Dwango, the operators of Japan’s Nico Nico Douga streaming service, want to connect passionate cosplayers with paying jobs.

Once upon a time, cosplay was a hobby, a just-for-fun activity that was a fan-initiated side attraction at anime conventions. But as time went by, cosplayers began rapidly upping the quality of their outfits, makeup, and hairstyling, which caught the attention of the otaku-oriented media companies behind the characters fans were pretending to be.

Nowadays, cosplay can be a lucratively paying job, with clients hiring cosplayers to promote their products at trade shows, launch parties, and other events. In that sense, the only difference between professional cosplay and mainstream modeling is whether the outfits being worn were originally designed for a fashion show or an anime series, and so Dwango, the company that operates Japanese video streaming service Nico Nico Douga, has started a dedicated cosplay agency, giving it the decidedly on-the-nose name Cosplay Agency.

Cosplay Agency seeks to be a comprehensive connecting point for cosplayers and clients. Once registered, cosplayers can have a profile page with their profile and a collection of sample photographs for interested parties to peruse.

Cosplayers also have the option to list any special skills they have, such as a talent in dance, singing, or acting as an event MC, all of which potential clients can filter database search result by. And in light of the global popularity of anime and Japanese-made video games, cosplayers can tout their English conversation capabilities and/or willingness to travel overseas for a gig in their profile.

Speaking of cosplay’s international appeal, Cosplay Agency isn’t just for Japanese cosplayers, either. While the service itself is based, and operates, in Japan, there are foreign cosplayers in the database as well, so if you’re an expat living in Japan, this could be your ticket to the world of professional cosplay.

With summer, the high season of anime events, coming soon, demand for cosplayers is likely to spike over the next few months, and if you’re ready to add your name to Cosplay Agency’s list, the service’s website can be found here.

Source: Cosplay Agency via IT Media
Top image: Cosplay Agency
Insert images: Cosplay Agency (1, 2, 3, 4)