Every month at Animate's main store in Ikebukuro, Tokyo, there is an event called "Animate Performance Carnival," which features stage performances by cosplayers who sing, dance or play a musical instrument.
The event is very popular, and the venue is always packed.
These kinds of get-togethers are actually a fairly new phenomenon among Japanese cosplayers. Yet they are a popular way to enjoy the art in other countries.
Indeed, the culture of cosplay-pretending to be a character from an anime or manga by adopting the character's hairstyle and costume-has been spreading not only in Japan but overseas, where it has been catching on among more and more people.
Cosplay events are becoming the norm during anime-related festivals in other countries.
In Japan, a major annual event called the World Cosplay Summit is held in Nagoya, during which the World Cosplay Championship is awarded.
At the event, cosplayers representing countries from across the world compete with each other. They are judged not only for the level of perfection of their costumes, but also for the execution of their performances as well as their respect for the work.
The competition is aired on TV and online and has been reported in a variety of media, which is believed to have helped cosplay gain greater recognition in recent years.
Though cosplay is widespread as it is, I think there are still people out there wondering how to enjoy cosplay.
The most common way is to take part in a cosplay event. But there are many other ways as well, and beyond cosplay itself.
For example, you can upload selfies in cosplay on social media sites. In fact, there are specialised websites for such purposes.
You can also coordinate costumes of your favourite anime characters with your friends and deepen your friendship that way.