Friday, May 07, 2010

What's the Plural of "Snake Eyes?"

One of the most popular convention circuit costumes is the GI Joe Ninja commando, Snake Eyes. It seems like every cosplaying male has one in his closet.

In theory, the look is easy to pull off. You dress all in black, wear a ninja hood, get a visor, an uzi, and a sword. Bingo: Instant Snake Eyes. But is it really that easy to get the icon right? Are each of these Snake Eyes created equal? No. I don't think so either.

I'll pick on the above guy. Yes, I swiped his pic. (I'll take it down if you ask me nicely -- just include your real email address in your comment. I promise not to actually post the comment in public.) From his website, he looks like one of the first attempts to get it right. But in the process, he got it wrong. His mask is all baggy. He's wearing baggy black BDU's as his base uniform. Standard combat boots? No, no, no. But where he really goes wrong is in strapping every possible piece of black tactical nylon gear to his body. Snake Eyes is a techno-ninja. Stealth is his watchword. Heavy boots, massive tactical vests, bandoleers, belts, pouches, courier bags... It's all too much. All his gear clanking will give him away. And visually, he looks less like a panther and more like a battleship.

This dude is a little sleeker, but still makes many of the same mistakes.

This is a little better, but he looks hot in that outfit. And will the biker leathers be quiet, or does he swish with every stride?

This guy is using an UnderArmour shirt (and probably a UA hood) to get a little more sleek. It even looks pretty good with the BDU pants. But he makes that mistake of loading himself down in tactical nylon and extra gear. He makes one last mistake...

The same mistake we see in the guy on the left here -- but not so much in the guy on the right. Snake Eyes is not a Bujinkan ninja -- he understands the importance of conditioning and works out. No skinny arms for a real Snake Eyes (and no fat bellies, either!). If you're going to go the spandex route, make sure you have the body to pull it off.


Ben said...

This is a gem of a post, my friend.

jrf said...

This is the kind of post the term "tongue-in-cheek" was made for.