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Yoko Critique Mk I

15. June 2010

Let me preface this post with this: This was typed up a week ago, then upon trying to save Word Press crashed and the whole entry was deleted. This left me bitter and without time to re-make this post until now; so I hope you enjoy it.

Some of you may be wondering; “Why is this thing called The Yoko Critic?” Well awhile back at Anime Weekend Atlanta I noticed a great number of Gurren Lagann cosplayers, specifically Yoko Littner, and as more came around I began critiquing their cosplay. At some point during the weekend a friend turned to me and said she had told her friend about me and referred to me as The Yoko Critic and said that I would be judging her cosplay when we met (She was of course dressed as Yoko). And at that time a small seed was planted that has sprouted into this blog.

You might ask “What makes Simeon so qualified to judge someone’s cosplay?” or “Isn’t it kind of mean to tell someone they are doing it wrong?” Well blogs are about opinions and you are about to get mine. And I am not here to make personal attacks so don’t get all offended when I complain about your lack of large boot zippers or the fact you aren’t showing enough under-boob. I’m just here to present the facts. So lets begin shall we?

So for objectivity’s sake we need some good reference photos.

Here we have a standard image of Yoko Littner

Here we have a more action oriented Yoko Littner

I have a few broad categories that are being judged here; Details (All the small nit-picky things), Rifle, Attitude, Overall Appearance, and of course Zettai Ryouiki (Which will be graded purely on how accurate it is compared to the actual Yoko Littner’s Absolute Territory). These are presented in the chronological order in which we encountered the cosplayers.

Case Study 1

This is the first Yoko we encountered at Animazement 13

Details: The basics are almost covered here; decent top and shorts, chopsticks in the hair, a good scarf and she even has the proper eye protection (difficult to see in these photos), but two things; first is that more attention to these details would benefit this cosplayer and second….WHERE IS THE SKULL HAIR PIECE? The skull is one of Yoko’s trademarks and not having it is unacceptable. The next most obvious to me are her flames on both the boots and top; the toes of the boots should be red with flames coming off and overall I feel like the flames themselves are a bit lackluster. Second is the arm-wear; this cosplayer is lacking the cool studded wristbands Yoko wears and she is also missing the rectangular cutouts on the back of the hands. Next I would have to say is that her boots do not have any kind of zipper at all. Yoko’s zippers are so large they are an accessory in themselves. Lastly is the belt buckle which should be solid, silver, and rectangular. Overall I would have to say her details are good, but not great.

Rifle: The rifle here is well done, my only big complaint is there is no pink shoulder strap. You can tell where some PVC pipe was used and the scope is missing a few knobs. But overall this is a decent rifle.

Attitude: Yoko Littner knows several things; She’s cute, she’s the best shot on the surface, and that she’s a bad ass. This along with her playful yet caring attitude is Yoko’s core. This particular cosplayer seemed a bit nervous, or even surprised that I would be taking her photo. When doing a cosplay I feel like not only do you need to look the part, but acting the part is vital as well. Be confident in who you are portraying. While I’m on the fence about Death Note as an anime, I always respect when I see L cosplayers totally in character throughout a con weekend no matter how weird it seems. Please all you Yokos out there, be confident and bring it,  it makes a huge difference.

Zettai Ryouiki: Yoko’s own ZR is easily a B grade and some might even say pushing an A grade (Personally I think a skirt is required to justify an A score). This cosplayer has her tights down to a C grade ZR. Hike them up; it’s that simple.

Overall Appearance: Overall this is a decent Yoko Littner cosplay but the lack of proper details has kept it from really going to the next level. The missing skull hair clip is really disappointing because they are easy to find in dealer’s rooms so cosplayers do not even have to make their own. But, I am pleased that this cosplayer included Yoko’s glasses because it is a component I do not see very often. I also think that she has done a fine job on the scarf and making a rifle is no easy task.

Final Grade: 2.5/5

Case Study 2

This is the second Yoko Littner we encountered at Animazement. This one requires a new reference photo though:

This is Maid Yoko, everyone say hello. Unfortunately this elusive cosplayer was only seen once at Animazement by Tobias and this was the only photo he could snap of her so I will critique what I can but it will be limited. So here is our second encounter

Details: This is a good basic maid outfit but it’s lacking the numerous ruffles that Yoko has on hers. The bust accentuating vest/jacket is doing its job well and thank Gainax she has skull in her hair. Unfortunately from this angle I cannot tell if the chopsticks are the proper colour or whether or not she has a red ribbon on her back. Also she needs some kind of cuffs (I guess Yoko really likes wrist-wear).

Rifle: N/A (Perhaps a plate instead?)

Attitude: Seeing as I didn’t meet this Yoko I can’t speak as to whether or not she was a confident and outgoing cosplayer. I can say she is giving the camera a cute look along with a nice pose though, and that is a part of the attitude as well.

Zettai Ryouiki: Once again Maid Yoko is pressing a B towards an A grade. This cosplayer has one of two things going on here; full coverage tights that go all the way up the skirt or the photo is at such an angle that I cannot see how short the tights are. Let us hope for the latter.

Overall Appearance: Overall this cosplayer is a cute maid and a cute Yoko. The outfit is decent from what I can see, but as I have already stated without having seen her in person and meeting her my judgment is questionable at best.

Final Grade: tentative 3/5

Case Study 3

Here is our third and final Yoko Littner encounter at Animazement. But before we start I have to show you the entire group she was cosplaying with, they were amazing!

These guys did an excellent job and they were the only Gurren Lagann group at the whole con!

Front view

Side view

Eyes to the right you pervs! This shot is all about that awesome rifle.

Details: This cosplayer really has great attention to details. The scarf is has both white and pink sections (often overlooked), the flames on the boots and top both look great, the studded wrist bands are right on and the gloves have the proper rectangles cut out, giant boot zippers that are open/unzipped, solid belt buckle,A SKULL, and even the colours of the tie strings for the top are properly coloured (red on the bottom one black on the neck one). Also the use of a vinyl/patten leather material for the entire outfit really adds something special. That being said there are a few errors I would like to point out. First is that she only has one chopstick, second is that the long glove/arm protector is on the wrong arm; it should be on her left arm. The belt has three rows of studs instead of two and finally the heels of the boots are a bit too stiletto and need to be thicker.

Rifle: I must point out first that this rifle was completely hand made by the Kamina cosplayer from this cosplay group, and man-oh-man what a fantastic job he did. Every knob, hole, and detail is on this thing. It even has a REAL LEATHER PINK STRAP! I was honestly taken aback by the craftsmanship. The only thing I can find bad to say about it is that the caution stripes on Yoko’s rifle do not go all the way around the stock, but they do on this cosplay.

Attitude: Our initial approach to this group was just as we were all were about to eat lunch and so myself and Tobias caught them a bit off guard, but as soon as everyone was done and full she went straight into action. This cosplayer knows she’s the best shot at Animazement and really knew how to make a presence for the camera. She was confident and ready.

Zettai Ryouiki: The tights and shorts look great, but they need to come up about 10 cm to match Yoko’s B grade.

Overall Appearance: Overall this cosplayer did a great job. Her attention to detail really brought everything together and the use of bright colours and vinyl fabrics gives her an anime/cell-shaded feel without being weird or cheesy like some cosplay I have seen in the past. This combined with that awesome rifle and the fact that she brought it in front of the camera really made this cosplayer stand out. While a few of the small details are off I hope we can come across this caliber of Yoko cosplay again. Oh and one last thing: WHERE’S THE UNDERBOOB?

Final Grade: 4/5

Well everyone I hope you’ve enjoyed this inaugural, if late, Yoko critique. I hope we can do more throughout the year as we attend more cons. Please leave your comments, agreements, disagreements, and hate mail in the comments section.

Simeon out.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. alex permalink
    18. June 2010 12:47 pm

    Simeon this is…I’m just not sure what to think about this; I am glad your content is incredibly true to your title though!

  2. Zakosai permalink
    19. June 2010 6:17 am

    Interesting article! Wondering if you will critique any other costumes or just Yoko?

    • 19. June 2010 9:29 am

      Right now, it’s definitely just Yoko. We consider Simeon the definitive Yoko Critic and like to think that since he’s devoted to just one character, he can make more accurate criticisms about Yoko cosplayers. Maybe in the future, when we have a few more conventions under our belt, we’ll focus on other characters, but as of right now, it’s just Yoko.

  3. Simeon permalink*
    19. June 2010 12:13 pm

    As tobias stated my critiques will be limited to the Yokos we see at conventions. While I do enjoy cosplay and would like to, and probably will, give my opinions on other cosplayers on this blog the critiques will be strictly Yoko critiques until A) I find another anime character I feel qualified in critiquing or B) People stop cosplaying as Yoko.


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