I knew about people dressing up as manga characters. I knew about their gatherings. But for some reason, I didn’t know they were called cosplayers. Cosplaying is not only about manga, but in general about dressing up as a character of a movie, book or video game. Becoming someone else for a while is a way of breaking free from a stressful or unsatisfactory life. And some of the cosplayers spend months making their costumes.
For his ‘Just the Two of Us’ project, Klaus Pilcher‘s took photos of Austrian cos-players in their own homes. I guess everyone would imagine a bunch of geeks and so did the photographer, until he discovered something different. “In the beginning I thought I would get to know a lot of nerds, but I discovered that most of these people have settled lives. They have families and they are integrated into social life,” he says in this WIRED article.
I find the costumes set against regular households deliciously kitsch and truly surprising.
The photographer had the option to photograph the people without their costumes, but he chose not to.
One question unanswered is how, from a sea of possible characters, one picks a single one and becomes it? There might be good stories in the answers.