Harajuku Vs Cosplay – Japanese Fashion Faceoff

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It seems Harajuku was actually promoted by Gwen Stefani as a prototype for Japanese street style culture.

Under many names and resulting from numerous inspiration sources, the Japanese fashion sense couldn’t have been imported as such because it would have been too complicated for the average style consumer from the non-japanese-world.

Japanese Cosplay Style Character

For instance hereby are three pictures. All three of them fantastic and equally impressive. But two of them represent what it’s called cosplayers (the two red-headed).

Harajuku Style Makeup

Dressed like manga characters, the “costume players” tend to expand their inspiration to international films (such as Harry Potter), however I think that here it was all Japanese…But my favorite is the so called Harajuku (in fact, if you know what actual inspiration she’s representing, it would be useful to share) with the green hair and the fabulous eyelashes.

Japanese Cosplay Style
(via odditycentral, Wikipedia)


#1 ana on 04.19.08 at 1:29 am

I think she may be a cosplay too. Harajuku is an area in Tokyo where a lot of fashion store congregate and Harakuju fashion congregates various types of subcultures.

#2 kpriss on 04.19.08 at 11:19 pm

Hm.. This is the kind of style mess you get into when you’re practically an outsider.. It’s fascinating, all their inspiration, all their sources, all their final output, but it’s puzzling. So you think the green-haired one is inspired by some anime project too? At least she doesn’t look so warrior-like.

#3 Adriana on 04.20.08 at 8:08 am

Kpriss, I think that beautiful fairy is anime inspired. Though not all Japanese fashion is Manga, Anime, Hentai inspired. It is often a mix too. Or speaks for itselfs. Even in Japanes movies long ago I came out the dark like: “Wow, what a great fashion!”
It is puzzling indeed. I think one has to visit Japan and especially Tokyo to really get it and to be amazed by these looks. Someone I know who lived and worked there for a year was and is still puzzling……

#4 whoknew on 07.11.08 at 9:24 pm

loove it its beautiful..their like walking breathing pieces of art!!! it compltely inspiritional !!! although nothing so eccentric and daring can be seen walking in the streets of america..we are lagging in so many areas >.< okay well maybe a few places anywho the cosplayers are flippin awesome and its a little bizarre but who doesnt love it i know i do..although im more into harajuku however cosplaying is defenetly an great opportunity for an individual to express their love and devotion to their favorite anime/manga characters..

#5 kpriss on 07.12.08 at 8:28 am

I only wish there could be a way to call the character they’re impersonating choosing a certain outfit. Like a writing somewhere with the name of that character.. (of course then I would be presented with another problem – I’m a complete ignorant in any Asian language so I’d still would have no idea about what character inspired the outfit). It’s rather impossible to know all manga/anime, thus the characters within, I think that’s why all the confusion.

Or maybe one day harajuku and cosplay will blend into one style…

#6 jess on 09.27.08 at 6:36 pm

this is trully amazing.i am a harajuku fanatic.

#7 Paola on 10.20.08 at 10:07 am

really impresive!!! i’m a fashion designer student and i’m doing some research about harajuku fashion, but i have found that lots of people think that harajuku fashion is only inspired by Anime and Manga, do you think that’s true? could you give me some examples? i would be very grateful if you could help this latin fashion desginer who wishes to design for harajuku people


#8 stefania on 10.29.08 at 7:00 pm


most.. i like the last one…

and yes.. they are breathing walking blah blah pieces of art.

#9 Jessicka on 11.07.08 at 5:35 pm

Just to let you know, the two redheads are cosplaying as a guitarist named Daisuke (AKA Die) from the band Dir en Grey.

#10 danY_z on 12.11.08 at 12:05 pm

HarajuKu bwT gu3 is the beSt………i Lov3 u…..
band fvrt gue gazEttE and p!eRroT pKk_a Key deCh……..

#11 Elaina on 03.20.09 at 10:31 pm

@ Jessicka:

Thank you for recognizing that. Not that I have anything against people posting about Harajuku “fashion”, but I cannot stand it when people speak about the subject without specifically mentioning Visual Kei. It’s like trying to talk about Heavy Metal without mentioning any band names… You just wouldn’t know what your talking about.

#12 ma'ire on 03.31.09 at 6:20 pm

very artistic. i like how they show their own sense of style.

but i dont have the patience or time to think about, then apply and take off all of that makeup in just a day.

it frazzles me.

#13 Exticie Fashion on 04.12.09 at 1:01 am

Harajuku is a fashion district near Tokyo. Within the district are many styles of harajuku fashion, ranging from the cosplay (as seen in the above pictures), gothic lolita (which in itself has a multitude of sub divisions), Kawaii and many more. Once you know all the different styles (and there are HEAPS) then picking one inspiration from another becomes simple. Actually finding out what they all are is the hard part.

#14 Akuma on 04.28.09 at 1:37 am

I would just like to point out, that unlike in America, anime is not all that popular among the general population of japan and to have an interest in anime makes you really “uncool” over there.

So I figure that most of the cosplaying done in Harajuku is likely visual kei costumes.

#15 Joseph on 07.16.09 at 11:49 pm

There’s way more to japanese fashion than this trash. These harajuku styles like cosplay, ganguro, and loli arn’t even the norm and seen as wierd. The only people that think this stuff is objectively japanese fashion are the non-japanese anime freaks with biased views.

Want to know real japanese fashion? Think Burberry or maybe YSL. In fact, go to dowtown Chicago or New York and just look around.

#16 Munthenya on 07.29.09 at 10:22 am

The first red-head is in fact a cosplay of a person in a J-rock band called Dir en Grey. His stage name is Die, because it is pronounced the same way as the first part of his name which is “Daisuke”.

#17 NytenGale on 12.17.09 at 2:52 am

The top cosplayer is cosplaying Die… Myaku era… He’s a guitarist from a JRock band Dir en Grey…they no longer dress like that though. They are more into street clothes now.

#18 tina hanford on 01.08.10 at 7:50 am

Japan’s fashion is timely since it showcases the forecasted colors for year 2010. Blue and silver are the major colors for 2010. I like to wear Japan’s fashion since it gives me a contemporary look and I learned this fashion tip from image consulting group@866-565-7541

#19 Caitlin on 05.19.10 at 2:06 pm

I love them all ♥
I have to make a Harajuk inspired peice of clothing for my textiles GCSE ♥
It’s going to be good fun :) ♥

#20 Tiita on 07.25.10 at 4:55 am

I would love to wear something like that but not everyday, maybe on halloween or if i change my style

#21 Jeff on 09.17.10 at 10:57 pm

The bottom pic–red hair and face mask–its not from a band, its from Final Fantasy Unlimited. If it also resembles a band member, it is then a question of which came first.

#22 abikills on 07.18.11 at 7:20 pm

the top picture is a final fantasy character from advent children called Reno, just sayin’ :’)

#23 caitlin on 12.06.11 at 7:25 pm

i think out of all the clothing in japanese i would go the kawaii it’s fun sweet and sexy so i would go that but out of these ones i would have to go with………… the harajuku style make up cause it looks interesting and fun but the cosplay is weird cause like it makes characters so nope for that …!

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