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14 Things To Expect While Cosplaying At Conventions

Cosplaying can add tons of new meaning to your convention experiences. It might make the thought of cosplaying a little intimidating for those inexperienced with or new to the world of cosplay, but we're here to help ease those nerves so you know just what to expect.


1. You will be frustrated by your cosplay

Image © Alrisha

Whether you purchased your costume online, commissioned it, or made it yourself, you’ll still find some way to be frustrated by your cosplay. You’ll see imperfections that no one else does. You’ll compare your costume to the costumes of professional cosplayers and drive yourself crazy. The entire convention weekend you’ll ask your friends, “Does this look ok?”, and take routine trips to the bathroom to adjust your wig.


2. Leaving the hotel might be really awkward

Via Legend of Lorie

Not all of us have the luxury of staying in an official convention hotel. From the hotel room to the convention center, things could get a little weird. Busses, trains, taxis, or walking in public can become scattered with cosplayers headed to the convention. Non-congoers may feel uncomfortable, (and you may get some strange looks), but who cares? They’re probably jealous of your awesome cosplay anyway.

Besides, large anime and gaming conventions are fairly commonplace these days. Most people are familiar with the scene, but they still might feel a little weird sitting on the subway next to something like this:


3. Being pulled into cosplay groups

Image © Dakota Pailes-Friedman

Odds are you'll run into some other people who are cosplaying as similar characters. Before you know it, you'll have spent 2 hours standing in the same spot for an Attack on Titan group cosplay shoot.


4. To be adressed by your character's name only

Via Being Noticed By Senpai

Forget your name. From the minute you step foot into the convention, people will start addressing you as your character’s name. “Mikasa, could I have a picture with you?” and “Nice scissor blade, Ryuuko!” are all you should expect to hear. Just make sure you remember your real name when you have to head back to work or school when the convention is over.


5. Mid-convention malfunction

Since we’re cosplay perfectionists who are already frustrated by our own costumes, it’s unavoidable that we’ll run into some sort of costume breakdown during the convention. Fabric fraying, hot glue coming undone; the fun stuff.

Don’t worry – conventions often have emergency cosplay repair stations set up with some supplies to help people in case of disaster. But just to be safe, you should carry some supplies of your own. A little hot glue and duct tape can go a long way.


6.  May I have a hug?

Image © Dakota Pailes-Friedman

Let’s face it: between marathoning anime and catching up on our favorite JRPGs, we anime and manga fans don’t get out too much. When we visit a convention and see our beloved waifu or husband in REAL LIFE, we freak out. So if you’re in costume and strangers come up to you and ask for a hug, just remember – it’s part of the experience.

Oh, and say yes, of course (well really only if you want).


7. To be followed

Image © 22123

The attention that cosplayers get can get a little out of hand. Maybe there's a very serious group of cosplayers that insist you stay with them, but you really want to head off to check out a panel. Sometimes, fans or photographers can get carried away. Sometimes it happens. Cosplay with caution.


8. There will be awkward conversations that make you want to hide

Image © Alrisha

Cosplaying doesn’t simply entail costumes – there’s a little bit of roleplaying involved as well. You’ll be expected to get into the spirit of things. Since you’re dressed as your favorite character, you might as well act like her! But sometimes, going back and forth between your normal self and your character can make for some very awkward conversations.


9. To come prepared with poses

Image © Johnny Yang

I made a big mistake during my first convention and only came prepared with two poses for pictures. When the convention was over, I was disappointed with the fact that every single picture I was in looked the same. Be sure to research your character and practice a wide variety of poses in advance. Things that’ll spice things up and make for some unforgettable photos.

Combine that with the hugs, your followers, fans and photographers, and everything else… you get the picture. Things just might be a bit odd.


10. You will be noticed

Image © Johnny Yang

One of the best parts about cosplaying is getting your picture taken. The first time someone asks to take your picture, it feels amazing. You feel like a model or a celebrity. The second time, you still feel awesome. Eventually, that feeling might fade away and it could start to feel like the paparazzi is harassing you.


11. You won't be noticed

Image © John White

Although there are times when you’ll be swarmed by cameras, there are also times where you won’t be. Not everyone has the flashy, attention-grabbing costumes that we see on the internet. It can be easy to feel discouraged if you’re not the center of attention. At the end of the day, cosplaying isn’t just a contest of how many people ask to take your photograph.


12. Your friends, (who aren't cosplaying), will ditch you

Via Choco-Pie Cosplay

We cosplayers are a high-maintenance bunch. We have to take routine breaks to adjust our wigs or makeup, walk incredibly slowly because our costumes make it hard to walk in crowds, and we’re constantly being stopped for photos. Your friends who are with you who are not cosplaying might get fed up, and abandon you. Don’t take it personally… b-baka!


13. To make new friends

Image © Alrisha

This goes for those of you with a group of friends, those who have been abandoned by their friends, and those who are visiting the convention alone. Between photographers, fellow cosplayers, and general convention attendants, you’re going to run into a lot of people with similar interests. Your costume might make it easier for people to approach you.


14. You'll have fun

Via Brave Little Tiger

There was once a time where I said "I will never cosplay in my life!" Now, I can't imagine attending a convention without cosplaying. It adds so much more to the experience and makes everything much more enjoyable. Every time I visit a convention, I plan on dressing in casual clothes for the last day, but I can never resist throwing my costume back on one last time. It's too fun


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John, aka "esKooZ", is a cosplaying, rapping, half-black/half-white weeb who loves writing almost as much as he loves FLCL. When he's not in the gym lifting things up and putting them down while listening to Vocaloid music, he's in his room playing League of Legends or World of Warcraft. Check out his otaku rap game and silly cosplay activities here! "I didn't choose the moe life, the moe life chose me."

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