This costume was a last-minute addition to my SDCC 2013 roster, but one I wanted to tackle for a couple of years now. I’ve been a fan of Camilla d’Errico’s art for quite some time, drawn to the anime roots, surreal styling, and juxtaposition of organic and mechanical elements. Her odd amalgamations captivated me – the “Helmet Girls” series in particular.
I loved the idea of cosplaying from a piece of art, as I’d never done it before and it seemed an extra challenge. The first and perhaps most difficult task was choosing which Helmet Girl I wanted to pay tribute. I browsed the full catalogue and returned continually to “The Heart.” The intricate yet industrial helmet, delicate butterfly, and quizzical expression sealed the deal.
I’ve been inexcusably slow to finish this write-up, as the task of putting this experience to paper has been daunting. Our Claymore build was the most complex costume I’ve ever had the pleasure of working on. It was also the most rewarding. Hang in there; you’re in for one long blog.
Although my childhood memories are primarily punctuated by cartoons like Batman: The Animated Series, DuckTales, and Disney’s Gargoyles, I was exposed to a handful of anime in my youth. One offering in particular – Studio Ghibli’s Princess Mononoke – resonated with me for years to come. To some degree it retains a special place because it was one of my first forays into the world of Japanese animation, but it additionally warrants fond recollection for a powerful story and moving performances. When I was invited to Katsucon 2012 as a cosplay guest – a massive honor and an amazing experience – it only seemed natural to take on San’s deceptively simple garb from the Ghibli film.
Anime has only been on my radar for the past few years – if you don’t count the unavoidable Pokémon episodes I devoured as a kid. While considering what to take on for my first cosplay project, I was also taking my first timid steps into the world of Japanese animation. After watching Chobits at the recommendation of a friend, I knew Chi would be one of my first costuming endeavors.