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Students express love for cosplay

Katy Beckingham
Jacob Reiss, Taylor Hawkins and Willow Vaughn, seniors, dressed as Steven Universe, Janko Enoshima, and Fiona the Human (respectively) are shown. Multiple different shows are portrayed in this photo, showing how cosplay can combine different media universes.

Megan Pham & Hannah Alemu, Reporters

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Ever wanted to be in the shoes of characters like Cloud Strife from “Final Fantasy VII,” Batman from the “Batman” franchise, or Luke Skywalker from the “Star Wars” franchise? Wanted to express your nerdy love in ways you might not have before?

Students like Jacob Reiss, senior, use cosplay as a means to express himself and his appreciation for shows like “Yuri on Ice!” and “Avatar: the Last Airbender.”

Kate Looney, senior, uses it as a “creative expression in clothing.”

Though what is cosplay exactly? Cosplay is a contraction of “costume play”, as a performance art in which participants called cosplayers wear costumes to represent a specific character. All forms of media are cosplayed, but some common mediums are comic books, video games, literature and anime.

“I cosplay off of comic books most of the time, or stories,” Caroline Shipley, sophomore, said.

Abby Versluys, sophomore, first discovered cosplay from anime and seeing other cosplayers; “Attack on Titan” was the first anime she cosplayed.

Cassie Williams, junior, also relayed her first cosplay experience.

“I was Sleeping Beauty when I was in fourth grade—I had the wig and everything,” Williams said.

A large part of cosplaying is the do-it-yourself aspect. Tools like sewing machines, X-Acto-knives, and the Internet are important tools used in the creation of costumes, as stated by Shipley, Williams, and Reiss respectively. “Watch videos on tutorials and watch DIY videos,” Taylor Hawkins, senior suggested.

Although tools are a large help to costume construction, tools can barely save cosplayers when they make last minute cosplays. Reiss recalls how he completed his Cheshire cross-play (a contraction of cross-dress and cosplay; it is cosplaying the opposite gender.) in one day, while Looney said she completed her Raven (Teen Titans) in two hours.

Looney later stated that although her Raven costume was last minute, it is her favorite cosplay she has ever done.

But fans don’t need to create  costumes themselves in order to cosplay. Hawkins and Versluys buy some of their costumes online.

“It doesn’t matter how good it looks. People will still compliment you and it’s fun,” Versluys said.

Conventions like Naka-Kon, Comic-Con and Sausome-Con are a haven for cosplayers to come together and relish in those who share the same passions.

“It has connected me to a lot of people with the same interest as me. I have made quite a few friends from it,” Williams said.

Hawkins, Versluys, and Reiss also found friends at conventions.

“It’s free to be expressing yourself, and you should always take that opportunity to try to show people how unique you are,” Shipley said.

Though conventions are a fun place to hang out, it’s not always the case. Sometimes cosplayers cannot afford tickets or are unable to attend.

“I don’t really cosplay at conventions because I don’t have the money to afford said convention tickets, so I just cosplay with friends and we go to the park and just kind of— goof around,” Williams said.

In regards to future cosplay plans,  Versluys, Hawkins, Reiss, and Williams said they will be attending Naka-Kon  2018.

“I’m planning on [cosplaying] Christophe Giacometti from ‘Yuri on Ice!,’  Jellal from ‘Fairy Tail,’ and either working on the Cabbage Merchant or May from ‘Avatar: the Last Airbender,’” Reiss said.

Versluys plans on working on an “outfit for female Hades from ‘Hercules.’”

“I really want to do something for Halloween,” Looney stated. Although she cannot attend conventions, she still plans on cosplaying.

“I was thinking of going somewhere [along the lines] of a horror movie, so like Freddie, Jason, something like that,” Looney later said.

Some cosplay plans Hawkins has are “Cyber Umi from ‘Love Live! School Idol Festival, ‘ Yuri Plisetsky [from ‘Yuri on Ice!,’] and Tai Lee from ‘Avatar: the Last Airbender.’”

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Students express love for cosplay