Thursday, March 31, 2016

Too Much Nostalgia! - Secret Childhood Cosplays!

Hello everyone!

I got interested to read Shiro Samurai's post about nostalgia and childhood characters that he'd like to cosplay and guess what this did to me? That's right, it kicked the nostalgia right up in my face and got me in the mood to write this back-to-the-past post. Curious about what series and games I loved as a kid/early teen? Or what characters I admired, related to and grew up with? All of the characters on this nostalgic list despite their big differences, have something in common; each one of them has been with me since I was a kid/early teen and has throughout the years reminded me of the wonderful, good ol' days. These guys and the shows they are from mean something to me, be it a character that I love for their big nostalgic impact or one that actually taught me something in life. They are all special in the way that each of them made my childhood enjoyable and therefore has a special place in my geeky heart.

Oh and I didn't put the word "secret" in the title just to make it sound extra fancy. You see, usually I share what I plan to cosplay with my good friends before revealing the characters here for the sake of possible pair/group cosplay ideas. But for my childhood heroes today the story is a different one. These characters I have kept to myself so that I can -hopefully- equally surprise my new readers and long-time friends alike. No priority sneak-peek to anyone, gwahahahaha!

Let's see if my choice of nostalgic characters can surprise you or put a nostalgic smile on your face! Enjoy because here are my never-before-mentioned childhood heroes whom I'd love to cosplay someday!

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Character: Dark Yugi
Series: Yu-Gi-Oh!


When Yu-Gi-Oh! came to its popularity peak here, I wasn't that much into it save for collecting monster cards -that in my opinion- had an appealing design, most of them being dragons. First after that I saw a few random episodes of the anime on tv, I came to really like the series; its dark/intriguing settings along with interesting concept and ideas really clicked for me. Being a sucker for most things supernatural and with a gothic/dark theme to it, Yu-Gi-Oh! was like the best of both worlds. Out of the characters -which I know of, so far- from the original show, Dark Yugi (Yami Yugi in Japan) has to be my favorite, easily. I'm at a word loss right here when I'm trying to describe how much I digged Dark Yugi as an early teen and I still like him a lot. He is such a clever badass character and his design is so spot-on for me. Heck, I even had a mancrush on him! Yupp, mancrush on Dark Yugi. There, I said it.

Despite Yu-Gi-Oh! having the shortest hype period out of all the series I was into as a kid/early teen, I first came to realize its importance in my life during my late teens. Yu-Gi-Oh! was the series that opened my mind to a lot of fascinating things and these things came to later change my life and how I lived it - to a more fulfilling one.

Character: Digimon Emperor
Series: Digimon Adventure 02


When Digimon came out along with the first merchandise I was against it, thinking that it was an over detailed rip-off of Pokémon, which my childhood centered around pretty much. But this faulty image of Digimon came to disappear already after that I saw the first episode of the Digimon Adventure anime on tv - it wasn't like Pokémon at all, save for children having monsters as friends/companions. It didn't take long before I came to love Digimon and Pokémon equally, including buying Digimon merchandise and following the Digimon Adventure and Adventure 02 anime on tv. I followed the first anime more regularly though as a kid, as I didn't know the Adventure 02 airing times.
 But during last year I decided to watch the entire Adventure 02 anime together with Shiro Samurai and what to say about the character I want to cosplay? Well, those who have seen the anime knows what of an asshole the Digimon Emperor is, but guess what? I love this guy for the exact same reason as I love Anakin Skywalker from Star Wars - appealing design, a touching bad-to-good story, character depth and of course, character development. The episode were the "Digimon Emperor" comes to realize what horrible deeds he has done in the past as his old self and reverts back to his true self, packed more than enough of an emotional punch to send many manly tears rolling down my cheeks. This guy's story made me cry a lot mentally. He really did. What a lovely, impactful character in a "kids show"...

I also decided on the Digimon Emperor because I found that version of the character to be the most memorable and iconic for the character's growth. Besides, I don't mind cosplaying a bad guy who also has an appealing design, since cosplaying a douche gives you the privilege to make evil faces all day! Hell yeah!

Character: Team Rocket Grunt
Series: Pokémon FireRed / LeafGreen


Team Rocket grunt. Probably one of the reasons to why you hate Zubat/Golbat and their Supersonic move, am I right?

As a kid I disliked each of the Team Rocket hideout areas/dungeons in the early Pokémon games for the following reasons: status effects especially poison and confusion, too easy battles in too long/bothersome areas and of course, this. Even if Team Rocket grunts (and newer grunts) can be a nuisance to deal with, I have to admit that these guys' funny vocabulary, silliness and stupidness is what makes battling countless of them worth the time. These guys are funny, silly and just super nostalgic for anyone who has been into Pokémon since the first generation.

Team Rocket grunt is an easy, recognizable, iconic but also very nostalgic cosplay which gives you the freedom to use pretty much any wig or pair of lenses you feel like, as each grunt is an individual and looks different -at least in the anime- and has no set design. I originally planned to cosplay the original Team Rocket grunt from Pokémon Red/Blue but I ended up choosing the FireRed/LeafGreen version later as I would have felt too uncomfortable having the whip that their sprite has in the first generation games.

Character: Shin Kazama
Series: U.N. Squadron


Nowadays when I either see or read U.N. Squadron or Area 88 (Japanese name of the series) somewhere, I get instantly taken back to my early gaming days when I used to play this game on the Super Nintendo during the late 90's together with my bro, Shiro Samurai. None of us ever beat the game nor came close to it; it was insanely hard. Period. But I remember that I once managed to beat the third level of the game and when I did, oh boy, it must have been the most satisfying, euphoric moment in my gamer life. I swear. It was such a big thing and even today, I'm very proud of that achievement and the determination I had to mow that sucker of a boss down. Good times man, good times.
Some people might have completely missed this hidden gem but for me it was a precious game. This side scrolling shoot-'em-up game, along with Super Mario World, came to be a big part of my early childhood. I loved these two games and my Pokémon games to pieces.
Most of mine and Shiro Samurai's U.N. Squadron gaming moments went to play the first two levels over and over again, so when we managed to shoot that second level's aviator boss to pieces, we were so excited to finally see what the next level was like. You see, after that you beat the second level you can choose which of the limited available next level stages you want to play. However, the game didn't tell you jackshit about how much stronger the enemies were in the level you picked so... yeah, the amount of times we got rekt in the new stage that we so long fought to get to, lol. Anyway, we had a blast playing this game every time and certainly didn't mind playing the same stages time after time since U.N. Squadron has one of the best game soundtracks I've ever heard. Even today I happily put on an U.N. Squadron mix and listen to it for hours. Yes, it's that good.

Years went past and I bought new consoles and games, whenever something interesting came out and so I didn't touch the Super Nintendo nor its games for years. As a kid who don't have English as my mother tongue, I came to forget the name of this wonderful game as the years passed by. It was first around the end of 2015 that I finally found U.N. Squadron again on Youtube and, around that time, I also found out that there was a manga and two anime made of the series as well. Of course I went to watch both of the anime and Shin Kazama, who is the main character, ended up being my favorite fighter pilot. Shin Kazama is a man who just wanted to live a happy life with his girlfriend and he was tricked into serving in the military. Throughout the entire anime he wants nothing more than to get out of there and back to his old life. But to get out, he needs to stay alive and get an insane sum of money which basically means getting blood on his hands. He's such a tragic and conflicted character whom I can't help but love and have dem feels -including nostalgic ones- to. The anime is a psychological one and a strong one at that, some scenes made me really think about what I saw and shed some manly tears too. U.N. Squadron is a really nostalgic game and for it to have a good, impactful anime just made it even more precious to me.

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That's all for this nostalgic post and I hope you guys had an interesting time getting to know my precious childhood heroes and what they have meant to me.

Thanks and bye!

Frozen Angel out.

2 comments:

  1. U.N. Squadron is love. ♥ I want to cosplay someone from it too but I need to watch the anime and the OVA to get a better idea of their personalities because yeah, the game itself doesn't tell you much. xD Most of the time you see an airplane on screen shooting stuff, lol.

    The Digimon Emperor is such a douche at first but yeah, once he snaps and reverts he's kinda hard to dislike. It would be fun with a "double Ken" duo someday. :D Sure that it's a spoiler but oh please, it's such an old series by now that if you don't know who the Digimon Emperor (I first wrote Kaiser) is then you've been living under a Digiegg or something, lol. It's so obvious anyway once the group meets him in the real world, same hair color and all.

    I'll also say that I did a Team Aqua grunt for the same reasons and that's because of them having a generic base outfit but yeah, because of the grunts being many different individuals you can have fun with different wigs, lenses and makeup every time you wear the grunt outfit out! Endless possibilities! :D It won't even feel as much as recycling because you can so easily make the cosplay look different and it's still accurate, haha. Looking forward to grunt time!

    Oh and yeah, regarding Yami Yugi – one part of me was surprised and the other one expected it because brooo, I totally remember when you had that Yugi mancrush and you'd carry that damn manga pocket everywhere... xD

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    1. Go ahead and watch the U.N. Squadron anime, I can't wait to see what character you will cosplay from it :)

      I look forward to both of those duo cosplays, bro! Yeah, Ken is pretty hard to dislike after that change of heart.

      Haha! I knew that you'll say that about Yami Yugi. But yeah, I really had a mancrush on him, can't deny xD

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