Be More Shonen Philosophy: Anime As Self-Help (For Life & Cosplay)

mindset, wigs & weights cosplay performances -

Be More Shonen Philosophy: Anime As Self-Help (For Life & Cosplay)

I used anime and cosplay as a model of self-improvement using proven tested principles of diet, training, self-help, & lifestyle design.

The character I chose to model my life around was Goku because he embodied who I wanted to become. So I broke down his character traits & created an ideal version of myself based on them:

Personality traits:

1) Kind & always himself

2) When he can't do it he transforms into somebody who can
3) His friends & family give him strength
4) Isn’t afraid of going after what he wants

Lifestyle traits:
1) Meditates
2) Lives a low stress day-to-day life

3) Doesn’t smoke/drink

4) Eats lots of clean healthy food

Fitness traits:
1) Trains for max muscle mass using a mix of resistance training styles
2) Uses a chamber that manipulates gravity
3) Is a student of martial arts & acrobatics

4) Is lean but not absolutely shredded (~10% bodyfat)

So to become this ideal I gave myself these steps which I still follow to this day: 

Personality goals:

1) Be confident & patient with people

2) Never give up no matter what

3) Make friends with as many people as you can & expect nothing from them

4) Consistently strive for improvement in all areas of your life

Lifestyle goals:

1) Practice meditation daily
2) Get 7-9 hours of sleep, a good partner & a job you like
3) Quit your vices

4) Study & practice the science of nutrition 

Fitness goals:

1) Learn the scientific principles of strength training & apply them
2) Add a weighted vest & go for a walk to emulate gravity training
3) Practice martial arts acrobatics
4) Count calories

Here's a similar 

a similar method to improve your cosplay costume directly. Looking for a good costume can be tricky & learning how to make one can be time consuming, but you can get more out of your efforts by thinking of ways you can bring your costume into the real world.

Take Goku as our example, although still accurate instead of thinking like this: 

Costume traits:

1) Spiked hair

2) Orange uniform
3) Blue belt
4) Blue Shirt
5) Green eyes

Think like this:

Cosplay traits:

1) Iconic blonde hair that’s a highly specific shape
2) Wears an orange gi with fabric suitable for fighting
3) Wears a blue belt that is worn higher than normal & tied in a specific way

4) Wears a blue shirt that’s cut in a way to expose the shoulders & upper chest

5) Teal eyes that have no pupil

Cosplay goals:

1) Get a good wig comissioned or make one by studying tutorials

2) Choose a quality fabric that’s suitable for fighting or use a martial arts V-Neck as a base

3) Wear the belt at the right height & tie it using the knot & tuck method

4) Make or locate a shirt with capped sleeves & a scoop neck

5) Find teal mesh contact lenses that block out the pupil

That way your cosplay will look a lot more like it belongs in the real world & you can push this as far as you’d like it to go by thinking about the historical context of the costume, the physical context of the costume, & what embellishments could be made to go beyond the source material whilst staying faithful to the original design (Naruto the musical is a good example of this, as are mine & Nomes' WCS 2018 costumes). 

This philosophy was an ongoing work in progress & If this sounds a little too grandiose, when I first started this philosophy probably looked more like “qUiT sMoKiNg & GeT rIpPeD sO yOu CaN cOsPlAy GoKu”

But I think there's a lot to this, especially as this template is laid out. Look to those heroes, those that you admire and would like to emulate. Pull apart those traits you admire, for what you admire is also in you. As an ideal.

Bring that ideal to life, Be More Shonen.

Ultra Instinct Son Goku from DragonBall Super
Cosplay: Ultra Instinct Goku (DragonBall Super) Photo: Keanu Berkeley (Edited by me)

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