While some conventions attract more people in costume than others, there's no denying that cosplay has become a very important aspect of the fan convention circuit. From how-to panels to masquerade events to impromptu meet-ups, cosplayers are everywhere.
This year, we put together a slideshow of 50 great cosplays from events like Anime Los Angeles, Anime Expo, San Diego Comic-Con, Dragon*Con, Comikaze Expo and Pacific Media Expo. Here, I'm giving a shout out to five that stood out either because they were unusual or they saw an unexpected surge in popularity this year.5. Panty and Stocking
Anime Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt, which is featured in part 1 of our Best of the Cons roundup, is following a similar rise in popularity to what we saw with Durarara!! in 2010. Both shows were shown with subtitles on streaming site Crunchyroll shortly after their original broadcast in Japan. As a result, the fan communities in the U.S. took shape quickly. Panty and Stocking Anarchy, the wild angels around whom the show revolves, became one of this year's most popular cosplays. As the year progressed, more characters from the show popped up at conventions. And if the show continues to grow in popularity, like Durarara!! did, then you'll see a lot of more of Panty, Stocking, Garterbelt and the rest of the gang in 2012.