Thursday, July 21, 2011

Cosplay Events in Ireland

As I said since way back in 2006 more anime and comic conventions have been popping up. Back in 2006 there was only Tomodaichi an anime and manga convention in Co. Derry, ok that is more UK but still can travel there by car or what not. :p Unfortunately Tomodaichi is gone now and then in Dublin there was only Eirtakon, now we are spoiled for choice!

I will go through conventions where you would find and meet cosplayers through out the year.


This is held in January and runs from the 20th to the 22nd of January. It is on in Galway University. It is a new convention which only started last year. It has many exciting cosplay at it and ran a proper Japanese maid and butler cafe. It should be great next year.




Q-con is not only an anime convention but also is a gamer and sci-fi convention held in Queens University Belfast. Q-con runs the biggest cosplay events in Northern Ireland and attracts lots of cosplayers especially video game cosplayers. It runs in June 24th to the 26th.



This is a brand new convention which only started running this year. It is a broad convention which rages from anime, manga, comics, gaming, sci-fi, music and films. It is ran by some of the people who run a geek website called the arcade. It is great for cosplay as you see all types of cosplay from anime, movies and comics. They have great events like the cosplay masquerade and skits, the same with Q-con and have a night time cosplay event being the Masquerade Ball.



This is held in Limerick University and is a gaming and anime convention. They started running last year and were successful with a good few cosplayers attending. They had a cosplay competition and skits. They also were the first Irish convention to have a professional cosplay model guest being Francesca Dani which was an honour.



This is a specialised anime and manga convention like Akumacon. It only started running last year and was a success. There were lots of fantastic cosplayers at it, so this year will be very interesting! They have many events like the cosplay masquerade, skits, maid and butler cafe, cosplay speed dating and cosplay musical chairs. It runs in August 5th to the 7th, so if you are reading this blog and want to get into the Irish cosplay scene it is the next big cosplay event coming up! It is on in the D4 Hotel, Dublin. They plan on having more and bigger cosplay events this year like the Nomcon cosplay prom and more.




The oldest and longest running anime and manga convention in Ireland. It attracts a diversity of people and again lots of excellent cosplays! Eirtakon runs in the Helix, Dublin City University in November 11th to the 13th. Like many conventions it runs cosplay skits, cosplay competition, cosplay disco, maid and butler cafe and this year there will be lots of new exciting cosplay events. Also this year Eirtakon has the honour of having for the first time to Eirtakon, not to Irish cons :p a professional costume designer, make up artist and cosplayer, model YaYa Han as a guest. I am super excited over this! Yaya plans on helping out running cosplay events, judging and doing lots of panels on modelling and costume making. She also would be a great help to Cosplay Ireland.


That is for now with the Irish cosplay convention scene and hopefully you have been informed. If I missed out on any conventions that has cosplay please let me know. Also with Cosplay Ireland we plan on running major cosplay events, promoting cosplay in Ireland and who knows we might see more conventions. :)

Cosplay Portfolio Websites

As I explained cosplay is very broad and it is down your interpretation what it is. Some people just enjoy the occasional cosplay at events and some like to take it alot further. Over the last few years cosplay has so much evolved and expanded. It has even expanded alot more then cosplaying at a convention with cosplayers modelling in cosplay now. There was the fashion modelling then in the 1980s and 1990s alternative goth modelling became quite popular and over the last few years we now see cosplay modelling.

Like modelmayhem, folio32, liptick lenses and modelling websites where a model can showcase her/his work they are many cosplay websites where a cosplayer can showcase and show off their cosplays to a global audience. Now many of these websites are not very industry based and are hobby/amateur based but it is a start if you want to show off your work to the world and hopefully one day will get noticed.

Here are a few websites which I think are good for cosplays.

This is the main international cosplay community website. You can set up an account and upload your photos in the main gallery. Unlike many portfolio sites it is not a social networking site but the forums are quite friendly and very useful for costume construction, make up and on contact lenses. People will always help you out and offer advice.

Cosplayer's Cure

This is basically the Japanese but it is getting more international. This is a social networking site and has some industry and small cosplay businesses like cosplaygen. As Cosplayer's Cure gets bigger perhaps it will have more industry links and contacts. From an amateur point of view it is an excellent website where cosplayers look stunning so if you are researching how a person looks like the character in 3D you will find excellent examples. From a modelling point of view, Cosplayer's Cure is a great site as it advertises upcoming events in Japan and they are lots of cosplay models on it. The photos are artistic and you Will find that many cosplayers think out of the box. It is also a good site for people who are just fans of cosplay and they can sign up to the non cosplay account.

What is also great about this site, people can follow your cosplays, add you to favourites, get a fan club going so when you upload a photo they will be notified. You can also add cosplayers to your favourite too.

I find this site very friendly and have made friends and contacts.

Cosplay Island

This is a UK based cosplay portfolio website. I joined this as it is local. This is a good site, as it is somewhat linked to the industry and mainly reveals upcoming cosplay events in the UK. The forum is very helpful too. It tends to be abit dead for comments but I met one or two people who are nice and they seem to be always updates on events.


This is a new social networking site set up for cosplayers internationally to meet photographers. It was set up by a well known cosplay photographer Shiroin. It is very quiet as it is only new but hopefully it will pick up.

American Cosplay Paradise

I just joined this site and it is suppose to be the best for getting links to the industry. ACP work with anime industry people and promote events at American anime conventions and do photoshoots. There are also cosplay photographers on the site too, so it is somewhat a social networking site for making friends and for getting contacts. Cosplayers on the site are really good and many of them take part in proper photoshoots so you will be able to get advice on modelling and research what makes a good photo.

That's really it for mainly cosplay portfolio sites but they are many others that you can join but they don't just specialise in cosplay they are;

DeviantArt - Fantastic for cosplay portfolio as you can join cosplay groups submit your photos, get noticed and get fans, also network with fan artists.

ModelMayhem - A great site for models very international and has many cosplayers and cosplay photographers on it. Has many industry people on it who are linked to cosplay.

Irish websites

Folio32 - a modelling social networking website which has alternative models on it not just fashion so cosplay would be welcomed.

Lipstick and Lenses - Another Irish modelling social networking site, seems to be not that active but it is new so hopefully it will take off.

At the moment there is no dedicated Irish cosplay website but with cosplay, anime and comics getting more popular equals more events, I am currently working on setting up an Irish social networking website named Cosplay Ireland where cosplayers can showcase their work, meet photographers, make up artists, cosplay commissions, designers, become models and will hopefully have links to the industry and events. Please check out the FB awareness page for updates. :)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

How do I get into cosplay

Ok well this is Ireland, unlike Japan or Tokyo you can't just walk into a costume shop and ask for a Final Fantasy cosplay of your choice. I recall ages ago on a forum, a girl who was new to cosplay asked where in Dublin can you get cosplay outfits, the answer to this question is simply, no you can't, unless you went to Ann Summers which sell doctor, nurse uniforms. Just beause there is no way in Ireland you can buy a cosplay outfit doesn't mean you can't cosplay.

They are many ways a person can cosplay very successfully without having to go into a shop and buy a costume. You can always order pre-made cosplay online from ebay or cosplay magic and on many sites. If you decide to buy your cosplay online you would really want to be very careful as many sites either charge alot of money for a really good cosplay or charge reasonable or cheap amounts and the quality isn't really good. If you look around you might get somewhere in between. Many people who start out in cosplay, make their outfits with the help of friends or of the expereinced. You don't need to go way out and make the most flambyant, extravagant cosplay to impress people. You could go for an easy cosplay other words "closet cosplay" where you wear basic clothes or an outfit which was not that hard to put together and still really impress people at a convention.

Here are examples of very impressive "simple cosplays" which could be done very well.

L from Death Note, a very popular cosplay in the Irish con scene. All you need for him is a top and trousuars, do your make up good and you got an L.

Misa Amane from Death Note. A very impressive cosplay if you get the hair right and wear goth clothes, not a hard one at all. :)

Asuka Langley from Neon Genesis Evangelion, if you have her hair and eyes you could look really impressive. The uniform is not too expensive to buy but if you rather make it yourself you could easily buy a dress pattern resembling the dress and sew together or get the help from expereinced people. If you really want to get into making your own cosplay this is a good cosplay to start on.

Also there is Asuka's yellow dress. You could easily go into any boutique and buy a yellow dress that looks like Asukas and buy red shoes in Dunnes, Pennys what not.

It also the same with Reika from RahXephon.

Also Lara Croft from Tomb Raider seems like an easy cosplay to put together.

Finally our last example is from Bleach. I am not a fan of Bleach so I am unsure who this character is but I know she is one of the main characters. This cosplay can be done easily. Just buy a shirt in Pennys or Dunnes, get the school skirt easily enough in Arnots espcially near school season.

Best places I would recemmend to buy fabric for cosplays would be Wollen Mills at the Hypenny Bridge or Hickeys. Wollen Mills tends to be cheaper and they do student discounts. I also find Pennys is good for alternating cosplays and boutiques. My Rin Tohsaka cosplay from Fate Stay Night, I bought the top on sale in one of the clothes shops in the Ilac shopping centre in Dublin. Look around shops that sell skirts that may resemble your character, I bought my Rin skirt in a clothes shop in Henry St on sale too. So just look around, you would be suprised. ^^

The big key to a very successful cosplay is to resemble the character as in height, looks and build. I am quite tall so I couldn't pull of Chise from Saikano.

Also I couldn't do Yoko from Gurann langann as I don't have her build.

Thanks to make up we can achieve ways to make our eyes look like the character and make them really big. I will put up good make up tutorials later on. So yeah the key to a good cosplay is have the look of that character, you want people to think you are the real deal. Also wanted to mention not everyone takes cosplay very seriously, alot of people just do it for fun so in that case don't worry too much or stress over it, you want to enjoy it in the end.

What I find really helpful when I want to perfect a cosplay is research the character as in mannerism and look at other cosplay pictures of that character. Even save their pictures onto your computer so you can look at every detail on how to perfect your own cosplay. I have been cosplaying alot as Rei Ayanami from Neon Genesis Evangelion. Back in 2007 when I first cosplayed as Rei I just bought a blue wig in a wig shop in town. I thought it was good at the time but noticed I didn't come out the best in photos. I came across another very good Rei cosplayer from who had her make up perfect and had a very realistic baby blue doll wig. I noticed she was quite popular so I saved her photos on my computer so I can look at how I can better my own Rei cosplay. I really saw the diference in our wigs.

Finally I will talk about wigs and quality. I will not deny cosplay can be very a expensive hobby, it can be like being really into a sport or being really into photography. Then you got your good quality make up coming into it. Over time as a cosplayer you will expereince with many different make up types, wigs and outfits and you will know which best suits you.

I find these following sites are great for copslay wigs because the hair doesn't look as fake and looks great in photos; Shop
Cosplaywig - Highly recemmend it
Fun Place by the Giety Theatre tends to sell high quality wigs.
Also shop around Ebay.

I hope all that helps.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Don't confuse Cosplay with Lolita

As I mentioned from my first post that many people confuse Lolita fashion as cosplay or they can even confuse goth fashion as cosplay. However in my previous post on Types of Cosplayers I mentioned they are a such thing as cosplay crossovers but that is only when you would call it cosplay.

Here is an example of a girl in Lolita fashion. Feel free to read this wiki article on what is Lolita fashion if you want to know more about it.

From the wiki article Lolita fashion is described as;

is a fashion subculture originating in Japan that is based on Victorian clothing as well as costumes from the Rococo period.[1] The Lolita look is primarily one of modesty with a focus on quality in both material and manufacture of garments.

Lolita fashion is gradually getting popular in Ireland thanks to the group EireEGL which I am a member of and they are trying to create awareness of lolita fashion in Ireland. I am not going to go more into detail on Lolita fashion as this is a cosplay blog but the point of this entry is basically Lolita is a FASHION and cosplay is a COSTUME, that is the main difference.

Now I can understand why people who are new to cosplay and new to the convention scene confuse lolita with cosplay because they are many anime characters that dress in lolita examples;

Chi from the Clamp manga Chobits. if you look at this image of her you will see that her dress really resembles lolita fashion being pretty, elegant and somewhat Victorian looking. I remember when I first got into reading mangas back in 2005, Chobits was my first. It was Chi's pretty dresses that got me into Lolita because after reading this manga, I wanted to look up more of this fashion and that was how I got into Lolita.

Also in the anime Rozen Maiden, the characters tend to dress in Lolita fashion.

These characters dress in Lolita because the artist likes the fashion style but it doesn't necessary make everyone you see who dresses the same as these characters be cosplaying. People may also get confused because especially here in Ireland the fashion style is very different, out of place and the outfits do look very similar to what you see in anime so people think they are costumes when they are not, these outfits are actually dresses.

People who dress lolita everyday and see lolita as a big part of their life can get offended when at a convention or on the street when someone approaches them and asked them who are their cosplaying as. In fact a good few people who are into lolita fashion aren't even into anime and don't attend anime conventions. Sure think how annoying it would be if you dressed in a specific style everyday and you always had people approach you asking is your outfit a costume, are you part of a play?

So the next time when at a convention and if you see a girl in a pretty, elegant dress think twice before you go up to them asking who are they cosplaying as or unless you do recognise them cosplaying as a character. I also wanted to add, I hope this entry didn't come across as preacher or elitist, if anything I despise elitism and the whole thing of being superior. This entry was in respect to the Lolita community and hoping to educate people so there will be no misunderstandings. I hope you found this a helpful read. :)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Types of Cosplayers

Cosplay is very broad and yes they are many different types of cosplayers so we will begin. :)

Firstly there is your usual cosplayer. A person who cosplays as a character they love and enjoy and want to do that character for self expression, pure fandom.

Then there are Crossplayers, people who cosplay as characters of the opposite sex.

This is a well known female cosplayer who goes by the name Pikmin Link, she really does pull off Link from Zelda. Her Link cosplay was that impressive Nintendo invited her to tour with them to computer game events so she could promote Nintendo products in cosplay.

This is Malro-doll another well known female cosplayer from Russia, she really pulls off James from Pokemon. As you can see not all crossplays are done for the laugh like Man Fay and can be respected. There is a very good crossplayer who has a large follow up in Belfast named Silverhairsamuari so do check her out. :)

Next up we have mecha cosplay. I find these cosplays really impressive!

Then there are Kirigumi aka Dolliers. Many people find these cosplayers frighting as they use masks instead of make up. However like furries another category kirigumi may consider themselves not cosplayers but a craft of their own. I find them very fascinating.

Furries are not the popular in the Irish con scene but seem to be very popular in the UK.*** It has questioned if furries are cosplayers or not as they wear costumes but create their own characters and have a craft of their own.

Cosplay Crossovers, this is something I would really like to try. It is when you mix cosplay with a fashion style or look eg Cosplaying as a character but wearing a steampunk outfit, cyber goth, lolita or casts, medical. These really show you are full of ideas and are creative. Like these girls cosplaying as Rei and Asuka who are mecha pilots but are wearing Elegant lolita yet they don't wear these dresses in the series.

There are also original characters in cosplay like when a person designs their own costume, look of the character and creates their own personality.

***UPDATE2017** There is a now a big furry community in Ireland. Some of them even went on Irish television.

The Culture of Cosplay

Cosplay can also be seen as a way of life for some people and for some it is only seen as a hobby.

Now when I talk about way of life, I mean there is alot more to a cosplayer then just wearing an amazing costume and showing it off at a convention. Some cosplayers like models take part in many photoshoots, they join many online portfolio websites showing off their work, networking with photographers and maybe make up artists so they can get high quality shots of their costumes. Then they submit their photos to cosplay magazines eg Cosmode, CosplayGen and NeoMagazine which I seen many fabulous photos of Irish cosplayers.

In Japan and some Asian countries they are actually cosplay agencies like a modelling agency where cosplayers be part of and if they are chosen they get paid in cosplay at events like Tokyo Anime Fair and computer game events, how sweet would that be. :p Also I just recently discovered a Japanese website where cosplayers join to get exposure in manga comics then photos, which I think is a wonderful idea and also manga artists can get ideas of cosplayers and cosplayers can get artistic photo ideas of fan art images. So you can also see that cosplayers don't just network with photographers and elements of the modelling culture but also network with manga and comic book artists too.

Cosplayers spend lots of their time and money, learning skills such as make up art and dress making, armour making. I have to say that they is a lovely networking culture of cosplayers on the internet where we get together, share tutorials on make up, wig styling and costume making. Some of these well known cossplayers like Ya ya Han and Vamp Beauty share their skills and take part in cosplay panels in many conventions around the world. With cosplay everyone just gets along no matter on the culture, language of the person. We all share the one thing. We are all dreamers and creative.

I leave here an image of Ona from the anime Genshiken as she really portrays the way of life cosplay is, to her it is a big hobby and very important to her. In the series, she takes part in all of the cosplay events, does shoots and goes to cosplay gatherings. I always kinda saw Ona as me in animation as she is part of an anime club and is very big into cosplay, I was in an anime club and I am big into cosplay.

Also in some countries where they are many cosplayers they meet up and share ideas and maybe just meet up and socialise over a drink or coffee, like you would at a Lolita fashion meet up. Oh that is something I must mention in this blog, as I dress lolita, many people get confused saying that lolita is cosplay when it is not. I will go more into this in another post. Also they are cosplay gatherings where friends take part in photoshoots and share, exchange photos of their cosplays and they put these photos up on the internet showing them off to the world.

Just add also, you don't have to be a cosplayer to be involved in this culture. There are many people who appreciate cosplay and go to conventions taking photos of cosplayers and following a certain cosplayer on the internet. Like a theatre play, you can be involved in cosplay even if you don't act in front of the camera or wear the costume, you can be the photographer, a costume maker who make costumes for cosplayers on a professional or non professional basis, designers, make up artists and prop makers or just an ordinary guy who appreciates it.

Cosplay really involves so much and that is what makes it fascinating. There are groups in America and where cosplay is really big, have a collection of these people who collaborate and do proper photoshoots and fan made movies, which I will go into more detail when taking about Cosplay and film.

When I started cosplaying in 2006 I only saw cosplay as a little fun hobby and I treated it like fancy dress. Over time I got more into it and being part of Eirtakon the anime and manga convention I am part of, cosplay became a big part of my life. It was this year that I made the decision I was going to convert my life to cosplay and I know people will laugh at it and think it is silly but it is my passion, I see cosplay as a performing art, I am performing to people and so much money goes into it my cosplays, I am only impressing myself nobody else. I am going to keep doing what makes me happy, I feel I was born to cosplay and act, I even someday hope to make a career out of cosplay one way or another. Like people have the passion and drive to become a voice actor or comic/manga artist I have the passion and drive to become a cosplayer artist.

So that is it for now, I could really go on forever but I wouldn't want to tire you out and I think I went on long enough. :p My next posts will be;

Types of Cosplayers
Mixing up cosplay and fashion.
How I do I get into cosplay?
Cosplay portfolio websites.
Cosplay events in Ireland.
How to deal with negative attention and deal with internet drama.
Can I make money out of being a cosplayer?

I will be also doing posts on skincare, make up and later on, on costume making. :) These are all from my own experiences. I hope you found this entry helpful and easy to understand. :) Also I will always be up for your opinions and thoughts.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Firstly what is cosplay?

Cosplay pretty much translates to "Costume and play". You are playing around with the costume eg back in the days of the glory fancy dress when at every Halloween, people would dance the night away in night clubs in costume be it nurse, doctor, policewoman, or Countess Dracula. These people would perhaps act in character and act like their costume would expect them to act.

Nowadays even in Japan where the culture of cosplay became really popular and spread around the world, some people would consider wearing an office lady uniform, policewoman, nurse any work uniform as cosplay, as they are cafes around Tokyo where they are themed cosplay cafes, where waitresses would dress in a specific costume and play the character of the costume. This is seen in the popular maid cafes around Akihabara.

People may argue that cosplay is a "fad", it may look silly, odd and it is just fancy dress. Yes back when cosplay was new it was seen as fancy dress. I will always remember my first expereince cosplaying at a convention at TomoDaichi back in 2006. I was expecting fancy dress material and I was very unaware of cosplayers on the internet, so I was really taken with surprise being at TomoDaichi and seeing amazing costumes which have been hand crafted by the cosplayers themselves. Over time cosplay has gotten very popular and you can really see cosplay has come a long way since fancy dress.

You can say that cosplay has evolved from fancy dress relating to the start of this article, or cosplay takes fancy dress to a whole new world and level. Cosplayers that are really into this hobby spend lots of time and money on their cosplays. It is the quality of the cosplay that is very important. If you look at well known cosplayers like Ya ya han, Alodia, Yuki le Fay who become a costume designer through cosplay, you will see that none of them would wear tacky wigs you would buy in a costume shop and their costumes are crafted very well. Now I am not saying all cosplayers have to have the best material, many people prefer just to keep cosplay as a fun subculture where they can hang out with their friends in cosplay and have a laugh and they is nothing wrong with that. :)

Ya Ya Han her website -

Alodia Gosiengfiao -

Yuki Le Fay -

Cosplay itself is a very vague term and many people have their own interpretation of it. Alodia pretty much explains cosplay really well in these quotes;

It's not just dressing-up, cosplay incorporates craft, sewing, make-up, wig and hair styling, photography, acting and more. "And most of all, cosplay crosses geographical barriers.

Well to me and to many people that is what I describe cosplay as. Cosplay is like impersonating, you are impersonating a fictional character rather then a real person. You learn the mannerisms of that character and role play as that character. The character can be from a Japanese animation, manga comic, video game and any Western comic, graphic novel.

People have a misunderstanding that because cosplay is from Japan it is only called cosplay when the person is cosplaying as a Japanese character this is not true. There has been debate on which country actually started cosplay. Back in the 1970s when there was major hype with the Starwars and Star Trek movies people would cosplay as Star Wars/Star Trek characters to Sci-Fi conventions so it can be said that cosplay actually began in nerd culture from Sci-Fi conventions not anime conventions. In the photos below here are examples of sci-fi cosplay from the 1970s.

These photos were taken from this blog, if you are interested in seeing more. It is fascinating to see that cosplay goes back a very long way so there is no way it can be a fad.

However it has also been argued that cosplay in Japan began to get popular at this time period with people starting to cosplay as anime and manga characters and movies at douijin (fan made comics) events like the most well know one Comiket Market.

Comiket market and cosplayers

I originally had the Culture of Cosplay in this entry but it was way too long so I had to split it.