[Intermission] To Cosplay or Not to Cosplay

January 2, 2009 at 11:07 am (Uncategorized)

 I am sorry, this post is in Japanese only.

 最近、私はとあるスレッドで、某イベントにいたとあるコスプレイヤーの写真を載せてブロガーの間でそのコスプレイヤーについて論議しているものを見かけました。いえ、論議というよりはそのコスプレイヤーを完全に曝して中傷している「曝し」という行為と言った方が適切でしょう。そのコスプレイヤーは衣装はそう悪くはないものの容姿がどう見てもそのキャラクターとはお世辞にも似ているとは言えない形相をしていました。こう言った曝しにあったりするコスプレイヤーは大抵過度に太っていたりするものですが、今回もそういった体型のコスプレイヤーでした。

 そのスレッドには、スレ主と一緒にそのコスプレイヤーを中傷するコメントもありましたが、中には「このコスプレイヤーは努力しているのだからそんな中傷をするものではない!」とそのコスプレイヤーを援護しているコメントもまたありました。

 そうですね…

 まずその前に、日本では著作権や肖像権を守る意識が強いので、まずコスプレイヤーを撮影して、ネットに載せたりする場合被写体に許可を取らなくては基本的にいけないのがルールです。なのでその観点から見るとこのような曝しの行為は決して良いものとは言えません。しかしそれはあくまで日本の場合です、海外ではそういった意識が特にない(もしくは薄い)のであれば私がそれに対して異議を唱えるのも少し違うでしょう。

 結論から言うと、私はどちらの肩も持つことが出来ません。

 確かに誹謗中傷や曝しという行為は良いとは言えないでしょうが、ここで重要なのは、コスプレしている側とそれを見る側という2つの絶対的な関係にあります。

 もしあなたがゲームを買って、それがつまらないものだと思ったら「つまらない、これ売るか誰かにあげよう」と中古品ショップやオークションなどですぐに売ってしまうでしょう。そのゲームは実際何百人という人間が何ヶ月とかけて苦労しながら作り上げたものとはいえ、それを購入してプレイするのはユーザーであるということです。お金を払って買うあなたに重要なのはそのゲームが面白いかということだけ。そのゲームにかかった苦労はあなたが考えることでも知る必要もないことなのです。

 コスプレイヤーは大抵の人はビジネスではなく趣味や自己満足でやっているものとはいえ、不特定多数の人に見せる、見られるということを前提にした世界です。そのスレ主を非難しているコメントには「じゃあお前出来るのか!」みたいなことを言っていましたが、そういう問題でもないと私は思います。

 なぜなら、さっきのゲームの話ではないけれど、あなたはゲームをプレイするユーザーであって作る側の人間ではないからです。これと同じ道理で、コスプレイヤーとそうでない人間という絶対的な立場があります。

 あなたが好きなキャラクターのコスプレをしている人間を見て、それが全く似ていないものであれば「似てない」と思うでしょう。また、もしそのキャラに対して人一倍思い入れがあれば尚更その反動も強いはずです。見ている人は見ている人なのだから自分にコスプレ出来る出来ないは関係ないのです。コスプレしない人はコスプレしている人を見るだけなのですから。なので、厳しいですが、それを見る人がどう言おうと自由だということも現実です。

 私もコスプレイヤーですが、私を知っている人は私のコスプレを見ても悪いことは言いません。しかし私のことを知らない人はもっと厳しく評価します。何の利害関係もないわけですから当然ですよね。私のキョンを見た人に、TMAのキョンに似ていると言われたこともあります…^^しかしそれが見た人の感想ならばそうなのでしょう。

 さっきの話に戻りますが、いくら仕事でやっているわけではないにせよ、コスプレイヤーは自分からすすんで人に見せる、見られるという趣味に身を置いているわけですから、曝しという行為が良いものではないにせよ、そういった事をされる可能性もあるという現実も受け入れることも必要でしょう。また、知らない人から厳しく評価されたりするということも当然覚悟しなければコスプレはできません…どうしても誰にもひどいことを言われたくないのであれば、イベントも行かないで一人でコスプレして、撮った写真も閲覧制限をかけたサイトで行うぐらいのことをしなければやっていかれないでしょう。

 ただそんなことを不安がっていては最初からコスプレなんて出来ないんですけどね^^私はコスプレをしているけれど、自分が楽しんでなおかつそれを見た人が少しでも「似ているね」と思ってくれるようなコスプレをしていけたらな、と思っています。

 

 

20 Comments

  1. w said,

    Y殿新年初っ端から本気出しました~

    ・・・と、それぐらいの日本語能力なので I think you made a damn good point about cosplayers having to accept reality and know to take criticism if they have their pictures posted anyway. It’s not that very hurtful, abrasive comments should be encouraged or condoned but it’s a fact of life. Especially on the web.

    I do think people would still say that even in the case of games it’s not fair for people to overly-criticize games without at least understanding /why/ things are like that (not necessarily the pain and sweat that can result in either a good or bad game) I mean it is going too far to say “you try doing it and then come back” – I hate artists who respond to criticism by telling their audience that… but of coures in the larger context of the internet it’s quite silly if not impossible to insist everyone try to “understand” things.

    And people in general are I think pitifully unaware (or misunderstanding) of the fact that the conception of image rights and even copyrights on the web are very different in Japanese and non-Japanese communities… sigh, I’ve had my share of problems with THAT.

  2. goodyfun said,

    Ugg… 日本語を練習する必要があります。

    “To cosplay or not to cosplay”… Enjoy it while you can? Cosplayers quit when it isn’t fun any longer, but that’s what hobbies are like. People forget their politeness on the web (Or just apparently have never heard of what constructive criticism is…) so someday it might stop being fun.

  3. bangin said,

    w:きっとあなたなら分かるだろうと思っていました。

    コミケや東京ゲームショーみたいな大きなイベントでは外国人のお客もいるので、英語で「コスプレイヤーを撮る時は許可を取ってください」と書いてあります。実際に、勝手に遠くから撮っている外国人も何回も見たことがあります。しかし知らないでやっているとはいえ、これは見つかったら盗撮と見なされ、退場になってしまいます…

     僕のコスプレ写真を他のブロガーが何も言わないで使っているのを見たこともあります。彼らは知らないでやっているのだし、僕のブログを紹介してくれるのに使っていたりするので、悪気があってやっているわけではないので何も言いませんが、相手が違えば最悪訴えてくることもあるかもしれないので、一応日本ではそういう風潮があるんだと頭に入れておいてほしい…かな^^まあ、僕も無断転載は止めてねと言ったわけじゃないから仕方ないかもしれないけどね。

    goodyfun: >Enjoy it while you can?
    No, that is not what I meant here. The point is, there are two types of persons; one is a cosplayer, and the other is a non-cosplayer. These two postions are absolutely different and unchangeable.
    Please figure out the rest if you would like.

  4. w said,

    Well… yeah, anime fandom in particular is very liberal (or irreverent, if you would like) about copyrights. I mean, come to think of it – we’re talking about mostly people who mostly watch anime via illegal downloading… whether they like it or not.

    You’ve probably noticed a lot of popular blogs (even those that are officially sanctioning anime events and so on!) using loads and loads of fanart without permission, not even to introduce the site but to use in their layout and posts. There’s entire sites out there dedicated to amassing fanart with little or no credits; it’s entirely bizarre to many people that folks would set up fansites and not want their fanart/site link distributed.

    I *think* people are a little more discerning regarding cosplay, but in Western cons my impression is the unspoken rule there goes “If you’re wearing cosplay, expect to be photographed and posted on the net – don’t like it, don’t come”. And they do have a point but still, it is rude to assume that the rule is the same anywhere in the world, no matter how “right” they think it is! Especially since there’s signs written in clear English as you say. Quite presumptuous.😦
    But then… people here might say the same of Japanese who shouldn’t “expect” their rules to be followed elsewhere. It’s a given, natural thing for people in English-written anime blogospheres to “take” images from other blogs – unless you put a huge, honking warning at the top and watermark all your pictures (that still doesn’t stop some people). One downside to watermarking, of course, is if the picture ends up in places you don’t want it to, it’s immediately traceable back here…

    For cases of anime fandom, in general I find myself siding with the primary content producers – and here it’s usually the Japanese – because to me it seems like they’re the ones doing the hard work… Nearly all of these fanartists/cosplayers don’t NEED people “sharing their stuff”, but many bloggers’ sites would be far duller without the art/photos. If the people you depend on have some very strong requests, surely the worst way to thank them is to directly go against them especially when you know you don’t put in so much as a credit (though, if you get your images from a fanart collection, you might not know who)

    But then… where does one draw the line? What about official stuff? Even your blog for example uses screenshots and “copyrighted materials”, which of course is par for the course on many blogs (some may legitimately claim fair use, which probably explains the greater proportion of images on the English wiki) And sometimes the restrictions go beyond a bit ridiculous… what would you tell all the overseas Johnny’s Jimusho fans if they too were banned from posting copyrighted photos of their idols? I guarantee you 90% of English-speaking anime fans would SCOFF if they had to follow the rules that many Japanese fansites would (no official material, no other fanart, cover your links, do not link outside fellow fansites…) It just isn’t the point of the Internet.

    America is the land of Cover Your Ass In Fear Of Lawsuits, but even if somebody tells them all (tell them it’s “wrong” and I know *some* would probably throw you in with the likes of self-righteous moralists or something…) perhaps it’d take an actual lawsuit for the idea to really hit most, which is something nobody wants really. See this post on Danny Choo dealing with the very matter of 肖像権… which there isn’t even an equivalent of in many countries. Another example here (read the comments).

    Another example of conflicting ideas is Google Street View in Japan (with blurred faces) – personally I think it’s a bit different of course as it’s a specifically searchable index of roads, and there are more people in Western spheres who protest this I think compared to 肖像権, but the differing ideas on privacy are the same.

    It’s easy to fall into the idiot trap and just unthinkingly hate and blast the other side, but that’s just entirely unproductive. I’m really, really grateful for people like you, Y-dono, who at least try to understand both sides. Personally I’m so torn. I definitely understand the need to respect artists who do most of the content production as opposed to bloggers who may merely report things/use the images (with no credit even, and most artists in this case probably don’t WANT that kind of “publicity”) – it’s frustrating when artists close their websites or block foreign IPs because they’re distressed by people who use their artwork without permission. At the same time… being someone who create(d) fanart, I would never do that and personally actually find the whole protection of one’s fanart in that way a bit repulsive, even if they have perfectly good reasons… but of course, I’m just a “thief” of anime and my argument has “no legs”. Well I’ve stopped visiting Japanese fansites for months because I just can’t stand the culture anymore.
    It’s not good for me to be so judgmental though, or I”d be committing the same mistake others do… So I just try not to conflate my personal ideals with respect of others opinions’.🙂

    Whew! That was a ridiculously long tangent. Sorry for spamming your blog with all this nonsense.

  5. goodyfun said,

    Ah, I am a twit. Sorry. I understand now. *face palm*

  6. bangin said,

    w:そう、最近では日本のコスプレイヤーもそこに気がついて、自分たちのサイトには大きく英語でAll rights reservedと書くようになってきているね。それでも100%の人がそれに従ってくれるわけでもないんだけれど。
     僕もこのブログを書くのにスクリーンショットを使っているからね、だから言ってみればやっていることは同じなんですよ…

     少なくともコスプレイヤーに関して言えば、誰に強制されるわけでなく、自分で好きで目立つ格好をしているわけですからね、そしてたくさんの人がいるイベントに行ったり、ネットに写真を自分の意思で公開しているわけだから、見せる人も当然選べません…なのでそれを見た人には心無い人もいるかもしれません。そういった覚悟や現実(自分の容姿が他人の目にどう映っているか)を受け入れる必要は私たちにはあるのです。

     実際それで2ちゃんねるなんかで曝しにあって傷ついて泣く泣く引退したコスプレイヤーもいるんですがね…それでも負けないでコスプレを続けるか、次は曝しにあわないよう頑張るか、泣き寝入りするかもコスプレイヤー次第なのです。それはコスプレイヤーのある意味宿命と言ってもよいでしょう。

    goodyfun: If only I could explain in English…but I am sorry, I can’t with my poor English.

  7. mochie said,

    I tried reading what I could and I think I can understand where you are coming from. Because cosplayers are located all around the world, depending on the country you reside in, people will do differently there but I think as the saying goes, “When in Rome, do what the Romans do”. It really annoys me that when foreigners do not take time to find out about certain rules and regulations of the place they are visiting, the most common one I guess would be asking a cosplayer if they could take a photograph.

    I think every cosplayer has their own reason why they want to cosplay but for me, I want to improve with everytime, especially since I sew my own costume. If my picture was put on the internet and someone was saying bad things about me, then I will have to look at what they are saying and see if it is reasonable or not (for me, I will only listen to someone’s advice if they are a cosplayer because I believe that non-cosplayers cannot understand a cosplayer’s feelings).

    I am the type of person whom, if I see a really bad cosplay in which I do not think suit the person at all I will probably talk about them with my close friend but for me to publicly talk about how bad someone’s cosplay is, I generally would want to know what that cosplayer’s story is first.

    Hmm.. I don’t think I am making any sense either but I really hate it when a cosplayer criticises another cosplayer online and then someone else comes into the conversation and says “Cosplay is just a hobby/for fun, stop being so serious about it”. Yes, most of us cosplay for fun, but being serious about cosplaying does not make it less fun.

  8. Hinano said,

    よく分からないけど…TMAのキョンにはあなたは全然似てないからあんししてくださいw
    TMAのキョンは気もいエロジジだからあなたには全然似てないよ!!

    おまけにアメリカのコスは日本コスより百倍最悪ですよ
    日本人はやっぱり「Judgemental」過ぎるって感じ?(すみません日本語下手なのでOTL)

    たぶんBanginさんはアメリカのイベントにコスプレやったら90%アメリカのコスプレヤよりうまく見えますよ。(*・ω・)v

  9. bangin said,

    mochie: I would listen to anyone if it helps my cosplay to improve. Sometimes non-cosplayers make sense because they are sheer fans. If they don’t know about me, they are honest and point out. When I cosplayed L, my friend’s friend said I should put more eyeshadow underneath my eyes and make my face whiter.

    We cosplayers cosplay voluntarily, not compulsively. We dare to wear such a remarkable costume, go to the event, upload photos on the web. So we can’t deny the possibility that something like that might happen. Cosplayers are supposed to show, and be seen by numerous people who we never know. So that is why I think we have to accept such a reality, and be ready for such an insult if necessary. Cosplayers are supposed to show cosplays, and observers are supposed to observe. These two places are close, but don’t get any closer. Nothing can stop it. So I am saying above, I am on neither side. I would feel sorry if someone I know got insulted on the web, but not more than that. I know it sounds cold, but it is, in a way, cosplayers’ fate…

    Hinano: Thank you, but I am fine.^^ What I meant above is that whatever people feel or say is up to them. Nobody can stop. The person who said I looked like TMA’s Kyon, thought so. こればっかりはどうしようもないよね(笑)顔は変えられないからね^^ But I will correct or improve if I can.

    I would be happy if someone says I look like the character I cosplay. So I will cosplay while I enjoy it. ^^

  10. mochie said,

    I agree with you that I would feel sorry if a cosplayer had gotten insulted on the web but I think the cosplayer should think of it as why they were being insulted by others and well, perhaps pick up some tips as to improve their costume (although I don’t really believe that insulting someone will help them improve if you don’t give suggestions).

    A lot of my cosplayer friends have been insulted on the internet before either for one reason or another but for me I don’t really see the big deal about why some people will go to the extent to insult back the person who originally criticised said cosplayer. I guess everyone takes criticism differently, which is probably why I never critque other people’s costumes unless they ask for it (since some people don’t take it so well).

  11. Sesso said,

    Great site.

  12. fantasy2311 said,

    I was randomly surfing the net when I found your site and have been reading some your posts. Really great site! Well, part of the reason I found it great is because I am what you would supposedly call a fudanshi. Though I’m not into cosplaying, I do have several fujoshi friends who love cosplaying as Hetalia characters and stuff like that.

    Though I totally agree with your post, I am still against abashi (i hope i got the ro-maji right, singaporean here). Although people who look at cosplayers do have the freedom of having their own opinion, I think there really is no need to insult the cosplayers, especially on the internet. Constructive criticism perhaps, but not insulting.

    I mean. For example, I recently played called Kichiku Megane R and I thought it wasn’t up to my expectations and its prequel Kichiku Megane was much better. However, it isn’t right for me to go around posting “Oh, the game sux. You noe wat, the person who wrote the storyline can just go die stupid moth********!”. It would be okay to post something like “I thought the storyline was slightly lacklustre, I personally wouldn’t recommend you to play it as it would leave you disappointed.”. In other words, the iikata (way you say it) is important.

    Its not like I cannot understand what the people abashi-ing felt. There was one time I went to an anime convention and there was this big fat hairy western man cosplaying as Belldandy from Oh My Goddess! (Aa, Megami-sama). It took me a lot of self-control to scream.

    Ack, sry for the long rant (lol). Couldn’t stop once I started.

    • bangin said,

      You can’t stop crying if you come across a terrible cosplayer, especially when the cosplayer cosplays your fav character. That is true. It is an unchangeable truth. This is why cosplayers and observers are not mutual.

      Oh Kichiku megane! What a coincidence, my next cosplay is going to be Saeki Katsuya. Of course his kichiku mode and hetare mode. Would you see when I cosplay him?

  13. fantasy2311 said,

    OMG!! Saeki Katsuya (> Kifujin -> Ochoufujin. Mainly puns on the original terms but still freaking funny. You can see it if you search for “private lesson” on Yout*be. My ichioshi!

    PS: did i talk about too much 18 kin stuff? if i wasn’t supposed pls tell me and i’ll be more hikaeme.

    • bangin said,

      No problem because no otaku hates 18 kin stuff.

  14. fantasy2311 said,

    OMG!! Saeki Katsuya (> <).

    Ack, went off topic. I only like Saeki Katsuya's hetare mode, his kichiku mode voice was slightly off in my opinion. The H scenes for Katsuya (Hetare) were so much better in my opinion (especially the 3P one). Couldn't stand the voice of that teenager who eventually becomes Katsuya (Kichiku)'s dorei at the end. That sharp piercing Miyata Ko*ki type voice is just so ~~~~ sharp……

    Now the Hirakawa Dais*ke type voice that Katsuya has is one of my favorite type of voice. Sry, I'm a slight seiyuu moe(?) person. HD's hetare uke voice is one of my favorites, his kichiku zeme voice is also good in certain drama cds and games but it just didn't fit in for Katsuya (Kichiku) in my opinion.

    Anyways, I totally want to see your cosplay of Saeki Katsuya. Hetare mode preferred if you're only one side. One cosplay that I definitely recommend you do would be either Van or Zefi-ru from this BL game called Kimi No Naka No Palladium. The game was soooo good! The voices, CGs, storyline all damn good, the game was a tad too short though. Another suggestion would be Ivan from Lucky Dog (BL game), same seiyuu as Saeki Katsuya. Seme but not as kichiku, one of my preferred HD seme voices.

    • bangin said,

      I just thought Miyata Ko*ki is an uke-seiyu. Does he act a seme? And in my opininon, Koyasu Ta*ehito is the best kichiku seiyu. He mostly does seme, and tends to verbally harrass an uke, that’s kotobazeme.

      I didn’t know about Kimi no naka no Palladium, but know Lucky Dog. Yes, someone also told me to cosplay Ivan. That costume is available at the cosplay shop here.

      • fantasy2311 said,

        I think you misunderstood me. I mentioned Miyata Ko*ki because he has the same type of voice as the seiyuu that voiced the slave boy that you can only kouryaku in the Katsuya (Kichiku) part of the game. The blonde one that looks slightly like a cat. His seiyuu isn’t MK, I’m just saying that their voice is similar. So yes, MK is an uke seiyuu. In all the drama cds I have heard, he has never been seme before. If you ask me, the only chance he was have at being a seme is if it was toshishita zeme. And even then chances are slim. Takagi Motok* would be a better choice any time. His voice is way too airy. When other seiyuus refer to him in their zadankai at the end of drama cds (when he’s not in the cast), they refer to him as being helium-voiced. Like how your voice would sound if you inhaled in helium and spoke.

        I do love kotobazeme, its one of my many fetishes. If you ask me there are 2 kinds of kotobazeme. The kind where all the rude dirty language is used and the incredibly descriptive kind. Unfortunately, you only find the first type in eroge-s. Drama cds only have the 2nd kind. I suppose it’s about how BL is supposed to be pure (which I do agree with to a certain extent).

        And yes, you should really check out Kimi No Naka No Palladium. The character designs are yabai (in katakana), so hot! Just the right amount of roshutsu and the wings (moe~~). I would recommend Zefi-ru for you since your skin is whtie. Van has brown skin.

  15. fantasy2311 said,

    Oh crud ended up ranting again (*sigh). I should end around now. Last question, r u a fudanshi? Or just the kind of person who has lots of fujoshi friends and ends up being makikomareru? Really really curious, hardly get to know guys who also know stuff about BL. Really want to go to Otome Road at least once, going to Tokyo for hols after my graduation at the end of the year. But it’s going to be so awkward. Thankfully I’m not like a stereotypical debu ero-game wota so the people there hopefully won’t donbiku(?) too much. Oh, I saw this extremely hilarious yo*tube video yesterday. It’s a japanese show called “Privat* Lesson” and its about how they try to educate Wada Ak*ko (famous singer?) to become a shukujo by giving her all sorts of wtf lessons. The first one was on otakugaku and the teacher was Nakagaw* Shouko, the singer of Tengen Top*a Guren Ragan’s OP and in it she attempts to teacher Wada on 801 terminology. As I was watching I laughed my ass off. Fujoshi -> Kifujin -> Ochoufujin. Mainly puns on the original terms but still freaking funny. You can see it if you search for “private lesson” on Yout*be. My ichioshi!

    PS: did i talk about too much 18 kin stuff? if i wasn’t supposed pls tell me and i’ll be more hikaeme.

    • bangin said,

      You seem to understand Japanese. Have you learned so far? I think I’d better e-mail you and you find me on skype. I will do it later.

      And I know what you mentioned. You mean that show in which Nakagawa Shoko in cosplaying Suzumiya Haruhi teaching Wada Akiko what fujoshi is, right? Yes I laughed a lot. Wada Akiko is like a boss in that industry so no one can challenge her. But even that, Shoko scolds her in that video.

      Me? Well…I claim to be an otomen. But I also read and watch BL if the story is good. I like a setsunai story. So my favorite is Mirage of Blaze, sweet pool, Lamento. Some BL works are heartbreaking, and that can’t be seen in shoujo manga.

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