Cosplay Porn

What is Cosplay Porn?

Whoever crosses their path in the city or at the book fair, they cause unbelieving amazement and irritation. It’s like stumbling into a movie set: Teenagers in screamingly colorful costumes, with absurd hair colors and larger-than-life toy weapons, constantly photographing each other and entertaining each other in Japanese gibberish and Cosplay Porn videos.

Cosplay is a practice of fans of Japanese comics (manga), cartoons (anime) and video games. The Anglicism Cosplay (Japanese: kosupure) stands for ‘costume play’ and means dressing up and posing as a fictitious figure. The motif for this is fandom, i.e. the affective and intensive preoccupation with selected commercially produced texts.

Cosplay is mainly used at the events (so-called conventions) of the anime/manga fan scene, i.e. not in everyday life and usually not in a private setting, but in the scene public. In the strictest sense, the term cosplay only applies to the depiction of fictitious Japanese figures from manga, anime video games & Porn. As the term “Cosplay Porn” becomes more widely known, however, it is also used in other costume practices – for example in relation to popular Western figures from ‘The Lord of the Rings’ or ‘Harry Potter’. This broader definition can be valid as long as this cosplay takes place in the context of the anime/manga fan scene, since many anime/manga fans simultaneously prefer characters from other contexts and interpret them in the usual way through cosplay.

The cosplay scene represents an independent (sub)scene within the German anime / manga fan scene, which partly overlaps with its original scene, but has also developed its own scene characteristics such as rituals, hierarchies and meeting points.

History of Cosplay Porn

The historical localization of the Cosplay Porn phenomenon can only be speculated upon. Conditionally valid information about the history is to be found predominantly in the scene mythology: Accordingly, Cosplay Porn has its origin in the North American science fiction fandom. His costume practice was taken up by Japanese fans and modified within their own pop cultural context. The term cosplay and the practice, which he calls today in the actual sense, originated in the anime/manga fan scene in Japan in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

In Germany Cosplay spread at the same time as the growing commercial success of Japanese anime – especially in the course of ‘Sailor Moon’ (on German television since 1996) and the first anime / manga conventions, which have been taking place regularly since 1999 and enabled cosplayers to access the public. The emergence of fan-specific print media (such as the magazine ‘AnimaniA’), the increasing popularity of manga (such as ‘Dragon Ball’) and the increasingly dense communicative networking through the Internet contributed significantly to the formation of the scene.

The scene goers divide the past years preferably according to the quality and quantity of the cosplayers: The quality of the costumes, the performances and the photographic documentation has increased compared to the early years, the online activities and contacts within the scene have intensified and due to the exponential growth of the Cosplay Porn market there are considerably more anime, manga and other Japanese products available in Germany. In addition, the public acceptance of anime/manga fans and cosplayers has increased (e.g. at the Leipzig Book Fair, which now serves cosplayers as advertising media). All this is judged positively by the scene actors. The enlargement of the scene, the increasing popularity of the reference texts and the growing media attention also mean that the scene has lost some of its exclusiveness and its familiar atmosphere.

Cosplay Structures

The cosplay Porn scene is considered to be beginner-friendly and open, even in its self-characterization. Following their structure, which is mainly influenced by the Internet, there are flat hierarchies and a relatively high permeability, so that even newcomers receive a positive response for their public appearance and costume. Nevertheless, due to the proximity to the structure and organization of the anime/manga fan scene, a ranking is emerging in which established cosplayers are at the top. The position in the hierarchy is essentially determined by the degree of awareness and the media presence of the cosplayer in the scene. This includes the activity in online communities and the frequent appearance with new costumes at public meetings. An important role for the popularity of the cosplayer is played by his costumes: the effort, faithfulness to the original, craftsmanship, popularity (or rarity) of the reference text and the figure depicted. The quality and presence of the photos and the live poses contribute significantly to the reputation of a cosplayer. Further, not mandatory criteria are successful appearances at competitions or as a ‘member’ of a show group, a feature in magazines or on Porn websites as well as your own homepage. But not only the media presence, but also a friendly, social and extroverted appearance and contacts to other cosplayers, especially if they are already known to the scene, lead to a higher status.

An organizational elite can hardly be spotted in the cosplay scene, since they mainly use the events of other scenes (especially the anime/manga fandom) and their main meeting point, the online communities, have flat hierarchies. Some long-time cosplayers gradually retreat from costuming and meetings in order to become more active in the organisation, but this is less important in the minds of most of the scene’s members.

Since the mass of reference texts is almost unmanageable, there is hardly any binding scene knowledge in the form of text knowledge. It is, however, encouraging to know as many texts as possible and to understand allusions to them in virtual contributions, stage appearances or the like. According to the preferences for certain series and genres, more or less strongly defined subgroups of fans and also of cosplayers are formed. However, most cosplayers are tolerant of other or unknown reference texts – common text knowledge is not necessarily the focus of communication, but creates additional sympathies and points of contact for closer personal contacts.

Facts about Cosplay Porn

Since the presence in relevant online Cosplay Porn communities is a constitutive criterion for scene identity, numbers of the ‘members’ registered there offer an initial orientation with regard to the size of the scene. In the largest German-speaking anime/manga fan community ‘Animexx’ (www.animexx.de) about 9,000 of the over 100,000 users with at least one cosplay costume are registered. In the international (in the USA domiciled and predominantly English-speaking) community www.cosplay.com, which is gaining more and more importance also for German cosplayers, approx. 700 users from Germany are registered. According to our estimates, the number of regularly active cosplayers in the German region is several hundred to a few thousand. Cosplayers in Germany are predominantly young people between the ages of 14 and 25 and mostly female (approx. 70-80%).

Relations from Cosplay Porn to general Cosplay

The cosplay scene is part of the anime/manga fan scene and uses its structures. The proportion of male and older fans is higher in the entire scene than among the cosplayers. They are generally viewed positively by anime/manga fans, as they enrich scene events with their presence and performance.

There is also a strong overlap with the thematically related visual kei scene – fans of Japanese rock bands who are characterized by a specific aesthetic style based on glam rock, gothic and traditional Japanese theatre. Also scene goers of the Visual-Kei scene do watch Cosplay Porn Videos, but musicians serve them as role models and they also show their style in everyday life. In everyday scene life and at events where both groups are to be found, they often distinguish themselves from each other because the two scenes represent different values and styles.

Gothic Lolitas see themselves as an independent scene, but here in Germany they also appear as a subgroup or thematic category of cosplay as well as Porn. They do not interpret any concrete figures from a text, but wear their own creations, compiled according to a binding style canon, and very often bought (designer) dresses. The Gothic Lolita style is a nostalgic fashion trend from Japan, around which a scene of its own has formed. In the meantime it has also been incorporated into the character design of anime and manga series. In the course of their scene careers, many cosplayers also put one or the other Lolita costume into practice and present it quite regularly at a scene event. But ‘real’ Gothic Lolitas don’t associate common themes and attitudes with cosplayers.

What do Cosplay Porn viewers focus on?

The constituent practice of cosplay is dressing up as a fictitious figure who comes from a preferred narrative (anime, manga or video game). This includes dealing with the reference text (reading, searching for or producing images of the character, exchanging ideas with other scene actors), the production or compilation of the costume (purchased costumes are ‘frowned upon’), the presentation of the costume at a public event (an event or scene meeting) and on the Internet (in online communities and possibly on one’s own homepage). The presentation of one’s own work is a central aspect of cosplay practice. Cosplayers do not only share the result of their work – the finished costume – with the scene public, but often also present intermediate results and exchange about their plans, progress and problems with other cosplayers. This happens in the online communities, whose regular visits contribute significantly to the emergence of a scene identity. Inseparably connected with the presentation is the taking of photos or posing in front of the cameras for Cosplay Porn videos.

Depending on the framing of the performance – strolling and social interaction at the event, posing for photos or stage performance – the cosplayer represents himself or the fictitious character. Most of the time the cosplayer is ‘himself’, only for short demonstrations (e.g. at the cosplay competition or photo shooting) he takes on a foreign role. The intensive preoccupation with the figure is just as much a part of this as the knowledge of standardised cosplay poses and figure types as well as one’s own physicality and personality. The cosplayer constantly changes the way he presents himself: he never completely recedes behind his role, but the difference between the real person and the fictitious figure remains visible and is often even emphasized. Cosplay should therefore not be confused with role-playing, in which a ‘different’ identity is created and replayed in all aspects, i.e. the role-player strives to achieve the strongest possible identification with his role.

A cosplayer is not limited to the representation of a single character, but usually creates one or more new costumes for each event. Although there are individual figures and costumes that are particularly important to the cosplayer personally, the change and the constant new challenges are an essential driving force of cosplay practice. The aim for the cosplayer is to harmonize virtual identity and real Porn presence at scene events and to build up a recognizable image – despite all costume changes.

Cosplay Porn Video competitions are of central importance at conventions – cosplayers can present themselves here individually or in a group with a stage appearance. The formal structure of the competition is characterised by a limited period of time (up to three minutes) in which reference texts are either replayed or interpreted with sketches, parodies, dance and singing. A jury evaluates the costume according to criteria such as its style and similarity to the original as well as the quality of the presentation (personification of the character, originality, audience response). As far as the communicative aspect of a convention is concerned, the cosplay competition has a high relevance as an audience attraction, since it also offers topics of conversation for cosplayers who did not participate.

Discontinuation when it comes to Cosplay Porn Videos

In the cosplay scene there is a pronounced awareness of the unconventional character of one’s own actions – but it is not possible to speak of a world view or way of life that is binding for all cosplayers Porn. At best, individual values could be named whose significance is subject to consensus: for example, tolerance towards others and strangers who consciously demand of their environment through their own activities and whom they themselves want to demonstrate.

Competition is a driving force in the ever-increasing cosplay scene and is seen positively as long as it is practiced objectively and is a driving force for one’s own craftsmanship: The (unattainable) goal is to deliver the perfect cosplay – the exact imitation of appearance and posing; the attainable, always new goal is to improve on the next costume and to master an (even) greater challenge, or to implement a certain costume better than other cosplayers.

Without a doubt, the focus is on fandom, i.e. Porn Videos & the harmonious community and the fun of the thing – these are ideals that cosplayers emphasize in their self-portrayal and in conversations with each other. In particular, the importance of the fun that cosplay practice should always have is constantly emphasized.

Lifestyle of Cosplayers

The costumes and the depiction of a fictitious figure, the actual cosplay, are limited to strictly delimited areas of space and time. Outside the regular events and scene meetings, cosplayers are not recognizable to each other or to others. At most, the enthusiasm for Japanese (Porn) culture is expressed through symbols such as buttons or individual accessories and garments.

Cosplay determines the everyday life and the life planning of a cosplayer to a greater or lesser extent by the time and money consuming activity of costume production, which becomes more and more the focus of attention especially in the weeks before an event. This ‘stress’ is often discussed among cosplayers and can even be seen as a scene ritual. Costume production and presentation can produce satisfying experiences and strengthen the bond with both the costume and the reference text. The intensive occupation with the text and the work on the costume go hand in hand or alternate.

Symbols in Cosplay Porn Culture

As a rule, there are no symbols worn by the public to indicate that they belong to the cosplay scene. At scene events, however, cosplayers are recognizable by wearing a costume. Although they are not familiar with every reference text, cosplayers recognize recurring types of fictitious characters (e.g. catgirl, schoolgirl) and their accessories and poses. They quote them in their own representation, which becomes particularly clear in the costumes they create themselves – for the initiated, these are not only recognizable as cosplay costumes, but also the type of figure depicted and quotes from certain series or genres can be assigned by the viewer. Cosplayers know recurring topoi and symbols in anime, manga,video games and Porn Videos.

In both virtual and paper-based communication, cosplayers almost always use so-called emoticons or animemoticons. These sign combinations from the Chatter language, which have the function of picture symbols and express certain mood or feeling situations, comment on the written, strengthen a statement or weaken it. These are mostly stylized facial expressions of manga or anime figures.

Symbols can also be the tools and materials that cosplayers need to make their Cosplay Porn costumes and that (at least temporarily) occupy a lot of space in their area of life: Sewing machine and needles, hot glue gun, fabrics, wigs, handicraft material – but also pricked or burnt fingers. Experiences and utensils that cause alienation among outsiders create complicity among cosplayers.

Although the cosplay scene is becoming increasingly popular with the public as it grows in size and (media) presence, it is not yet known enough to be correctly identified by outsiders and clear symbols are missing. Therefore, the above mentioned symbols ‘serve’ at most as identification signs among each other or for the delimitation of groups within the anime/manga fan scene and the cosplay Porn scene.

Rituals

An important ritual of cosplayers at events and smaller cosplayer Porn meetings are photo / video shootings, which are carried out by hobby photographers or the cosplayers themselves and in which certain behavior patterns (such as posings) are expected and (re)produced interactively. On the one hand, such photo shoots are part of the cosplay scene’s self-presentation, on the other hand, photographs are seen as a reward and serve as additional motivation. The photos are then published on the Internet and exchanged – both the production and the use of photos can be understood as a social process that has a scene-constituting meaning.

In the online communities, cosplayers present their own costumes in Cosplay Porn videos and pictures and comment on the costumes of other cosplayers. The aim of this (self-)presentation is to get positive feedback and constructive criticism and, if necessary, to exchange ideas with other cosplayers.

The scene identity of a cosplayer includes the so-called ‘nickname’, i.e. a self-chosen alias that typically refers to a favorite character and sounds Japanese. The Porn name is rarely mentioned in virtual, but also in face-to-face communication; usually one addresses oneself with the respective ‘nickname’.

Cosplay Porn Community Events

Supra-regional events represent the most significant events of the cosplay scene. In addition to the conventions of the anime/manga fan scene, these include the book fairs in Frankfurt and Leipzig. The biggest conventions are the ‘AnimagiC’ (in Bonn) and the ‘Connichi’ (in Kassel). Smaller and larger conventions take place throughout the year at various locations throughout Germany and usually last two to three days.

In addition to sales stands with imported merchandise, conventions offer numerous entertainment options such as anime video demonstrations and an extensive show program designed by fans and Japanese guests. It is not only about the fan objects anime, manga and video games, but it serves a general interest in Japanese culture.

Cosplay is one of the main attractions at a convention. The cosplay competition has become an integral part of every event and the numerous cosplayers make up almost half of the total audience of a convention. For cosplayers, the focus of an event is less on the programme presented there than on the social and aesthetic experience with other cosplayers – seeing and being seen. They meet cosplay Porn Actors whom they already know from online communities, for example, or make new contacts, usually on the basis of costumes and a common preference for certain texts.

The special importance of an event for the cosplayer lies in the fact that he can usually present a new costume, which he has made especially for this occasion (and which is sometimes worn only this once). Therefore, cosplayers usually work over several weeks or months towards an upcoming Porn event.

Meetings

In addition to the established meeting places, the cyclical supra-regional events, the cosplay scene is constituted as a permanent ‘meeting point’ at local cosplayer meetings and, above all, in the virtual space of the Internet. Meetings are usually announced via the event calendar of the online community ‘www.animexx.de’. Since the beginnings of the Anime/Manga fandom in Germany there have been regular meetings and regulars’ tables where fans can exchange ideas in a small circle.

Those who are friends with cosplayers from their own city or region can also meet them privately. These relationships are linked back to the scene when, for example, photos of private meetings and photo shoots are published in online communities and when, later on, joint cosplay appearances are developed out of close cooperation and friendship.

Cosplay and Cosplay Porn in the Media

The reception of reference texts such as manga, anime or video game is of fundamental importance for participation in the cosplay scene. Intensive media consumption is part of the lifestyle of an anime/manga fan and thus also of the cosplayer.

Commercial manga and anime magazines (such as ‘AnimaniA’) also play an important role as means of communication. They not only report on conventions – preferably with photos of cosplayers – but also dedicate individual pages exclusively to cosplay. While in the past these magazines played an important role in establishing contacts within the scene, today this function is almost exclusively assigned to the Internet. Accordingly, the Internet has the highest significance as a medium – presence in online communities is essential for cosplayers an their Porn videos. It serves as a virtual contact medium and driving force of the scene, with the help of which one encounters oneself in the media, moves closer together as a scene and deals with it.

Generally common is the (parallel) use of public and private discussion forums, chats, instant messaging systems or file-sharing providers for exchanging images. Although regular, preferably daily interaction with other fans and cosplayers on the Internet is not mandatory, it determines the prestige and presence in the scene as well as the density of the social network in which the individual cosplayer is integrated in the scene.

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