Cosplay has become mainstream after many years of being in the background. We see it – in a not joking light – on the streets, over the internet, and now on television. “Heroes of Cosplay” is Syfy’s reality television show about the prep and competition between popular cosplayers including the famed Yaya Han. However, is this show a motivator for new cosplayers? Or is it a deterrent?
Cosplay is a hobby that many people enjoy not only for the art but for the sense of achievement and community that comes with it. As a frequent con-goer and/or cosplayer, it would be hard not to see that there is a great love and respect between many cosplayers. Groups often form either out of friendships or out of mentor relationships with other cosplayers, which creates a very creative and interesting environment. Many, if not all cosplayers, are also motivated by the love they have for their character or the series they are cosplaying from. They show that love and end up connecting with those who have similar interests, obviously forming friendships along their journey in cosplay.
With the show, you get to see what a lot of cosplayers really go through in the time before and during the convention. You see the days if not months of preparation of the costume during the segment and with that you see the days of fatigue and stress before the convention. Many cosplayers that I personally know also go through this right before a convention. Some can handle it, others cannot.
Then when the contest finally rolls around, you see the cosplayers show their stuff and the judges make their final decisions on who wins and often times it is not those that you have followed during the segment. This leads me to the arguments that I have made and have heard on the deterrent’s side. Because after watching all the work and all the stress that these people went through to create their cosplays, they still were up against other cosplayers with equally amazing talents. It is hard to not be intimidated by that simple fact.
The Conclusion? What should it be?
In my opinion, cosplay is a hobby and an art. Just like any art, it is hard to stop doing it once you have really gotten it into your blood. Cosplay is a great form of expression, and even though it involves a lot of competition and stress, in the end you still have something you created. That is something to be very proud of!
Furthermore, “Heroes of Cosplay” really does well to expose the real world of cosplay for what it is and what it can be. What you are seeing is not all acting. It is real and it is raw. To see what the world of cosplay is really like, I definitely recommend this show.