Manga Editors Explain Why Official Cosplay Looks Different

Manga Editors Explain Why Official Cosplay Looks Different
A screenshot from the anime version of Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid. (Screenshot: Kyoto Animation)

Monthly Action magazine publishes Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid, a manga about a maid-outfit-wearing dragon who lives with a computer programmer named Kobayashi. The editorial department thought a good way to promote the manga would be with an official cosplay by Enako.

Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid has also been adapted into an anime (see above) by Kyoto Animation.

As previously reported, Enako is Japan’s most famous and highest paid cosplayer. She works with companies on the cosplays and only does officially sanctioned ones when appearing in the media or at paid events because of possible copyright issues in Japan.

Below is the press image issued to promote the cosplay, which compares the outfit worn by Enako with the clothes worn by Tohru, the dragon.

In Japan, there are different kinds of maids. The more traditional kind are not sexualized, but rather more conversative in their clothing. They don’t show lots of skin and, like the Victorian fashion they drawn from, are covered.

The difference between the original character and the cosplay is clear: Torhu wears a long dress, while Enako is in a short skirt and midriff.

The original character compared with Enako's cosplay. (Image: Monthly Action/Coolkyousinnjya/Enako) The original character compared with Enako’s cosplay. (Image: Monthly Action/Coolkyousinnjya/Enako)

On Twitter, Enako’s fans seemed pleased with the cosplay, but some fans of the manga were less so. The issue might not have been pin-up photos per se, but rather, that these images were unfaithful to the original source material and the character itself.

Enako has also been on the receiving end of inevitable online criticism, with her cosplay being called an “insulting act.” To which she wondered how taking an official job from the actual manga magazine that made all the preparations could be called that.

Monthly Action’s editorial department issued a statement, saying it had made the arrangements for the costume and the photo shoot. The editorial department added that it got permission from Coolkyousinnjya, the manga’s creator, and that under the department’s supervision, it thought the resulting photos would be something both fans and non-fans could enjoy.

“We realise there are various thoughts and impressions, and from here on out, we the editorial department are going to work as hard as we can for the enjoyment of everyone as we humbly as for your support.”

Good on the Monthly Action editorial department for not trying to throw the cosplayer under the bus.


  • Honestly, I wouldn’t have surprised me if it was the cosplayer, or if this was a damage control effort on the Editorial department to try and save face for a high profile celebrity by throwing themselves in front of the bus.

    History has shown that female cosplayers love to sexualise characters of any (or no) sex. Just look at photos from any convention. Its more newsworthy if they actually keep demure dressed characters that way.

    • Have you gone to a convention yourself? Overwhelmingly, most of the cosplaying females you’ll see are just as covered as the character they are cosplaying (which usually means well covered). “BuT AlL tHe PhOtOs!” Yes, the convention photos you’ll see usually include attractive females in revealing clothes for two different reasons: Either because the female in question commissioned those pics (as she’s set to profit from the salivating guys that will start following her in social media) or because the photo taker is a salivating guy himself, building his collection and sharing it with other salivating guys.

      But great job displaying your sexism there.

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