How to Cosplay an Anime Character

Cosplay is the art of imitating a character from an anime, manga, video game or other form of visual media. While cosplaying started out as a trend in Japan, it is now popular worldwide, with many cosplay communities and events everywhere. Here's a simple guide to getting involved in this wonderful world of reenactment.


  1. Image titled Cosplay an Anime Character Step 1
    Choose a character. This can be someone from a show, comic, movie or even band, or even a character you made up in your head and, while a lot of cosplay is, it doesn't have to be a Japanese character - you could well cosplay someone from an American, Chinese, or any other form of visual media. You could even cosplay a member of the opposite gender - it's been done, and it's been praised. It's all up to you.
  2. Image titled Cosplay an Anime Character Step 2
    Observe your character. What do they look like? How do they dress? What's their attitude like? Are they nice, mean, good, evil? These are things you want to find out in order to get into character. Consider doing some research over the internet - many mainstream persona have fan bases and websites dedicated to them, with information already in place for you. If not, review chapters or episodes of the media they appear in and take note of these things. You don't have to memorize their every action - just basic ways to identify them, i.e. speech patterns, attitude, catch phrases, etc.
  3. Image titled Cosplay an Anime Character Step 3
    Plan your costume. Often enough, the character will have one outfit which they wear either all the time, or during their most common activities. If not, choose your favorite out of the ones they're usually seen in. Many websites offer ready-to-wear outfits available for order, but if you're not fortunate enough to find the one you're looking for, a spectacular idea would be to make one yourself!
  4. Image titled Cosplay an Anime Character Step 4
    Style your hair. Everyone's hair is different, and your character is no exception! The easiest way to copy their hairstyle would be by buying a wig from a cosplay website, or a wig of their hair color which you would then style yourself. Do make sure the wig looks realistic. There have been cases of cosplayers wearing pieces of fabric in the general shape of their character's hairstyle upon their heads - beware! This is not what you should aim for. If your character has a difficult hairstyle, use hair gel or hair clips to keep it in place.
  5. Image titled Cosplay an Anime Character Step 5
    Accessorize. Does the character you're cosplaying have any piercings? Do they wear a belt, chain, necklace? Try to find something that looks similar. For piercings, you can use clip-ons or even stickers. If they have a tattoo, try to find a replica of it available for purchase (one of those tattoos that washes off in a couple of days). If unavailable, cover that part of your body with a piece of clothing, or, if all else fails, get someone to draw something similar on your skin with permanent marker - it washes off quickly, though, so don't rub it.
  6. Image titled Cosplay an Anime Character Step 6
    Find a place to show it off. You may have a fantastic costume, but wearing it out in public in an everyday situation is not advised. Instead, find a place where this type of creativity is appreciated - a convention for fans of an anime, manga, or simply cosplaying altogether. Do a bit of research on these type of conventions near you. They're a great way to have fun, express yourself, and meet others who are into the same things you are.


  • Get involved. If you liked cosplaying at a convention, make friends with those you met - you could well be invited to an association of fans or cosplayers. And if one that you like doesn't exist, why not start your own? Get a few friends to join and invite their friends. Who knows? Maybe you'll start a trend among your peers.
  • Don't always cosplay the same character. No matter how amazing your costume is, after a while people will start to get bored of it. If you don't want to spend tons of money buying different wigs, outfits and accessories for characters you'll cosplay, you could choose a few characters you like the most, and switch between their outfits. If your character has a wide range of them, you might just get away with cosplaying the same person most of the time, simply in different apparel (i.e. school uniform, formal outfit, gym clothes, etc.)


  • Don't get too carried away. While cosplaying and reenacting is great fun, like all other things, there's a time and place for it. Don't come to school dressed as an anime character, unless it's for an occasion like Halloween or a special cosplay event.

Article Info

Categories: Cosplay | Anime Character Imitation