The management of Universal Studios in Japan is not so sure how to deal with sexily dressed cosplayers visiting the theme park. Due to corona, there are fewer events in Japan for cosplayers and so they now seem to flock to theme parks.
Cosplay or fetish?
Cosplay (Japanese: コスプレ, kosupure) is a form of performance art in which people dress up to portray a particular character. They are often characters from manga, anime, computer games and films. Inanimate objects take on anthropomorphic forms and it is not uncommon for women to play men’s roles and vice versa (crossplay).
The line between cosplay and fetishism is sometimes razor-thin. For instance, there is the group of ‘furries’, who like to dress up as some kind of stuffed animal (often anthropomorphising animals from manga or anime). However, this is also a well-known fetish. For factual fetishists, it is more than just dressing up, but also a form of sexual arousal. Furthermore, many manga and anime characters are quite nude and sexy. There, too, it can contain an element of eroticism both for the cosplayer himself, but certainly also for the viewer.
Universal Studios Japan management thinks cosplayers go too far, emphasising the sexy side of cosplay. This was especially evident when they organised a Halloween party. Besides the usual zombies and vampires, many young people were dressed especially very scantily. USJ did not think that was acceptable in a family-friendly theme park.
USJ is a particularly popular destination for cosplayers, as the park has many affiliated franchises and also does not ban costumes from non-affiliated franchises. But the theme park has now issued an official warning, stating that too scantily clad cosplayers will be removed from the park.
So nothing-concealing Halloween costumes by some visitors are no longer allowed. Judging from some social media pictures, USJ’s reaction is no exaggeration. The photos appear to be from an erotica fair rather than a family park. Even the cosplayers themselves are probably well aware of this, given that most of them only change clothes once they are in the park.
As a result of the discussion, Universal Studios Japan was trending topic on Twitter for a while.