This cosplay hype deadline article is going to be a fun one! Whether you have dreams of being #cosfamous or you could care less about having cosfame, you’ll enjoy reading this.
And for those who follow and read my website regularly, you’ll realize that this article is far different from the ones I normally do!
If you have a cosplay social media account on Facebook or Instagram, have you ever wondered why some photos do really well in terms of likes and comments? And then some just completely bomb and get no reaction whatsoever?
Well part of that has to do with cosplay hype deadline. Let me explain.
Cosplay hype deadline…what does that even mean? Senpai, how did you even come up with this?
A couple of weeks ago I was going through my Instagram feed and saw one of my friend’s posts. They were talking about how they like cosplaying nostalgic characters because “there is no cosplay hype deadline.”
Cosplay hype deadline? What are you talking about?
I had a feeling what cosplay hype deadline but I had to ask them, to intrigue my curiosity.
And of course, this is what they said:
“It’s about finishing a cosplay while it’s still hot and popular to get max reach.”
That makes total sense! To be honest, I never really think about doing cosplays at a certain time; I generally cosplay whenever I feel like it. What about you? The last time you made or bought a cosplay, did you try to cosplay the character while it was still popular? If so, then you were trying to make the cosplay hype deadline!
Now the question is…should you care about cosplay hype deadline? Perhaps. I’ll outline the reasons for both.
Pros (why you should care)
More reach and likes for your cosplay posts!
If your goal is to get as much reach, then you should totally consider doing cosplays in their prime stage. Whether you’re looking to be an influencer, market a brand or open more opportunities for yourself, getting reach can be very important depending on your goals
Don’t you want a shiny…amount of likes!
It’s easier to relate and connect with people who are into a game or Anime series that’s happening right now as opposed to 5-10 years ago.
For example, in 2020 everyone in my cosplay circle is all about Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem: Three Houses for the Switch. I’m not the biggest fan of AC so I don’t really care about that. But I’ve connected and made quite a few friends just because I’ve into 3H.
However, if I waited a few more years, then those connections wouldn’t be possible. Because it’s an older game and likely the newest FE game has already been released. So by meeting the cosplay hype deadline, it’s an opportunity to connect with new people at conventions and online. After all, we want to make cosplay friends!
At a cosplay convention, it’s fun cosplaying the same characters from the same series.
The Anime (or video game) is still fresh in everyone’s minds. It’s cool talking about the same show and fandom with everyone else at a con. Making silly jokes and references to a show is always fun. I enjoy people talking about tiny miniskirts and dogs when I cosplayed Roy Mustang. Or all the Pokemon GO references when I cosplayed Spark from the game. You’ll always have this opportunity at any convention no matter how old the series is. But it’s not as fun as when the series is still fresh and popular. Talking about Homestuck now wouldn’t be as exciting as it was 5-10 years ago.
You won’t have to buy likes or followers off Fiverr.
Don’t you know that cosplaying is an expensive hobby? We don’t have $5 to spare! Why do you think us Weebs buy instant ramen all the time? Cosplay hype reach is free and All-Natural™.
This is what cosplay hype deadline is about!
Cons (Why you shouldn’t care)
Far more expensive because you’re buying brand new materials.
If you’re looking to save money on cosplay, then star FAR away from the cosplay hype deadline! If you’re looking to buy cosplays on the cheap, then you want to avoid the cosplay hype and wait until the character is mass-produced or way past its popularity. You can buy cosplays like KLK and Black Butler for cheap or even on clearance now, because they’re so old. This is one way to save money.
More stressful because of the shorter timeline.
Creating a cosplay is hard enough; having to finish it on such a short schedule can be even more stressful. You’ll likely run into con crunch.
Caring too much about cosplay hype deadline.
Don’t get carried away. It’s all about balance and if you obsess about getting a cosplay done while it’s hot, it can lead to some unhealthy habits, such as spending too much on cosplay, needing an unhealthy amount of validation and feeling sad when you don’t (remember that cosplaying someone is no guarantee you’ll get the response you want, cause us humans are unpredictable).
You’re out of luck if you can’t make your own.
Take me for example. I can’t sew for shit, so unless I paid someone an enormous commission to finish a hype cosplay on such a tight deadline, then cosplay hype is out of reach for me. My only hope is in the Saturation Stage, which I’ll talk about in the next section.
You won’t be unique.
If you’re the type who likes to have a unique cosplay and don’t enjoy seeing others cosplay the same character as you, then you best stay away from the cosplay hype train. Because you’re going to see a LOT of characters dressed from the same series if you do!
The 4 Stages of Cosplay Hype Timeline
To me, a certain character and the cosplay go through 4 stages of popularity:
1. Obscurity Stage
This is when a series hasn’t been released yet or it’s so unknown that no one really knows about it too much. For example, Cyberpunk 2077 hasn’t been released yet so it’s in stage 1.
But I’d argue once it’s released and everyone starts playing the game and talking about it online, it will no longer be in stage 1. It will be in stage 2…
2. Peak Cosplay Hype Stage
This is what this article is about; getting your cosplay done in this phase to maximize the benefits!
So after a few days or episodes when a video game or Anime series is released, it’ll start becoming popular or viral online. Then everyone starts having #cosplans for characters in this series and that’s when the cosplay hype for this series begins. I’d say this phase lasts about 6 months, maybe even a year depending how long the series is (or the replay value of a video game).
But the sooner you get a cosplay done, the more reach you’ll get. I remember a famous cosplayer’s Pokémon GO cosplay going viral. Why? Because she finished it a couple of days after the game was released in the United States. This was when the Pokémon GO craze was all over the world before it eventually died down. This cosplayer bought into the peak cosplay hype and was handsome rewarded with social media virality!
Even an example for me; when I posted my Naofumi cosplay for the first time, I got way more reach and likes because Shield Hero was still relatively new.
Another good example of a cosplay with a huge peak cosplay hype deadline was Kill La Kill, in particular Ryuko Matoi (the main character). I remember back in 2014 when it first came out, this show was INSANELY popular. Everyone loved the insane characters and it helped that a lot of them were easy to cosplay. You couldn’t go to a con in 2014 without seeing a bunch of Ryotas, Satsuki or Malo cosplayers! It was great.
But since Kill La Kill was only 1 season long, by 2015 or so those KLK cosplayers started to diminish. And now it’s 2020 and you see a KLK cosplay once in a while. But nowhere near the amount 5-6 years ago, when the show first came out. Why? Because the cosplay hype deadline train for KLK has looooong since passed! However, just because the hype deadline is over, doesn’t mean it’s a bad cosplay to do. More on this later.
3. Saturation Phase
“If you can buy the cosplay at a store for cheap online, then you know it’s in the saturation phase…like 30$ on eBay!”
Of course, all good things must come to an end. Once you pass the peak cosplay hype deadline, then you enter what I call the Saturation Phase.
Have you ever attended a cosplay convention where you saw an insane amount of people cosplaying the same character from a recently popular series? Well, that cosplay is in the saturation phase because everyone is doing it at the moment.
An example would be Elsa when Frozen first came out. Or Kill La Kill like I mentioned earlier. Or 2B from Nier Automata. As of 2020, I’d argue that Demon Slayer is in the saturation phase right now; everyone is cosplaying Nezuko at this point!
Again, if you love the character and the show, then you do you and cosplay who you want and when you want! But when it comes to reach, then doing a popular cosplay in the saturation phase is the worst time to do so. Why? Because everyone else is doing it too. So unless you find a way to make YOUR version stand out, then it’s going to be hard to get that reach when you have so much competition.
4. Post-Saturation Phase
And here we have the Post-Saturation Phase, when all the hype and talk of a certain series is over and people have largely forgotten about it. This about a year or 2 after a series has ended, and people have moved onto the next big thing.
Just because a cosplay is past the hype and saturation phase, doesn’t mean it’s not worth cosplaying at all! In fact, it’s a great time to cosplay specific characters? Why? Because while you don’t get the maximum benefit of cosplay hype reach, you still get the benefits of a cheaper cosplay AND uniqueness.
For example, once I did an easy cosplay; Hyuuga from Kuruko No Baske. It’s an old show but a lot of my followers loved the cosplay! Why? Probably because they enjoyed how I looked as Hyuuga. Even though KnB was way past the hype deadline, my fans liked seeing “Senpai’s version of Hyuuga.” And that is something that can get you more reach despite being out of the cosplay hype deadline.
And like I said, a bonus with older cosplays is that they’re much cheaper than a “new” cosplay. I paid less than $30 for Hyuuga’s basketball outfit. You can easily find bargains and clearance sales on websites like EZcosplay.
So I’d argue that the Post-Saturation period is a great time to bust out those nostalgic cosplays from older series! People would love a throwback cosplay like Elizabeth from BioShock. Or Aoba from DRAMAtical Murder. And best of all, there’s no cosplay hype deadline for these characters!
If you’re looking to get a little boost on your cosplay social media, keep an eye on the lookout for trending series and be sure to take note of the cosplay hype deadline! I say you shouldn’t feel bad or guilty that you want to follow the trends. After all, cosplaying is about dressing up whoever you want. And that includes the popular ones as well.
On that note, don’t take this too seriously; think of cosplay hype deadline like a cheat code. Just an easier way to get more reach and likes, but only a small part of the big picture when cosplaying! If you don’t really care about getting maximum reach on your cosplays, then don’t worry about this “deadline” Sometimes it’s more enjoyable going at your own pace and cosplaying whenever you feel like it. Hey I still wear my Ouran cosplay because I love the series. I hope you found this article interesting and intriguing! Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. Leave a comment and let me know how you feel about all this. 🙂
My name is Roger Senpai. I’m a cosplayer that’s been in the community for well over a decade now. I’ve traveled all over the world to Anime and Comic conventions and hosted my own cosplay events. Now I’m writing articles for new and experienced cosplayers like you to help inspire, save you money and improve your cosplays!