The Rafu Shimpo: New Book Explores the World of Cosplay

Augmented with beautiful photographs, this is an engrossing, lively read that explores a complicated and often misunderstood history and meditates on how cosplay allows its participants to create and construct meaning and identity.

An exploration of cosplay and its relationship with the realms of its global fandom, performance, and the modes of fictional existenceThrough a culmination of years of personal research on cosplay, and growing out of Lunning’s wealth of scholarship, conference presentations, and cosplayer interviews, Cosplay is a unique and necessary examination of identity, performance, play, and otaku fandom and culture in relation to contemporary theories.

With discussions covering construction, masquerades, and community through performance, Lunning presents cosplay as a dynamic and ever-evolving global practice. She combines the fascinating viewpoints of cosplayers with observational, in-depth research on cosplay history and practice, and a deep dive into critical theory involving the modes of fictional existence, in order to understand its global expansion.

Review at The Rafu Shimpo.