Monday, April 21, 2014


A Research Paper Presented to
The Faculty of the English Resource Center
School of Multimedia Arts
Asia Pacific College
Magallanes, Makati

In Partial Fulfillment
Of the Requirements for the Course
ERESWRIT – Research Writing

Kevin Ferrer
April 2014

Chapter 1

A.        Background of the Study

            Several people think that cosplay is very expensive. Others are making use of their talents in designing costumes and earned money out of it. Cosplay is not just a hobby but also a business. In Japan, cosplay is popular, and there are many kinds of cosplay costumes. The cosplay costumes can be sold or rent to other people that are interested in cosplay. It is easier to design suitable cosplay costumes for customers after knowing their character and style. Age is also a cue. For younger customers, it is suggested as cute and colorful cosplay costumes. Older customers are advised to wear more elegant and grand costumes. (

            According to Florence Wong, "Cosplay enthusiast turns hobby into business."  This article is all about a cosplayer girl named Natalie Lam who makes her hobby into a business. It indicated that she make her interest into a career and shows to other people about cosplaying. Those kinds of customized costumes are much expensive because it requires a lot of hard work, depending on the materials that they will be using. It’s not just about spending money but also it can make more money. (

            There are several people who wanted to imitate their favorite characters in anime, video games, cartoons, movies or even those famous celebrities, both in local and international. Cosplay is short for “costume play”, which involves dressing up and people who take part in cosplay are called “cosplayers”. Everyone can cosplay. Children, teenagers or even adults, there is no specific age that one should meet to become a cosplayer as long as you can represent the character and support your own expenses for the event. (
            According to Bitter Bebang, "They may learn new skills in arts and crafts, handle their own finances, and become more outgoing and less shy and new aspects of their self. Thus, self-realization and identity comes more easily” The benefits can help them improve their life and gain more knowledge from their self as a cosplayer. They can use this advantage when encountering some problems. Thus it will make their life easier and comfortable. Example they got problems in life like they’re not confident on themselves but if they try cosplaying it will make their selves overcome from being shy or nervous. And also as a student it will make their grades good by having the benefits. (

            Some people don't really understand why those people would choose to dress themselves in that way. Others may view it positively, in which they see cosplayers as a cool individual who likes dressing up as a character. While others may view it negatively. Others may say that they are out of place. Because for them, it's not even halloween to wear costumes. They also think that cosplayers are weird and crazy people. Also, they might think that pretending to be something or someone that they’re not, is a way of not accepting who they are because they wanted to be like someone else. (   
            According to Lisa Granshaw, “They cosplay for creativity, to be social and hang out with friends,             because they identify with the character and that’s meaningful to them.        The top reason people cosplay is because it’s fun. One can’t pinpoint an abnormality in that. It’s no different than someone who plays in a band or     plays sports.” Result of the study, people cosplay for creativity, to socialize with others, to meet new people. It said that on the top of all why they cosplay because of what fun they get to it. Don't judge them on how they look. It’s just like playing a sport game with your friends. And also it helps people who cosplay to educate themselves in different ways; therefore you can learn many things in just cosplaying. (

            Nowadays it is considered as one of the most popular known sub-cultures in other countries, which are particularly in Japan and America. They may realize it once they had seen or been to a comic-con or anime convention. People dressing up like your favorite anime character can be very entertaining. There are different types of cosplay. One of them is the American cosplay and Japanese cosplay. American cosplay consists of dressing up as characters that are widely known in America such as the Marvel heroes, Justice League and Star Wars characters. Japanese cosplay can be portrayed as dressing up as an anime character, video game characters, idols, and Lolita and gothic fashions. You can find most Japanese cosplayers in the streets of Harujuku, a famous district in Tokyo known for its cosplaying community. Most cosplayers in America can be found in conventions such as San Japan which is held every year. (

            According to Joy Alari, "In Japan, Cosplay events and even Cosplayers themselves can be seen strutting their stuff on the streets, as well as acting out their anime characters. In the United States Cosplayers or Cosplay events, are only seen at conventions." As what said earlier, it is really ridiculous to wear anime costume in publicity when you’re in America. Even here in Philippines, people might judge that you have a mental illness or abnormalities. It is better to cosplay in convention when you’re not in Japan. But it still depends on the cosplayer. Other cosplayers have the courage to wear something like that in publicity. They might get embarrassed of themselves. So if they want to cosplay anywhere then they must live in Japan. (

            Cosplay a form of Escapism or Self-Expression.  Ajaberico studied about the escapism and other psychological disorders regarding to cosplaying. Escapism is a mental diversion by means of entertainment or recreation, as an escape from perceived unpleasant or banal aspects of daily life. Sometimes they get depressed on their love life, schools or even at home. They agree that cosplay can help forget the problems they get in our daily life because having fun with it can give them enjoyment and forget the bad feelings they have. They can obtain escapism not only in cosplaying but in different ways by having fun. Therefore, all people can be escapist in different ways. (

            According to the Ajaberico, "Even if you’re not a card-carrying psychologist or sociologist, they can tell them roughly on the observations they made that cosplay is now part of the modern escapism." Even in oneself and everything they observe. It is really true that all of people are escapist. Not all of them are cosplayers but sometimes when they get sad feelings, they usually play computer games to escape and forget their problems in their life. Also a lot of people do the same thing they did to themselves. Just to forget problems. Thus, the article can be true. (

The purpose of this paper is to determine the perception of people on cosplay.

B.              Statement of the Problem

This study aims to answer this question:

1.         What are the perceptions of people on cosplay?

C.   Significance of the Study

To the cosplayers. The result of this research paper will improve their knowledge and attitude towards the effects of cosplaying. It will also serve as an evaluation of the impact of cosplay in their lives. It can also help to avoid the risks or negative effects.

To the audience and fans. The result of this research paper will provide information regarding the effects of cosplay among the people. It will also be a guide for preparing future plans of involving oneself in cosplay.

To the parents and relatives. The result of this research paper will be able to increase the awareness of parents and relatives knowledge regarding the effects of cosplay. It will also be a source of information to help them understand the cosplayer’s situation.

To the future researchers. The result of this research paper will serve as a reference or guide for the researchers that will be conducting similar studies. It will also be a basis for comparison for the development of more improved results.

D.   Scope and Limitations

            This study focuses on the perceptions of people on cosplay. Cosplay has been widely accepted since nowadays, the number of people cosplaying is getting bigger in number as time goes by. Cosplay is also playing a part not only locally but also internationally that had become popular among people of different ages.

            Due to limitation of the study, this study will no longer discuss about the causes or reasons of the people on cosplaying. It will also not include the Lolita fashion as a cosplay. Therefore, this study would be essential to the increasing cosplay enthusiasts. There were limited resources both local and international; therefore it will only give ideas on the effects of cosplay among the people.

E.   Materials and Planned Methods

            This research will utilize a descriptive method since the purpose is to determine the perception of people on cosplay. Descriptive method is a method used to describe data and characteristics used to describe. The purpose of using descriptive method is to acquire accurate, factual, systematic data that can provide, then making an accurate explanation about the data gathered. Descriptive method is the appropriate method for this study. Descriptive studies can answer questions such as “what is” or “what was.” (Bickman and Rog, 1998).

Chapter 2

            What are the perceptions of people on cosplay?

Definition and Types of Cosplay

            Cosplay is defined as, short for "costume play". It is a type of performance art in which participants dress in costumes and accessories to represent a specific character or idea. The performers of this type of art are called "Cosplayers". Sometimes, people who naturally look like or idolize someone who’s famous mostly either an anime character or a famous Asian Celebrity (

            However, Bitter Bebang (2011) stated that there are different risks of being a cosplayer. First of all, a lot of cosplayers are experiencing financial problems since cosplaying is not as cheap as one think. They need to spend money for the costume, hair and make-up. Unless one has an alternative for those things, cosplaying may be a little costly. Some are being supported thus; financial constraint is not a problem to them. Second in time management, cosplay and studies can be hard to balance. Some just want to cosplay but doesn't want to focus on their studies. People should balance both if they really want to cosplay because education is more important than anything. Lastly, not all the people will adore the cosplayer because they are cosplayers, some of them might not be accepted as they are (

            According to Ajaberico (2010), “When there is a bad effect of cosplaying, there are also benefits from it.” First, cosplay promotes socialization. When these cosplayers come to meet other fellow cosplay lovers, they feel they are safe to socialize without judgment, and it has various positive effects on their self-esteem as well as in their social and academic success. Second is the liberalization. Over the past several decades, this cosplay culture may have been supported by the quiet type, who may not necessarily feel openly comfortable exposing their inner needs, but are able to come out of their closets dressed up differently than their personal identity which may have limited their actions in the past. Lastly, it’s gender defying. Cosplay reduces the impacts of diverse gender portrayals and ignores racial aspects (

            There are six different types of cosplay: First is the regular cosplayer. A person who cosplays as a character they love and enjoy and want to do that character for self expression and is pure fandom. Second, the crossplayers, people who cosplay as characters of the opposite sex. It is when a female is cosplaying a male character and vice versa. Third is the gender swap, in which a male character is being cosplayed as a female version and vice versa. Fourth is the humanoid, in which an inanimate object is being cosplayed as a human character. Fifth is the mecha, these are huge costumes that are made up of card board; it is usually being portrayed as a robot. Lastly is the original character. It is when people designs their own costume, look of the character and creates their own personality (

Factors influencing the adaptation of cosplay

A.   Commercial Consideration
            I found an article entitled "Investigating the Psychology of Cosplay" by Lisa Granshaw. From what I have read, there are two clinical psychologists who created "Psychology of Cosplay" and they are Dr. Andrea Letamendi and Dr. Robin Rosenberg. Letamendi make a survey because she thought that cosplayers had psychological issues. After reviewing the data they make, there are no sign of mental illness. It’s just that they only want to cosplay because of having fun with it and with others. The other one survey that they make is all about who cosplay the most between men and women.
            According to the survey, majority of the participants are the women, which Letamindi said that it might be the number of factors such as types of websites. However Chaka Cumberbatch, who cosplays since 2008, said that more women cosplay than men because of the fashion that women get and that fashion don’t appeal to men.

            According to the author, "They cosplay for creativity, to be social and hang out with friends, because they identify with the character and that’s meaningful to them."  Result of the study, people cosplay for creativity, to socialize with others, to meet new people. It said that on the top of all why they cosplay because of what fun they get to it. Don't judge them on how they look. It’s just like playing a sport game with your friends. And also it helps people who cosplay to educate themselves in different ways; therefore you can learn many things in just cosplaying.

            Cosplaying is not really a bad habit. Even though people might judge you from what you look like. On the positive side it really helps in many different ways and you can learn many things in just cosplaying. Maybe some of them are abnormal but cosplaying can help restrain your problems so you will not get depressed on it. I thought that people are crazy when I saw them dressing up like that outside but I learn that they do that because of having fun like me having fun in my sport game. So cosplaying now is really cool for me and a sport. (

B.   Cinematic potential of Cosplay
            If someone tells them that they can’t cosplay something because they do not have the physical attributes “necessary”, they are wrong. They usually can. If everyone had only cosplayed characters they have a precise or at least very close resemblance to, then extremely few would cosplay at all.

            If someone tells them that they can’t cosplay something because they don’t have the skills necessary, they are wrong. They can. They may struggle, they may have a hard time of it, they may never finish it, but they are guaranteed to learn something. Cosplay should be enjoyable, and looking “perfect” is an unattainable goal; whatever they are capable of doing is good enough for the time, and if they want to make chances or remake it or start over, they can do that. Pressure to look perfect is no more realistic than the pressure to look like a celebrity or be rich or famous. Focus on themselves and what they can learn from their experiences and the fun they have while doing it. Don’t let petty little people try to keep their from achieving things.

            If someone tells them that they can’t cosplay something because they haven’t adhered to every little detail, they are wrong. Costuming is an art. Adaptation is an art. Character design is an art. Artists change details of characters’ costumes all the time, and every design you’ve ever looked at has gone through countless concepts, reworks, and revisions. Every little detail gets scrutinized for how it fits into its environment. And one, dear cosplayer, can get to make creative choices too. Just because they are adapting existing work doesn’t mean they have no artistic license. The costume is about them. The costume is yours. They can change it, they can adapt it, and they can alter it. Own their creative choices and take pride in them. If someone tries to cut them down for their creative choices, know that they are arrogant people who see their own ideas as inherently better than others… and those are not people they want to know.

Everyone has an opinion. It doesn’t make it an informed opinion. 

              Take time as a cosplayer and make it something yours. Whether it is one costume or twenty or a whole lifetime’s worth, whether you work on them once a day or once a month or once a year, whether you choose to master crafts or merely play with them –– it’s your time to use and make something beautiful out of it.

            Make cosplay an experience that grows you as a person, offers you a chance to learn new skills, offers you a chance to have a creative outlet, and allows you to make connections with others and the community. Don’t allow people to make you envious, bitter or condemning of others. Don’t allow petty people to make you feel terrible for failing to live up to their standards. This is a hobby where competition can destroy us or inspire us all to help each other grow and learn, and I sure as hell hate to see people fall victim to pettiness and jealousy because it’s a long way back once you’ve gone there. (

Change in Medium.

            For some people wearing wigs, being in costumes and acting like the character was already enough. But some people, they just can't be contented that they must undergo a plastic surgery, just to look like their favorite character. Well, if one has the money, but if they are having trouble in terms of financial, then they might want to consider alternatives to look really the same with the character that they wanted to cosplay. If a girl has a long black hair, then she can then choose a character with a long black hair. It’s more practical than buying wigs or even from having a plastic surgery.

            According to an article entitled "Meet the Real-life Barbie" by Misty White Sidell. Plastic Surgery is an option for it. People undergo plastic surgery to correct or be their desired person that they wanted to be. An example is Valeria Lukyanova, also known as the real-life Barbie doll. She had undergone a lot of plastic surgery procedures just to look like Barbie doll, in which was. Everything in her face looks real barbie. She looks like a big toy staring in a picture. (

            According to the author, Valeria's sister said that "She’s always had this doll-like look, but a doll is associated with an unintelligent person, and since my sister is very bright and interesting, I've never associated her with Barbie."  Valeria make herself criticize by other people. She might call by others a crazy girl or even call her an insecure person who doesn't satisfied from what she has. Being look like a doll can give you beauty, feminine and refined. Image of refined girls are based on dolls. She is not contented on herself making herself a real Barbie. She wants to have more beauty to herself, to look nice and elegant and making people attract to her by her looks. Changing everything to yourself can also lead you to anti-Christ. It’s very bad thing when comes to God. (

            According to an article entitled "Obsessed Superman fan has cosmetic surgery to look like his hero" And you think that only other countries have people like them. Well, not because locally, we have our own superman. Another example is our very own Herbert Chavez, who happens to be a Filipino. He is from Calamba Laguna. He admires superman or Clark Kent so much that he had chosen to look-like the actor who played the role of superman. Like Valeria Lukyanova, he also achieved his goal to look like superman through plastic surgery. He has dramatically altered his appearance to look more like the famed Man of Steel. (

            According to the author, "His look appears to be an amalgamation of all the actors who have played Superman, as well as comic book depictions of the fantasy character."  Mr. Chavez has admitted to having the following procedures to make him look more like Superman: Chin augmentation to give him Superman's iconic cleft, Rhinoplasty to transform his Asian nose into one more closely resembling Superman actor Christopher Reeves, Silicone injections to his lips to make them fuller and thicker And thigh implants to make his legs appear more muscular. From what he did to himself, He might could suffer in different sickness and can lead him to deceased. Everything he did was because of his obsession to it. (

One can look like their favorite character by just wearing that character's outfit or dress. But when it comes to changing oneself, just to look exactly their favorite character, then they should think about it all over again, to prevent regretting in the future. People might judge them from what they have done to their selves. Thus it’s better to go in easy ways when portraying someone than making too much for it, like plastic surgery. (

Change in creative talents

            How people cosplay is that first they choose their favorite character to imitate then they make the same costume of what character wears after that, cosplayers goes to different events and portraying it to other people like acting the way the chosen character  used to act. Most of cosplayers are striving on finding the right materials to construct their own wonderful creations. Even on other hobbies, just the same as cosplaying, they must do everything to produce it and so they can play their hobbies. But other cosplayers don't have the skills to make their very own costume so they just make it to other experts. In making the costume, one must have the skills of being accurate, so they can make the same as what the character wears. Not also on what it wears but also the same as the looks of it. (

            Some of them wears dress that only produce by cloth but others are built in rubber sheet, to build a fully armored suit. And also the materials used to create a weapon, it is composed of different supplies to make one of it. It’s hard to create something that is big, to manage the time that consume, and also the stressed that comes from it. (

            According to Brett JF, "Cosplayers: we may poke fun at their failures from time to time, but you know as a kid you did the exact same thing. Much like there’s always going to be someone who has a bigger, better car than you, the same also applies for costumes." It’s hard to create one of your masterpieces. It takes more time to make one. One must contain the ability to build like more creative and being more accurate. Others might judge because of the costume that isn't accurate. Cosplayers do everything just to look alike with their favorite characters. (

            Cosplayers are motivated to create and wear a certain costume because of the pleasure they get on it. They are trying more good on it to become awesome cosplayers, to get famed by other people and to learn more things about it. That's why they cosplay. Some people praise other cosplayer more because of the good quality of the costume. Better costume comes from making more fans. And also it can make more friends that result in to a good social life. Basically, one also learn different skills while cosplaying. That's why cosplay is helpful because it has different benefits that can be used in their daily life. (

Problems created by the viewers

Every person has their own ideas to make themselves happy. People search for their abilities and hobbies that they can do to experience enjoyment and satisfaction in certain things. Others are discovering their talents throughout their lives. Some people do find pleasure in such foods, sports, receiving awards, doing excellent in their studies, relationships or even as simple as reading their favorite books, watching TV or doing nothing. Some do find happiness and contentment through applying their talents and abilities to something. Just like in cosplay, there are different ways to achieve happiness. These are imitating the anime or fictional characters that the people idolized, especially the children, making the impossible to be possible. It is like seeing the anime characters that one like, in real-life.

What Cosplay is for Non-cosplayers

    Cosplay in the Philippines has been around for more than a decade. Before, one had to wait a whole year for a convention to come, now, almost every other week, there is a convention with cosplay and much to see, sometimes there are even two or three or four cosplay and otaku centered events happening on the same day but in different locations.
   Today, cosplay is still considered an underground activity. Most people don't really know what it is although there have been more than a handful of TV shows, advertisements and articles about it. But, magazines cannot even come close to explaining what cosplay really is. Cosplay is something one needs to experience for their selves, for them to really understand it.
   People will label cosplayers as weird and will assume that they are socially unacceptable and all they think and do is cosplay. Like they are a freak that goes walking around in costume even on what they call "normal days" doing "normal tasks". Cosplayers are people, too and cosplay is not just one aspect of their being. There are cosplayers who are great students or have wonderful families and successful careers.
Most people think that cosplay is a huge waste of time and money, without even trying to understand why they would be so passionate about it. Cosplay is like any other passion.
 ( Jarouka parade

Chapter 3

            This paper attempted to determine the different perceptions of people on cosplay.
            The research design used in this study is the descriptive research method wherein data from documents and interviews were used to answer the question posed. The research findings are the following:
Some people don't really understand why those people would choose to dress themselves in that way. Others may view it positively, in which they see cosplayers as a cool individual who likes dressing up as a character. While others may view it negatively. Others may say that they are out of place. Because for them, it's not even Halloween to wear costumes. They also think that cosplayers are weird and crazy people. Also, they might think that pretending to be something or someone that they’re not, is a way of not accepting who they are because they wanted to be like someone else.
1.         The people think that cosplaying is very expensive. 
2.         Cosplayers are being labeled as weird.
3.         Cosplay is used to improve the skills of one like becoming creative
4.         Cosplaying is being used as a form of escapism, to escape from problems.

            Based on the findings of the study, the following conclusions are drawn:
The disadvantages are: the costumes can be very expensive, depending on the materials that one will be choosing and the size of the costumes, when cosplay conventions are scheduled during one’s hectic days, traffic on the day of the events, people get hassled bringing those huge and heavy costumes, people might think that cosplayers are weird, and they even get stressed from it. Some people might think that there are lot things that are more important to spend one’s money with rather than spending it for costumes. The money can be use to buy food and needs for one’s everyday life.
1.         It is difficult to accept cosplaying since there are different perceptions of people.
2.         In cosplaying, people think about cosplayers negatively.

            After drawing the conclusions of the study, the researcher hereby make the following suggestions/recommendations:
1.         Cosplayers are normal people, so accept them.
2.         Increase awareness of people.
3.         Understand the reasons behind why people cosplay.

  1. Electronic Media
"Benefits of Cosplay." Retrieved October 11, 2011 from
"Dress for success." Retrieved August 10, 2011 from
"Investigating the Psychology of Cosplay." Retrieved November 11 2013 from
"Obsessed Superman fan has cosmetic surgery to look like his hero." Retrieved October 8 2011 from
"Psychology in Cosplay." Retrieved February 10, 2014 from
"What Cosplay is for Non-Cosplayers." Retrieved August 8 2012 from

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