Cosplay in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom differs from Japanese cosplay culture in some ways. Cosplay concerning Star Trek, Star Wars, other science fiction worlds, Renaissance-era characters, and historical re-enactments, especially at science fiction conventions, are far more popular in America than they are in Japan.
Alternatively, some costumes that might be seen as in bad taste elsewhere (such as Nazi uniforms from certain comics or games) may be seen at events in Japan.
For almost fifty years, costume fandom has had a consistent and widespread following with costumers in the West. From the first Worldcon onward, with the influx of anime costumes, the word cosplay is becoming a more and more commonly used term to describe costumes of specifically Japanese media origins.
Cosplay is not merely costuming, but a very unique form of performance art. It is most widely associated with comic books, anime, video games, and most things that are geeky in nature. It has become such a massive subculture within the geek world at this point that is is essentially synonymous with the idea of a convention or a gathering of individuals who subscribe to more “geeky” interests.
An issue with cosplaying anime and manga characters is that these characters generally do not have bodily proportions that can easily be mimicked by many typical cosplayers, and there is debate among fans about how important this element is when cosplaying.
Cosplay is about two things. First it’s about expressing the things you love. Those people who play games and wear wizard hats while they do it should understand. It’s one thing to run around talking about how you love Assassin’s Creed and it’s another entirely to be like (or assassin’s girlfriend/future wife, as the case may be, but that’s because she was easier for me to pull off and I wanted to do a more complex costume.) Let’s face it, a lot of us wish we could live in video games/TV shows/movies/comic books/animes, because it’s so interesting. And it’s nice to devote a part of yourself to something. Making cosplay takes a ton of time but that’s half the fun for cosplayers. It sort of consumes your life for a bit.
The second part is community. Tons of amazing people who like the same thing we do because we saw each other across the room wearing shows that the other one liked. And, yes, having your picture taken is a lot of fun, but a lot more of the pictures that are taken.
In Mexico, cosplay is commonly seen inside conventions that can be video game, science fiction or anime-themed. It is common that cosplayers will also organize their own reunions which can be themed or free for the sake of taking pictures together. Cosplay in Mexico is competitive in a healthy level, with well-established representatives. This phenomenon also can be viewed in other Latin American countries, like Brazil, Argentina and Chile.