Saturday, November 19, 2011

15 Cosplay Characters I would like to see in 2012

Cosplay is a hobby for people to express their love of a certain franchise, character or design. I noticed that lots of cosplayers that I am friends with like shooting out ideas for the stuff they are considering cosplaying as for the next year. If you have been reading my blog for some time, you have probably noticed that aside from being a cosplay photographer that I am quite a big fan of many series within the media of anime, manga, and video games. Normally I don't do self-indulgent articles like this, but I do feel that we cosplay photographers don't get to express what we would like to see as often as we would like. Without further ado, here are 15 cosplay characters that I would like to see get some cosplay in the future.

Layla Hamilton - Kaleido Star
Even better: a shoot with Layla and Sora (picture below)

In the beginning of the anime, Layla Hamilton is the Kaliedo Star, the lead performer in the Kaliedo Stage. She is beautiful, charismatic, and very passionate about creating an amazing performance for the people who watch her shows. She is the daughter of a very wealthy hotel owner who wants her to go into acting. At first she is icy and difficult with Sora, since she doesn't believe the starry-eyed Japanese girl has it in her to be an amazing performer. Layla Hamilton slowly turns into one of the most memorable characters in the franchise and easily one of the best characters ever introduced in an anime series.

Kaliedo Star takes place in the United States, in a fictional city in either Hawaii or California. This means that doing a photoshoot with a Layla cosplayer should be very easy since the shoot could easily be Layla in casual clothes walking around Santa Monica or Santa Barbara. On the other hand, doing a shoot in a circus setting would prove to be tougher or even impossible due to a lack of access to grand stage sets. Due to Layla's strong relationship with Sora, the photoshoot would be even better if the shoot can be complimented with a Sora cosplayer.

Neptune (Goddess Form) - Hyperdimension Neptunia
Even Better: Group shoot with Neptune and all the goddesses

Neptune is the human and goddess personification of the company Sega. She is the goddess of the land called Planeptune, which is a modern metropolis with huge skyscrapers and a huge emphasis on technology. In her human form she is known as a happy-go-lucky girl who does and says things with little consideration of the consequences. In her goddess form she has a completely different personality which is more serious, Neptune talks a little slower, is more sullen, and she is more buxom compared to her human form.

Due to her home land being like a metropolis, doing a shoot in downtown Los Angeles may work very well. Over the course of Hyperdimention Neptunia, she goes to a variety of different environments, which means that doing shoots at any location would fit with the character. I would say that Neptune's goddess outfit is rather risque, but I have seen skimpier clothing in Anime Conventions. Regardless, the outfit will attract a lot of attention and it will take some bravery of the person behind the cosplay to wear it during shoots. The shoot would be better if it was done with the three other goddesses, White Heart, Black Heart, and Green Heart.

Nathan Drake - Uncharted
Even Better: A shoot with Drake and Sully

Nathan Drake, the ubiquitous lead of the Uncharted franchise. He goes all over the world in search for treasure and seems to find trouble in the craziest situations. Drake is an extremely intelligent man who has a penchant for luckily surviving an array or incredible situations. He is an ordinary man who always seems to find himself in the midst of extraordinary adventures.

Due to the exotic locales that Drake seems to find himself it, doing a photoshoot in National Parks may help greatly. A shoot in Joshua Tree National Park would be a great help with its huge rocks and huge desert expanses. Doing a shoot in a rain forest would be awesome, but the cost and the logistics of doing it would be impossible. The shoot would be highlighted even more if it was done with a Sully cosplayer since Sully and Drake really go well together.

Charlone Cladius - Growlanser II

Charlone is the beautiful strict noble who is a soldier working under Wein in Growlanser II. Against her father's wishes, she becomes a solider to follow an imperial knight she admires. As you can see from the picture, she is an archer and over the course of the game is probably one of the strongest characters in your party. Over the course of the game, it is possible to have a romantic relationship with her.

Much of Growlanser takes place in old castles, grasslands and mountains. There are many great places in Chino Hills and south Corona to do a photoshoot. Unfortunately, there are not many old castles lying around, so doing a shoot with that background would be impossible.

Akio Ohtori - Revolutionary Girl Utena

Generally when you see Utena cosplay, the characters seen the most are Utena and Anthy. It is unfortunate because one of my favorite characters has been severely underrepresented, which is Akio Ohtori, the villain of Revolutionary Girl Utena. He is the acting chairman of Ohtori Academy, and is the closest thing that Revolutionary Girl Utena has to a villain. He is handsome, charismatic, and very manipulative. He is a playboy who has won over many men and women, which includes most of the cast of Utena.

Akio Ohtori would make one of the most fascinating shoots ever, bar none. He is a character who oozes charisma and sexuality, and it would take a very talented cosplayer to pull off this character perfectly. Due to the urban and fantasy setting of Revolutionary Girl Utena, the shoot work work around a convention venue. There are also many places in downtown Riverside that would make for a great background for this shoot.

Prince Maximilian - Valkyria Chronicles
Even Better: A shoot with Maximillian and Drei Stern Generals (Below)

Prince Maximilian is the second in line for the throne and he is the main villain of Valkyria Chronicles. He was the leader of the Gallian invasion which has taken many lives. Within the empire there has been constant in fighting with the royal family, and his mother was killed in a train bombing, which leads to his intense distrust of humanity. He is evil, charismatic, and very manipulative, using people to further his ambitions. He wears a crown reminiscent of the roman empire and wears all-white battle gear.

Maximillian would make for an interesting shoot because he is a member of royalty, so many of his poses would either be elegant or have strong "power poses" (ie: low angles, chin up, etc.) Due to the World War II inspired setting of Valkyria Chronicles, a setting with older homes or more pastural locations would work. Industrial backgrounds with maps to represent the invasion headquarters would be perfect for a shoot. The shoot would be even better if it had the Drei Stern Generals: Major General Radi Yaeger, Major General Berthold Gregor, and Lieutenant General Selvaria Bles.

Noire (human form) - Hyperdimension Neptunia

Noire is the human and Goddess personification of the Sony PlayStation 3. She is the twin-tailed  beautiful, charismatic, tsundere character who is passionate about what she believes in and despises the happy-go-lucky nature of Neptune. She is the goddess of Lastation, known as the land of black regality. It is a huge, industrial, steampunk world that is trying to catch up to Planeptune. Noire is a hard worker who likes doing things on her own. She also loves cosplaying, wants to start a band, and goes to anime conventions for fun.

I will say it outright, I love the design of Noire and I think she has the best outfit of the entire cast of Hyperdimension Neptunia. There are two locations where a Noire photoshoot would work perfectly, an industrial area and an anime convention. Due to her cosplaying antics in Anime Conventions, doing a shoot of Noire in an anime conventions is ABSOLUTELY perfect and it is totally in character for her. She is also the goddess of a steampunk world, so any setting with lots of gears and machines would be perfect for her. Doing a shoot with a cosplayer of this character is guaranteed to be one of the most memorable I have ever done.

Aliasse - Valkyria Chronicles 2

Aliasse is a young Valkyria in Valkyria Chronicles 2. She is a teenage girl at the beginning of puberty who has been raised as a Valkyrian killing machine. She came from the same facility as general Selvaria Bles, but is many years her junior. Due to her living in a facility, she is naive about the world around her. She becomes close to Zeri, Avan, and Cosette over the course of the game. Kind of like a character in Valkyria Chronicles, Aliasse represents the softer and gentler side of being a Valkyria, she is in contrast to Selvaria Bles.

Aliasse represents innocence, so many of her poses will have a strong emphasis on childlike innocence. Aliasse also loves flowers, so many of the shoots will take place in locations with lots of flowers. Doing a shoot with an Aliasse cosplayer would be rather interesting, and doing a shoot with her and Selvaria would make for interesting contrasts.

Valvatorez - Disgaea 4

Valvatorez is the lead character of Disgaea 4, and one of the coolest characters in the game. His obsession with being honest, following promises, and rewarding everything with Sardines makes him one of the most memorable characters. His honest personality makes him very affable. Valvatorez is one of the best protagonists in a strategy RPG since Welkin from Valkyria Chronicles.

Due to Disgaea 4 taking place in hades, this shoot would be better if it was done in area with lots of darkness. Underground facilities and places with lots of drains would work very well to create a believable environemtn.

Haruhi Suzumiya (long-haired ver.) - Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya

Haruhi Suzumiya is known for her brash personality and the unique way she sees the world. Haruhi is the beautiful lead character from the eponymous franchise of The (insert title here) of Haruhi Suzumiya. She has a great disdain for anything ordinary and wants to create fun in the world. In book 4, better known as The Disapperance of Haruhi Suzumiya we see an alternate version of her of how she would look like had she not cut her hair in the beginning of the first book. In the 165 minute adaptation of the Anime, seeing long-haired Haruhi was one of the best moments.

Due to Haruhi's loud and brash personality, doing a shoot with her character would be interesting. The movie takes place over winter, so doing a winter shoot would be more appropriate. Due to the suburban setting, this kind of shoot can be done at any American suburban town, which would make it one of the easiest shoots in terms of location.

Komaki Kamiya - The Gentleman Alliance Cross
Even Better: Couple shoot with Komaki and Kusame

Komaki is the little sister of Haine, she has somewhat of a sister complex due to being away from her sister for so long. She has long flowing black hair with two ribbons on it. As the student council present of the middle school section of Imperial Academy, she shows that she has the beauty and the brains (that seem to have evaded her sister). She has a crush on Haine's step-brother and they eventually go out.

The Gentleman Alliance Cross is about Rich people, so a setting with lots of flowers and elegant buildings would make for a nice background. It would be a sweet photoshoot if there was a Kusame cosplayer to balance it out. Some of my favorite shoots are couple shoots, and this is a perfect match.

Tootoria Helmod - Atelier Totori

Totori is the young female lead of Atelier Totori, she is weak, a little spacey, and a little slow. Even with that, she wants to become an adventurer to follow her mom's footsteps. She goes on an adventure around the world of Arland to become a great adventurer and she also wants to become one of the elite alchemists within the world of Arland. Totori is a very charming young girl who works hard for goals that seem to be out of her reach. I think her outfit is one of the most unique, eye-catching outfits in the Atelier franchise, which says quite a bit about what she wears.

Half of Atelier Totori is about exploring the world, so doing photoshoots in wide expanses is perfect with a Totori cosplayer. There are great locales in Chino, Joshua Tree, Forest Falls, and many more that can showcase the adventurer aspect of Atelier Totori. To do the alchemist part, I need an old fashioned house with a huge pot in the middle. That should be pretty hard to find a locale like that.

Yuno Gasai - Mirai Nikki

Yuno is the crazy, insane Yandere who is completely obsessed with the lead character of Mirai Nikki. She is completely obsessed with the lead character and she stalks him and makes his life totally miserable. This is quite a disconnect since she is quite the beauty with extraordinary intelligence and an incredible body to boot.

This shoot would be interesting to say the least because I would like to focus on the two aspects of her personality, the perfect appearance as the model student and the dream girl of many guys, and the insane stalker personality that she exhibits. Due to the suburban nature of Mirai Nikki, this shoot would be very easy. The hard part would be to find a cosplayer who can do the terrifying aspect of her yandere personality convincingly.

Miles Edgeworth - Ace Attorney/Gyakuten Saiban
Even Better: Edgeworth, Kay Faraday, and Gumshoe (pictured below)

Miles Edgeworth is the eternal pretty boy who first starts off as a rival to Phoenix Wright. He is full of angst, and has a tragic past that involves a rivalry between his father and a prosecutor. After the events of the original game, he mellows out and becomes a friend to Phoenix who helps him in his time of need. Edgeworth is one of my favorite characters in the Ace Attorney franchise, even getting two amazing DS spinoffs with him as the lead.

There are plenty of Ace Attorney cosplayers, and there have been plenty of Edgeworth's out there. I haven't done a shoot with a cosplayer from Ace Attorney, and it is the perfect kind of cosplay to do an all day shoot. Due to the Ace Attorney franchise taking place in California (for the USA release) the locales in Southern California is perfect for a shoot. In fact there are too many amazing places to do shoots at in SoCal.

Millia Maxwell - Tales of Xillia

Millia is the female lead in Tales of Xillia. She is the token buxom girl that is typically found in a Team Symphonia game. She is a fighter who has the ability to summon creatures. She has a strong sense about her responsibility in protecting the world. She has no idea how to live as a human and is a natural airhead.

Tales of Xillia is a game that has yet to be released in the United States (and may never see light in the states), but I find the character design of Millia fascinating since she is a study in contrasts. Due to the huge expanses of nature between the megacities of Xillia, it would be interesting to do nature shoots as mentioned in the previous points. There are plenty of locales in Southern California to do that in.

In Conclusion:
While it is great to see a variety of popular cosplay done, as a cosplay photographer there are some stuff that I personally would like to see. In the past I have had my cosplay wishes fulfilled when a cosplayer coincidentally cosplays as a character from my favorite series, like having Crystal do an amazing rendition of Selvaria Bles from Valkyria Chronicles or Christine do an almost perfect example of Ushio Amamiya from Shinshi Doumei Cross. Due to the niche nature of the cosplay I like, this list would likely apply to future cons, but expect the 2013 list to contain these wishes along with a whole other list of stuff I find interesting over the course of next year.


Anonymous said...

haha i have done long haired Haruhi before, just because i happen to have long hair (evie)

Miako said...

I am doing purple heart, that is awesome. Look for me at Anime Expo!!!