I've decided to do something a little different with this final installment of Anime Central 2023 coverage.  The first part of our coverage was focused on the anime companies attending the show (see "Part 1"), and the second part covered the gaming aspects of the show (see "Part 2").  The third part of our coverage is a short column with a brief reminder of the importance of the Cosplay Thermometer, plus a gallery entirely consisting of costume photos.

The concept of the Cosplay Thermometer is fairly easy to grasp and is probably one of the more important aspects of Anime Central and other consumer shows, at least for small businesses.  The types of costumes worn by consumers at conventions act like a thermometer, of sorts, for the brands behind the costumes.  The general frequency at which a costume type appears on the floor and who is wearing the costume can be a very quick gauge of what IPs are hot in a specific category in a certain age group.

Hotter IPs will have more people dressed up as characters from those IPs, thus giving retailers a way to determine which IP's products might be profitable to stock.  As an example, I couldn't walk more than 100 feet at Anime Central without running into someone dressed up as a character from either Chainsaw Man or Demon Slayer.  It is a fair indicator that both shows (and manga) are very popular, which is also why they are found on the ICv2 Hot Properties sidebar located on our home page.

Veteran cosplayers may provide retailers with even greater insights, as they tend to be trendsetters on the edge of Geek Culture.  The more experienced cosplayers may choose IPs that are up and coming to create elaborate costumes for, just to set themselves apart from the rest of the cosplayers in influencer photos or costume contests.  Sometimes these costume choices are indicative of trends to come or resurgence of older IPs back into the public spotlight.

Noticing costume choices at consumer shows is truly useful information for Geek Culture retailers to keep in mind while assessing their inventories.  And without further explanation, check out the last gallery of costumes ICv2 captured on camera at Anime Central and perhaps take a look back at the first two photo galleries for further insight.

For previous Anime Central 2023 coverage, please see Part 1 and Part 2.

The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of ICv2.com.

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