On your way to the Tokyo Game Show? Trying to decide which costume to wear? Wait! The organizers of Japan’s biggest videogame industry meet have come up with a long list of do’s and don’ts for cosplay fans attending the event.
Cosplay, short for costume play, has reached an art form in Japan. Events such as Comiket attracts hundreds of thousands of manga and anime fans intent on demonstrating their affiliations by dressing up like their favorite characters.
The Tokyo Game Show also draws crowds of gaming cosplayers, especially on the weekend. And with game plots becoming increasingly movie-like in complexity and scale, the cosplay possibilities are endless.
But before you pack your demon-destroying sword or ultra-fast yo-yo to give that final authentic touch to your zany costume, consider these pointers below from the organizers of the Tokyo Game Show, who say they’ve seen everything.
Is it a reasonable set of guidelines to ensure no one gets hurt or confused by anyone’s identity, or an overly long list likely to extinguish the fun from a harmless act of narcissism? Make up your own mind.
-Don’t dress in a uniform that could confuse you for police, firemen, Self-Defense Force members or security guards. Doctor’s coats and nurse uniforms are also a no-no.
-Don’t bring guns, swords, or chains — this includes model guns, air guns, or items with sharp edges. If you want to put pointy spikes on your helmet or armor, you’re out of luck, too. Use foam or soft material in place of weapons, but note that the organizers prohibit you from swinging those bad boys around.
-If you want to dress up as a yo-yo champion, as in Chosoku Spinner, think again. Skate boards, roller skates and fresh vegetables are also out. All accessories, including horns and shoulder pads, must be shorter than 50 centimeters.
-Don’t wear costumes that might block traffic — that includes full-body outfits shaped like a big stuffed animal (or dragon — popular in the wake of “Puzzle and Dragons”), papier-mache costumes, or long skirts or mantles that drag on the floor.
-Wear underwear and/or spats. The booth babes show enough skin as it is. It helps to ask yourself how absolutely essential is it to show midriff, cleavage, or chest hair to make your costume authentic?
-Come early — way early. The cosplay dressing room will be open at 5 a.m. for those who queue, allowing cosplayers to enjoy the show at their leisure.
-Attend the Cosplay Collection Night show, sponsored by Cure, Japan’s largest cosplay community website. The show this year will feature “cosplay of characters you love and some very rare characters too,” according to Cure’s website.