Welcome back my darlings! Sorry I've not been updating my blog more than once a week, I always have grand aspirations and then I never manage to find time to make other posts. But I promise to make an effort!
Anywho, I thought I'd take a moment today to talk to you about what may be my favorite anime, and the resulting costumes that came from it. Now you've actually seen these costumes before, but most of you probably have no idea what they are because it's not a very well-known anime. What I'm referring to is Kiddy Grade, which if you've every talked to me about anime, I almost always recommend it for purely selfish reasons, because I want other people to be able to talk to about it!
My discovery of Kiddy Grade was actually quite a while ago. When I was in high school I discovered that our local library had a small anime & manga section and I decided to check it out. Their selection was kinda wierd, and definitely incomplete, which was a little annoying because they'd only have small portions of series/seasons and it didn't always start at the beginning. Nevertheless I ended up watching a good variety of random things and really enjoyed a lot of it. Kiddy Grade was among these various tidbits of anime and it was one of my favorites that I had watched despite not being able to see it in its entirety. The cast of fun characters, the mix of comedy, drama, and action and the premise itself all caught my attention. The only thing that was a little over the top was the hypersexuality toward the beginning. There are 20 or so panty shots in the first episode, which does nothing for me as a gay guy, but if you can get past that then it really is worth a watch. It wasn't until much later that I would actually find the full series on DVD and managed to watch it in full. Admittedly I was impressed; the show, which appears at first to just be a space action series involving agents of the Galactic Organization of Trade and Tariffs with superhero powers turned into a very riveting political drama (still involving GOTT agents with superhero powers).
So, if you're looking for a new anime to check out, I recommend this one. And after you watch it you should come talk to me about it cause that would be delightful!
And that brings us to some Kiddy Grade cosplay!
This is the photo that most of you have probably seen as it's one of my favorites and I've had it set as the header photo on my main page since the creation of mikeydoescosplay.com. This is Armbrust (or Amrblast in the English dub) and Pfeilspitze, also known as Mercredi. This particular shot is actually one of my favorite scenes involving these two that actually takes place in the show.
The fact that this photos exist brings me so much joy because I never thought I'd have someone to cosplay with because no one is aware of this series. Also, I'd never cosplay from this series alone because all of the characters are explicitly partnered (and I don't mean that in any sort of shipping way, I mean they all have partners and it's a significant thing in the show). The only characters I could reasonably do solo would be Chevalier d'Autrice... who is hella obscure even for me, or Chief Eclipse. Now the Chief I would totally do but I can't imagine anyone would ever recognize me, not that I would have a serious problem with that. And she is kind of a bamf, so that may eventually happen, I mean just look at her.
But I digress. The reason this cosplay ultimately came about is because I found myself a partner in my dear friend and wonderful cosplay buddy, Rion. I introduced him to the show quite some time ago by letting him borrow my copy after a convention. To my great delight he loved it and we started scheming what pair the two of us could cosplay together. We shared a mutual love of Armbrust so it didn't take long to come to that conclusion. And thus a lovely new pair of cosplays was born. And I'm super greatful cause he even wore a dress for it, which doesn't happen very often XD
We debuted the costumes at Tekko in Pittsburgh which was the perfect place for it because the roof of the David L. Lawrence Convention Center looks like it could be a spaceport. Not a single person recognized the two of us, although a delightful young man dressed as 21 from Venture Brothers asked "Is Adam in there?" Which it took me about 5 minutes of staring at him with a confused look on my face to figure out that it was an Evangelion reference and he thought I was Ryoji Kaji. Which was actually a pretty reasonable thought though my case was way too big for that. Anyway, it didn't matter because we were cosplaying for each other and got some fantastic photos in the city. We also had lots of entertainment with me trying to pronounce Pfeilspitze's name and thus was born Pfgermanname.
The costume itself was actually pretty nice to wear. I made the suit jacket myself as the prospect of finding a double-breasted suit in the color I needed proved too much to accomplish. Unfortunately I did something wierd with the sleeves and they ended up fitting kinda awkwardly but it wasn't all that noticeable unless I was lifting my arms up (hence why it's not happening in any of these photos). Having that case was also awesome because the front actually lifts up the way it does in the show and there was a little shelf inside I could store things on. It was quite useful for keeping my wallet, any nerd swag I picked up, and some cookies for when we needed a snack. Unfortunately I don't have a photo with it open after it was finished, but here's what it looked like in progress.
Of course our lovely photoshoot had plenty of goofy pictures too, so why not share them as well?
That last one is actually based on official artwork they used on the transition animation before and after the commercial breaks.
And there you have it. Unfortunately, as much as I love Armbrust, it is unlikely that he'll be worn again for quite some time as my occasions to see my dear Pfeilspitze are becoming infrequent and we have lots of other cosplay pairs we're trying to do. But that just means you lovely people should all go watch Kiddy Grade and we can plan some more awesome cosplay pairs together!