Having watched Tokyo Babylon for the first time, I've been inspired to write this article. What on, you ask? Well let me tell you, those outfits worn by Subaru's twin sister, Hokuto, really made Tokyo Babylon that much more interesting.
Anime fashion is an important part of the whole anime experience (ask Havoc about KISS if you don't know what it is). What a character wears greatly determines how we think of them. Thus, what follows is a list of who I think are the best- and worst-dressed anime characters we've seen this year. The opinions are solely my own, so beware (but I got a little help from my friends at Tuesday's manga club meeting). Let's start at the bottom.
1. Lachesis (Five Star Stories): I'm sorry, but those huge shoulder pads just don't cut it in the competitive world of anime fashion.
2. Ukyou (Ranma ½ Super #1): Usually quite kawaii, Ukyou is completely out of character in that hideous body suit thing she wears in this installment.
3. Benten's old friend (Cyber City Oedo #3): As she tries to kill him, how can we take her seriously when she's wearing that horrible one pant leg, bikini top, dual opaque cybereye outfit?
4. Sonoko (To-Y): As Sonoko walks out of the recording studio, she wears some type of white corset thing generating many looks from people on the street. James: "What was she thinking?!?!"
1. Maasaki Tenchi (Tenchi Muyo): What's with those cotton balls on the Jurai battle outfit?! The warpaint sucks, too. We don't need you Tenchi, you're the worst-dressed character in the series. (Then again, he's got lots of girls hanging around him, so he must be doing something right.)
2. Tetsuo (Akira): "T-shirt and cape??? Get with it!" -Ray. Tetsuo has cool theme music, but that's a different article.
3. The Pseudo French Guy (Bakuen Campus Guardress): No explanation necessary.
1. Hokuto (Tokyo Babylon): Talk about style! Supposedly, she likes wearing fancy clothing and that's why we see her in a different outfit every other scene. She's just too cool! (By the way: catgirls are cool!).
2. Natsumi (You're Under Arrest): The first scene when we see her, she's got the jacket, cute helmet, awesome watch, etc. The ultimate in utility while looking cool. Plus, the bike is a great accessory! (episode three has the Natsumi fan service scene: look for it!)
3. Jinno Hazumi (Bakuen Campus Guardress): In the scene where she's sitting with her "brother" looking at photographs (leading into a flashback), she's wearing the coolest dress. Sorry, I really don't know how to describe it. I just remember liking it.
4. Amano Ai (Video Girl Ai): James likes the classic "cos-play" outfit, but I go for the "Ai in schoolboy clothing" look. So cute!
5. Nabiki (Ranma ½ Super #1): She makes up for Ukyou's temporary lapse. In fact, I'd say that Nabiki is the best-dressed Ranma character in general.
6. Yoriko (You're Under Arrest): The glasses do it all for me (and Greg agrees). She's a great character, and her glasses tell you when she's being sneaky.
1. Subaru (Tokyo Babylon): CLAMP rules supreme! Even though I'd be scared to meet a guy like him in real life, in anime, he's got loads of style. The black gloves, black bodysuit, cool hat, the cross... it totally fits his personality. Michael Jackson is a wannabe compared to Subaru.
2. The members of Gasp! (To-Y): To-Y himself, the drummer, guitarist, and bassist... each of them has his own style. Personally, I think the bassist and To-Y look the best.
3. Hasegawa (Cyber City Oedo): The big boss. He dresses well and has an attitude, but it's the lighter that puts him on this list. "You have eight hours... [click]."
4. Ryouga (Ranma ½): I don't know why, but I've always liked his style. Maybe it's the headband, maybe it's the umbrella, or maybe it's the angst. He's got the look of a guy who's always traveling, who carries all his world's possessions on his back. Of all the Ranma males, he's the best.
5. Utsumi-san aka Richard Wong (Patlabor): Nice suit, but the glasses win it once again. He's always smiling, too. "Nothing upsets him. He never sweats, and his suits are always spotless." -Ray.
[12/2/04 Update: For further articles by Lawrence Eng, see his anime page.]