- Cosplay redirects here. For the Pikachu that can be dressed in different costumes, see Cosplay Pikachu.
Pokémon cosplay (short for Pokémon costume play), or Pokémon dressup, is the act of dressing up in a Pokémon costume. This hobby is seen in both the Pokémon canon and among fans.
In the games
In Red and Blue, cosplay is referenced by a PokéManiac in Rock Tunnel. The PokéManiac asks if Red has heard of costume players. After defeat, he explains that costume players dress up as Pokémon for fun.
Since their introduction in Generation II, male Pokéfans have been accompanied with their children who are dressed up like Pikachu or Pichu. In Generation IV, these cosplaying children can also be found on their own, called Poké Kids.
Poké Maniacs dress up similar to Charizard in Generations III and VI. In Generation IV, they could be more like Larvitar.
Fantina's dress is notably inspired by Drifblim. However, it is considerably different from a typical cosplaying costume.
The Colosseum Leaders in Pokémon Battle Revolution all cosplay as Pokémon. Taylor is dressed as Pachirisu, Marina is dressed as Kyogre, Rosie is dressed as Roserade, Voldon is dressed as Electivire, Terrell is dressed as Groudon, and Dusty is dressed as Lucario. All of these costumes can be Shiny and both forms are available for players as well.
In Pokémon Conquest, most of the outfits worn by Warlords, and some of those worn by regular Warriors, incorporate elements of Pokémon designs. Many Rank II Warlord designs could qualify as cosplay, such as those of Aya, Kotarō, and Muneshige.
In Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, the player can obtain a Cosplay Pikachu, a special female Pikachu that has five different costumes it can wear, each with their own associated move.
In Pokémon GO and Pokémon UNITE, players can customize their characters with several Pokémon-inspired clothing items.
In the anime
Meowth of Team Rocket is well-known for dressing up as other Pokémon when needed. Jessie and James also occasionally wear Pokémon costumes, though not as often as Meowth.
In Ditto's Mysterious Mansion, Duplica dresses up as a Gloom, a Horsea, and a Bulbasaur during a flashback.
In The Superhero Secret, Mr. Parker's costume as Gligarman is based on a Gligar, as is his daughter Latoya's costume as Gligirl. In the same episode, Meowth and James dress up as two Metapod.
In the Who's That Pokémon? for the Japanese version of The Bug Stops Here, Jessie turns out to be the subject, cosplaying as a Venomoth. In the Japanese episodes, Who's That Pokémon? is called Dare da?, or Who is it?, so when the "Pokémon" is revealed and the narrator says "Venomoth", the children shout "Wrong!"
In Octillery the Outcast, Ash wears an Octillery costume.
Ash wore a Seviper costume in ZigZag Zangoose to help Nicholai figure out how to battle a Seviper using a Zangoose.
Nicholai is well-known for his cosplaying. He wears the costume of any Pokémon he sends out into battle or of whatever Pokémon he might be trying to catch. He has been seen wearing costumes of Mudkip, Zigzagoon, Gligar, Tentacruel, Bellossom, and Zangoose.
Harley wore clothing that is based on his Cacturne.
Ash, Dawn, and Brock entered the Pokémon Dress-Up Contest in All Dressed Up with Somewhere to Go. In this contest, however, it was their Pokémon which cosplayed, not themselves, though Rhonda, Officer Jenny, and Nurse Joy were respectively dressed up as Cherrim, Growlithe, and Chansey. Ash entered Pikachu, who did many impressions of other Pokémon. Dawn entered her Piplup as a Weedle, but lost when he broke character and used a Bubble Beam. The winner of the contest was Brock and his Croagunk, who dressed up as a Politoed and continued his impression of one throughout the entire episode.
Bill wore a Kabuto cosplay in Mystery at the Lighthouse. This costume was used for Bill's research.
In Getting the Pre-Contest Titters!, a flashback shows Dawn dressed as a Slowpoke for a play in which she appeared when she was younger.
Dawn wore a Piplup cosplay in her dream in Malice in Wonderland!.
In YEAH!, an ending for Pokémon Sunday, cosplayers are dressed up as a Treecko and Wobbuffet.
On its own, Pokémon Sunday, and its Generation V successor, Pokémon Smash! has some of its hosts dress up as Pokémon. Sunday had Lucario and Chimchar, while Smash! has Zoroark and Oshawott.
In Reunion Battles In Nimbasa!, Jimmy Ray wears a Watchog costume.
In The Mighty Accelguard to the Rescue!, Charles (as the Mighty Accelguard) has a costume based on Accelgor, Dr. Ferrara (as Cryogonal Man) wears a Cryogonal mask, and Dr. Ferrara's henchmen both wear costumes based on Vanillite.
In Climbing the Tower of Success!, a portion of the Wishing Bell Festival contest required those who made it through to the round to dress up. The Trainer had to dress up as important Unova figure while their Pokémon dressed up as the Pokémon used by the figure. Ash, Iris, and Stephan dressed up as Alder, Professor Juniper, and Nurse Joy, respectively. Ash's Pikachu, Iris's Axew, and Stephan's Sawk in turn dressed up as Bouffalant, Darumaka, and Audino, respectively. Ricky was to dress up as Officer Jenny while his Elgyem was to dress up as Herdier but Elgyem used its Psychic powers to manipulate Miles's mind into thinking they were dressed up. Lastly, Cilan dressed up as Elesa and Pansage dressed up as Emolga. However, they did not pass to the next round because Cilan could not remember his lines.
In Clash of the Connoisseurs!, in Ricard Nouveau's fantasy there was a Lilligant and standing next to her was a young woman cosplaying one.
In A Pokévision of Things to Come!, Serena wore a Fennekin cosplay for filming her Pokévision video.
There were multiple cosplays during the Gourgeist Festival in A Festival Trade! A Festival Farewell?, including: Ash as a Snorlax, Ash's Pikachu as a Psyduck, Serena as a Red Flower Florges, Clemont as a Watchog, Bonnie as a Ludicolo, Clemont's Dedenne as a Corphish, Clemont's Chespin as a Pikachu, Jessie as a Mismagius, James as a Gourgeist, Meowth as a Banette, Jessie's Wobbuffet as a Sawk and James's Inkay as a Pikachu.
Samson Oak wore an Exeggutor costume in The Guardian's Challenge!.
In Lillier and the Staff!, Ash, Lana, Sophocles, and Mallow portray the guardian deities in their play, alongside Kiawe as Solgaleo and Jessie as Lunala.
Misty dressed as a Goldeen
Mr. Parker as Gligarman
Latoya Parker as Gligirl
Nicholai dressed as a Tentacruel
Nicholai dressed as a Bellossom
Nicholai dressed as an Aipom
Nicholai dressed as a Gligar
Nicholai dressed as a Marshtomp
Nicholai dressed as a Zigzagoon
Nicholai dressed as a Zangoose
Dr. Gordon as a Machoke
James' Mime Jr. dressed as a Claydol
Officer Jenny dressed as a Growlithe and Nurse Joy as a Chansey
Dawn's Piplup as a Weedle
Brock's Croagunk as a Politoed
Jessie's Seviper dressed up as a Milotic
James in a Moltres costume
Ash's Pikachu dressed up as Alder's Bouffalant
Iris's Axew dressed up as Darumaka
Stephan's Sawk dressed as Nurse Joy's Audino
Cilan's Pansage dressed as Elesa's Emolga
Ricard Nouveau's fantasy with a Lilligant and a young woman cosplaying one
Jessie's Wobbuffet dressed as a Glaceon
James dressed as a Beartic
Professor Oak dressed as a Fletchinder
Bonnie in a Snubbull-inspired chef's uniform
Bonnie in a Slowbro swimsuit
Bonnie in a Delibird snowsuit
Team Rocket as members of the Ralts evolutionary line
Bonnie in a Slurpuff snowsuit
Nurse Joy dressed as a Wigglytuff
Clemont's Chespin dressed as a Pikachu
Ash's Pikachu dressed as a Psyduck
Team Rocket in their Gourgeist Festival costumes
Ash dressed as a Snorlax
James in a Corsola diving suit
Ash's Rowlet as a Darumaka
Ash disguised as a Passimian
Jessie dressed as a Lunala
Ash's Rowlet as a Decidueye
As a Metapod
As a Dunsparce
As a Sneasel
As a Sunflora
As a Volbeat
As a Wingull
As a Smoochum
As a Sudowoodo
As a Croagunk
As an Aipom
As a Banette
As a Dewott
As a Golem
As a Kirlia
As a Murkrow
As a Persian
As a Spinda
As a Shiftry
As an Umbreon
As a Wailord
As a Weavile
As a Phione
As a Cubchoo
As a Leafeon
As a Pelipper
As a Bewear with Jessie's Wobbuffet
As a Stufful
As a Wobbuffet
In the manga
While cosplay doesn't officially appear in most Pokémon manga, there is a technique based on Pokémon cosplay in the Pokémon RéBURST manga called Burst. Unlike usual Pokémon cosplay, the Burst techniques are used for battle purposes.
Pokémon Newspaper Strip
When it was relaunched in January 2010, Pokémon.com added a Pokémon Trainer Club, where players play games and earn coins to buy clothing at a Trainer store, some of which are Pokémon costumes.
In Let's Find Pokémon!, Duplica can be seen dressed as a Clefable, putting on a show at the Celadon City Fair.
In the fandom
Like most anime, manga, and video game fandoms, cosplay is common within the Pokémon fandom. Most fans will dress up as human characters from the games and anime such as Ash, Team Rocket, female generational protagonists Misty, May, or Dawn, Officer Jenny, or Nurse Joy. Many females crossplay as either Ash or James because of their youthful male looks, commonly known in Japan as bishōnen, or "bishie" for short in English. Still, it is far from unheard of for fans to dress up in costumes of their favorite Pokémon species, especially if it is in the kigurumi or gijinka style of cosplay. Kigurumi is basically a hooded coverall pajama jumpsuit disguise of a character like Pikachu, while a gijinka (also called "moe anthropomorphism") is a human form of a species. Because of the popularity of Pikachu as the mascot of the Pokémon franchise, many young women dress in a Sweet Lolita style of dress at conventions.