Day 3 of ’12 Days of Anime’ – [See other posts in this series]
I don’t often bring up the topic of clothes and fashion in anime.
If I was to pinpoint a reason for this, I would say that greater discussions on character designs tend to downplay the role clothing plays. This has a reason of course, given that characters can freely change clothes, yet rarely change facial proportions and body types. It would also be remiss to ignore the fact that while I do want to make a case for how clothes express character, the ones I’ve picked out for this post are only the weird and wacky ones, so perhaps I contribute to the problem.
But the aim for today isn’t really to analyze trends but instead highlight articles of clothing I love from the plethora of anime I have watched. Without wasting anymore time, lets begin…
Ryuko Matoi / Kill la Kill / Crop Top Sailor Uniform
Words can’t accurately describe just how much I love this design. I fell in love with Ryuko Matoi for many reasons and her choice (well, technically) of clothes is definitely one of them. It’s weird to think that you change so much about an outfit just by creating a crop top out of it. However in the show, one of the principal themes is clothes as a form of control, so breaking conventions couldn’t be more fitting.
There is a lot more going on with this design other than the cropping though. The fashioning of the Senketsu ribbon is adorable and fierce. I especially like the asymmetrical slant to it, which further rebels against ideas of uniformity. The red gloves are quite exceptional, and I think it helps even out the colour imbalance you’d get if they weren’t there. Of course Ryuko’s signature red highlight only further brings it all together.
Moving on from that we reach the pleated skirt, which would be pretty generic if not for the suspenders. I loved this pairing from the get-go, but having had time to appreciate the outfit more closely I believe that this particular element pushes it past defiance to become…kinda sexy? Which makes a reasonable amount of sense considering the themes of body acceptance within Kill la Kill.
To top it off we have a pair of plain white high-top trainers, instead of the standard black penny loafers found in most Japanese schools. I don’t have much to say about them other than that they provide a nice contrast, and fit the restless tone of the outfit.
I honestly love this thing so much that I once tried cosplaying it! That didn’t go so well. You can’t really get quality copies without spending copious amounts of money or taking the homecraft route, which I’m not nearly skilled enough to even try attempting.
Nico Niiyama / Kiznaiver / Urban Petticoat Outfit
There is so much going on with this design that it might be easy to get distracted by her cute pigtails and teal highlights. However we’re here to talk fashion, and Nico rocks it, so lets dive straight in.
The centre piece is a weird but delightful amalgamation between an urban school uniform and petticoat dress. Ignoring the rabbit (?) waist pack for a moment, this combination consists of white and black as primary colours, with dim blue and fluorescent yellow as secondary colours. I’m not entirely sure how this works so well but Nico is walking proof of it.
The blouse is cute and I think the way the ribbon is tied low reminds me of old western movies. It’s not quite a bolo tie and fringe jacket affair but it results in a similar effect for me. The buttons on the sleeve are an unusual touch of flair, because while it would make sense with rolled up cuffs, I don’t think that’s what she has done here.
Once we draw our eyes away from the center any semblance of order is thrown out of the window. Where do we start? We’ve got a pompoms tying up her hair, a pink love heart bunny lanyard, mismatched socks, the rabbit (?) bag and only the most adorable bow-tie-bear penny loathers. It screams personality from head to toe and Nico is uniquely positioned to pull it off.
Seriously though, I want those shoes madly. They probably wouldn’t go with anything I own but how can you not want to have them!?! C-U-T-E! Coincidentally, Christmas is right around the corner, so if any of my readers wants to buy them for me…
Kaiba / Yu-Gi-Oh! / What Even Is This #Swag?
Ah Kaiba, sweet child. How I love you so. If only you knew how bad it is to sacrifice two monster cards for a 3000ATK/2500DEF normal dragon. Maybe then you’d finally beat Yugi.
You have a killer outfit though.
I’m going to have a hard time describing this one. While Nico & Ryuko wear clothes that are at least believable deviations from conventional clothing, Kaiba doesn’t even care about existing in the same universe as the rest of us. What even is that thing he wears? A grey lab coat, fashioned into an anatomically questionable cape/jacket? I think that is the best way of explaining it. It’s hella cool though~
I can’t imagine an already tall and arrogant man would have need for power shoulders but, then again, we are talking about “Seto. Fucking. Kaiba.“, accept no substitute. So it naturally follows that we’d have plate iron cuffs and more steel buttons than there is surely need for. Oh, and before we move too far from the height thing, surely you see the heels. This is a man that needs to be looking down at people, no matter how tall they may be.
But it doesn’t stop there! There is ‘scene phase’ and then there is Kaiba. How many straps is too many straps? He would simply reply that there is no such thing. I can’t exactly tell you what their purpose is beyond vanity, but it would unfair of me to praise the previous two characters as if mismatched socks and crop tops have a practical application.
Keep it real, Kaiba.
That’s about all we have time for today. I hope you enjoyed this partially different take on favourite X lists. Feel free to make any additional comments on the outfits I picked out, or recommend me some of your favourites. This is genuinely a topic I love more than a blog post can justify, so please share away!
Thanks for reading!