Fans Roleplay to Embody Character

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Clarissa Sanchez, Advertising Manager

A child’s eyes beams as he gets his picture taken with Batman. In a matter of seconds, he spots Thor across the room and runs off with his parents tailing behind. What seems like a comic book turned reality is actually a cosplay convention, where patrons embody their character of choice by adopting their mannerisms and clothing.

“It’s a basic understanding of the character and who they are down to the smallest detail,” senior Heather Day said. “Cosplayers become their characters.  When people want to take pictures with us, the pose has to be exactly how the characters would do it.”

For an upcoming convention, Day plans to cosplay Link from the video game, Legend of Zelda. Part of staying true to her character includes remaining silent.

“I like to dress up as characters that are similar to my personality,” she said.  “I look for someone that is emotionally strong and cares for others. Usually, they are blonde so I don’t have to buy a wig.”

Patrons can also watch or partake in battles. Although cosplay entails fantasy, a branch called steampunk recreates the Victorian while incorporating elements of the future. According junior Daniel Hernandez, steampunk merges inventions of the 19th century, like the Tessla Coil, with futuristic inventions like lasers guns.

“We have live action role playing at conventions,” Hernandez said. “It’s a fantasy war between two factions people made up. The game master will set up a story so the two parties have something to interact with. I have my own crew and we all dress the same.”

Hernandez and his crew do not limit cosplay to just conventions.

“It’s fun to go out to places like the mall with friends dressed up,” Hernandez said. “Everbody gives us looks, but it doesn’t matter when we’re having fun. Some people will actually come up to us to take pictures.”

Dominique Martinez bases her character off of music, while incorporating the Japanese culture.

“My character is this Japanese robotic singer named Rin Kagamine from the Vocaliods,” Martinez said. “I started watching anime when I was very young . I wanted to be one for Halloween, then I realized my friends dressed up all the time, too.  We were just dressing up, it was not until later that we discovered there was actually a society.”

A socially acceptable practice and common occurrence includes girls portraying male character and vise versa. According to Martinez, teenagers are not the only age group who cosplays.

“ I’ve seen anywhere from a two-year-old to a 60 year-old woman dressed up ,” Martinez said. “Conventions are a huge place where you can feel accepted because you like this awkward Japanese thing, but so does everyone else. When people dress up as characters from the same show or stories, even if they don’t know each other, they automatically become one big family.  There’s not that many people who cosplay, so to have a sense of community feels really cool.”