competitions and meets back on the events calendar.
New year, new hopes
Suvasish Das, a cosplayer from Kolkata, is planning to bring alive Joseph Joestar – a fictional character in the Japanese manga series JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure – at the upcoming convention. “We’re really excited to be a part of this event because it is happening after almost two years,” he told us.
Baisakhi Das, a student and cosplayer, agreed and said, “I am planning to dress up as either Rias Gremory or Mitsuri or Raven for the show. This Bengali New Year has brought new hopes for us”.
Kolkata’s love for cosplay
Kolkata started warming up to cosplay after a huge comic convention was organised here in 2016. Following that, more and more youngsters started exploring it as a hobby.
“New people would join the club every day and we all would meet up and exchange ideas. There is no dearth of comics, anime and videogame fans in Kolkata. So, when they found a way to live their fantasy life in reality, they were more than happy,” said Romi Mondal, a doctor from Barasat who is a renowned cosplayer. With YouTube and online tutorials becoming overly accessible, many of them soon became pros in costume making and designing props.
Far from being a profession
Despite the city’s love for comics, anime and cosplaying, the thought of turning their hobby into a profession still seems missing among professionals. Though several of them are more than interested in earning money through their art and passion, they believe that it would take years for that to happen in this city. “Cosplayers here are used to earning in two ways – participating in competitions and making props,” said Suvasish Das, a student and a cosplayer, adding, “The city hosted seven to eight cosplay competitions every year and the prize money used to be pretty good. Besides, we often make props for others. Say, if someone is going to play the character of the Japanese anime Naruto and he needs the Kunai, I will make it for him to earn a quick buck.”
Book fair event a game changer
The pandemic came as a huge setback for cosplayers. With no shows taking place, several cosplayers almost gave up hope, while some kept going out of sheer passion. “But we finally saw a ray of hope when a cosplay meet was organised at the Japan Pavilion of the Kolkata book fair recently. It came as a much-needed relief to us,” said Rhea Choudhury, a senior cosplayer in Kolkata. “Right after that, the April event was declared and we are hopeful that things will improve from here,” added Rhea.
Anime, manga, and comic book characters are trending
Video game characters have a separate fanbase
Superhero characters from Marvel and DC are very
popular. A new cosplay trend is set every time any of their movies is released
Attack on Titan, Jujutsu Kaisen, JoJo’s Bizarre
Adventure and Naruto are very popular from the house of Japanese anime
Video game characters from Assassin’s Creed, Anthem, Cyberpunk 2077 are also very popular