Cosplay: the act of dressing up as and mimicking characters from anime, video games, books, comics and other media. It’s like Halloween, except you don’t go door to door to get candy. For some, cosplay is a hobby and for others, a way of life or even a career. Like other aspects of fashion, people have become famous for being cosplay models or making cosplay for others to wear. Unless you’ve turned it into a job, though, cosplay, like other hobbies, costs money, and if you want to get fully into it, you are going to have to shell out some moolah. Whether buying your gear premade, getting the materials to make it yourself, or some combination of the two, you might need to save up to get exactly what you want.

One of the best places to flaunt your cosplay is a convention, the gathering of like-minded nerds and geeks to share their love of anime, video games or other fandoms like Star Trek. All around the convention hall, a good number of the visitors are dressed up as their favorite characters, and there are also inevitably some who are forced to dress up by their significant others or nerd parents. Whether it’s your first convention, you made last minute plans attend, or maybe you want to go with a simple costume for a change, luckily there are a few characters out there with simple outfits. And with con season just around the corner, these could also give you a few quick, and cheap, ideas.

L — Death Note

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Who They Are

The smartest detective this side of Conan Edegawa (Case Closed), L was the man who tried to take down Kira but ended up being outsmarted by his supernatural notebook of death, which might be considered cheating. Cold and calculating, L is the world’s greatest detective and famous for being able to solve any case, no matter how difficult. He has terrible posture, but has to sit the way he does or he loses his cognitive abilities. He also has a major sweet tooth and eats nothing but candy.

What You Need

Let’s start with the easiest of costumes: long-sleeve white shirt, straight-leg blue jeans. If you can’t find these anywhere, you’re probably also nowhere near an anime convention, either. The one catch: to be authentic, you should also be willing to walk around with out shoes on. If you’re at a convention and aren’t sold on that idea, you might consider slippers or sandals.

Irvine Kinneas — Final Fantasy VIII

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Who They Are

A sharp shooter and one of the protagonists from Final Fantasy VIII. His outfit is easy enough for anyone to assemble because he’s got the basic cowboy look with a Final Fantasy twist on it. An expert marksman, Irvine is known as the “best shooter in the Garden.” He can be womanizing and a wannabe charmer at times, but in reality he isn’t as shallow as some would perceive; his mind is about sharp as his shooting skills, and he cares deeply for his friends.

What You Need

The basics: trench coat, cowboy hat, blue shirt, khakis, cowboy boots, and a fake gun. Most of these things you can get at your local Goodwill or second-hand shop. Depending on where you live, the tough thing to find might be a cowboy hat, since those aren’t always common. For the gun, your best bet would be a repainted Nerf gun, as real or realistic model guns are sometimes not allowed at most anime conventions. Preferably, make it a double-barreled shotgun, because that’s the kind Irvine carries.

Ren/Nana — Nana

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Who They Are

Ren and Nana were lovers and bandmates who wanted to make it big in Tokyo, and after splitting up and succeeding in two different bands, they rekindle their love until tragedy strikes. Both are troubled young adults who had difficult childhoods, but they found each other when they started The Black Stones (Blast for short). Ren is a bassist who left Nana to play for the now famous band Trapnest. He is serious about his career and usually puts it before his friends and family sometimes. Nana is the lead singer and guitarist for Blast. Nana also cares deeply for her roommate, also named Nana needs before her own.

What You Will Need

For Ren: Leather jacket, black pants/jeans, black boots, tiny padlock necklace, acoustic/electric guitar (optional); for Nana: Leather jacket, black pants/red skirt, black boots, electric guitar (optional). Other than Ren’s necklace, there are no set accesories to wear. They are both punk/rock artists, so anything along those lines can accompany the cosplay well. The leather jackets can be substituted with a black jacket as long as it looks punkish. Ren’s tiny padlock necklace has to be special ordered if you want something authentic, but if you wish to go the other route you can easily pick up padlocks from a hardware store and string it together as a necklace.

Anna — Shaman King

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Who They Are

Anna is a spirit medium, Yoh’s fiancee and later his wife. She accompanies the main character, Yoh, on his journey to become the Shaman King. Anna is an abrasive and a bossy girl; throughout the series, she reminds Yoh at every turn that they are due to be married. Despite her attitude, she is caring both to Yoh and to his best friend Manta.

What You Will Need

Plain black sleeveless dress, beaded necklace or chain, large red scarf or cloth. The necklace/chain should be able to not only be carried in your hand as well as wore around your neck. The red cloth should be long enough to hang below the neck and flow along with the outfit.

There are many other characters that could be easily cosplayed thanks to the simplicity of their designs, for example, there are a plethora of characters who wear tuxedos that are only really differentiated by their different accessories. While they didn’t make this list, this gives you more options in the characters you want to try for the first time with only minor costume changes. What are some characters you would think would be the easiest to cosplay? Let us know below, and we might add them to our list of characters to dress up as, and maybe we’ll include them in the next edition of Cop Out Cosplay.

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