Are you interested to be part of the cosplay world and take your friends with you and your favorite fandoms? Cosplaying is a kind of self-expression where people dressed up as their favorite characters. If you are new to cosplaying or want to learn more about it, you’ll be surprised to find out that there are so many cosplayers all around the world.
To give you an idea, let’s check out the different conventions, competitions, and famous cosplayers all over the globe.
Popular Cosplay Competitions and Conventions
San Diego Comic Con
The San Diego Comic-Con International was founded by Ken Krueger, Richard Aif, and Mike Towry in 1970. This charitable foundation aims to create public awareness and appreciation for comic book and other popular art forms such as support in conventions, public presentations, exhibits, museums, and other activities which celebrate the influence of comics in arts and culture.
Anime Expo or simply known as AX is an animé convention is traditionally held annually in Los Angeles, California USA. This convention is organized by the Society for the Promoti0on of Japanese Animation or SPJA. The first Anime expo was held in 1992 at the Red Lion Hotel San Jose, California. It is currently the largest animé convention in North America since 2017.
Some popular events featured during Anime Expo are the Anime Music Video Contest, AX Fashion show, masquerades, costume play, Battle of the Bands, and concerts. There are also some anime films and video streaming that run all throughout the day. This is also a chance for people who love to cosplay to attend as their favorite anime character and have fun and socialize with other attendees.
Gamescom is a trade fair held at Koelnmesse in Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. This is fair is attended by video game developers to exhibit future video games and other game-related software.
Gamescom is considered the largest gaming event on Earth with over hundreds of thousands of visitors and thousands of exhibitors from 56 countries in attendance in 2018. This is the ideal platform for computer and video game businesses in Europe.
Gamescom provides indoor and outdoor performances, live acts, anime cosplay contest and brings the spotlight on the latest innovations in the gaming world. For video games enthusiasts, this will be a very exciting event for them because they will the first ones to know the newest in the video game industry.
Oz Comic Con
Oz Comic Con is a comic and speculative fiction convention that has been running in different Australian cities since 2012. It is a franchise of the New York Comic Con. This 2-day event welcomes all people who enjoy pop culture. It features artist alley, community groups, cosplay alley, console gaming, and many more. If you are from Australia, don’t miss this event! It’s your time to dress up as your favorite character and enjoy all the activities instore there.
Pax or Penny Arcade Expo was created by Jerry Holins and Mike Krahulik in 2004. They are the authors of Penny Arcade which is a webcomic centered in video games and video culture. PAx is created because they wanted a show that is exclusively for games and gaming culture. This event is held yearly in some cities in the US and in Melbourne, Australia.
Some of the features of the event include an opening speech from someone within the industry, panels on game topics, exhibitor booths from both independent and major game developers and publishers, tabletop gaming tournaments, video game freeplay areas, etc.
Science Fiction Convention
The Science Fiction Convention is an event where science fiction fans gathered together. The original focus of this convention was on literature but it extends to other disciplines such as animation, comic book, television, and films. The program format varies each time but there will always be the same features like discussion panels, guest of honor, readings, opening and closing ceremonies, and some entertainment. Its first conventions were held in the United Kingdom and the USA but have now extended to other countries.
Sakura-Con is a yearly 3-day anime convention originally held over Easter weekend. Organized by Asia-Northwest Cultural Education Association or ANCEA, this convention presents a lot of activities which include anime music video contests, anime game shows, cosplay chess, cosplay or costume contests, fashion show, Japanese cultural arts presentations, Japanese rock and pop concerts, masquerade ball, tabletop RPG gaming, video gaming, and many exciting activities. Anyone who is into anime will truly enjoy this oldest convention in the Northwest.
Cosplay Community: Most Popular Cosplayers In The World
Yaya Han is a Chinese-American costume player based in the USA. She is also a model and costume designer. She is known to be as one of the pioneers in cosplaying. She has over twenty years of experience in costume design. She is usually invited as a judge in various cosplay competitions and she has been a judge several times on the TBS reality show King of the Nerds.
Yaya Han has written a book called Yaya Han’s World of Cosplay: A Guide to Fandom Costume Culture which was launched on August 4, 2020. Today, she is very visible on social media and has a lot of followers on YouTube and Instagram.
Jessica Nigri is one of the most famous cosplayers to date. This American-New Zealand cosplayer has been cosplaying since 2009. She was born in Nevada but she grew up in New Zealand where her mother is from. She became viral when she attended in San Diego Comic Con dressed as a sexy Pikachu in 2009. Since then, she has become very famous in the cosplay community and that appearance gained her a lot of opportunities. She is not just a cosplayer but also a model, YouTuber, voice actress, interviewer in fan conventions, and the spokesmodel for various comic books series and video games.
She is indeed an internet sensation with 4 million followers on Instagram and 1.22 million subscribers on YouTube.
Amie Lynn, who is also known as Misshabit, is a very talented cosplayer who makes her own outfits and weapons. She started cosplaying or fan costuming after she has graduated high school. She became famous for cosplaying as C.C. the witch and that particular cosplay made her famous.
Besides cosplaying, Amie Lynn loves music, art, travel, adventures, and video games. Her hobbies include hiking, yoga, crafting, reading, restoration projects, and anything that can make her express creativity.
Linda Le is an American Cosplayer of Vietnamese descent who is also known as Vampy But Me, Vamp or Vampy. She was born in Okmulgee, Oklahoma but grew up in San Jose, California. She has a degree in Business at San Jose State University and she also studied hairstyling from Paul Mitchell in the US and at Toni & Guy in London and Tokyo.
Linda Le started cosplaying at a very young age of 12. She became famous when Kotobukiya, a Japanese toy and hobby company, featured some of her cosplay photos. Since then, she had a lot of collaborations with different artists from the US and Japan. Some notable collaborations she did were with Street Fighter artist Long Vo, Jessica Chobot, and sculptor Tim Miller, just to name a few.
Vampy But Me has portrayed so many characters over the years. But her most famous character portrayal is Psylocke from X-Men which she interpreted in different versions.
Alodia Gosiengfiao is a Filipina cosplayer who started cosplaying at the age of 15. She was encouraged by her friends who are also animé and video game enthusiasts to join competitions in Manila. She gained attention when she won 3rd place at 2003 C3 Convention where she portrayed the character Gun Mage Rikku of Final Fantasy X-2. Since then, she has cosplayed different characters and even been invited to appear or judge at conventions not only in the Philippines but also in other countries. She even landed a role in the San Diego Comic-Con documentary directed by Morgan Spurlock.
Alodia is not just a cosplayer; she is also a host, pianist, endorser, vlogger, and even one of the founders of an esports media agency called Tier One Entertainment. She is also a very famous social media influencer with millions of followers on Instagram and YouTube.
Spiral Cats is a cosplay group formed in 2009 by Tasha (Oh Go-eun) and Ren (Lee Da-yeong) from South Korea. This all-women group was then joined by Tomia (Kim Jung-hoon)in 2010 and Miyuko (Kang Yun-jin) in 2011. Today, this sexy group is composed of South Korean Tasha, Ssol, and Doremi (Lee Hye-min). They are often seen in sexy outfits and they look like miniature action figures.
This Korean cosplay group has many fans in other countries as well. They are often booked by mobile game developers which include Blizzard Entertainment, Riot Games, Nexon, Neowiz Games, and NCSOFT.
Meg Turney is an American cosplayer, streamer, glamour model, vlogger, and internet personality. Meg started cosplaying at the young age of 15. Her first character was Sailor Heavy Metal Papillon from the anime series Sailor Moon. Other women characters that she has cosplayed were Princess Leia, Faye Valentine, and Psycho which lead her to be recognized in several online publications. She appeared on Syfy’s Heroes of Cosplay and hosted various cosplay conventions. She also made a commercial for Guild Wars 2. She now has 742,000 followers on Instagram and 312,000 subscribers on YouTube.
Marie-Claude Bourbonnais is a Canadian cosplayer who is known for her interpretation of Frost from Mortal Combat. She started cosplaying and creating costumes in 2009 and participated in different cosplay events since then. She was in the 2011 calendar Cosplay for a Cause which is a fundraising campaign for the victims of the tsunami and earthquake in Japan. She was also chosen as a speaker at the Anime Weekend Atlanta in 2012 and has been invited as a speaker to several cosplay conventions from around the globe.
Lisa Lou Who
Lisa Lou Who, or Lisa Rosenberg in real life, started making costumes when she was 11 years old. She became famous when she made a portrayal of Princess Anna from the animated movie Frozen. She obtained recognition from Disney and Time magazine. This very artistic and creative lady also makes costumes and sells them on Etsy.
Enako is known to be Japan’s most famous cosplayer. She started to get interested in cosplaying in 2007, but she made a temporary hiatus and came back in 2015 to resume her activities. She just recently shared her huge collection of over 400 costumes in a YouTube video. She’s the highest-paid cosplayer in Japan, earning 90,000 USD a month.
Yoshi Sudarso is a model, cosplayer, stuntman, and actor. He was born in Indonesia and moved to the US when he was 10. When he was in Los Angeles, he pursued acting and modeling. He did some commercials for Sony and Samsung. He did some stunts for Maze Runner and was part of the cast of Power Rangers Dino Charge as Koda. He was known by his fans as Koda but he switched to Dragon Ball for cosplay. He and his brother also cosplayed the Magical Girl Ore. Yoshi together with his brother Peter are also YouTubers under the name Apartment 210.
Okageo is one of the famous male cosplayers who has been in the industry since 2008. One of his goals is to make cost-effective cosplay outfits under $100. He has cosplayed a lot of characters such as Sinbad, Varus, Cloud Strife, to name a few. He has always been invited to be a judge or guest speaker at various conventions. Some of the companies he had cosplayed for are Crunchyroll, Nerdblock, Elsworld, and many more.
Michael Hamm is a model, cosplayer, and media personality. He is a fan of superheroes, comics, and action figures. He loves Halloween because that’s the only time he could dress up as his favorite character without being shy or judged. He also makes his own costumes and some of the superheroes he has portrayed in the past were Robin, Aquaman, Nightwing, and Spiderman. He is very creative and artistic and loves to mix and match to create something new and amazing.
Philmizuno is a Canadian cosplayer who followed his heart to pursue his passion through his creativity and positivity. He has shared his talents in cosplaying not just in Canada but also from different parts of the world. Some of his famous looks are Gilgamesh, Koga, and Sebastian from The Black Butler. He has been invited as a judge or guest in many conventions worldwide.
Chris Villain is a YouTuber, singer, actor, and cosplayer. He is widely known for genderswapping characters or costuming the opposite sex. He is very famous on social media like on Tiktok and YouTube with over 200,000 subscribers. Some of the cosplay characters he is known for include Beats Boy, Elsa, Ariel, Harley Quinn, and many more.
Popular Cosplay Anime Characters
Erza Scarlet is a beautiful woman with average height and long scarlet red hair. She is slender and has a small waist. Her costume attire often consists of a blue skirt, black boots, a pair of diamond-shaped earrings, and custom-made armor. Erza’s power is her ability to requip which means that she can swap not only her armors but also her clothes anytime she wants.
Zero Two has a fair complexion and a slender and athletic body type. She is very tall, even taller than most boys. She has pink, waist-length hair and two red horns in front of her head. She is a hybrid of a human and a Klaxosaur. She looked like a monster when she was a child because she had long sharp nails, fangs, and had red skin. Zero Two wears a red military uniform, white boots, and black leggings. But after she was assigned to Squad 13, she adopted the regular Pistil uniform which is composed of a white bodysuit with red accents.
Tomoyo Sakaga is a lovely teenage girl with big blue eyes. She is very intelligent and also very athletic. She has silver, long hair with bangs. Her usual outfit is composed of a black headband and a blue and white school uniform with high socks.
Tomoyo Sakaga is a very tough girl and is known to beat delinquents. Although she has a strong personality, she hates picking up fights. Tomoyo is also known to be a very skilled fighter and knows how to use magic and chakras.
Mikasa is a fictional character and one of the main characters in Attack on Titan. She had chin-length black hair. She used to have long hair but Eren told her to cut her bangs because it can hinder her during training. She has average height and has gray/black calming eyes. Her skin is very pale and she has a very well-toned and fit body. Mikasa normally wears her Survey Corps uniform and her red scarf which was given by Eren when he saved her.
Sakura Kinomoto is the main character in CLAMP’s manga series Cardcaptor Sakura and its animé adaptation. Sakura has big green eyes and short auburn hair. This protagonist hates ghosts and math. Her personality is very cheerful, loving, and friendly.
Sakura Kinomot doesn’t have any specific outfit but you would often see her wearing her school uniform and her fight outfit.
Izuku Midoriya, also known as Deku, is the main character in My Hero Academia manga and animé series. He has green messy hair and large green eyes. Izuku’s personality is very reserved, timid, and polite. Izuku’s greatest quality is his great knowledge of fundamental hero tactics and skills. Deku’s original costume is a green jumpsuit with a red belt, knee pads, elbow pads, gloves, and red boots.
Kazuma Satou is the main protagonist in the series KonoSuba. He is a Japanese teenager who was reincarnated into the Fantasy World after dying from an acute stress reaction. Though he was from the lowest-ranked class, Kazuma learned skills in monster detection, stealing, archery, and magic.
Kazuma is a tall young boy with chestnut brown hair and green eyes. He originally wore a green tracksuit but he, later on, wore an adventurer outfit. He wears a white shirt, blue pants, brown leather boots, and a gold-trimmed cloak. He carried his sword on his belt that replaced by a short katana.
Saitama is the main character in the One Punch Man series. He possesses limitless strength, reflexes, speed, endurance, and stamina. He is the most powerful character in the series. Initially, he just wanted to be a superhero as a hobby but then registered to be a professional hero for Hero Association. Bald Cape was the hero name that was assigned to him by the Hero Association and he is presently under B-Class Rank 7.
Saitama is of average weight and height. He is thin but muscular. He used to have short lack hair but became bald because of the intensity of the heroes’ training. His hero costume is composed of a yellow jumpsuit, a black belt with a golden buckle. He also wears red gloves and red boots.
Goku is probably one of the most famous characters to be portrayed by cosplayers. Even though it’s already considered classic, Goku is still a favorite cosplay character.
Son Goku is a fictional character and the main protagonist in the anime series, Dragon Ball. He is a male Saiyan who is originally sent to cause destruction on Earth. However, due to a head injury, he lost all his memory and became a carefree and cheerful boy.
Goku has a spiky black hairstyle, dark-colored eyes, and a lighter-pale skin complexion. He wears a martial arts uniform which consists of an orange tank top, orange baggy pants, blue wristbands, blue undershirt, blue toe-shoes, white socks, and blue obi tied around the waist.
Which country has the most cosplayers?
Japan is the country that has the highest number of cosplayers in the globe. It has been the home to many professional cosplayers because of the increasing popularity of the Tokyo Game Show and Comiket. Though cosplaying is very apparent in Japan, there are also other countries that have many cosplayers as well such as the United States, China, and South Korea.
How much do cosplayers make?
Most professional cosplayers earn around 100,000 to 200,000 USD annually. Some earn even higher than that. Enako, who is the most famous pro costume player in Japan, earned $875,000 USD in 2021. She earned mostly from modeling jobs, her photobook sales, and paid appearances.
How big is the cosplay industry?
In 2020, the global cosplay industry was valued at $4.62 billion. This is according to Allied Market Research. They also project that it will hit $23 billion by 2030. The industry is continually growing because of the rise of trends in theme parties & television shows.
Are you ready to be part of the cosplay world? Whether you’re into historical figures, anime characters, or fiction books, attending cosplay events can help you better understand the cosplay culture. There’s nothing better than applying make up, dressing up, and performing a dramatic interpretation of such characters. It would be hard to give a specific number as to how many cosplayers there are on Earth but learning the different major conventions across the globe should give you an idea of how big the industry has become.