People need hobbies. Tony Stark has building his Iron Man suits, Kirito has sleeping has his favorite pastime, and Asuna has cooking. Since I’m a very lonely guy with only anime as his best friend, I really wanted to live the characters I download every week. This large ambition has led me to the domain of cosplay. As of today, I’ve been a cosplayer for 1 year. I’ve spent 6 months as a solo player with a cheap costume I borrowed from my friend (it only cost 10 bucks to make), saving up my money to create a costume I could finally call mine. On month 6, I finally saved enough money to buy a full-set Kirito (Sword Art Online) costume: from the black wig to custom-made boots with the iron plating, plus the two signature swords, the Elucidator and Dark Repulser. I’ve been wearing that costume ever since and roamed the land on conventions as the Black Swordsman.
Another fun part about cosplay is knowing lots of other people (with the same hobby). I, who once was a unsocial geek mostly because I knew other “normal” people would not accept my hobbies, have found a circle of friends whom I can be crazy with. Talking about anime, doing a bunch of weird stuff with our costumes, and just plain being nuts. My best friend count increased from 2 (I did have 2 human best friends) to 5 (well, it is something). I also learned how to deal with different types of cosplayers. Some are friendly and easy-going, some are shy and reserved, while some are just plain dicks. I learned how to take praise and how to respond to critics (I’ve improved at giving out burns and sarcasm as well). I’ve also joined a cosplay team and my job has officially changed to “Bounty Hunter”, because I now seek events that gives money.
If there’s fun, there’s also the dull side. Though the conventions are mostly fun, they are tiring. And since I live in tropical country, I have to learn how to deal with the sun’s rays. Since I joined the team, I have to be involved in the team’s affairs, which include a lot of bickering and internal and external strife. Costume maintenance is also costly, because I always want my costume to be in top-notch condition, but tuition fees are too damn high, forcing me to find more money which leads to fatigue.
However, the dull side is mostly on the social aspect. Since the rise of Facebook, the idiot population has exponentially grown. Now, in Indonesia, I guess it’s customary that if there’s a “Cosplay is Fun” group, there HAS to be an “Anti Cosplay” group. It’s like Yin and Yang. It’s tough reasoning with the idiots in Facebook and internet arguments (in Indonesia) tend to lead to mortal combat, if not, butthurt people acting awkwardly in conventions. Of course, there is a bright side to this. I can always enjoy the drama over my breakfast and the entertainment has way more LOLs than 9GAG.
Bottom line, no matter how many haters there are (and will be), no matter how expensive costumes get, and no matter how old I get, cosplay will still be fun. And when I finally get a steady job, I can finally buy those expensive armor costumes. So, why not try a cosplay today? It’s easy. Just get a large piece of black cloth, sew it into a cloak, make a headpiece… and voila! You are now a cosplayer! Trust me, with only 10 bucks or less, you can be the center of attention.