

Let me start off by saying that this is simply my opinion and I cannot speak for everyone out there. Hence, I hope we can discuss this with respect to one another. First of all, there’s no definition of a “real fan”.

There are various types of cosplayers (some from people just watching the anime/playing the game or even gameplay… to even individuals who would go to the extend of buying figurines/merchandise/travel to see the artist etc.) There are various degrees of so called “real fans”. If we were to say someone is not a fan because they never bought the anime/game merchandise etc., then what happens if let’s say person A (has 10 merchandise) in comparison to person B (has 20 merchandise)? Does this mean person A is less of a fan in comparison to person B? No! Because in my opinion, everyone has various ways of supporting the anime/game. However, what I’m implying only applies to those who actually made the effort to watch the anime.

See it this way, about cosplaying a character, you don’t have to be a fan to cosplay the anime/game character but the least you could do is to make the effort to watch the anime. Why so? It is out of the sign of respect towards the hard work of the creators who made the anime/game. Imagine some animes even take up to a year or more to make and games maybe even 3. That’s a really long time. So maybe, do your research on the anime/game and watch or play it eventually.

That’s the beauty of cosplay, when you bring a character to live and embody the “struggles” or “experience” or even back story a character carries. It is out of a sign of respect and appreciation towards these characters. Yes I know, they aren’t real. But the thoughts that the creators have put onto them is. It is really not that difficult to try to watch/play these anime/games so I suggest you to do so. If not, what we cosplayers are doing is merely dressing up and switching costumes. What makes us different from anyone who puts on a costume then? It is an artform.

Thus, dear Curious, you might even learn new things about the character you’re cosplaying that might even make you love/hate/or relate to them even more. In my experience, when I watch anime or play a game I learn new things about the character and their experiences that I bring into my life. Be it moral values or even the whole experience itself that change my view on life (e.g. Naruto, to never give up despite what circumstance you’re in). It all depends on you to change your future. Every character tells a story.

You can benefit a lot from these experiences. Moreover, it makes it more fun and enjoyable when you know the character thoroughly and know you can relate to him/her. Also, it’s a form of respect and appreciation for the creators who spent a lot of their time to make or think up of a story for these characters. So Curious, give it a try! It might change your views. Have fun!

Sincerely,
Ms. Scrumptious.


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