Friday, December 2, 2011

the Protocol and Etiquette Guide of Cosplay Book II - The General Public

^Even though manners basically stem from common sense, sad to say that there are just some people who lack it. I am not sure if they just lack common sense or they forgot they had any common sense at all. Either way, it never helps to remind people, I have long ago accepted that I do have a tendency to be a nagger but as my mother said "If they didn't care about you, they'll just leave you be". 

Manners and acting accordingly foster good relations and prevent conflicts. For Book I of my Protocol and Etiquette Guide of Cosplay, I talked about Cosplayers and the Comfort Room. 

I write these kind of articles because I know that even though people will deny it, people will always make sweeping generalizations. How one acts will be taken as a reflection of the whole group, which means, how one cosplayer acts will be taken by the general public as how all cosplayers are. Even though there are good acts, there's also that other thing about people that only tend to remember the bad things. I love cosplay, I do not want people to think badly of my passion so I do my best to not do anything that will cause people to think that way and I hope that you, dear reader, share the same sentiments.

Now, I will talk about Cosplayers and the General Public.

Chose to go with the General Public for Book II as they are the first ones you encounter once you transform (and in your way to henshin).

Before I forget, as always, disclaimers are in order.

I cosplay, too. I am not saying that ALL cosplayers are manner-less beings, If some of you get hurt, I am sorry, I did not mean to offend. I simply wish to open your eyes to some reality and give you a wake up call. If you get offended it is probably because you are guilty of some of the things I mentioned. I am not washing my hands as I have committed some of these crimes myself. The things I mention here are based from my experiences, my thoughts, observations and the things I get on my lurking expeditions.

By General Public, I am referring to mall goers, employees, con goers, random people, passer bys, or just people who know nothing or little about cosplay and are not involved in cosplay (people who are not photographers or cosplayers) or the event and the organizers in any way. In short, they are the people who stop and stare when your paths cross and you happen to be in cosplay mode.

Have I missed anything else? Hope everything is clear, let's move on to our main topic.


There are some cosplayers who tend to be so "in-your-face" about them being cosplayers. What I mean is, some feel like they are so high and mighty just because they are in costume or they've been photographed a handful of times. Some even demand respect and get offended if you pass by them, don't take their photos or don't know their names! What is that?! Respect should be earned, you know. *shakes head*

Some even expect to be given special attention or treatment.

Being proud of your passion is not bad but too much of anything is disastrous.

I mean, ok, you cosplay, you don't have to shout it out all the time and shove it down everybody's throat.

Is cosplay the only thing about you? Don't you have other facets that you are proud of? Your posts don't have to always be about cosplay, you know.

You're a cosplayer, good for you. But just a reminder, dearies, cosplayer is NOT equals celebrity. So there is no reason to be a diva.

If you do your cosplays well enough, you wouldn't have to say that you are a cosplayer over and over again as I am very sure, the general public would be able to tell just by your wig and costume.


Don't give me that "I am being in character" shit, I will not accept that as valid answer as to why you are being very obnoxious.

Not everyone will know your character, do not expect that everyone will know who you are cosplaying as and not everyone will understand cosplay.

Most of the time, the general public will not see the character but the cosplayer only so be careful on how you conduct yourself. Remember, when you are in costume, those who are not in the community will take you as a representation of the whole. If you are not careful, how you act will affect how people think of every cosplayer.

For a cosplayer, it is essential to be in character but people will not condemn you for being a behave Orochimaru who keeps his tongue in his mouth while standing in line.

Just because you are in cosplay, you don't have the right to cause a ruckus, cut in line, hog mirrors, play pranks on innocent bystanders, take what isn't yours or any thing else that will make society raise their eyebrows. 

Yeah cosplay is for fun but it won't be fun if there are people that get hurt. Sooner or later, mischievous pranks become horrible crimes.


So you are walking around in that costume that you are so proud of or you are in the comfort room prepping to show the world your cosplay, when someone comes up to you and asks *"Neng, bat kayo naka-ganyan?" then points to your costume (Why are you dressed like that?).

Some would be delighted over how cute or cool your costume is and might ask for a photo after the question and answer portion. 

Usual questions include but is not limited to:

  • *Anong meron? (What's happening? Is there an event)
  • *Bakit kayo naka-ganyan? (Why are you dressed like that?)
  • *May bayad ba yan? (Are you paid to do that?) 
  • *Si Alodia ba andun? (Is Alodia gonna be there?)
  • *Ano yung cosplay? (What's cosplay?)

*Apologies, those are loose translations. 

There may be more questions but those are the ones that people have frequently asked me and they come in different variations. 

I do my best to answer in the simplest way I can so they'd understand and although it is frustrating some times, I still exert an effort to answer with a smile. I know that my hobby isn't that common nor is it accepted as normal or mainstream.

Cosplaying is not like basketball, surfing the net, cross-stitching or baking, cosplay is a hobby or passion like all of the examples I gave but it is different because when you say it, not everyone will know what it is. I mean, who doesn't know basketball or cross stitch? That's the point I was trying to give, so if ever there are cross stitch enthusiasts out there that got offended, apologies, I was just trying to make a point.

Going back, don't snob people who ask you questions like this, they know very little, they are curious and want to know more, you should be happy that they are interested. It is never wrong to satisfy one's curioisity, at least I don't think it is. heheheheeh 

Be patient and friendly to these people.

Some of them may just say "ahhhhh, ok". Or think of Alodia immediately but you can't really blame them, just be nice. Being courteous is better than being a snob.


This is in connection to what I was saying above, and for very obvious reasons.

People will ask, and you will have to answer (in a nice way of course). How will they understand if you know very little and can't explain it to them?

Conflict is caused by misunderstandings and miscommunication. Who else is fitted to answer these questions but cosplayers, right?

Cosplay is not a mainstream thing and although there has been a lot of TV shows about it, not everything is correct. People know and will assume that what they see in TV is correct so if there is anything that you can clarify, clarify it by giving the correct information.

How we, as cosplayers answer these questions may not be as wide reaching as the television but at least we can give good answers that will put cosplay in a better light and hopefully it will help in making our beloved hobby an accepted activity by society instead of just another money wasting thing by juvenile delinquents.


No matter what costume you wear, you will always be part of this world. Be in character for photo ops, stage performances or in very controlled environments.

Yes, it is hilarious and super fun being in cosplay but if you do knock someone down or stepped on someone's foot by accident, apologize sincerely, don't laugh at them and justify your action by saying "that's what my character would have done". 

Respect others so others will respect you.

My character is ________ and I don't want to be out of character, so I'll act ________. 

Cosplayers should know when to and when not to draw the line, as I said, not everyone will understand cosplay and we have to just wait and do our part until it becomes accepted. No need to add more negativity by being totally unconnected to the present world. 

Thank people who take photos of you or give you compliments.

If you must decline a request, you can do it nicely and sincerely with a little explanation, that would help. Don't just ignore people and pass them like they are part of the wall.

Do not loiter around or sit in the middle of the hall or path, do not make it hard for people to walk by blocking the way.

Do your best to not be nuisances. 

Never forget the basic rules of conduct, courtesy, good manners, magic words like please and thank you. They go a long way, believe me.

There is no need to turn your brain off when you cosplay, just saying. 

But! What if you do your best to be good but the general public isn't being nice? Sometimes this happens, there are people who play with your props, grab parts of your costume or your body without permission, or have snotty comments about you, some point and even laugh like hyenas on crack, that is reality. You can try being civilized and talk to them about it, nothing will happen if you just keep your comments to yourself, rude people should be made aware they are rude, if they get offended then it is probably because they are guilty, just remember to do this tastefully. But if talking isn't getting you anywhere, you can always take other courses of action. Common sense, declare war only when you have exhausted all pacific means. 


Nobody likes seeing a mess and nobody likes cleaning them up, but most especially, nobody likes being blamed for a mess they didn't do and is also made to clean that same mess up.

Litterbugs!!!! I hate 'em!

Cosplayers should not leave their mess, same as with everyone else, cosplayers or not, a mess is a mess.

Be responsible, it's everyone's earth after all.

It all goes back to common sense and behaving accordingly, it is not that hard if you really want to be good little kiddies. MANNERS MATTER. Be responsible and behave, no unwanted drama is the best way to have fun!

Oh yeah, I just of thought of something, I am NOT saying that cosplayers should basically just be mum about things and let people run them over, if you don't like what some people are doing, you can always be the civilized one and be the first who talks. Hope these helps. Common sense, guys, that's the key and I just can't stress that enough.

thanks for reading!
 jaa! visit me again, ne!
     arigatou! (*^3^)/~


  1. GAAaah! I remember this hatsune miku cosplayer. she cut the line and rudely washed her hands on the sink WHILE a lady was washing hers. tsk, eventhough she has a cute costume, her personality rots.

  2. Amen to that Yuu! You nailed it! :)

  3. Im glad to see articles like this being published , its true that people tend to forget about Etiquette For the sake of Fun.