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Cosplayers Come Together at 'Cure', Now in English

Will cosplay (costume play) conquer the Earth? Japan's biggest community site for cosplayers, "Cure", has grown to a very respectable 300,000 registered users. With English localization now in effect, the number of Cure users who are not Japanese (now at 10%) is expected to grow substantially.

Cosplay is still a mystery to many non-Japanese. Literally "costume play", fans of the culture (both male and female) enjoy dressing up to resemble a favorite anime character - or just dressing up in general. Of course, once they've done that, then it's natural to want to show off your cool, unique look. What better way then to post pics on the Internet, or even your cellphone? That's where sites like Cure come in, and they're coming in like mad if one can believe the "42,382 Cosplayers are in activity!" banner displayed at the Cure site.

Opened in 2001 by major Japanese online portal Livedoor, Cure records a staggering 50 million page views each month and a significant number come from foreign sources. With this in mind, Livedoor has rolled out English localization for Cure effective June 12, 2008.

 

Once registered, Cure members can upload photos and flesh out a personal profile with information including their province, blood type (very important for Japanese), vital stats and their hobbies. Privacy is optional - somewhat surprisingly, many of the photos and listed information are accessible by non-registered users.

It remains to be seen if cosplay itself will become as popular elsewhere as it is in Japan, but Cure's concept looks to be a winner whether or not imitating Sailor Moon is your secret - or not so secret - desire. (via Asiajin)

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Steve Levenstein
J A P A N O R A M A
InventorSpot.com

Comments
Jun 12, 2008
by Anonymous

Not a new trend.

I'm shocked at how mainstream America is so slow! Cosplay and all other forms of SciFi dressup has dominated conventions for over 34 years. It's not new.

Doctor Who, Star Trek, Star Wars, Video Games, Anime, the list goes on and on for how many series have had die hard fans dress up as such, since the beginning of conventions and autograph signings. There's nary a movie opening for scifi that doesn't have legions of fans Cosplay. Ever hear of Rocky Horror Picture Show?

It's a recreational way of expression. Not only in homage to our favorite shows and characters, but also as a reflection of our inner creative streaks.

Just as each person has an inner child, we also carry within us a carefree, fun loving sprite, who's just eager to spring forth whenever a specific series triggers that happy side. Most conventional society stupidly shuns it, but scifi and anime fans nurture it.

It's not to be laughed at or even poked at like so much zoo monkies, it's just as normal a way of fun as reading a good manga.

Besides, what's wrong with dressing up in Sailormoon costumes?

Jun 13, 2008
by Anonymous

Cosplay is hugely popular in

Cosplay is hugely popular in America. Check out Cosplay.com, Cosplaylab.com, ACparadise.com, Cosscom.com... all of which are 'portal' type sites, the oldest of which has been around since 2002. With conventions drawing up to 30,000+ people, it's hardly a new or unknown hobby here.

Jun 13, 2008
by Anonymous

UK

Cosplay is also supprisingly popular here in the UK where we have various cons and expos year-round where thousands of people turn up in costume.

Jun 13, 2008
by Steve Levenstein
Steve Levenstein's picture

Cosplay goes global

It really does seem to be turning into a worldwide phenomenon. Yes, we've had cosplayers in the West but they've been tagged with the "Trekkie" or "geek" tags for too long. Maybe by connecting to the Japanese cosplayers at sites like Cure, those who are into it here can at least boost their self-respect and maybe even start getting some respect from the naysayers.

Jun 20, 2008
by Anonymous

I want a stormtrooper

I want a stormtrooper costume...

Oct 9, 2008
by Anonymous

Cosplay

People seem to think that it's alright to Cosplay if you're an Asian, which I am.
But for the others who aren't, they seem to be getting a hard time. I can't really describe it, since it hasn't really happened to me but...
Cosplaying isn't that bad.
It's a hobby that's fun to do and can express different people.

Besides, who doesn't have a favourite character?