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Cosplay Encyclopedia (1996)

Cast: Akemi Matsuzawa
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Studio: Anime Works
Genre: Anime, Documentary, Art
Running Time: 60 min.
Languages: Japanese
Subtitles: English
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This documentary looks at the art of "cosplay," short for costume play, a wacky youth phenomenon in Japan where young people dress up like their favorite animé characters and gather at parties, discos, and conventions. Several cosplayers discuss how they design their costumes, how much they spend (sometimes 1,000 dollars), and how many hours or days it took to make. Also included is some talk by younger kids of keeping cosplay secret from parents. There is a visit to a costume shop, and a top ten countdown/fashion show of the most popular cosplay characters for the year. Celebrity cosplayer Barbie Tukino, filmed at Anime Expo 1999, shows off her "Eternal Sailor Moon" costume. Also featured are the costumes of Chocolate Misu, Honey, Magic Knight, and Fushigi Yugi. The program is in Japanese with English subtitles. ~ Elizabeth Smith, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

not what i was expecting by sogilvie December 25, 2007 - 2:21 PM PST
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful
i appreciate the initiative of those that made this film. it captures a time and place for sure, interviewing participants in the cosplay community. however, as a documentary, it falls very short in the area of storytelling. this is a documentary who's approach is to interview person after person on their costume, how they made it, and what it means to them. there is no formal storytelling - and for me that's what i really love about docs.

It is just like Rocky Horror by calvindoth August 15, 2002 - 10:34 PM PDT
2 out of 13 members found this review helpful
Plenty of Costumes but I can't say there were a lot of transvestites but there were a few cross dressing women. I would classify this DVD as a fetish film for those with an asian fascination.

Lightweight glimpse into a Japanese fan phenomenon by hneline1 August 9, 2002 - 11:21 PM PDT
13 out of 14 members found this review helpful
This is the first widely distributed documentary available in the U.S. about "cosplay" in Japan, the phenomenon where fans of anime and video games dress up as their favorite characters and go to comic conventions or cosplay-specific parties, bars and arcades.

Unfortunately, this video is pretty bad -- it's not a real documentary, but rather one part short interviews with dressed-up fans outside of a convention and one part interview with a "costume advisor" who runs a well-known costume shop in Tokyo. The interviewed fans are mainly young girls (13 - 20 something) (why aren't more guys interviewed?) and the questions are repetitive (Did you make it yourself? How much did it cost? Do your parents know that you do this?). The picture quality is bad at times with the whites washing out in the bright sun, and the camera seems to focus on the girls' faces or other body parts more than the costumes. After a while, it was more fun watching what other fans were wearing in the background. Also, this video was shot in 1996 so the "popular" costumes are outdated now. However, you're only wasting 60 minutes of your life to watch this video and since it's the ONLY film about this phenomenon, it's not a bad rental just to see what real fan enthusiasm in Japan is like -- it's fascinating what people do with their time... (like watch anime and play SSX Tricky?). ;-)

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 3.58)
26 Votes
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