Tokyo’s Comic-Con Bans Men From Dressinng As Female Characters

San Diego’s Comic-Con International is bringing Western comicdom to Tokyo, Japan, however one particular cosplay subculture may not feel welcome. When the geekfest commences this December, Tokyo Comic-Con organizers are looking to impose some new rules which includes not allowing men to cosplay as female characters, among others.

From Dec. 2 to 4, Chiba’s Makuhari Messe will be hosting the inaugural Tokyo Comic-Con, which will focus mainly on American fantasy and sci-fi franchises, RocketNews24 reported.

Expected to appear as guests are Marvel Comics creator extraordinaire Stan Lee, Avengers’ Hawkeye actor Jeremy Renner, and film star Matthew Lewis from the Harry Potter series, among others. Several props from American pop culture will be on display including items from the franchises of Batman, Resident Evil and Terminator.

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Some of the biggest draws of Comic-Con are, of course, the cosplayers who are expected to congregate at the venue. However, organizers have listed a new set of rules to obey during the event on its website, and most of them apply to cosplayers.

Every cosplayer is welcome at the upcoming event, except for dudes wearing Sailormoon costumes, as the website stated that, “Men dressing as women is prohibited.” A surprising rule, since it risks alienating a significant subset of cosplay culture called crossplaying, in which fans dress as characters of the opposite sex. Interestingly, there is no mention of not allowing women to dress up as a male character. The same rule was never in effect in previous Comic-Cons.

Photo by Michael Mol

According to the cosplay regulations section of the Tokyo Comic-Con website, photography is strictly prohibited in changing areas. Cosplayers are also asked to avoid wearing strong-odored hair or makeup products and everyone is required to wear underwear. Carrying sharpened blades or guns (fake or otherwise) that can be fired is also prohibited. Another thing to avoid is wearing costumes that resemble uniforms worn by members of the armed forces, police, or fire/rescue staff from any country.

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