With vaccines rolling out en masse, it’s finally time to think about going to anime conventions again! But even if it’s safe to be out in public, it’s probably still a good idea to wear a mask at these kinds of crowded, chaotic events to protect those who haven’t received the vaccine yet (and to avoid getting con plague). You can always design a mask to match your cosplay, but we have a few ideas for costumes with built-in masks that will keep you safe and disease-free for your first foray back into the in-person nerd world!
5. Hyouga from Dr. Stone: Stone Wars
If you like to keep up with current anime, Hyouga from Winter 2021’s Dr. Stone: Stone Wars is a great choice for a trendy cosplay! This spear-wielding villain is one of the scariest members of Tsukasa’s Empire of Might, thanks to his nigh-undefeatable fighting technique and the extensive petrification scars he hides underneath a black leather mask. You can pull the mask down for photos to recreate Hyouga’s famous awed look when he sees the first dynamite explosion in the stone world, or keep it on the entire time to preserve his mysterious vibe (and avoid having to draw all over your face with eyeliner). Don’t forget the thigh-high boots and dramatic cape to complete the look.
4. En from Dorohedoro
From the weird and wonderful world of Dorohedoro comes En, who rules over the most notorious mafia family in the sorcerer realm with his mushroom transformation magic and grandiose personality. Almost everyone in this anime wears a mask at one point or another, but En’s is conveniently shaped just like a standard face mask. You could modify or mold a plastic Halloween skeleton head to get the texture perfect, or else just add felt and fabric paint to a red flat face mask for an extra comfy fit. Form a cosplay group of the entire En family and everyone (except whatever unlucky sap has to play Fujita) will be protected!
3. Kai Chisaki/Overhaul from Boku no Hero Academia 4th Season (My Hero Academia 4)
The plague doctor look is always cool, and there’s never been a better time to don the giant beak of death than right after a global pandemic. But instead of the classic black robes and wide-brimmed hat, why not go for a more modern interpretation? Overhaul from My Hero Academia pairs this macabre accessory with modified street clothes for a unique, but easily replicable costume that immediately identifies him as a dangerous mafia lord turned vigilante who even other villains learn to fear. Thanks to this anime’s popularity, it’s no hassle at all to purchase a replica of Overhaul’s iconic beak mask online – go with the mass-produced Amazon version, a custom fitted piece from Etsy, or use your own materials to make it from scratch! No matter what skill level you’re at, Overhaul’s look can be yours.
2. Kakashi Hatake from Naruto
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with sticking to the classics – Team 7’s beloved teacher Kakashi wears an instantly recognizable black mask along with his standard ninja gear, and nobody knows what his true face looks like underneath it. If you have a black neck gaiter lying around, you can give it new purpose post-pandemic by recycling it for this cosplay! Put two on at once to reenact the famous scene of Naruto, Sakura, and Sasuke discovering that behind Kakashi’s mask is... just another mask. Do you think he has infinite masks all the way down?
1. Ken Kaneki from Tokyo Ghoul
Speaking of classics, it’s hard to name a more recognizable mask-wearing anime character (at least of the nose-and-mouth-covering kind) than Ken Kaneki of Tokyo Ghoul. This is another cosplay that’s adaptable to any skill level; you can go all out and make a pleather mask and bodysuit combo to match his post-torture appearance, or you can pare it down to the basics with a printed standard face mask from Amazon or Hot Topic and Kaneki’s street clothes from early in the series. Either way, perfecting the knuckle-cracking gesture is a must for authenticity!
You can also cosplay as Wizardmon from Digimon, Mystogan from Fairy Tail, Phichit Chulanont from Yuri on Ice (as long as you actually pull the mask up when you need to!), Cherry Blossom from SK8 the Infinity, or any other mask-wearing anime character you can think of. Let us know in the comments who you’d like to cosplay as when conventions return, and thanks so much for reading!