347 – REBLOG: On 6 Reflections After Quitting Cosplay (2022 Edition)

AUTHOR’S NOTE: I originally published this one back in March 2017 and decided to revisit it more than five years later. Many things have changed since when I first published this article, including my relationship status. Thus, I took down the original version – but not without linking an archived version in its place.

This was originally scheduled to be published for Christmas, but a recent spam attempt by a Japanese blogger (more on that on the post-script) prompted me to publish this ahead of schedule.

Long-time followers of The Monching’s Guide are aware that I left cosplay in 2014, a year after starting this blog. But for those who recently followed, I was into the hobby from 2008 until my departure six years later.

Things fell into place since I left, having a total of five jobs as of 2022 and having my first relationship which lasted four years. Looking back now, I’m definitely in a different place since quitting cosplay – which I do not regret doing so.

But what exactly have I learned during that span of seven years, with all the ups and downs? Let me distill them into six main maxims.

1. While bookish knowledge may mean nothing in the workplace, it’s not entirely useless.

Let’s face this fact of life: There are people who have an edge over you – whether it’s more experience, talent, hustle, or whatnot. But there are times that your contributions can actually make or break things. Better having that knowledge and not needing it in most instances, than needing it and not having it when the situation requires.

I’m rather well-versed in general knowledge, history, food, and current events – things that aren’t exactly helpful in most workplaces. But I managed to utilize these as assets, especially in my current job that requires me to write and edit news.

2. There are better things to spend on that can improve your overall image, such as clothes.

Before entering and during my stint in cosplay, I often dressed like a slob and did not give a single bit of care as to how I wore my clothes. It was only after I left the hobby and entered my first relationship that I started to take my wardrobe seriously. Dressing sharply and properly improves your self-confidence and self-image by leaps and bounds!

Indeed, the idea of dressing for success is true. If I continued to wear clothes like someone who didn’t care about my wardrobe, people would underestimate my capabilities. While externals do not matter in the long run, an unforgettable first impression works wonders.

3. “Who you know” can only bring you up to a certain point.

A major mistake I made back in cosplay and my college years was hanging out with the wrong people. It was only realized that my associations with these people “dragged” me down by limiting me from some things; “tell me who your friends are and I’ll tell you who you are,” says the adage. Fortunately, things turned around when I graduated and joined the workplace.

Being an introvert myself, I do find it difficult to make connections with others. But instead of looking at it as a weakness, I now see it as a strength as I get to observe people through an unfiltered lens. It also allows me to weed out people of ill repute so that I may take the necessary precautions.

4. It’s never too late to unplug.

Many who enter cosplay do not leave until their 30s. Had things not worked out right for me, I wouldn’t have left at 24. But still, would you want to see the years pass while you stagnate in cosplay, slowly sticking out like a sore thumb as an older cosplayer among the young ones?

Quitting proved to be a good decision as things fell into place. Don’t let the fear of the future overpower you; unplug and do what you must. This also applies to social media, which I mentioned in two entries: Do not hesitate to permanently sever ties with social media if your well-being suffers.

5. Some people enter your life for a reason, a season, and a lifetime.

Your encounters with certain people, either accidental or contrived, shape you in a profound manner. People who enter for a reason usually do so to either teach you a lesson or remind you of the things that matter. After the lesson, they “disappear” and you forget about them entirely.

Those who enter for a season will only remain for a certain period – with them disappearing after the passage of time. Finally, the people who arrive in your life for an eternity do three things: impart valuable things, be there when you need them, and shape their lives alongside yours. I’ve had the first two kinds of people enter my life, but at the end of the day – it’s you and you alone.

6. The Land of the Rising Sun isn’t the paradise media and pop culture depict it to be.

Being an erstwhile cosplayer and anime fan, I myself admit to being enchanted by Japan at first. Anime shows depicted the country as efficient, clean, peaceful, and prosperous. It was only after I quit and subsequently had my first overseas trip to Singapore that I realized Japan isn’t the paradise I envision it to be.

From the exorbitant cost of living that’s more expensive than Singapore, the xenophobia towards foreigners as evidenced by my exchanges with other bloggers based there, the language barrier and difficulty of speaking Nihongo (I gave up on that years ago), to the brutal salaryman work culture and general weirdness of the Japanese, my idealized view of the country was shattered. Worse, I learned that even anime and cosplay – interests gaining ground among younger Filipinos – are frowned upon by the Japanese themselves.

From an outsider’s perspective, I never achieved anything during my six years of cosplaying – and even wasted a ton of money on it. I would still have the safety net of cosplay if I chose to stay, but I eventually opted to leave for good – with the risk of fading into obscurity.

I may be a nobody outside the costume, but at least I’ve started over and made this blog. I’ve made it this far since leaving in 2014 – and I do not, and will not, regret my decision.

Let me end this post with these two screenshots of me calling out this “spiritualist” blogger from Japan who apparently can’t take no for an answer. Since the said blogger discovered my site around 2018 or 2019, they have not stopped abusing the Like function on the WP Reader to spam my posts.

I ignored the said blogger for several years, but the spam attacks continued. Thus, I fired warning shots twice. I pray that I don’t have to resort to drastic threats and serious measures to make this “spiritualist” blogger and others like them stop this bad practice. (I won’t link the offending blogger’s site as I don’t want to give them unnecessary traffic.)

24 thoughts on “347 – REBLOG: On 6 Reflections After Quitting Cosplay (2022 Edition)

  1. Pingback: 154 – On 6 Reflections After Quitting Cosplay | The Monching's Guide

    • I share your sentiments. Unfortunately, the WP staff would claim “that’s the nature of the internet” as an answer to many such queries on the WordPress support forums.

      Truth be told, even the block function on WordPress doesn’t work the way it should.

      • Your comment happened to be rather timely, Maryanne.

        I brought up this issue with WP staff, and the response I got was less than stellar — disappointing, to put it bluntly. Here’s the reply I got, part of a longer email:


        “We don’t want to penalize legitimate, human bloggers, particularly when they’re abusing the likes or follow features as the result of a misunderstanding. We do often educate these users, rather than removing their likes or follows, and we sometimes give them second chances.”

        “Liking and following content that doesn’t line up with one’s own site topic is fine, as is reblogging, and liking or following a large but acceptable number of sites and posts.”


        Unfortunately, there are two main issues I see in that reply:

        1. While educating users about how to use the Like function properly works, a good number will refuse to stick to these lessons and will eventually go back to their old ways — because abusing the button works for them.

        2. “Large but acceptable” is arbitrary. I’ve had users from third-world countries like between six and 20 posts of mine at any given time — with the deliberate goal of getting my attention.

  2. I’m sorry to read about your problems with that blogger. 😢
    I always thought there was a possibility to block people from commenting.
    Don’t you moderate the comments on your blog? That way at least you can prevent them from being published. Maybe the blogger understands if he/she sees that his/her stuff is never approved? 🤔

    Thanks for sharing your very interesting experiences and thoughts in this post. As I am a pretty new follower, I didn’t know about your cosplay times. It was a very interesting read. 🙏🤩

    I’m not a cosplay fan at all. I also don’t like costume parties and such. I absolutely don’t want to downgrade cosplay to a costume party, don’t get me wrong, it’s just that I don’t like to meet people who aren’t themselves, but pretending to be someone/something else, no matter in what situation this may be. That’s maybe also one reason why I have never celebrated Halloween. 😉

    • Thank you, Livia. 🙂 Thing is, the culprit abuses the Like function — something I have no control of. That Japanese blogger keeps on liking my posts, even though their blog has nothing related to food. Just random quotes of a dead man.

      Comments, I can block and moderate. I’ve caught a number of spammers before, most of them coming from Africa and South Asia. In fact, I actually caught several just recently! Nine years on, I wonder why they still keep on trying; I’m not a fan of generic health content, which most of their blogs contain.

      >>“[It’s] just that I don’t like to meet people who aren’t themselves, but pretending to be someone/something else, no matter in what situation this may be.”

      Truth be told, this quote over here sums up all my thoughts on cosplay. Better to be hated for who you are than liked for who you’re not. 😊

  3. It is a pity we can’t control who likes our posts, just try and see it as something that happens to most bloggers. I know that a big percentage of followers don’t actually read our posts either, I think they only follow, with the hope of a follow back. The blogging world I guess. At least all the spammy comments are caught, that’s one good thing. X

  4. I didn’t know you used to be into cosplay and apart from a fascination with Japan (that I still have), I know very little about how it really is “from the inside”. I also feel like some of the points you mention above also are linked to the fact that, in the end, it is always good to widen your horizon and “see what’s out there” outside of your hobby or workplace, to surround yourself with other people that have different interests, jobs, walks of life, personal histories, etc. Do you ever miss cosplay?

    • Not at all! While I did reminisce on it last Halloween, I never felt like donning a costume or returning to an anime / pop culture convention after looking back.

      It does help that I found an alternative — in the form of blogging. It’s been 9 years, and time flies fast!

  5. I was always fascinated by Cosplay and it’s a shame nothing came out of it for you. So much thought and effort gets put into it. Perhaps you can revisit again someday?

    • It wasn’t entirely a fruitless effort though, as I learned some skills on the way — woodworking, handling EVA foam, and a lot more!

      I used to have a gallery of my cosplays here at the blog and on Facebook, but eventually took them down over the years. So far, a return isn’t on the books.

  6. Ooo. Never knew you were into cosplay. I’m pretty ignorant on the subject myself. And I have similar observations about Japan. I mean, I love the place, but as a visitor. I suspect that if I actually stayed there, I wouldn’t really thrive at all.

  7. Very interesting exchange. It is a wonder how that blogger couldn’t take the hint. Personally I read a wide variety of material, but there would be no point in ‘liking’ something I haven’t read!

    • I can’t chalk it up to a language barrier, as the other blogger can purportedly understand English. I guess it’s a cultural thing?

      Here’s from a fellow blogger: “I swear to God only a Japanese would be that obsessed with someone’s blog. Imagine being THAT obsessed and lonely.”

      >> “Personally I read a wide variety of material, but there would be no point in ‘liking’ something I haven’t read!”

      Unfortunately, this goes over the heads of a majority of bloggers from third-world countries who see the platform as a way to earn quick money — spurred on by snake-oil salesmen. Ever since I started here, the worst offenders often come from South Asia and Africa.

      I’m from a third-world country myself (the Philippines), but I never saw the need to spam other blogs. I let my content speak for itself; quality over quantity, as they say. Not to mention that if I don’t like a blog, I stay away from it like the plague.

  8. There’s also the saying that time enjoyed is not time wasted. If someone enjoys cosplay, they shouldn’t feel guilty or bad about it. But it sounds like your enjoyment didn’t last, so it’s great that you got away from it and made progress in other parts of your life 🙂

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