Are you someone who loves to go against trends? Do you like to do what’s NOT popular and trendy? Then you’ll definitely like this post I’m doing today! It’s all about obscure cosplays and how cosplaying less popular characters can just as fun, if not better!
What’s the difference between cosplaying popular characters vs. obscure characters?
Although cosplaying popular characters is always fun, you can also have an awesome experience trying to cosplay an obscure character. Not only is it exciting to cosplay someone who doesn’t know you are initially, it’s also more cost-effective when you’re not buying or making costumes brand new. And you can always cosplay characters that are past their peak, but still popular to many people.
In this post, I’ll give you some compelling reasons to do an obscure cosplay and post-peak characters, and how cosplaying less popular characters can just be as fun.
Let’s get into it!
It’s great when someone recognizes you in your obscure/less popular cosplay
While it’s always fun to cosplay popular characters like Sakura Haruno from Naruto or Jinx from League of Legends, doing an obscure character for your next cosplay can just as awesome.
When walking around a convention, it may feel weird when no one knows who you are. But you’ll probably run into someone who does actually know who you’re cosplaying as. And they will get super excited for your cosplay, because it’s an obscure or less popular character. It’s kind of like a “secret character” between you and them. In my experience, cosplaying an obscure character is quite different in its own way. So if you’re used to cosplaying popular characters often, then try doing an obscure character the next time; you might like it!
Which brings me to my next point…
Cosplaying popular characters isn’t always perfect
It seems logical to cosplay popular characters; everyone knows who you are and you get more attention on social media! But many other people will be cosplaying the same character, and it can hard to stand out. And if you’re constantly cosplaying popular characters, it can get real expensive! That’s because new costumes will always be the most expensive on cosplay websites (for a complete guide on the best cosplay websites, click here).
Older cosplays are generally much cheaper
While series like Demon Slayer and Genshin Impact are all the hype these days, don’t forget that there are many awesome characters from the past…they’re worth cosplaying as well! In fact, one of the main reasons why you’d want to cosplay an older series like Kill La Kill or Avatar…you’ll be saving a lot of money online!
A bonus with older cosplays is that they’re much cheaper than a “new” cosplay. For example, I paid less than $30 for Hyuuga’s basketball outfit. You can easily find bargains and clearance sales on websites like EZcosplay.
Obscure cosplays are just as fun
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!
Some characters are still fan favorites after all these years. Think Ryuko from Kill La Kill. Or Rei from Free. If you were to cosplay them today, people will still appreciate you cosplaying them!
Waiting until post-hype deadline
In an article here, I talk about cosplay hype, where a character from a fandom has a peak popularity period where everyone cosplays them, and then they fade into post-hype where far less people want to cosplay that character. Think Elsa in 2012 or Harley Quinn in 2016. Like I said, chasing popular cosplay trends all the time will get expensive.
So instead of doing that, why not wait until post-hype and cosplay former popular character well after their peak?
It’s kind of funny relating this to video games. When a new video game comes out, it’s going to be the highest price point possible. These days, new video games are anywhere between. But if you wait a few years, the price of that video game will go down. Sometimes it becomes a greatest hit and drops too!
What I used to do is wait for a popular video game to go down in price 2-3 years down the road, in order to purchase at a discount or in bundle (I.E. Steam deals).
And the cool thing, buying a cosplay is pretty much the same thing!
As mentioned earlier, when a popular cosplay is released in the cosplay stores, it’s going to be the most expensive. But give it 2-3 years when the character isn’t as popular anymore, the costume stores will want to get rid of their inventory and sell it at a discounted or clearance price. This is a great way to save money on cosplays, if you’re patient enough to wait.
So definitely consider cosplaying characters that are past their peak popularity. You can build your cosplay portfolio and save money at the same time. I certainly enjoy browsing the Clearance section of a cosplay website to find a character to cosplay for much cheaper. Or looking for discounted used cosplays for sale on Facebook (click here for a guide on that). It’s a money-saver, and gives me more opportunities to cosplay someone new! 🙂
Conclusion: cosplay whoever you feel like!
At the end of the day, it’s really up to you who you want to cosplay as (barring anything offensive). I’m just making a case for less popular and post-peak hype characters, as they can be just as awesome. Not only are they fun in their own way, but you end up saving a lot of money too.
Hope you found this post intriguing. If you have any questions or takes, leave them in the comments below!
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!