SPRINGFIELD, MO — Self-proclaimed semi-professional cosplayer Jessica Dratcher, 19, has been dedicated to her craft for years. She has dressed up as Gunbuster’s Noriko, Ruka from Steins;Gate, and most impressively: a steampunk, genderbent, crossplay, Halloween, amputee reinterpretation of L from Death Note. But as the countless conventions and gatherings come and pass, Dratcher finds it more and more difficult to find new inspiration.
“It’s not about finding a character,” Dratcher tells Anime Maru, “It’s about finding the right character. If I cosplay as Asuna, I won’t stand out. But if I pick a character like Lala-Ru, people will just ask me what Kancolle I’m dressed up as. I need to find a character that reaffirms my good taste, but still get me the attention I crave.”
In absolute desperation, Dratcher reached out to her Facebook friends for advice, proving that you don’t really need an attachment to a character in order to cosplay as them. Android 18, Sakuras from several different series, and “Wat the fuck is anime?!?!” were suggested by Dratcher’s normie friends, but all were too mainstream for her.
Dratcher continued her search onto the next most surface level social media site: Tumblr. After asking for anime characters to cosplay, her followers were very quick to recommend characters from Steven Universe, Adventure Time, Legend of Korra, and Invader Zim. It wasn’t until a lengthy argument broke out over the gender of several Steven Universe characters that Dratcher realised this was yet another dead end.
With only one last ray of hope left, Dratcher took a trip to 4chan’s /cgl/. In lieu of providing actual advice, the board derailed Dratcher’s thread into a discussion about menstruation instead.
“Every website is terrible,” Dratcher correctly deduced, “I’m still without a cosplay that will boost my Otaku cred and get people to notice me. This would be so much easier if I didn’t have to worry about superficial appearances and just had fun dressing up as a character I actually liked.”
After such her extensive search, Dratcher ultimately decided to reuse her old hipster Shrek cosplay for this year’s Anime Expo.