Its a safe bet to assume that everyone here is familiar with the term "cosplay." Ranging from spectacle to spectacular, an individual would be hard pressed to find such expression uninteresting. Chronicling ten years of experience with the subject, Jan Kurotaki brings cosplay to the coffee table in the recently produced Everybody Cosplay! Does the book do the art form justice? Find out after the jump.
First and foremost, the title, Everybody Cosplay!, is misleading. Produced in conjunction with Newtype USA, the book is a compendium of Mrs.Kurotaki's articles, all of which feature her as the subject model. This is by no means is a bad thing, but one may wonder why 150+ pages of a single individual inspires the pronoun "Everybody." This is my pickiness at its greatest, as my analytical mind rages at the various possibilities behind the misnomer.
What I've settled on is that Everybody "should" Cosplay! The collections purpose seems to be in humanizing and socializing professional cosplayers. Instead of say, a professional model, these individuals choose to dress as the people or things they love. Ranging from Ichigo Kurosaki to a purple Tentacle monster, fans literally wear put their hearts on their sleeves. Jan Kurotaki breaks down each of her assignments into "The Character" and "The Costume." In "The Character," she breaks down a bit of information about the individual, and expounds why she wanted to play them. In conjunction with that, "The Costume" highlights her technical experiences with the outfit. This last segment could be more than interesting to the would be cosplayer, as Kurotaki expounds on cost, construction, and the comfortability of her selections. Suffering for art indeed, apparently a full vinyl plug suit from Evangelion isn't the epitome of comfort.
Structured like any coffee table book should be, the collection has no index or page numbering. I've perused it quite a few times, and wading through the bulk of it seems to be the only way to find anything in particular. That said, there are worse fates than leafing through the fine glossy pages of this publication, as the destination rarely seems to be the goal. The vibrant colors, contrasting costumes, and simple layout kept the segments engaging to the eye, without detracting from what is to be demonstrated within. Not something of too much note, but the book has a nice heft. This may be an abstract concept to some, but the overall package comes off with a weight that makes most paperbacks green with envy,
Internet retailers seem to index the book as available, so brick and mortar stores should have stock before the new year. A good thing too, potential gift buyers should take note that at twenty dollars, this book delivers a solid stocking stuffer. A no nonsense publication filled with conversational starters, one would be hard pressed to find the price of admission too high. Be it eye candy, community, or just personal advice, Everybody Cosplay! has a little something for every reader.
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