Cosplay BasicsCosplay Basics is a nonfiction guide written for absolute beginners. With a manga comic at the beginning of each chapter, it covers everything, including which character to portray, where to buy supplies, and where various conventions are held.

The story begins when timid Kaso Reia is introduced to the world of cosplay as she admires a woman dressed in costume. She is surprised to discover that the cosplayer is actually her co-worker, Riko Nariki. Riko convinces Kaso to try cosplay and guides her through the necessary steps to get her costume together and go to the con. Together, they dress as Luncasis and Lunsoda from the fictionalized “Together, Lune Lovely.”

Each chapter’s introductory comic depicts the two girls as they discuss what to do next. The text that follows elaborates on the topic, showing readers how to design a costume, choose a wig, or practice posing as a character. The writing is simple and clear, although the manga story is a little stilted; since it’s merely a device to convey information it doesn’t reflect how people would really talk, but it serves its purpose. The fact that the story is drawn as a manga also helps to reinforce the point that many cosplayers choose to dress up as manga and anime characters.

This book is exactly as it is billed: an easy introduction to cosplaying for novices that breaks down the steps of choosing and putting together a costume. Though it does briefly mention photography etiquette and consent, it makes the hobby look fun and safe with a touch of girl power, enough to inspire someone to attend their first con. I was particularly impressed that in the translation from the Japanese edition, the publishers took the time to research and include American websites as resources. As the guide follows Kaso’s journey from novice to cosplayer, the characters’ enthusiasm is infectious and readers will be drawn in. Even if the storyline is a little forced, it makes a potentially dry book more engaging. I would recommend this for readers ages 12 and up.

Cosplay Basics: A Beginners Guide to the Art of Costume Play
by Yuki Takasou, Rumine, Ashiko Kurobuchi
ISBN: 9781935548812
One Peace Books, 2015

  • Emma Weiler

    Past Reviewer

    This reviewer is not longer actively working on our site, but we would not be here if not for our many dedicated contributors over the years. We thank all of them for their reviews, features, and support!

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