I’ve been covering cosplay for well over a decade now, and in that time I’ve seen loads of books, posts, YouTube videos and even TV series about the subject. What I had never seen, until now, was someone actually go and make a documentary as slick and comprehensive as Cosplay Universe.
A feature-length film, available now on most digital platforms, Cosplay Universe looks at the history, the people, the craft and the culture, and features interviews with everyone from Yaya Han to Jessica Nigri to Stan Lee (the film has been in production for a while). Here’s the official pitch:
The award winning documentary, “Cosplay Universe,” gives viewers a window into the ever growing and evolving world of cosplay. What started in Japan as a subculture defined by a communal love of anime and the characters it produces, has now become a worldwide phenomenon that encompasses characters from media across the globe.
On the surface, this relatively new kind of activity may look like simply “playing dress-up,” but cosplay has so much more to offer than that. This kind of “dress-up” fosters self expression in a way that is inspiring and quite rare. It gives people an avenue to discover parts of their identity that may have previously been hidden. Cosplay is art, cosplay is transformation, cosplay is community.
This film will give you a front row seat to a truly unique art form dedicated to fantasy and the people who make it a reality.
I sat down and watched it recently, and I loved it! The whole thing is just really earnest; it’s fuelled by interviews with cosplayers big and small, and never feels like it’s going over-the-top or reaching too far. It’s just a fun, honest look at cosplay and people’s passion for it.
You can see its trailer below, and get more info at its official site: