So you thought there wouldn’t be a second one. Hah! You were wrong. I’ve waited a year to write this piece. During that time, I’ve accumulated some more experience in the cosplay world and am back with the piece that started it all.
First of all, this is the Internet, so fuck you. Second, this piece is purely personal. If you would like to refute any of my claims and assumption, feel free. I’m open to criticism and don’t mind losing an argument as long as it’s logical and civilized.
Let’s get this on.
From Where We Left Off
A summary of the previous post:
- Get your fucking theory right.
- Know who’s above and below you.
- Social media is for stabbing people in the back and belittling people.
- Nobody loves you, from the community to the judges. Unless you’re brown-nosing here and there or have tits.
That’s pretty much what I observed last year. But, a year is quite a long time. Perhaps some things have changed. Or not.
Incompetent Maker Fraud (IMF)
Ah, a case that happens quite a lot. The previous year was plagued by many cases of IMF; I’ve only been informed of a few, however, because I’ve stopped caring. Oh wait, let me explain what IMF is.
IMF, or Incompetent Maker Fraud, is when a costume maker takes on an order that they think they can finish, but ends up wasting their customer’s time and money. Eventually, after getting tired of being hounded by their customers, they mysteriously vanish and end up on the unwritten blacklist of costume makers.
That pretty much sums it up. Now, my friend was a victim of IMF. It cost him around 120 bucks (that’s over a million in IDR). He ordered an Archer costume, a full set. After two months and a couple of failed conventions, the maker finally sent him his order. But when it arrived, it ended up looking like shit. Like Archer had his armor forged by a noob blacksmith. Infuriated, he demanded a re-work. Two weeks later, his replacement armor came. It looked even more like shit. He was livid, and ended up posting the entire thing on Facebook, complete with an angry rant condemning the maker. He also asked the maker’s cosplay community to watch their members more carefully.
I don’t know how it was settled, but it cost my friend a hefty sum and wasted his time.
I have also fallen victim to IMF. I requested a piece of fabric clothing for my Lyner costume. But the maker had all of these excuses until finally, they disappeared from the grid, leaving me confused and furious. My money was gone and my costume lost in the abyss.
So, next time you want to order armor or anything online, request a trusted maker, preferably a friend of a friend. Or better yet, try making it yourself. That’s the essence of cosplay.
On the Customers
If there are incompetent makers, there are also unknowledgeable customers. It’s a pretty broad generalization, however. Let’s see…
UCS, or Unknowledgeable Customer Syndrome, is when someone, either deliberately or involuntarily, looks like a jackass when trying to order a costume.
In this picture, the person is requesting someone to make a Lolita costume for a maximum budget of IDR 150K.
Let’s point out what’s wrong: It’s impossible to make such a complicated costume with only 150K. For a decent one, a person would have to dish out at least 300K.
What do you think happened to the original poster (for the sake of simplicity, let’s call her “Amy”)?
The initial assumption is that Amy is a total newbie who has just recently entered the cosplay world and has no knowledge of virtually anything related to cosplay other than the fact that it’s cool.
As we the community is full of jerks, what happened was Amy got told off by a supposedly “senior” cosplayer, belittling Amy because she doesn’t knows shit, calling her “brainless”. In this case, the one in the wrong is this jerk in the guise of a cosplayer.
Amy is one of the many cases where newbies are rejected before they even try one costume. Stop newbie hate. You were once a newbie too. (But if we do’t bully newbies, how will we vent all this anger and resentment of ourselves?)
At least Amy learned that cosplay was an expensive hobby. But, there are those cheapskate customers who are just so irritating. Which brings us to another case: Irritating Customer Syndrome (ICS).
Similar to UCS, an Irritating Customer is a customer that is just an asshole. They’re spoiled, whiny little fucks who don’t know that costume-making is an exhausting process like writing a 100-page thesis. I can explain better with examples.
I am an armor-maker. I get an order for an Iron Man costume. You all should know how complicated it is to make a full body Iron Man suit from EVA foam. I say that it can be done with a budget of 1.5 million in two months. The customer insists that they need it in a week and can’t provide more than 500 thousand. I try to explain, but they don’t understand and call me a capitalist pig.
I somehow agree to finish an Iron Man costume in a month with a budget of 1 million. Every fucking day, the customer phones me and texts me five times a day, asking when it’s done and for photos of the work in progress. After two days, the customer gets fed up from waiting and starts spreading rumours that I’m an Incompetent Maker.
[Snaps my phone into two]
That pretty much sums up ICS.
Breaking Tradition is a Sin
I’ve seen costumes getting better and better at events I attend. I saw some of the best cosplays in my book at Ennichisai 2014, and even more at AFAID 2014. At the surface, events and conventions are fun and enjoyable. But what’s juicy is the after-event talk on Facebook. There’s ALWAYS something going on.
After AFAID 2014, the buzzword was “Bikini Miku”. A cosplayer tried to break conservative tradition that sexy costumes were to be reserved only for personal photo sessions. At the largest convention in Indonesia, she appeared in public as Racing Miku in a white bikini. Of course, her determination was met with lecherous gazes, fiery comments, heated arguments between people who aren’t even related to the person, and mostly desperate singles trying to get her attention by standing up for her on Facebook.
Of course, her costume was far from perfect. She still got a few parts wrong, but that could be fixed. What’s wrong was that people started questioning her religion and other personal business, leading a series of flame wars online and ultimately (almost) ending in a real-life bitchslap contest. So apparently, when you try something new, you’re sinning and deserve to be ridiculed by the entire cosplay community.
But after that, bikini and swimsuit cosplay became quite the rage. The fuck happened?
Introducing the Return of Feudalism
When was the last time I heard the word “caste”? Oh yeah, in feudal India and seventh century Hindu kingdoms. Apparently, the caste system has made its way from the grave to the cosplay community. Just like last year, as a cosplayer, you need to know your place. Thou shalt not question a cosplayer in a higher caste than yours.
Just for your information, here’s how the caste system works.
At the top are the God Tier cosplayers. Their word is law, whatever they say is absolute no matter how ridiculous it may be. How to get to the God Tier? Kiss butts here and there. Or, if you prefer the hard way, work hard and beat the crap out of everyone else with your awesome skillz.
In the middle are standard cosplayers. This tier makes most of the cosplay community and is where all the shit happens as people try to get to the top or end up being pushed downwards.
At the bottom are the “unpeople” or newbies. As newbies, their opinion doesn’t mean shit no matter how reasonable they are, their cosplay SUCKS, and they cannot criticize a higher tier cosplayer.
And next I’m supposed to believe that we’re supposed to wear stripes on our shoulders indicating our ranks.
Conclusion: Same Old, Same Old
After a year, it would seem that Indonesian cosplay still suffers from the same old problems it had last year. Only this year, they’re packaged differently. Jerks are still there, the community is pretty accommodating (not!), and everything still seems like shit. Anyway, it’s still no fun cosplaying in Indonesia. Elitism still exists, dramas get even ridiculous by the day, and the internal politics get more and more complicated as more and more groups appear like mold during the rainy season. Anyway, an essential skill to have is desensitizing yourself to all this bullshit. Get together with a few friends you trust and enjoy the world of cosplay without the bullshit.