That's right, it's Thursday again and I thought it made the most sense to throwback to the reaper who greets you on this blog every visit, Koki 'Lollipop' Kariya.
The World Ends With You is definitely a game that's made a huge impact on my life and anyone whose played it has probably had a similar experience. I actually first heard about this game at MBLGTACC, which is the Midwest Bisexual, Lesbian, Gay, Transgender, and Ally (and everyone else in the alphabet soup) College Conference at a panel about LGBT representation in video games. In that panel I heard about Joshua, who was pinned as being an openly gay character. Since it was one of the few games addressed in the panel that was actually on a system I owned, I decided to buy it the next time I was at GameStop.
Boy am I glad I did. Besides the amazing storytelling, the wonderful characters, the awesome art direction and music, and the interesting game mechanics, I thought the viewpoints expressed by the characters and the lessons about life and human interaction were really intriguing and spoke to me as a person. I could definitely relate to the loner attitude of Neku and his blossoming into a fully-realized kid (it reminded me a bit of Cloud from FF7). I loved the unique personalities in the cast and the heart-wrenching moments (SPOILER ALERT: I definitely cried when Rhyme was erased by the shark noise). This game was so impactful that I even got a pair of reaper wings permanently affixed on my body.
So it didn't take long to decide I wanted to cosplay from this game, and while I loved pretty much every character in the game, there was an obvious choice for me: the lollipop-loving, under-motivated harrier reaper that can kick some serious butt. And to top it off, he's a ginger so my thoughts at the start were that I wouldn't need a wig. Which, while not a terrible idea, I'm very glad I did get a real wig for him.
I debuted my Kariya costume at Ohayocon 2011, but it wasn't until Colossalcon later that year that I really got into the groove with this character. Much like Edgeworth, I associate Kariya with a lot of great friendships that I still maintain today, and Colossalcon 2011 is where a lot of those started. Shout out to Kaishun, Genki, Droguza, Daruchai, Legendarie, Rightfulkinginigo, Andrew, and all the other wonderful TWEWY cosplayers that have made being the sassiest reaper around so much fun.
Another lovely part about Kariya is it's pretty much normal clothing so it's super comfortable. Ok, the wings sometimes make it hard to get through doors, but the rest of the outfit I can wear all day and not have any cramps, bruises, or blisters (unlike some of my more elaborate costumes).
The best part about this awesome group of folks is the ridiculous fun I have when I'm with them. We're not afraid of shipping (which there are lots of great pairs in this game), and we pretty much just goof around which leads to some fantastic candid shots.
Some time soon I'd love to get the whole gang back together, and we have high ambitions to do a full reaper cast, which would be awesome. Really, I wish there were more TWEWY in my life because the game, the fandom, and the cosplayers are all wonderful.
Keep it real, players. And don't work too hard.
With much love & til next time,