Anyone who has been attending UK anime events for the past
five years will have noticed that the number of
cosplayers has risen
dramatically. Since anime has increased in popularity over this time, the
number of cosplayers keeps going up, and the starting age keeps going down.
This has been most noticeable at the MCM London Expo, the biggest anime
event in the UK, where it first started with a small proportion of cosplayers.
Now the number has increased largely due to younger attendees cosplaying for the
first time, it is as though cosplaying is a rite of passage for them and all
part of an anime event experience.
The first thing that strikes you about Cosplay
Fever is that it is big and colourful. 256 high-quality glossy
pages await the reader, all in full-colour. It contains over 300
professional photographs of cosplayers, taken at a variety of events.
It is certainly extensive as cosplays from all genres of anime are
featured, alongside a selection of sci-fi ones such as Doctor Who
and Star Wars. Each photograph contains information on the
person, the costume and quotes from them on why they cosplay. The
costume information is of particular interest as it says if the outfit
is self-made, commissioned or purchased (from sites such as eBay).
Some self-making cosplayers may disapprove of the inclusion of bought
costumes, but I was impressed by this decision. It shows the
reader that cosplay is more about having fun wearing the costume and not
necessarily making it as well, something I am sure the creators wanted
to get across.
The book begins with a foreword by cosplaying professional
artist Sonia Leong,
detailing her discovery of cosplay, why she does it and talking about the UK cosplay scene. There is also an introduction by co project creator Rob
Dunlop who talks about the project, the meaning of cosplay and why people do it
amongst other topics. It is a good read which provides an great insight
into the world of cosplay to those not familiar with it.