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Cosplay, a portmanteau of the English words "costume" and "roleplay", is a Japanese subculture centered on dressing as characters from manga, anime, and video games, and less commonly, Japanese live action television shows, fantasy movies, or Japanese pop music bands. However, in some circles, "cosplay" has been expanded to mean simply wearing a costume.

Cosplay has become popular in many countries outside of Japan, in line with the exploding worldwide popularity of Japanese anime, comics and video games. As a hobby, it is usually an end unto itself. Like-minded people gather to see others' costumes, show off their own elaborate handmade creations, take lots of pictures, and possibly participate in best costume contests.

Cosplay in the Philippines

Jerry Polence, a popular Filipino cosplayer.

Cosplay is rapidly entering the mainstream in the Philippines, where cosplay events are often held within anime, manga, gaming, or sci-fi conventions. Guidelines made for events are seen to affect the character choices available to cosplayers. While Filipino cosplay rules generally allow fully commissioned costumes to participate in competitions, they also take into account the portrayal of the characters being cosplayed (the "play" aspect). This has led to some debate over what judges are looking for in cosplayers, with some participants complaining of a bias toward female cosplayers who dress up as scantily-clad characters, or a bias in picking some groups over others in terms of costume quality and accuracy in character portrayal.

A new phenomenon in the local scene is "costripping," a word formed from "cosplay-tripping." Cosplayers are said to be engaged in "costripping" whenever they show up in a convention or event where a cosplay contest is held in full costumed regalia, but without signing up to be a part of the said contest. Another way to be involved in "costripping" is to show up in full costume during meet-ups or EBs (eyeballs) where there are no cosplay contests being held.


  1. ^ McLean, Kirstin. "Screaming Lord Byron resources", Screaming Lord Byron, 2004. Retrieved October 20, 2005.
  2. ^ Alarilla, Joey. "Cosplay away!", CNet, 2006. Retrieved July 25, 2006.
  3. ^ Consunji, Bianca. "Not just child's play", Philippine Daily Inquirer, 2006. Retrieved August 16, 2006.

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