”Cosplay” is a combination of the words “costume” and “play”. In Taipei, it’s an event held about twice a year at NTU in conjunction with a manga (Japanese comic books) exhibition called Fancy Frontier. During a cosplay event, people dress up as their favorite manga character and parade and pose for photographers. It began as a Japanese phenomenon but it’s caught on in many other places in the world, including Taiwan.
I have to admit that the whole thing seemed a little weird to me at first. An event with literally 100’s of photographers mobbing around a group of young people (mostly girls) dressed as cartoon characters? Kinda’ has voyeur written all over it, right?
Well actually, it isn’t like that at all. All the participants and all of the photographers acted in a professional manner and everyone seemed to be having a really nice time. The participants get a big boost of attention while posing for the photographers, and the photographers get the opportunity to take portraits of people with intricate costumes and make up. It’s a win-win for everybody.
Truth be told, the cute girls did get more attention than the middle-aged men dressed as army soldiers, but what do you expect? ;-P