Event lists restriction on official website.
Japan already has a number of events dedicated to domestically produced animation and comics, including independent manga extravaganza Comiket and industry-backed trade show Anime Japan. The organization behind San Diego’s Comic-Con International, though, saw a neglected niche, and so from December 2 to 4, Chiba’s Makuhari Messe will host Tokyo Comic-Con, with a focus on American fantasy and sci-fi franchises.
Among the guests scheduled to appear are Marvel Comics icon Stan Lee, Hawkeye actor Jeremy Renner, and Harry Potter film regular Matthew Lewis. Displays will include props from the Batman, Terminator, and Resident Evil franchises.
▼ Stan Lee says hello to fans in Japan
And, of course, fans are also looking forward to seeing all the amazing cosplayers that are sure to be found at the venue. However, there’s one point of fine print, found in the cosplay regulations section of the event’s website, that should be noted.
Many of the rules listed seem like common sense from safety, crowd control,, and general management standpoints. Photography is prohibited in the changing areas, and costumers are asked to refrain from using hair or makeup products with powerful odors. Sharpened blades or fireable guns, even models, are not allowed, and all cosplayers are required to wear underwear. Dressing as a member of the armed forces, police, or fire/rescue crews is also a no-no, regardless of which country’s uniform is involved.
But one point that’s rubbing some the wrong way is the explicit statement that “Men dressing as women is prohibited.”
Crossplaying, fans dressing as characters of the opposite sex, is a sizeable subset of cosplay culture, but it seems Tokyo Comic-Con’s organizers would rather it not be a part of their event. Ironically, one of RocketNews24’s very own Japanese-language correspondents crossplayed at the 2014 iteration of San Diego Comic-Con, where no such official bans are in place
That outfit won’t fly at Tokyo Comic-Con, though, which seems determined to get off the ground without the support of the crossplay community, or at least half of it, as the website makes no mention of a ban on women crossplaying as male characters.