I have bad taste in male characters when it comes to cosplay. If they aren’t bloodthirsty murderers with very distinct ideas about fashion, they’re either cursed with tragic pasts and even more tragic presents, or a combination of the two.
My second terrible choice (after Kadaj, my first) was a lovely young man named Albel Nox from Star Ocean: Till the End of Time, also known in the game canon as ‘Albel the Wicked’ because, well, look at him.
Now, imagine him cowering in fear because of a girl in a character hat and a yellow t-shirt reading ‘Emergency Food Supply’. That’s right, Menchi from Excel Saga held me at gunpoint and forced me to sign up for my first cosplay contest ever.
Okay, it wasn’t nearly that bad, even though I had to be forced into it. And to mamaesme’s credit, I did win a Judge’s Award. But I freaked out. The people running the contest mixed up the numbers so I was called out a good ten or twelve people ahead of time. I did one pose and the only time the judges saw the back of my costume was when I bolted off ‘stage’, which was really just a cleared-off portion of the carpet in front (even though this was the George R. Brown convention center in Houston).
Least in-character Albel Nox ever. To this day, I still want to cosplay Albel again. Even if he didn’t help me get over stage fright, he made it so that at least I was only scared of being onstage, not signing up for it.