Cosplay leans on identification with narrative content. Most importantly, cosplayers have a dynamic relationship with stories and characters. Most cosplayers do not wish to exactly duplicate the character they portray; rather, they want to bring something of their own, such as elements of their own appearance, into the cosplay. In that sense, they can also be compared to cover bands and other forms of impersonation in which performers enact their own versions of existing material. Moreover, characters are used as signifiers of the fan’s own identity.

Lamerichs, Nicolle. “Stranger than fiction: Fan identity in cosplay.Transformative Works and Cultures 7.3 (2011).
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