Manga Vision

Cultural and Communicative Perspectives

Manga Vision: Cultural and Communicative Perspectives is an exciting exploration of manga (Japanese comics) from academic and artistic perspectives, edited by Sarah Pasfield-Neofitou and Cathy Sell, and published by Monash University Publishing.

View the main page for more information about the volume.

CHAPTER 1. Image to Object, Illustration to Costume: Cosplayers and Cosplay ‘Ways of Seeing’ Manga by Claire LangsfordClaire LANGSFORD
University of Adelaide
Claire Langsford is a Visiting Fellow at the University of Adelaide’s Department of Anthropology and Development Studies. Drawing on a material culture approach, her Ph.D thesis explored the concept of transformation within the Australian cosplay community of practice, examining the transformations between textual and material, digital and physical, local and global.

Manga character designs are a key source of inspiration for cosplay (kosupure), a fan practice centering on the construction and wearing of character costumes. Driven by an affinity for the character or its source text, an admiration for the aesthetics of the character design, or the desire to create a costume that is valued by the cosplay community, cosplayers can spend considerable time, money and effort in recreating manga character designs in the form of wearable costumes. Drawing upon ethnographic fieldwork, this chapter will explore the processes of (re)creation of manga cosplays, charting the cosplayer’s transformation of an illustration into a costume. It will examine the particular ways cosplayers “read” manga during cosplay construction: as a source of creative inspiration, as “research” materials, and as a style guide for achieving accuracy in both costume and the performance of a character.

The chapter demonstrates how in the contexts of convention competitions and photo-shoots, the costumed cosplayer attempts to recreate the manga character through physical and/or verbal performance. In these contexts, cosplayers may draw more heavily upon the narrative of the manga as scenarios, poses and catch-phrases may be incorporated to create an “accurate” and entertaining performance of the character.


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Manga Vision Cultural and Communicative Perspectives © 2016 Pasfield-Neofitou & Sell
Cosplay photographs © 2016 Patrick Korbel
All other content © 2012-2020