Because I can’t praise these series enough.
Yes, I cosplay, or rather, I used to. I wasn’t super obsessed and anal about it like some (scary) people, but it was a fun thing to do. Granted, some people pour their whole lives into cosplay, and I respect that, their talent, and their commitment to the art. However, for me, cosplay is just a fun little hobby that is not to be taken too too seriously. I’m not out to win any awards or star on the cover of any mags, I’m just a fan trying to have a good time. Although I have cosplayed many different things, I have not yet cosplayed anything or anyone made by Atlus.
It’s time to change that…
For this list I will use the blanket term Shin Megami Tensei to cover any series made by the makers of the series or considered part of the group itself, although I will mention the game that the character was first from. I am ranking these characters not only by my level of “want” but the level of possibility and efficiency. Modifications I would have to make to each costume will also be listed. I also gave respect to my body shape and my skillsets in fabrication and makeup, (I’m much better at the latter).
Let’s begin, shall we?
When I first started playing the Persona games, Persona 4 was my first of the bunch, and my short cropped hair was starting to grow out. Cue the comparisons to Chie Satonaka. Although I have since developed a different look, I would still be pleased to play Chie, if only because her personality is still pretty close to my own. The only real big issue with her is her fondness for ridiculously short skirts. Short skirts do not really work with large bottoms.
Belladonna from the original Persona is an interesting character to say the least, (then again, everyone in the Velvet Room is…interesting). She sings all of her dialogue and is continuously accompanied by a piano player named Nameless. So why is she only an honorable mention? Well, because of Nameless of course. You can’t have one without the other, and I’m loving the single life right now.
10:Mitsuru Kirijo- Persona 3
If Chie was the old me in appearance, Mitsuru is the new me, (at least in terms of the sort of attire she likes to wear). I already have most of her outfit in my closet, including the shirt, skirt, and amazing boots, (that I LIVE in when it becomes fall). Mitsuru is a very fancy lady and a fencer to boot. As cool as her outfit becomes in Persona 4 Arena, I would stick with this version because it is iconic, comfortable, and I know that this sort of attire looks great on me since I wear similar things to work almost every day. So why is she so low? Well…all the human characters are pretty low because they are a bit overplayed and I’d rather work on some more personas/demons instead.
9:Argilla- Digital Devil Saga:Avatar Turner
Why is this person from a highly underappreciated game higher than characters from the fantastically popular persona series? Well, I absolutely LOVE Digital Devil Saga and it’s sequel. So why Argilla? Why not Sera? Well, Argilla’s design is frankly the coolest design for ladies in the game, being simple, but feminine and elegant. She is one of the most human and sympathetic characters in the game too, and quite relatable, (she is understandably horrified when she learns that she has to devour people). If there ever was a group of people I knew that loved Digital Devil Saga as much as I do, I would totally be up for this cosplay.
8:Eros- Persona 2
Narrowly edging out in the “badass chick with an afro” category is Eros, who I decided to place in this spot instead of the fantastic Trisha from Catherine mostly due to clothing issues. Eros’s costume is not only much easier to wear, but it would be much easier to make as well. It would be composed of a simple black bodysuit, some easily obtainable props and a lot of fluff or fiber. This is the first “fun” cosplay on this list in that it is so over the top and goofy that you can’t take something like this seriously.
7:Titania- Shin Megami Tensei II
“Are you ready?” Sure am! One of the simplest designs on this countdown, Titania is also one of the most useful demons in Nocturne, although this design originates from the second game. She does have another design that looks more butterfly-like, but this one is so much more iconic and fitting for the character. Although simple in design, Titania is pretty recognizable when it comes to SMT, and recognizability would be the key here. Simplicity would also be useful when it comes to this outfit as it would not cost an arm and a leg to make. Makeup is simple and pretty and would require minimal effort. Titania is on this list as a fallback on something simple but iconic if the designs above her would fail or funds became tight.
6:High Pixie- Shin Megami Tensei II
Because High Pixie is way more badass, (and clothed) than Pixie. Her outfit is fierce, her hair is fiercer, and she knows it. Being a very short person, both Titania and High Pixie were no brainers for this list, (Have you ever seen a tall person playing a fairy? Honestly?). High Pixie is placed higher than Titania however, because I think her design, while not as iconic, stands out a bit more and would be easier to replicate exactly. The only really big issue I would have is her amazing hairdo, but industrial strength hairgel and a wig in the proper color could do wonders.
5:Yoshitsune-Devil Summoner/Persona 4
Believe it or not, that’s a man. A samurai. One of the most tragic and powerful heroes of Japanese folklore. I have wanted to cosplay…or rather…”crossplay” Yoshitsune ever since I laid eyes on his design in Persona 4. I came across a woman who had “crossplayed” Okuninushi, so I figured I’d try to do the same with the iconic and ever useful Yoshitsune. Seriously, most useful demon in Persona 4, bar none. It also helps that he looks so overtly feminine that people confuse him for a woman at first glance, too.
4:Gabriel and Motorcycle!Gabriel- Shin Megami Tensei II and Persona 2:Eternal Punishment
I couldn’t choose between these two designs, so they share the number four spot. Gabriel is a very iconic character in both series, being one of the four archangels, and the only female of the group. Although I really love her Persona design and think it is quite unique for an angel to appear as a machine, (see my discussion about the mechanical menace of Metatron earlier on) without being too far removed from a beautiful humanoid. I love how the pipes form wings the most, also THOSE SHOES. I want them. Classic Gabriel is also awesome in her own way with her bright and unique color scheme and tough, but feminine demeanor. These designs and this character needed to be on this list.
3:Philemon- Persona 2
The other “crossplay” option for my list, Philemon takes the concept of “I am thou, thou art I” to its extreme. An iconic figure throughout the first couple of Persona games, he seems to have faded away into obscurity as of late. However, those who have caught on early, or who have started looking back at the earlier Personas in curiousness might recognize him. He’s quite an interesting fellow and easy for a lady to cosplay due to his feminine features and simple attire. It would be an absolute joy to cosplay this mysterious figure born of Jungian psychology.
2:Artemisia- Persona 3
Talk about a pimped out dress. The reason why Artemisia is so much higher on this list than Mitsuru, the character that she is the Persona of, is because of how awesome her design is. She isn’t just a lady in a gorgeous dress, she’s a lady in a gorgeous dress who looks like she could royally kick some ass. Although I have seen plenty of Personas cosplayed, I have yet to see one of this fantastic design. Granted, it would be a lot of work, but the payoff would be so worth it. Fabrication would involve obtaining a dress and modifying it until it looks awesome enough. Something else I like about this cosplay is how simple the facial features are, and how they are obscured by the mask (which would also help hide my necessary glasses). Although a slightly impractical choice, my desire to cosplay this awesome lady outweighs the craziness of the fabrication.
And the character I want to cosplay the most from an Atlus game is…
1:Mother Harlot: Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne
The lovely lady with a…less than lovely visage, Mother Harlot presents a striking image. A striking image I want to rock, and I know I -can- rock. Firstly, I am very good at special effects makeup and actually was a skeleton last Halloween. Of course, it would be easier to wear a mask, but it is impossible to emote through it, and if Mother Harlot is good at anything, she’s good at emoting with her cackling, wine guzzling and jaw flapping. Her attire is fairly simple and would be easy to make or modify. The only issue is the Seven-Headed Beast, which can be solved by making it an adorable stuffed animal or better yet, a handbag that can be used to carry convention essentials. The costume overall wouldn’t be too hard on my budget and I would be able to see it through to a flawless execution. This fiendish femme fatale is just too interesting of a cosplay opportunity to pass up.