Ever since its release in 1996 the Pokemon video game series has captured the hearts and minds of people of all ages all over the world. Because it’s so popular, Pokemon has been
When it comes to picking a character you first have to decide if you want to be a Pokemon or a Pokemon trainer (human character). If you choose to be a Pokemon you can go for a simple stylized version of a Pokemon or a very detailed and elaborate costume. For a stylized look it’s not uncommon to see a girl at an Anime convention dress up in a simple Pikachu costume. With a stylized costume, instead of going into great detail, simply capture the main features of a Pokemon. With a pair of yellow shorts, yellow tank top, Pikachu ears and a tail, a female cosplayer can capture the look of Pikachu with minimal effort. You could create a look like this for under $40 USD. If you wan’t something elaborate like a Genesect costume you should invest in a well-reviewed pepakura (papercraft) software program, good felt or cloth material, and some high quality foam.
expanded into many other mediums outside of video games. One such example of this is cosplay. Diehard Pokemon fans have found Pokemon cos-playing to be very rewarding thanks partly to the amount of characters to dress up as and the colorful costumes. There are over 700 Pokemon and numerous human characters cos-players can dress up as, and that list keeps growing and growing nearly every year. Here are some ideas to get you started in the Pokemon cosplay genre.
Picking The Right Character
You can find some costume templates online and modify them to suit
your needs, when the foam is cut to the proper dimensions you can sew or glue it together and paint it if it is not already the same colour as the Pokemon you will be cosplaying as. Pokemon is an excellent genre for beginners because the costumes never have to be elaborate. No one is going to wonder who you are supposed to be dressed up as if you’re wearing a pair of jeans, a vest, a baseball cap and walking around with a Poke Ball and stuffed Pikachu plush toy. Everyone will know you are Ash Ketchum despite the fact you only spent an hour working on the costume. Likewise, if a girl is wearing jean shorts, red suspenders a yellow tank top, has her hair dyed the colour orange and is walking around with a Togepi plush toy everyone will know she’s dressed as Misty.
One of the most unique aspects of Pokemon is the group dynamic it can entail. Couples can easily dress up as Jessie and James from the evil Team Rocket. The cosplay couple could add a Meowth stuffed toy to complete the look. If that couple has a young child and wants to take him or her to his or her first Anime convention, then the child could go dressed as Meowth instead. If you have two friends, you all could dress up as an entire evolution of a Pokemon. You could be Charmander, and you’re friends could be Charmeleon and Charizard. However, it doesn’t have end there. You and your friend could even go as the same Pokemon inside the same costume! It would be a two-person costume. Have you ever seen two people dressed as a horse for Halloween? Well, one person is the front end and one person is the back end. This approach can be applied to this character also. You could build a two person Blitzle or Zebstrika costume and apply this same logic since these are horse like Pokemon. You can also pull off a complicated four legged Pokemon costume by yourself by building a Pokemon quadsuit. A quadsuit involves stilts for your arms which function as the front legs of your Pokemon costume. You lean forward and walk on all four of your limbs giving the illusion that you are a quadruped. Pokemon like Absol, Flareon, Arcanine and Salamence usually make good quadsuits. Once you finish your costume you will have to practice moving in a quadsuit. Youtube is a great place to go to see what others have done and how they walk. If you make a Pokemon garb like this you can often get a return on your investment or even make a profit sometimes if you decide to sell. Costumes like this typically sell for between $500 and $1,000 USD completely built.
But it is not just Pokemon and Pokemon trainers you can dress up as. You can even get really creative. Some cosplayers have chosen to dress up as inanimate objects from the Pokemon universe. There have been cases where cosplayers have chosen to go as as a Poke Ball or a Pokedex. There are lots of places you can buy supplies for you outfit. In Japan, there are Pokemon centres in most major cities from Fukuoka to Sapporo. Here you can find a huge assortment of plush toys and Poke Balls to complete your Pokemon trainer outfit. These stores also carry a large selection of pins in the form of Pokemon badges that you can attach to your vest for a detailed look. You can shop at the Pokemon centre online, too. There is a similar store in New York as well. Ebay and Amazon are great places to look for materials and props if you don’t live in Japan or the New York area.
Show Off Your Winning Outfit
There are many places you can show off your Pokemon creation . Anime conventions are a popular choice as is any comic convention like San Diego Comic Con or New York Comic Con. Unfortunately, despite its popularity, Pokemon themed conventions are few and far between, especially in North America. Sukoshicon: Pokecon was held this summer in Louisville, Kentucky. Every year the Pokemon World Championships are held in a different city – this year it was Vancouver, British Columbia. This convention is a tournament for players of the Pokemon trading card game, but fans and participants can dress up in costume as well. Now you should be well on your way to building your Pokemon costume and hopefully you have been inspired to be the very best.
Here are some ideas to help you get started.
Pictures from deviantart.com