While cosplay has many fans it also has many critics, from both those outside cosplay and those within it. Many who consider themselves to be ‘true’ geeks complain that cosplay is currently over run with girls who are using the popularity of cosplay and ‘geek culture’ to launch modelling careers, and aren’t true cosplayers. Others criticize that many of the current batch of cosplayers don’t know how to make costumes and are using skimpy outfits to draw attention to themselves.
Naturally the people accused of this respond quite negatively, claiming that they are quite passionate about both cosplay and ‘geek culture’, and that the others are just jealous of the attention they receive. There is truth to both sides of the argument.
There are many people who have launched careers through cosplay, some have even undergone surgery to augment their bodies. However the flipside to this is that many of the characters, fans want to see portrayed, do demand a certain body type. However some say that body type is irrelevant and a ‘Cosplay doesn’t have a body type’ movement has been taking hold.
Cosplayers have been pushing the boundaries of their costumes, both to see how elaborate they can get and how much they can get away with. Which does create problems for some, considering that many people bring their kids to comic cons. This has resulted in some conventions issuing rules on sorts of costumes are allowed, or setting up adult areas.
But this is also creates problems.
There is a lot of competition among cosplayers to see who can draw attention from the limited number of spots to represent game, comic, anime and movie companies; who do routinely hire cosplayers for events. This has created a lot of friction and jealousy among the different artists, so it wouldn’t be inconceivable that people would falsely report more popular cosplayers to have them removed from the convention floor.
As more people have pushed for accepting of any body type and limiting sexy costumes a new form of cosplay has become popular. Erotic cosplay.
Websites, and some cosplayers, are dedicated to erotic cosplay. There are sites that are adult pay sites who are dedicated cosplay sites, featuring girls wearing costumes portraying a wide variety of popular characters in various states of dress (or undress rather) and posing in sexual manners. These sites aren’t alone – in fact a quick search of ‘Erotic Cosplay’ or ‘Eros Cosplay’ will turn up many sites, blogs, posts and links. Also yielding a lot of results are searches for ‘Hentai Cosplay’ or ‘Ecchi Cosplay’.
Both Hentai and Ecchi are types of Japanese anime, which employ a lot of sexual themes. With Ecchi being more ‘Mature Rated’, and Hentai being far more explicit. Both of these are huge industries in anime, with many popular series in both manga and anime. Although ecchi series tend to achieve more notice as they are safer to broadcast more openly.
While the bulk of the cosplay from either of these forms is largely Japanese based, it is still quite popular here in the west; with many porn sites offering cosplay videos. Regardless of how you feel about the increasing popularity of erotic cosplay, this is a form of cosplay that isn’t going away anytime soon. And for as long as cosplay itself remains popular, the variant ‘Erotic Cosplay’ will also endure.
One word of caution however – be very careful when searching through some of these sites, should you choose too. There are a number of these sites that will trigger security alerts, as I found when I was researching this article and seeking images for it.
John Goodale is the author of ‘Johnny Gora’ (available through Amazon.com), and a number of articles here on TMRZoo.com. His monthly column ‘Indy Comics Spotlight’ appears here and through his blog Indy Comics Spotlight