An existential cosplay crisis?

A moment when suddenly nothing seemed to make sense anymore?

Tokyo cosplay


  1. Brian says

    “Only by wearing this costume do I create the negation of not wearing this costume. My actions have led to their own destruction. Eventually I will take off the costume and its absence will haunt me.”

    “Why can’t she just accept me the way I am?”

  2. Marion says

    Great photo… it leaves you guessing (and in my case, wondering what his shoes were like!)

    • says


      I’m afraid to say it’ll have to remain a mystery too. Never had chance to see his shoes. But sometimes imagination is best!

  3. Willy says

    If the dude didn’t look so depressed I wouldn’t mind, regardless of the apparel.
    But… maybe it was one of those camera-only moments…secreted to the milliseconds between facial expressions…

    • says

      Nah, it was wasn’t one of those moments I’m afraid. He looked like that before and after I took the photo.

  4. Magnus369 says

    Either it’s just accepted as he’s local, or he’s so strange and jarring that they just naturally ignore him-
    Of course, people could just be accepting that he’s on his way to work 😛 (depending on the towns, I’ve seen far stranger and noted that everyone else just took it as the norm… I think I only noticed because I was new in town)

    • says

      As it was taken in Shinjuku, he could well have been on his way to work. Somehow though it didn’t seem that way.

    • says

      Cheers for the link. Interesting article. Personally I don’t think it’s the same person, although I could be wrong.

  5. Jasmine says

    I just love the fact that people can express themselves as they like ,especially through fashion, and not be judged..You may think its weird, but to them… its not….Maybe on the liberating side!!…Im sure after 11 years in Japan you would be use to this eccentric way by now. It never gets old or boring…and as my daughter has learnt at school’Our differences make us special”. Its all about non judgment isnt it!..Makes your job as a photographer all the more interesting I would say.

    • says

      It does. And yes, it never gets boring. Surprises such as this are one of the constant joys of walking around Tokyo.

      Strangely enough though, it wasn’t his unfit, but his expression that prompted me to take the photo. The bright, larger than life costume just seemed to emphasise his awfully sad look…

  6. Jasmine says

    PS; Your images are amazing. You have a great eye, and you portray emotion and feeling. Thats hard to achieve with photography. im sure your inspired every day. Thankyou for the insight and your perspective.

  7. Grangersmith says

    I love your pictures go on your site on and off for years now, and spend a lot of time going through what I missed. You are so very talented you really really are. What I want ti ask is how you got this picture. I do not have a high tech or even newer camera, and I lack the knowledge on what can be done with them! At first I thought you Photoshopped this, Which seems like a most likely scenario. Everyone is out of focus, even the girl with her back to the camera closer than he is and everyone else. Most of all the scenery of the streets. Regardless it’s a lovely picture, cleaver and artful, you caught an expression of deep thought, melancholy or ? and the surrounding blurs of different levels really makes this surreal. “Existential cosplay crisis” is a perfect title for this.

    • says

      Thank you very much.

      It isn’t Photoshopped. Pretty much all I did with the image was alter the colours a bit and up the contrast. Everything is a bit blurred as we were both moving at the time it was taken. I just had enough time to lift up my camera and get the shot. Fortunately getting the man pretty much in focus.

      Luckily for me the blur and sense of movement add an extra dimension to the shot, giving it a further element touch of the slightly unreal. Something I’d like to claim I planned, but I didn’t.

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