Nearly all characters in anime who are otaku
are guys, although occasionally a female fan is included. This could be seen as an attempt at fair balance, but it's noticeable that this will inevitably be a specific kind of fan: the Cosplay
While this reflects a very real trend in fandom popular with ladies, it can come off like an excuse to put the resident cute girl of a cast in a variety of fetish outfits
for the audience's benefit if done badly. Especially since the second most stereotypical interest of fangirls
tends not to appeal to a male audience much.
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Anime & Manga
- In Katekyo Hitman Reborn! Haru frequently dresses up in her weird costumes although they tend to get the opposite reaction then she is hopeing for.
- Misaki from Maid-Sama! works part time afterschool at a Maid Cafe where she dresses up in a frilly maid outfit although she goes out of her way to hide her job from any of the students at her school.
- Ohno from Genshiken. Interestingly, she does like the second most stereotypical interest of fangirls. Also interestingly, the only other female member, at first, is Saki, very much the antithesis of this trope. Her reaction to cosplay is revulsion; if the matter is forced, she
can will get violent. she eventually gives in and even admits to enjoying cosplay.
- The Wife carries on Saki's legacy in Spotted Flower, another work by the same author, and possibly set in the same universe as Genshiken as well.
- Several characters from Otaku no Video, including the infamous Misty May.
- Renge from Ouran High School Host Club, herself a deliberate parody of fangirls.
- During the first "doll shop" episode of Midori no Hibi, Midori gets to try on a wide variety of cosplay-like outfits in the guise of doll clothes.
- Addressed in He Is My Master, when the lead girl's little sister visits the home of a rich pervert, but is only delighted by his collection of "cute dolls and clothes".
- Komugi from Nurse Witch Komugi makes a living as a cosplay idol. In The SoulTaker (her original series) she was a mutant nurse whose schtick was shapeshifting into various cosplay outfits.
- The Excel♥Saga manga gives us Umi Rengaya, Professor Shioji's assistant. When first introduced it seems she wears the outfits explicitly to be fanservice-y in hopes of attracting the Professor's attention, but only succeeds in disturbing him since he is very much not fond of her, er, assets. Later however, it's learned that she is a full-fledged Cosplay Otaku Girl; hanging out with other such girls, inviting her new friend Teriha into their circle, and having worked at a Maid Cafe. Her first appearance in a bonus story gives her a cameo as a zombie nurse shambling around in the background and moaning "...cosplay...."
- Celtic Midori of Vandread wears her costumes constantly, complete with head gear, even while on bridge duty. It's later revealed that she does this to keep the men from touching her.
- Hayate from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha personally designs the outfits of all of her servants, even the one that is 3 inches tall. Heck, she even makes a bed room out of a lunch box she carries with her, and a miniature desk with a miniature swivel chair. Naturally, fans have exaggerated this into an obsession to dress up everyone, also shared by Shamal.
- Averted in Doujin Work, whose female cast is far too busy with the title industry, with the exception of one's job at a Cosplay Cafe.
- Tomoyo Daidoji from Card Captor Sakura may qualify. Though she's not interested in dressing up herself, but instead making distinctive cosplay-ish battle outfits for Sakura.
- Haruhi of Suzumiya Haruhi takes considerable delight in stuffing Mikuru into various cosplay outfits, much to the latter's distress. To be fair, she also cosplays once in a while, most memorably during the School Festival in which she performs with ENOZ while in a Playboy Bunny outfit.
- In Haruhi-chan, Yuki gets into the act herself. Later, Mikuru and Yuki get into a cosplay contest. However, Mikuru cannot hope to beat Yuki in a cosplay-off. She is simply the best there is.
- In Strawberry Panic!, Chikaru runs the costume club and enjoys putting her "favourite" girls in alluring, lolita-style costumes.
- In Lucky Star Konata happily works in a Cosplay Cafe, but refuses to call cosplay as a hobby because "it feels too much like work." Her friend/co-worker Patti is a straight example, though. Their mutual friend Hiyori is a more down-to-earth fangirl who's not really into cosplay at all.
- Yoshinoya-sensei in Hidamari Sketch, who uses her cosplay tendencies for everything from modeling for her art class to making personalized New Years' cards. She dislikes calling it "cosplay" though, yet what she doesn't realize is that she's practically cosplaying as herself all the time.
- All the female cast (and many of the guys) end up in either Gekiganger or some more obscure cosplay at some point in Martian Successor Nadesico. Otaku Surrogate Hikaru's probably the only one who does it more than once, though.
- In a very odd male version of this trope, the Jovian's regular uniforms are also pretty much Gekiganger cosplay, because they're just that obsessed.
- Nagi of Hayate the Combat Butler has a thing for making Hayate cosplay and cross-dress. A lot. Then again, she actually is otaku and hikki all-around, not just when it comes to forcing her butler to cosplay.
- Mion of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni probably qualifies, as the loser of whatever game is going on tends to end up dressed in some Moe outfit or another. Or maybe she's just a sadist...
- Megu of the Tantei Gakuen Q live action appears to be a Cosplay Otaku. Within the first two episodes we see her in two different school uniforms, a Meido-outfit and in a Yukata.
- Naturally, Cosplay Complex is filled to the brim with cosplaying girls.
- Sakura "Penguin" Nankyoku in Penguin Musume Heart. She's wearing a costume the first time we see her. Her Student Council President campaign was to make the official school uniform meido and butler outfits. When she cosplays, she gets the power of whatever she's wearing. Finding out she would be able to play dress up with Kujira was enough to trigger her Heroic Resolve. She is insane.
- Closet otaku Haruka Nogizaka in Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu dresses up as Shana from Shakugan no Shana in one episode and gleefully recites the character's Catchphrase. Though otherwise she isn't prone to cosplay due to the fact that she hides her love of anime from her peers.
- Pani Poni Dash!. Serizawa Akane. That is all.
- Akari Kouda in High School Girls appears to be one of these, mostly in the anime version. Her costumes are usually in the range of tacky and absurd.
- Baccano!'s Isaac and Miria are so involved in cosplaying that they manage to go about it fifty four years before the term even existed.
- Sawako-sensei from K-On! enjoys putting Mio and the rest of the band in variously absurd outfits, which Mio is less than okey-dokey with. It's moe moe kyun, though.
- Plucky Comic Relief Kiko in Darker than Black. Also a Yaoi Fangirl.
- A very young example — Hiiragi in Hanamaru Kindergarten.
- Pina from Ladies Versus Butlers!. She particularly enjoys dressing up as the lead character from Magical Diva.
- Chisame from Mahou Sensei Negima! seems to be enjoying her magical disguise a bit too much. (And considering the fact that her classmates were recently in slavery with magical shock collars, one might think that this accessory would be in bad taste—even if it goes so well with her now-omnipresent cat ears.) Also, the first time she's a focus character, she was dressing up in various costumes for her website.
- Evangeline also manages to contain her vast boredom by dressing up her few remaining classmates as goth lolis.
- Amasawa from The Weatherman Is My Lover is a male example, and actually calls himself a "nutcase who's obsessed with cosplay."
- Lucy and Erza from Fairy Tail both qualify. In Lucy's case it is usually unintentional, but Erza... well, she keeps several cosplay outfits in her Hyperspace Arsenal.
- Ruby from Rosario + Vampire loves trying on various outfits.
- Yayoi from Hoshi No Samidare. She's rather embarrassed about the whole thing, and only ever dresses up in her apartment when no one's around, but Anima has a tendency of teleporting her to meetings when she's right in the middle of cosplaying. Of course, no one else even cares.
- Hanaukyō Maid Tai La Verite. In episode 8 Konoe wants to borrow some clothes from Yashima, and we all know how Yashima reacts to Konoe.
- Secondary character Tamamin from Girl Friends, when she doesn't have her nose buried in no less than four different manga titles, takes any chance she can to dress herself (and others!) as various anime characters to the nines. Her biography page lists her fondest wish as obtaining a plugsuit.
- Akechi from Centaur no Nayami. She seems to be fond of looking for excuses for dressing other people up as well.
- Megumi Chihaya from Servant × Service often takes leaves to spend time cosplaying characters from her favourite series Magical Flowers. In fact her job choice has to do with this trope; she's legally a temp so she needs not to have fixed hours.
- Lucretia from Bystander does this to some extent. She doesn't cosplay specific characters, but her bedroom, instead of having sleeping space, has a few shelves of books and a multitude of stacked plastic totes holding various dresses, their accompanying accessories, instructions on appropriate hair style and region of origin for the dresses, written in the native language of that region or culture. Each dress is long sleeved, high necked and low enough to cover her feet while also being tight fitting enough to make the all-covering aspect somewhat pointless. Throughout the course of the book she wears a kimono, a Victorian styled dress, a sexy librarian outfit, a 1950s poodle skirt and sweater combination, a prison-themed outfit and makes mention of a Chinese dress and an Arabian dress. - These are the dresses she wears if she isn't at work or planning to do anything that might damage them or force her to burn them later.
Live Action TV
- Hikonin Sentai Akibaranger features two. Kozkoz Mita dresses as a different Super Sentai heroine every episode, and Yumeria Moegi is most often seen in a catgirl outfit, but has other costumes as well.
- Flonne in Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories (she proved to be an otaku in the first one, but cosplaying came later). She also serves as a subversion in that, unless you have a fetish for Godzilla, Flonne's cosplay isn't exactly what you would call fanservice.
- This was also her special attack as a Secret Character in Makai Kingdom.
- The costume in said attack actually originated from one of Etna's Next Episodes as Flonne's One-Winged Angel form.
- The manga gives her some good moments, though. Specifically, in the first volume of the Disgaea 2 manga, after Etna leaves, Flonne tries to return Laharl to his old self...by pretending to be Etna, complete with costume. And then three volumes later...◊
- BeyondX, a minor character in Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice, is often assumed to be this by other characters. This is due to her shapeshifting ability, although she denies it.
- Devil Survivor has Midori "Dolly" Komaki, a fifteen-year-old camgirl who likes attending various conventions in costume. In fact, she spends the duration of the game wearing a pink, ribbon-festooned outfit due to the fact she was caught in the lockdown without any other clothes. (She isn't particularly concerned about this, claiming that her attire just looks like "extra-cool everyday clothes".)
- Litchi Faye Ling in BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger. At one point, she dresses Noel up in various costumes. One is the costume of resident Cat Girl Taokaka, the other two are from Guilty Gear (by her own admission, she dresses up other girls because she wouldn't fit into the costumes).
- A rare 35 year old male example of this would His Imperial Majesty Peony IX The Emperor in Tales of the Abyss. He gives the party several costumes, some of which are based on his favorite Sentai play others or of his own original design. Jade even comments that he can tell his best friend's handiwork and it is implied that he had him model outfits for him before.
- Reiko Haga in the Comic Party video games, manga, and anime.
- Homestuck has Calliope, who dresses up as and pretends to be a troll because she is disgusted by her appearance. Given that she is essentially a young female version of the comic's Big Bad, she has her reasons to keep her true identity a secret.