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Anime Cosplay Ideas Guide: Which is Right For The Occasion?

 

Cosplay, a portmanteau for costume play, is a type of performance art in which participants will wear fashion and costume pieces in an attempt to look like their favorite characters. Anime cosplay is a subculture created for anime fans, by anime fans, but the art can encompass multiple kinds of media like cartoons, comic books, television series, and video games.

Regardless of body type, race, gender, sex, or age, you can enjoy the art of cosplay. Even if you feel you don’t look like the character, you can still wear cosplay. While looking around conventions, you’ll often see people switch genders, sew garments that better suit their body types, or tweak the costume to make it look more unique.

In this guide, we’ve included multiple cosplays (over 60), their difficult ratings, and the items you’ll need to complete it yourself. The rating is based on the amount of skill and time needed to alter or create the item. Feel free to tweak your cosplays to match your preference.

Golden Wind consists of 17 manga volumes and 39 episodes of Season 4. Golden Wind follows Giorno Giovanna, the son of Dio Brando, who wants to be a Mafia Gangster to remove violence from Italy. He uses his Stand Golden Experience to take down the power lusting gang leader.

Bruno Bucciarati

Bruno Bucciarati

  • Difficulty: Hard
  • Supplies: Wig, Hair Clips, 2-Piece Suit, Undergarment, Shoes.

As a capo (captain) of the Mafia Gang Passione, he uses his Stand, Sticky Fingers, to create zippers on objects. He can separate objects, go through the zippers, and repair objects. Bucciarati allows Giorno Giovanna to join the mafia to help him accomplish his goals.

Bruno has an interesting suit that you won’t find in a shop, but you may be able to adjust a white suit with some sewing magic. The undergarment could be painted on with makeup.

Trish Una

Trish Una

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Supplies: Wig, Makeup, Bralette With Straps, Skirt, Shoes.

Trish Una is the daughter of Passione’s boss and is on the run from the Mafia organization who is trying to kill her. Giorno Giovanna’s group protects her from the assassins who want her dead. Her Stand, Spice Girl, can increase the elasticity in objects to make them indestructible.

It’s easy to find the bralette and maxi skirt, but you’ll need to adjust them slightly. Use fabric paint or fabric to add the math detailing along the visible parts of the garment.

The other parts are currently not animated, but Jojo Part 6: Stone Ocean will receive an anime adaptation at the end of 2021, beginning of 2022. 

My Hero Academia

All of the characters in My Hero Academia are interesting enough to cosplay, and with hundreds available it was difficult to pick just two. 

Bakugou Katsuki (Hero Costume)

Bakugou Katsuki (Hero Costume)

  • Difficulty: Hard
  • Supplies: Wig, Mask, Shoulder Guards, Tank Top, Grenade Launchers, Gloves, Belt, Grenades, Pants, Straps, Knee Pads, Boots.

Bakugou Katsuki is one of the many protagonists in class 1-A who dreams of becoming a hero. His quick-to-anger temperament and explosive quirk is a turn-off for most people and agencies, but he quickly learns how to use his personality to become one of the top of the class.

What makes Bakugou Katsuki difficult to cosplay is the grenade launchers, as you’ll need to make them by hand. Everything else can be found, bought, and altered. 

Yu Takeyama (Hero Costume)

Yu Takeyama (Hero Costume)

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Supplies: Horns, Wig, Mask, Spandex Suit.

Yu Takeyama, or Mt. Lady, is a licensed Pro Hero that has the power to turn into a giant. She constantly gets in trouble due to the destructiveness of her quirk and typically has to pay off the city for the damage she causes. She is smart, agile, and enjoys basking in the hero limelight.

While a talented seamstress can make an Mt. Lady cosplay, it’s easier to buy a premade cosplay or ask a printing shop to add the purple and orange details to a white cat-suit.

Bleach

Bleach has multiple characters that are incredibly cool-looking, but the villains typically win out based on their character designs with some exceptions.

Ulquiorra Cipher

Ulquiorra Cipher

  • Difficulty: Medium-Hard
  • Supplies: Bone Hat, Wig, Makeup, Face Paint, Makeup, Jacket, Flowing Pants, Shoes.

The male Arrancar Ulquiorra is an incredibly powerful Espada (top-ranked Arrancar) who works for Aizen. As a lover of order over chaos, Ulquiorra willingly helps Aizen reach his goals by kidnapping Orihime and fighting Ichigo. His Arrancar hole is located on his neck.

While the costume itself isn’t difficult, the hat, sword and face makeup may be challenging to make for some. You also need to ensure the face paint is sealed, so sweat won’t disturb it.

Yoruichi Shihouin (Orange Shirt/Kimono Shirt Version)

Yoruichi Shihouin

  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Supplies: Wig, Contacts, Hair tie, Kimono Top, Long-Sleeved Turtleneck, Wrist Straps, Yoga Pants, Leg Warmers, Boots. Optional: Knives, Scarf.

As a former captain of the 2nd Division and a princess, Yoruichi played a big role in the plot of Bleach. Originally Introduced as a cat, she transforms into a human to use the full extent of her powers. Although technically a supporting character, she helps the protagonists out often.

A gorgeous POC character that’s both a fighter, mentor, and tetitulator character is always positive to see. Styling the wig will be difficult, but everything else can be found or altered. 

Yuyu Hakusho

As a late 90’s manga, you may not see too many people walking around in these cosplays, but that makes it more likely an older anime fan will want to snap a photo of you.

Boton (Pink Kimono Version)

Boton

  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Supplies: Wig, Hair Bow, Kimono, Sash, Tatami Socks, Tatami Sandals. Optional: Ore.

Boton is the guide to the Spirit World and a close friend of Yusuke Urameshi, the series protagonist. She acts as a grim reaper and ferries souls for final judgment. She can hold her own in a fight, but is a more comfortable briefing for missions and providing moral support.

In North America, it can be hard to find a kimono in clothing stores, but if you live in a big city there are shops that cater to Japanese clothing. When in doubt, order online!

Youko Kurama (Demon Version)

Youko Kurama (Demon Version)

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Supplies: Ears, Wig, Contacts, Tattered Armless Kimono, Shoes, Claws, Tail.

Youko Kurama is the true form of Shuichi Minamino. Youko Kurama is a calculating, cunning, and cruel fox demon who enjoys toying with his enemies and thievery. He eventually learns to love and grow attached to others, especially his mother, after inhabiting a human form.

What’s especially fun about this cosplay is the ability to make it look as bad as possible. His costume should be torn. The ears and tail could be bought or made with faux fur and wire.

Fate/Stay Night

Originally a game, Fate/Stay Night eventually received an anime adaptation. You’ll need some knowledge on armor crafting from worbla or cardboard to make most Fate/Stay Night cosplays.

Saber (Servant Version)

Saber (Servant Version)

  • Difficulty: Hard
  • Supplies: Wig, Hair tie, Dress Armor, Metal Shoes, Metal Greeves. Optional: Sword

Based on the legendary hero Arthur Pendragon, she is known as the king of knights and wields the Caliburn, the sword in the stone. She has multiple masters throughout the anime and visual novels, but her most famous is Ritsuka Fujimaru of the Grand Orders conflicts.

Since Saber is a popular character, it won’t be difficult to find pre-made cosplay of her online, but making and structuring her outfits should only be attempted by the most talented cosplayers.

Gilgamesh (Servant Versions)

Gilgamesh

  • Difficulty: Hard
  • Supplies: Wig, Earrings, Contacts, Whole Armor Set, Cape.

Gilgamesh is the half-god, half-human king of heroes born between the union of King Lugalbanda and Goddess Rimat-Ninsun. He is an archer-class servant of the Forth-Holy War. He only has three servants throughout his life, but Ritsuka Fujimaru is his most famous.

Creating an entire armor set for Gilgamesh won’t be easy, but if you use cardboard, worbla, and some paint, you can create a decent set of armor with a bit of patience.

Cowboy Bebop

Most Cowboy Bebop characters have simplistic designs that are easy to cosplay. Their outfits are instantly recognizable by all anime fans, as the series is considered a must-watch.

Spike Spiegel

Spike Spiegel

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Supplies: Wig, Cigarette Prop, 2-Piece Suit, Undershirt, Tie, Shoes.

Space Cowboy Spike Spiegel is a former member of the Red Dragon Crime Syndicate who faked his death and became a bounty hunter along with partner Jet Black. They both pursue criminals across the solar system, where he is eventually drawn back into his feud with Vicious.

Finding a fitted blue or black suit in the wild will be easy, and yellow button-up shirts are common in all fast-fashion markets. Spike Spiegel is a great cosplay for beginners.

Faye Valentine

Faye Valentine

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Supplies: Wig, Headband, Cropped Vest, Suspenders, Sweater/Jacket, Shorts, Thigh-High Nylons, Boots.

Faye Valentine is a wanted bounty head and a member of Spike Spiegel’s bounty hunting crew Bebop. Although she looks to be 23 years old, she’s around 77 as she spent 54 years in cryogenic sleep. Faye uses any means necessary to earn money, including criminality.

Confident cosplayers can easily make her costume. While you won’t find a cropped blouse at most stores, you can crop a full-length blouse yourself with some scissors.

Code Geass

A popular anime with an unpopular sequel, Code Geass has some interesting costumes that need to be sewed by hand or custom made by a seamstress.

Lelouch vi Britannia (Zero Unmasked Version)

Lelouch vi Britannia

  • Difficulty: Hard 
  • Supplies: Wig, Contacts, Military Suit Jacket, Suit Vest, Scarf, Cape, Gloves, Pants, Shoes.

Lelouch vi Britannia is an exiled Britannian prince who becomes involved in a terrorist attack. At the attack site, he meets C.C. (C2) who makes a contract with him, which grants him the Geass. With the power to control anyone, he becomes Zero, a vigilante who joins a resistant group.

Most of this cosplay must be made by hand, as you’re unlikely to find a purple and yellow suit anywhere. Use wire to make the cape’s color stand up, and cufflinks to keep the cuffs folded.

C.C. (C2) (White Straight Jacket Verison) 

C.C. (C2) (White Straight Jacket Verison) 

  • Difficulty: Hard
  • Supplies: Wig, Contacts, Straight Jacket Suit with Belts, Boots.

Introduced as a captive human subject, C.C. is revealed to be an immortal young woman with special powers called the Geass. She can willingly give her power to others, as she does with Lelouch, and helps him throughout the series by destroying other Geass users.

To create this cosplay, you’ll need to have a lot of knowledge regarding pattern making, sewing, and costume construction. You may be able to find a pre-made costume online.

One Piece

There are literally thousands of characters in One Piece, each with its own unique designs. Most of these designs include a pirate theme.

Monkey D. Luffy

Monkey D. Luffy

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Supplies: Hat, Wig, Jacket, Makeup (for scar), Belt Sash, Jean Shorts, Sandals. 

The main protagonist of One Piece, Monkey D. Luffy is the captain of the Straw Hat Pirates and sets off on his lifelong dream to find the One Piece, a legendary treasure. He brings a group of pirates together, travels the world, and currently has a bounty worth trillions of dollars.

There’s not much to say about this cosplay, as it’s pretty easy to make or find. The red jacket resembles a riding jacket, so look in stores that cater to horse enthusiasts.

Nami (Post-Time Skip Version)

Nami

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Supplies: Wig, Bikini Top, Face Paints (for tattoos), Low-Ride Jeans, Belt with Gun Holster, Sandals. Optional: Pole.

Navigator and cat burglar of the Straw Hat Pirates, she is the third crew member to join. At first, she pretends to join the Straw Hats to rob them but joins willingly after the Straw Hats save her village against the Arlong Pirates. She’s the first female member of the group, but not the last.

The bikini top and blue jeans can be found at any used shop, but low-ride jeans are typically only available in vintage stores as they were only really popular in the late ’90s, early 2000s.

Naruto Shippuden

Naruto is the post-time skip series that still features the same main characters, however, Sasuke has left his Ninja Village in an effort to become stronger. Although Naruto’s main goal is to become Hokage, he also wants to bring Sasuke back to the village to prevent a ninja war.

Itachi Uchiha (Akatsuki Version)

Itachi Uchiha (Akatsuki Version)

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Supplies: Wig, Ninja Headband, Necklace, Makeup, Fishnet Shirt, Pants, Pouch, Leg Wraps, Sandals. 

Itachi Uchiha is Sasuke’s older brother who murdered his entire clan except for his youngest brother under the direction of the third Hokage. He joins the Akatsuki to infiltrate the organization and learn it’s secrets and is eventually weakened from illness and killed by Sasuke. 

Finding an Akatsuki cloak, even in smaller cities, is pretty easy. The fishnet shirt can be found in goth or alternative clothing shops, and the rest of the outfit can be found used almost anywhere.

Hinata Hyuga

Hinata Hyuga

  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Supplies: Wig, Contacts, Ninja Headband, Jacket, Fishnet Top, Pants, Pouch, Leg Wraps, Sandals.

As a member of the Hyuga clan, Hinata has access to an eye jutsu that was passed down within her clan. She is obsessed with Naruto Uzumaki, and eventually marries him. Hinata’s goal in the series was to become strong enough to change herself, which she accomplished.

Most of the Hinata cosplay difficulty comes from the jacket, as it imitates a raincoat, but also has a hood you’d see on a zip-up hoodie. You may need to combine multiple pieces for the jacket.

Attack on Titan

Attack on Titan is easy to cosplay as the military uniforms more of the cast wear are easy to find or create. Time-skip versions of these characters will be more difficult to make.

Levi Ackerman (Survey Corps Version)

Levi Ackerman

  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Supplies: Wig, Jacket, Button-Up, Scarf, Omni-DIrectional Mobility Gear, Pants, Boots.

Other Popular Cosplays

Below is a list of all the anime that have incredibly popular cosplays, but weren’t included in our detailed list. To easily find an anime, hit CTRL+F and enter the anime of your choice.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Question: What is the most popular anime cosplay?

Answer: Anything that can be bought pre-made from a popular anime is very popular cosplay. Examples of popular cosplays are Rem from Re:Zero, Mikasa Ackerman from Attack on Titan, and Sakura Kinomoto from Card Captors Sakura. If an anime is popular, it will take over the cosplay zeitgeist. My Hero Academia is an example of current anime with a lot of cosplayers.

Question: Where can I buy good anime cosplay?

Answer: Hiring a contracted seamstress is the best way to receive cosplay that fits your dimensions. However, if you’re a sample size or you can bring in the costume yourself, try EZCosplay, Sky Costume, Light in the Box, Mic Costumes, Hello Cosplay and Cosplay Shopper. You can also try looking in your local costume shops or party supply stores around Halloween.

Question: How much does an anime costume cost?

Answer: The overall cost of cosplay varies depending on whether you buy the costume outright, or you make it yourself. Some characters are easy to make, while others are quite difficult. For example, Deku is easier than Bakugou from My Hero. Prices can range between $50-$500+ and unless you’re a popular cosplayer, you’re unlikely to recount your costs.

Question: How do I get started in cosplay? 

Answer: The best answer is, now! If you already know how to sew, you’ll be able to make incredible costumes. However, cosplay also requires makeup, wig styling, photography, and acting skills, so work on all of these skills as you go. If you’re just starting out, purchase a cosplay from a cosplay shop, or buy a wig and go as a casual version of a character.

Conclusion 

Cosplay is an incredibly fun, challenging, and creative art form you can wear on your body that will give you a lot of attention at cons and on social media. Keep in mind that cosplay is for everyone. No matter your race, sex, gender, age or body type, you can wear cosplay of your favorite characters. Don’t hold back-there are so many awesome characters to choose from.

A word of advice: If you’re new to the art of cosplay, it’s best to start small and work your way up to the harder costume sets. You may get discouraged and frustrated if you do too much too quickly. Practice makes perfect, and the more cosplay you make, the better you’ll get.

Have fun creating tons of incredible anime cosplays for cons, social media, or just as a hobby!

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