Cosplay (コスプレ, kosupure), short for "costume play", is a type of performance art whose participants outfit themselves, with often-elaborate costumes and accessories, as a specific character. Characters are usually sourced in various Japanese and East Asian media, including manga, anime, tokusatsu, comic books, graphic novels, video games, and fantasy movies. Other sources include performers from J-pop, J-rock, Visual Kei, fantasy music stories (such as stories by the band Sound Horizon), novels, and objects from cyberspace or the real world that are unique and dramatic (especially if they have or can be given an anthropomorphic form).
Cosplay participants ("cosplayers") form a subculture centered around wearing their costumes and reenacting scenes or inventing likely behavior inspired by their chosen sources. In some circles, the term cosplay has been broadened to include simply wearing a costume, without special consideration given to enacting characters in a performance context.
Lolita(ロリータ・ファッション, roriita fasshon) is a fashion subculture in Japan that is primarily influenced by Victorian children’s clothing as well as costumes from the Rococo period. Lolita has made this into a unique fashion by adding gothic and original design elements to the look. From this, Lolita fashion has evolved into several different sub styles and has created a devoted subculture in Japan. The Lolita look consists primarily of a knee length skirt or dress, headdress, blouse, petticoat, knee length socks or stockings and rocking horse or high heel/platform shoes. Teddy bears and dolls such as Super Dollfies are often carried to emphasize the childlike look.Although the origin of Lolita fashion is unclear, it is likely the movement started in the late 1970s when famous labels including Pink House and Milk, began selling clothes that would be considered "Lolita" by today's standards. Shortly after that came Baby, The Stars Shine Bright, and Metamorphose temps de fille. In the 1990s, Lolita fashion became better recognised, with bands like Malice Mizer and other Visual Kei (or visual type) bands coming into popularity. These bands wore intricate costumes, which fans began adopting as their own style. The style soon spread from its origins in the Kansai region, and ultimately reached Tokyo where it became popularized throughout Japanese youth culture. Today, Lolita fashion has grown so much in popularity that it can be found even in department stores in Japan. Today many young people wear the fashion all around the world.
Although "Lolita" is a reference to Vladimir Nabokov's famous novel, and lolita fashion is often worn by teens, most followers of the style do not consider it overtly sexual. Adherents present themselves as Victorian children or baby dolls and prefer to look "cute" rather than "sexy". Many Lolitas claim that the term 'Lolita' doesn't necessarily have anything to do with sex at all. The usage of the word may also be considered wasei-eigo. Japanese culture places a higher value upon extremely youthful appearance and behavior than Western, and some adult women buy large amounts of products, such as Hello Kitty goods, that are typically marketed only to children in the West. SweetLoli is perhaps a more visible extension of this phenomenon.