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.
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.