What are the best anime cosplayers?

Cosplay is an abbreviation of the word costume play. It consists of wearing a homemade outfit and role-playing another character. The clothes are usually sourced from a generic store like Walmart, but they don't have to be. 

Sometimes people find that specific items make the most sense for cosplayers, so sometimes you'll see a lot of cosplayers at Anime Conventions with cosplay weapons sporting unique items that would only appeal to them or other fans who know about their work in advance (usually DIYers).

An Overview of Anime Cosplay

Anime cosplay, or the practice of dressing up as a favorite anime character and going to conventions, is quickly becoming increasingly popular in Western culture. There are horror genre-inspired anime cosplays, zombie-filled Anime costumes, and even anime clothes for kids that come with a maxi skirt so small it’s difficult to find any adult people who can wear them.

Anime culture is a great way to express yourself as an individual, and it’s a fun thing to do with friends. It’s also a great way to meet people who share your interests. Cosplay is short for “costume play,” which usually refers to the practice of dressing up in costume and acting out your favorite characters. 

Cosplayers are usually fans of their favorite anime series, anime swords and want to show their devotion by dressing up as their favorite characters at conventions. There are also cosplayers who simply enjoy the process of creating costumes that look just like the ones they see in their favorite shows or games.

Best Anime Cosplayers

After watching, playing, and/or writing about all of the amazing anime from your favorite anime series, it can be hard to narrow down the best ones. That's why we've put together this post for you to discover the ten best cosplayers in terms of their creativity and effort. 

Anime is overflowing with talent when it comes to cosplaying their characters — if you're looking for more inspiration on what to wear at anime conventions, look no further. From Sailor Moon to Death Note to Neon Genesis Evangelion, these are some of the most interesting costume ideas out there!

1. Vinya Hylia (Skyward Sword)

Vinya Hylia is the costume designer and artist behind the Skyward Sword game costume. She was responsible for designing and creating all of Link's costumes in the game, but she really outdid herself by creating a gorgeous High Elven cosplay that is as breathtaking as it is beautiful. 

Skyward anime sword

Vinya even made her own custom tunic and pants because Link's design in Skyward Sword, one of the best cosplay swords, requires pretty intricate sewing skills (which she likely gained from her position as a seamstress). This cosplay has definitely won our hearts!

2. Wang Yi Er (Neon Genesis Evangelion)

An oldie but a well-loved one, Wang Yi Er's Neon Genesis Evangelion cosplay shows off why she is loved by the Japanese. The character of Shinji Ikari from the original anime is rarely seen in cosplays, and you can tell why by looking at Wang's incredible design. 

Her cosplay includes his white shirt and Shinji's school uniform from high school as well as parts of her own black lace dress, with a giant Eva unit implanted into her chest for good measure.

3. Sailor Moon (Sailor Moon)

A classic manga and anime series, the original Sailor Moon series has a lot of love for it, despite being considered a bit old-fashioned these days. 

That's why this awesome cosplay is so welcome. It's all about the "power of friendship," and how no matter where you are from or what you're like, you can always be friends with people if you just keep reaching out to them. Sailor Moon here is sporting Rainbow Crystal Star Power as she holds on to her Heart Moon Rod in this sweet outfit that also has some cute "wing" details on it.

4. Kuchidki (Death Note)

Kuchiki is a cute Death Note character that was given a pretty damn cool design to match her wild hair. The purple-haired girl looks like she just stepped out of a manga series and isn't going to be anyone's punching bag for too long. 

She's got an awesome monochrome look about her with the right amount of girly features, and it really shows off her beauty in our opinion. The entire costume is detailed and pretty accurate down to the bow in her hair, which can be seen as she takes on all of the world with one tiny Death Note.

5. Paine (Final Fantasy X-2)

Final Fantasy X-2 is a pretty fun game, but it's also got some pretty cool costumes in it. Paine's outfit is one of the most popular ones, showing off her fun character design in a way that reminds us of Sailor Moon and Bleach. 

The outfit is just so colorful, which makes it stand out from the crowd a bit more than some other cosplays we've seen in the past. The fact that her twin daggers are also carefully crafted with little details on them makes this cosplay even more interesting to look at.

6. Miku Hatsune (Luxendarc)

Luxendarc is a free game that allows you to create something interesting out of nothing as a fashion designer. We would probably have trouble doing it ourselves, but Miku Hatsune does it with ease. She's able to create amazing outfits out of just her own two hands, and we just don't understand how she does it! 

Her anime cosplay here is one of the best designs we've ever seen in any game or anime, and her red lips really pop against her face. It's no wonder the photo has been shared on social media over 1,000 times!

7. Jintan (Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Bokutachi)

Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai is an anime series about the main characters coming to terms with losing their childhood friend. Jintan is one of these characters, and his straw hat and glasses are hard to forget. 

His cosplay here has a really fun vibe that really shows off his confidence in a thoughtful way — and it's also an anime series we'd recommend if you want a little more sobbing time in your life.

8. Misa Amane (Death Note)

Misa Amane is one of the earliest characters that we see in Death Note, and she's often seen as the perfect example of a fan-service character. It didn't help that a ton of cosplay photos were taken with her in them, showing off her hot body while she was off trying to figure out who Kira is. 

There are plenty of detailed shots online, but this photo is one of our favorites because it also shows off everything else she's wearing at the same time. We're not sure how anyone can carry several different bags like that while still looking this good!

9. Yuuki (Touhou Project)

Touhou Project is a series we've grown to really love over the years thanks to its beautiful art style and absolutely weird characters. Yuuki is another one of those characters, and while she might seem like an airhead, she's actually created a hilarious costume that shows off her inner geek beautifully. 

She looks so put together, with her long hair down and in pigtails, and we can't get enough of this cosplay. The red-and-white striped skirt on her feels like it's made out of some sort of fabric that'll stand up to the elements for many summers to come.

10. Nagito Komaeda (Dangan Ronpa)

Dangan Ronpa is a strange but fun series that puts you in the shoes of a student who might or might not be innocent after all. 

Nagito actually looks pretty good in his photos, and he's able to look just menacing enough without having any details to give away his true intentions. The cosplay we really love though is how he's changed up his character design — especially the glasses.

Why Do People Love Cosplay?

Here are just a few of the reasons why cosplayers participate:

  • Self-Expression

One of the main reasons people engage in anime cosplay is because they want to express themselves as individuals. Many people choose to dress up as their favorite characters, like Haruhi Suzumiya or Goku, because they share personality traits with them. 

Some even go as far as imitating their favorite character’s clothing style, hair color and hair style to express themselves. There’s also the possibility that someone just wants to wear a pretty outfit and look good in it.

  • Self-Confidence

Many people cosplay because they are participants of the fandom of their chosen character. Whether it be anime, manga, video games or anything else under the sun: if someone enjoys a series or game, they will probably want to portray their favorite characters in real life. It is this enjoyment that makes them confident in portraying a character in real life. 

They know how to act like them because they have seen them so many times and how much they love that character allows them to do it with ease because of their confidence.