Cosplay in Taipei

A few weekends back we were walking past the University sports center and were confronted with huge mobs of people, some of which were in elaborate costumes. We soon found out this was  Cosplay (or Costume Play). Cosplay is a well-known a favorite pastime of young Japanese and, as we saw here, is also very popular in Taiwan.

This strange phenomena is a type of performance art where people dress up to represent a particular character or idea. The are characters influenced by pop culture – anime, comic books, manga, video games, and film. The impressive thing is that most of their costumes are handmade.

This particular event was a sort of expo but we didn’t even have to go in as there was so much to see outside.

As you can see girls often dress very sexy.

And tend to attract a lot of photographers.

Whereas the men tended to dress in some kind of warrior/fighter theme.

However, we were told by our Taiwanese friend that some men do use it as an excuse to cross-dress.

It was a hot day so I couldn’t imagine how these Cosplayers could pose for ages in their costumes. By the end of the day they must be exhausted. I spotted this scary pig head with a bloody knife taking a break from the paparazzi. He looked pretty knackered.

The crazy thing is that this wasn’t just a one day thing. No, these Cosplayers got up the next day and did it all over again. Here is a view from our apartment of the crowd on the second day:

It’s very much like a Halloween for young adults. We couldn’t quite figure out what motivated these Cosplayers. Perhaps they had a chance at winning a prize or fame? Whatever it was it sure was entertaining for us.

One response

  1. That’s so cool, in an Asian sort of way. I love anime and I love dressing up for Halloween! Who knew I could do both in Taiwan. However, I was very confused by what was going on in the 3rd to last pic. It appears that a Colonel Sanders is beating the crap out of a Ronald McDonald with a cane. I am not sure how that fits into the whole anime theme, who would think it’s a good idea to dress like Colonel and Ronald, and why a 90 year old chicken man could beat up a scary hamburger man clown. While we are on the topic, was I the only child who found Ronald McDonald extremely scary??? I absolutely hated when he showed up at a birthday party when we would be at McDonalds playland…he is scary creepy to the 10th degree.

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