A big indoor stadium. Large scale event. High energy in the air. A huge crowd. Many colorful faces. There are a few standing patiently in line to click a snap with a lady dressed as their favorite superhero, Wonder Woman. She looks intimidating, yet caring, and possibly someone who wants to save the world.

What initially started as a hobby in Japan, is becoming extremely popular around the world as a moment to celebrate love for childhood heroes and idols. Cosplay, or costume-play(cosplay costumes), may at first glance look like a simple costume change, where people dress as their favorite characters. But it’s more than that. Participants imbibe the character – its habits, its body language, its likes and dislikes and more. There is freedom to be anyone you like, and no one can judge you for the same.

With increasing popularity of comic and fan conventions across the world, cosplay has become one of the most attractive features at the events. Adults, young adults, and even children dress up to be a part of the real-life comic world – something they have dreamt of at least once in their lives before. Their costumes they don can vary greatly -sometimes they customize it according to what’s available and what works for them. Then there are those who painstakingly put it together, piece by piece, to look as authentic as their source.

Comic characters and Japanese anime are the most represented at an event. But you will also find people dressed as their favorite characters from books, movies and TV.

It’s quite common to see Cosplay equated to a large-scale Halloween Party or a comic-themed Burning Man. But how often do you see people in costumes snarling, fake-fighting, or even hugging each other at the latter occasions, just because the original characters have a history? Cosplay celebrates the freedom to be someone else for a day. The world around them allows them to be the character they are and applauds them for it.