Why Your Cosplay Sucks

sucks or to suck- is an expression of disappointment, meaning something is bad or rubbish and can also be referred to something unsatisfactory. to be not good at something.
i.e. Your cosplay sucks = Your cosplay is rubbish = Your cosplay is not good at all.

^Hello, dear reader!
First of all, give yourself a good pat on the shoulder. I highly believe that the first step to improvement is having the desire to do so.

If you DON'T think your cosplay sucks, then why are you even here?

Magnet Kaito cosplay
photo by z3LL

Well, maybe you just wanted to pass time or someone shared this to you or your curiosity got the best of you (or maybe you love me <3 ehe (●´∀`●)). Either way, thank you for being here.
If you don't think your cosplay sucks but is still eager to make it even better then applaud yourself.
I like passionate people. <3

But seriously, forgive me for using such a harsh title.
The goal of this entry is actually to help my fellow cosplayers with their cosplays, I am going to lay on the "tough love" thickly, some points just needs to be hammered in hard.

As per usual, let us get on with the niceties.
I am not targeting anyone in particular. 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. The things I mention here are based from my experiences, my thoughts, observations and the things I get on my lurking expeditions.

That's long enough, with out further ado, here are the top reasons why your cosplay sucks:

Just because you have a costume on, doesn't mean you're in cosplay...
School girl + neko ears? Nope.
Body painted for a party? Nuh-uh.
Really cute outfit + wig and contact lens? Not even close.
Maid outfit? Errrrr....
Random samurai? Random ninja? Random soldier? Uhmmmmm....
Outrageous outfit + headdress + big prop for a pageant? Seriously not cosplay.

For heaven's sake, If you have no idea who your character is supposed to be, that is NOT cosplay! >w<

Cosplay is COStume and role PLAY.
That costume isn't just a random outfit, it is a costume that was based off a character with the aim to replicate as closely and perfectly as possible.
That play isn't just having your photos taken, running around smiling and doing hearts and V signs with your hands, it is trying to give life to your chosen character through such things as copying their mannerism, gestures and actions.

Pageant costumes may be big and flashy, but what character are you portraying? Sorry, not cosplay.
Oh! "That outfit is so cool!" "Them threads sure are bad ass!" "That dress is so kawaii!", sorry, also not cosplay... Fashion and cosplay are not the same.

You don't know the character all that well, even... so you don't know how to play the cosplay... resulting in a poor characterization.

Not knowing what you are doing is a sure fire way to looking like an idiot...

Love Colored Ward cosplay
photo by z3LL

Related: What is Cosplay?

Some cosplays are effortlessly pulled off, what with costume elements being easy or having some parts already in your possession or easily bought.

Some take weeks, months, even years to finish.

Sometimes you also slacked off too much or life threw a curve ball at you and you find yourself rushing.

Maybe you didn't research enough or have time to finish your costume, so come debut day... you panic and you don't know what to do.

Stress, worry and fatigue shows in cosplays. They result in poorly made costumes, forgotten costume elements, props that fall apart within a few hours, sloppy make up and more.

If the costume isn't done in a month then take another month.
If your funds aren't enough then save up some more rather than going for a cheaper alternative that isn't even close to what you need. Cosplay is an expensive and time consuming hobby, if you didn't know that, then you truly didn't do enough research.

Give yourself ample time to work on your costume and props, do trials, gather costume elements and research/review your character so you can portray them well. And don't forget to factor in some slack time, too.

If something doesn't work out, fix it as soon as possible but if it doesn't make it on time, don't beat yourself up. Cosplay should be fun, don't stress yourself too much over it, there will be more opportunities to cosplay. Don't push it and tire yourself in the process.

Rushing produces subpar works, usually rushed cosplays may look ok but look closely and you'll see what I mean.

Sandplay Miku cosplay
photo by Alain Brian Rafer

Debut a costume only when  everything is done and you are satisfied rather than for specific events. There is never a shortage of conventions to go to or shoots to participate in. Give yourself time to appreciate your work and do trials.

Rushing never works out for anyone, it just adds stress and pressure that leaves you a hot mess.

Related: The Difference of Costuming and Cosplaying

Some people are just walking balls of negativity, never supportive, always whining. These kinds of people can be a double edged sword, they can either drag you down or make you see what you didn't see.

In general, negatrons are never good to have around but people who give out compliments and praise willy nilly are more dangerous.

So cute!
Senpai so awesome!
Receiving compliments feels good, I know. But will those sparkly words help you improve?
No, not really. Most of the time, such compliments go to one's head and the quality of the cosplay goes down.

"I look cute anyway, I'm sure they won't notice my costume is wrong". </3 ;( That's just sad...

Too much sugar coating or overly harsh words don't make anyone improve.
Gravitate towards people who have the right amount of frankness and support.
Have fun and learn. Constantly evaluate yourself. seek ways to improve and ask for advice.

Also, unfollow that grouchy senpai of yours, or block that rude cranky know-it all or that whiny kouhai, do you really need them in your life?
If someone wants to be the rain in the parade, just let them be.
Paying attention to those types just feeds the bad juju.
Follow and watch happier people who focus on their crafts and be inspired. <3
May I suggest MeltingMirror Cosplay or BehindInfinity or Pinky Luxun?

Related: I want to cosplay! Can you suggest what I should cosplay?

Miku X Luka cosplay
photo by z3LL


"Look at me, I am a cosplayer!"
"Notice me, senpai!"

That cosplay is clearly no where near decent yet~ not even close to being recognizable, but in your desire to post that photo on your timeline, you just didn't care.
The wig hasn't even arrived yet or the details are still missing but you just want to wear the costume and go to the con to cosplay...

You forgot a very important element that is a trademark of the character or the pose is something your character will never do, but just seeing a photo of your cosplay just excited you too much, it must be shared! orz

The number of likes and that pile of empty compliments do not help in upping your cosplay game sadly... WHO EXACTLY ARE YOU TRYING TO PLEASE?

If it is not something that you can be proud of, please wait until you got everything down before you show it off... Don't think about the likes and the comments, cosplay is about showing love for the character/series/ fandom. It is not a popularity contest...

Related: The Play in Cosplay

Rakshasa Miku cosplay
photo by z3LL

Let us take this time to give thanks to our awesome camera wielding friends. You guys are awesome, cosplay photographer friends! <3

One of the biggest culprit for a bad cosplay is a bad documentation of it. Low quality, grainy photos, can pull down an otherwise good cosplay. It can also go the other way around. An awesome photo can add a hundred points to cosplay. I personally think my cosplays look good because of how awesome my photographer friends are.

Here are some things about cosplay photos that don't help:
-too much noise and grainy-ness, over all quality is low
-bad lighting
-overly tweaked colors
-distracting logos and watermarks
-poses and expressions are off, making the cosplay uncharacteristic for the character
-messy/ crowded backgrounds
-too much editing or too much lame editing

A good photo just adds to that cosplay and makes it even more awesome.
Look at your cosplay idols' galleries, do you see any low quality photos?
No, they all have such astounding, jaw dropping cosplays photos that look as if pros took them.
Of course, our cosplay idol's already have exquisite costumes and high level make up skills, but thanks to such great photos, it looks as if their cosplay is something out of the movie, game or series itself. <3

You don't have to hire pros or rent expensive places or have your photos taken with high-end gear, I just hope you'd take it easy with the edits and pay more attention to the quality of the photo.

Editing isn't bad, combined with an awesome cosplay, then you'd have a magnificent end product. But remember, the editing should accentuate the cosplay and not over power it.

Black Vow Miku cosplay
photo by Migz Nicolas

Keep cosplaying and be nice, you will eventually befriend someone who is into cosplay photography and together you can produce awesome works. In the mean time, focus on improving your cosplay and don't get over excited. Your time in the sun, will come <3

Related: Choosing Characters Based on your Body Type

And the main reason for it all is...

 "I am pretty, any character will suit me!"
"My cosplays are awesome, why aren't I famous?!"
"I wonder how many people will take my picture today?"
"I am a cosplayer! Where is my special treatment?!"
"My cosplay is way better than so and so but why are people crooning over him/her instead of me?!"
"New cosplay for every event!"
"Oh, I am cosing so I can be a star soon!"
"Just some more boobs and this cosplay will be even better!"

Remember, you need a good costume and a good portrayal to have a good cosplay.
You also need a great deal of passion, patience and desire to improve to hold the cos and play of cosplay together.
Abandon that "close enough"/ "pwede na yan" mentality and pay attention to details and what you can do to make the character come alive.
Add in a good cosplay photo, and you've got a not at all sucky cosplay, GREAT even!

Do not be lazy. Do not just settle.

Why are you cosplaying?
Do you want to be famous? Yeah, our cosplay idols, are famous now. But they weren't always famous, they were once sucky, too, but they never gave up.
The fame that they have now is because of the hard work they put into the hobby.
They started way back when wigs and colored lenses were hard to find and expensive and commissioning costumes and props were only a dream.
Back when cameras still needed films even!

Do you know how long Yaya Han or Omi Gibson have been cosplaying?
A l-o-n-g time.
It not just because they are pretty and have rocking bodies, their costumes and portrayals are just so exquisite.

Eager Love Revenge Luka cosplay
photo by z3LL

There are cosplayers whose star shine brightly for some time but all for the wrong reasons.
There are also cosplayers who are so awesome but chose to get on with life. There are also those who, even though don't have very intricate costumes, are very well known because of their positive attitude, ability to inspire, kick ass portrayal and astounding photos.
Do you just want to be remembered for a fleeting moment? ahemboobnotcosplaysahem Or do you want to be remembered because of the love you put in your cosplay?

Again, I ask you, why are you cosplaying?
Because if all you want is to be famous or have people fap over you then this is clearly not the hobby for you.

Also, just stop with all them dramas, bitterness and negativity.
Stop caring about the petty things and someone else's cosplays, focus on yours and how you can make yours better.
Stop with all the complaining, too. If you care that much then do something about it.

On the other hand, if you are on the receiving end of negativity, then I suggest that you turn your back on it. Walk away, if it keeps coming for you, give it a good kick in the balls and show them how awesome you can be.

The sooner you change your attitude, the sooner will it start for things to get better. ;D
Prove everyone wrong by doing an awesome cosplay despite hindrances!
Do not use being a newcomer to cosplay as an excuse.
It is understandable that you are a rookie and you don't know a lot of things yet or have enough experience, but it is precisely because of that that you should be more eager.

If cosplay is really something you are passionate about, you will put in the effort, you will research extensively, you will prepare amply and you will do everything you can because this is what you love.

I could go on and on and on and on and on and on and onnnnnnnnnnnnnn regarding suck-y cosplay attitude, both from the receiving and pitching end, but at the end of the day, cosplay is really just about the love of costuming and portrayal.

I do admit that my cosplays still are far from perfect, I want to get better and see how far I can go.
I was a total noob before, but now I can make armor and props by myself!
I want to learn more! And I will never give up!

Again, I would like to apologize for such a mean title and blog entry but at then end of the day...
What's it gonna be?

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


  1. this blog really shows what to do , and do not make a sloppy act or you end up just a messy piece of work... i admire this blog so much.. it shows a cosplayer what to improve his/ her self to begin with :D <3 <3

  2. this is so TRUEEE ~~~ !
    i hope everyone will read this so they stop wasting their precious money :D