Cosplay is a wonderful thing. It helps hundreds of thousands of people around the world express themselves by creating something of their very own, something they can enjoy wearing and something they can use to interpret their favorite characters from any medium.
Since it's become mainstream, the level of critique leveled by some members of the cosplay-loving community can become very toxic very quickly. It's for that reason that doing a piece on this simple topic - bad cosplay - can ruffle many people's feathers before it can even get off the ground, and not without good reason. Since it's the Internet, horribly-injuring barbs can be thrown with just a few flippant keystrokes and a smack of the Enter key. And while that's bread and butter for a YouTube comments section and Twitter, a cosplayer has a bit more invested than those in some dumb flame war. Not only are they showing off their crafting skills, but they're performing a character, which means their bodies are also up for judgment as well. And when some jerk on the Internet doesn't like what they see, all it takes is a simple "omg gtfo fug" to completely shatter someone's confidence.
That's not what I'm here to do today. Today I want to look at some Final Fantasy cosplays and have a little fun with what we find. There's no hate, no ill will over here. I just want to look at a few less-than-stellar cosplays and try to have a chuckle at them. Can we do that?
I hope we can.
15 MAN TIFA 2: Electric Boogaloo
I LOVE THIS. The cocky pose, the chest hair poking out of the top and bottom of the tank top, the gut hanging out over skirt, the suspenders holding on for dear life... it's like if I tried to cosplay Tifa. Seriously, I feel like I'm looking in a mirror here. I even want to give props to him for finding not only the right style, but the right color of work boot to act as a quick-and-dirty analogue to Tifa's boots, which I'm pretty sure she knicked off of Knuckles the Echidna. All he needed to do here was work on growing his scraggly mane out a little more to try and get some kind of ponytail. But you can't hurry genius, I suppose.
14 Cactuar: Morphsuit ≠ Cosplay
Remember when morph suits were all the rage and anybody could pick one of those bad boys up for whatever reason and do things dressed up in a literal body bag?
Oh, we're still doing that? Dammit humanity, this is why we can't have nice things.
Anyway, this person found what is maybe the best usage of a morph suit that has ever existed: cosplaying Cactuar. However, it's the lack of commitment that's earned him a place on this list. From the visible socks to the odd choice of shorts/spring-bodied laundry basket top and headwear, the whole ensemble just raises more questions than answers. And I doubt there's a good answer to any of them.
13 Squall: Bent Blade
The sad part of this is that this is a really solid cosplay. The leather jacket, the fluffy collar, the gloves, the single belt: it all adds up to a well-done budget cosplay that anyone could get their hands on. It might not get the Nomura seal of approval citing a painfully low count of belts and buckles, but it's a great look down to the scar on his face. But it's all let down by the cardboard gunblade's bent appearance.
Also, whoever's inbox that is over his shoulder, they need to really get on the ball there. Looks like it's gonna be all over the floor in about two more hours. Seriously dude, I know it's finals and everything, but get on it.
12 Low-Res Cloud
Oh my god, this is what I'm talking about when it comes to lazy cosplay. Just because you can save ten cents per yard at the fabric store by buying sub-1080p 60fps materials doesn't mean you should do it! I mean, buying crafting materials that were originally engineered to be cutting-edge back in the 90s are in no way good for today's incredibly competitive cosplay scene. Today, we've got 4k cosplays as pretty much the norm, and this Cloud is not going to win any beauty contests.
I mean, it's not like someone's going to tell me he meticulously made that out of cardboard or something to intentionally create that look, right? Of course not, don't be silly.
11 Black Mage: The 5-Second Solution
Props to this Cloud for trying to make a serious attempt with real hair to recreate the original physics-defying design of Cloud's hair. It's actually a really good representation of his Kingdom Hearts look, though I think the dry-erase board wasn't in there originally.
But let's talk about that black mage, huh? They literally threw a bedsheet around themselves, made a big scarf/balaclava combo for their head, then somehow tracked down a yellow beekeeper's hat. It looks effortless, quite literally.
And trust me, I know about effortless cosplay. I found a green trench coat from the thrift shop, a striped red and white shirt, and a pair of jeans and went as Ed from Ed, Edd, and Eddy back in high school. Zero effort there.
I don't know about you, but I think Halloween just got a lot easier for me this year.
10 Yuffie: 2 Colors Ain't Bad, I Guess...?
First off, I do want to say that even though Vincent here is in jeans, they're not that bad because they're dead-on with his look. The white stitching dampens it a little, but not much. Vincent's outfit is really nothing to scoff at - the headband, the glove, the cape, It's all pretty good. The Yuffie kinda leaves something to be desired. Like for instance, would you know that's Yuffie if I didn't say it was? She's clearly going for the Advent Children look here, but it's just come out in some two-tone style that I can't really get behind.
Wait, what? Sorry, I'm just being informed that this is how all of Tetsuya Nomura's designs have looked since Kingdom Hearts II. Nevermind then, my dear. Stellar job!
9 MAN TIFA: The Beginning
Don't get me wrong here: I don't care if you cross dress a cosplay. All I'm saying is shave your damn legs before you do it. Make an effort at least! Hell, if you're a woman cosplaying a dude in shorts, don't shave for a few weeks beforehand. If your subject is really hairy, just tape some carpet to yourself or something. Although I do have to admit, I'm having trouble thinking of a video game character with hairy legs that isn't just straight out fur, male or female. It makes sense, I guess. Who wants to waste processor power on rendering Duke Nukem's leg bushes? At least try is all I'm saying.
I mean, his nipples aren't even straight!
8 Zidane: But Like, Jeans?
If you haven't noticed, there's going to be a lot of black bars in these entries, and it's for a good reason: All of the good resolutions are busy being used by cosplayers that are proud of their work. When you like what you've done and want to show it all off to everyone, you want to give the Internet as many glorious pixels of your badass cosplay it can handle.
Then you've got stuff like this. To be honest, the Aerith is totally competent (with a better resolution I think I'd find it good) and so is the... Kuja? Sorry, the pic's so small it's hard to see. The Zidane is even good from the waist up, but it feels like the guy just quit halfway through, like Tim Gunn himself came in and called "time" or something.
7 Yuna: Well Played.
Now see, I was ready to call this out as a total cop-out and lambaste the guy for making such a lazy outfit, but honestly, this isn't that bad. I mean don't get me wrong, it's bad. But bad like a fox. This is the "hot female body on a barbecue apron" for the cosplay community: you're not fooling anyone, which means everyone's in on the joke.
However, where an apron would only get one side, this costume gets both, showing off the back of Yuna's cardboard assets. A sandwich board cosplay? I think I know something I want for my birthday. Can you imagine if someone did a whiteboard version of this? You could be the entire FFX-2 squad in a matter of hours, complete with all wardrobe changes, provided you brought enough dry-erase markers.
6 Cloud: Curses, Foiled Again!
Ok, barring the kinda crooked handle on his sword, the work he's done with the tinfoil here is really cool. And he's got his pose game on lockdown right here. It's practically spot on. It's just the rest of the costume that falls flat for me. And it's really just because it's not a costume, it's just a blue shirt, belt, and jeans. It's an outfit that does nail Cloud's look but in a very barebones fashion. Where are his gloves? What about his boots? Where's his weird suspender-belt combo that inexplicably sits across his pecs because all of the concept art for this game includes people with impossible leg-to-body ratios?How can we expect to meet these standards of...
Beauty? Complete anatomical dysmorphia?
One of those, I guess.
5 Sephiroth: One Snarky Angel
Ooooh, this is a Sephiroth that's gonna take you to school, girl. Those elbow pads and thrift shop black trench aren't here just to look good. When he slaps on that dang grandma wig he may look like old Rose from Titanic, but you can be damn sure it's gonna go down, and it's gonna go down hard.
I get that it's pretty much his main costume piece besides the long white hair, but there's so much more to Sephiroth than a black trench coat. For example, did you know that, like Cloud, he also has a leather harness dangling off of him for no reason? Or that his long white hair also has two inexplicable pointy things for bangs, serving to frame his dreamy green eyes?
4 These Bookends
Let me be clear here: Tifa, Cloud, Rufus, Aeris, Barrett, and Vincent are all good cosplays. It's the two on the extreme left and right I'm even having trouble placing. Left Dude seems to be just wearing a black trench coat, gloves, and holding a long, skinny length of PVC pipe for some reason. This is obviously an FFVII group cosplay, so who is he supposed to be? Sephiroth? Reno? I got nothin'.
Which brings me to Right Dude. With his Groucho-Marx-like appearance to creating a beak and anime eyes and a yellow shag sofa cover with a head hole cut out. I can only assume he's supposed to be a Chocobo, because it's the only thing that makes sense here. But then why is homeboy's hair green?
3 Rinoa: Ooh, So Close!
If there's one thing that breaks my immersion when looking at a cosplay, it's getting the color slightly off. Believe me, I have a long-sleeve shirt I dyed red to for my Mario Halloween outfit I've been using for about five years now, and it's just not red enough, AND IT DRIVES ME INSANE. But whatever.
This Rinoa comes really close to nailing her signature sky blue, and who knows, it might just be the lighting effing with it, but it's just slightly off, and I can't help but notice. The other problem here is that her facial expression is just a bit too deadpan - Rinoa is always bubbly, and I just don't feel that attitude is carried over here.
2 This Garnet
Dear me. There are a couple of problems here, and none of them have to do with her size. First off, Garnet's outfit may just be essentially an orange jumper over a wide-sleeved peasant shirt, but here all we have is an orange spandex singlet with a rope attached to it. It's over a bra, finished off with a ribbon choker, and that's it.
What I do hope happened when this picture hit Reddit was that she didn't lose confidence in herself. The comments on the page are anything but kind, and are pretty representative of the toxicity that exists in the community. And honestly, that's just one type of criticism. Racism, sexism, so many hateful comments over people who want to ogle bodies but not embrace creativity. I truly hope she's still making cosplays.
1 This Moogle: Come On Dude. Really?
I have long endeavored to know what I would look like if I went as a fuzzy pillow for Halloween one year. Thanks to this moogle cosplay, I now know. I mean, where is the costume here?
Honestly, this could be a work-in-progress photo that somehow got leaked to the Internet where it was relentlessly mocked. It seems like this picture was also taken right after a problem with the costume: the ball that should be on top of the moogle's head is at the cosplayer's mouth for some reason. It must have fallen between the time the person set the picture up and the time it took the camera. I mean, at least the beginnings of those ears look good, I guess. Then all they need are the wings, and they'll be golden.
And here we are, everyone. The end of the line. If you have something to say, drop it in the comments. Once I finish atoning for my sins, I'll see you all later for some other silly list about video games and whatnot.