The Bodger’s Guide to Cosplay – Shotokan

The Cosplay Clothes Horse!

I have let you rummage through my Cosplay Weapons Chest (which I don’t usually let Ready-Up readers do until the third date… I mean blog) and hopefully you have learned some of my tricks of the cosplay trade. But ironically the hardest part of any cosplay is deciding which characters you should attempt. There is the first question you ask yourself: “Can I actually make this?” and the question that I generally ask myself: “How fat will I look in this?” This is because the majority of female video game characters wear clothes only ‘they’ can get away with. Female characters especially, we have all seen what Ivy from Soul Caliber wears… and believe me boys – they ain’t real! You don’t want to feel self conscious in front of hundreds of people and ruin your day out (or nearly falling out, in Ivy’s case). Luckily most of the best game characters to cosplay have great outfits that you can wear without the need for double sided (or as it’s known in the trade – ‘tit’) tape.

Ryu TatsunokoFor the male population finding a character is actually much easier, as they generally wear more clothes. Most guys will think Ryu from Street Fighter is a good, manly-man character, grrrr! Ryu is tough, ‘strong like bull’, and really rather fetching, so he’s perfect for a first cosplay if you are male.

To make the outfit you will need to buy either a karate suit which can be found on the net, eBay or in JJB sports shops and then just chop it up. Or for the devil in you, you can buy some sturdy white cotton and draw out a pattern. The pattern is very simple, it is just a large triangle with the top cut off. This is for the back part which will need to big enough to fit around you and so it wraps over your arms, as you will need to cut some arm holes. Luckily his outfit is pretty torn already so neat cutting doesn’t apply. No gluing or anything! Just cut then all you do is tie it up with a black mesh belt. Will take an hour at the most to measure and cut.

Trousers are always a hard part. They are not easy to make (even for me), so there is no shame in buying a pair of white trousers and trashing the ends of them. Then all you need is the red head band and some red gloves. You can buy gloves just like his on eBay, or you can make them from foam card sheets (see last blog). Also walking around bare feet isn’t the best thing so wearing shoes for this outfit isn’t a crime but for a perfectionist a plain pair of flip flops will work.Dan Hibiki

The great thing about this outfit is that it’s adaptable.

Stick it in the wash with a red sock and – Haduken – your next cosplay can be Dan Hibiki. Stick on a black or navy blue T-shirt underneath, wrap some brown material around your red gloves, get a long brown wig and pull a stupid face. And be rubbish. Ta Daa!

Because you will probably not want to be Dan for very long, dye your costume red. You are now Ken. Nip to the local costume shop or eBay and get a nice girly/poncey blond wig. There you have it, your third cosplay costume! A girlfriend called Eliza is optional. You can even use your Ryu or Dan gloves for this costume.

Then when you’re done being the fighter seemingly everyone chooses in SFIV online matches, you can dye your outfit black, you are now Akuma. If you already have some flip flops or sandals from before, they are now an official part of this costume. Red contact lenses would be a nice addition if you want it perfect or just want eyes to scare old ladies. Don’t try and rub lemon juice in your eyes as a cheap alternative.

Use your Ken or Dan gloves and get a red wig. Or if you decided you hated being Ken, you can just buy some wig dye and ‘de-ponce’ the blond wig by making it red. You will also need a huge brown bead necklace which is easily made from Fimo or eight American everlasting Gobstoppers.

Ken Masters

For your last Street Fighter Cosplay, it’s only right to go full circle. Just whip off the red wig and contact lenses and now you are back to being Ryu… only Evil Ryu. Practice your evil laugh now… ready… BWAA HAA HAA! The only additions here are the blue head band and the red Kanji on the back which can be easily made detachable by cutting it out of red material and safety pinning it on. And, of course, the evilness.

So you see, how one outfit can become five in a jiffy, and if you want to be cocky, you can whack the Evil Ryu costume in some bleach and you can start all over again with a shiny new white Ryu costume!


My next blog will be something for the ladies – and I don’t mean Ryu without his outfit.

Evil Ryu







7 responses to “The Bodger’s Guide to Cosplay – Shotokan”

  1. John.B avatar

    Don’t you have the problem that whilst the costume looks good unless you have the 40 inche biceps bestowed upon Ryu that no matter how good your costume is you will always look like a kid at Halloween? Same would go for women I guess, unless you are a 32FF Ivy will be tought to replicate.

  2. Rhyle avatar

    Think you may be taking this all a little TOO seriously, John…don’t think they have to be PERFECT…

    I’d definitely go for the Akuma or Ken but would worry that everyone else at the event would be wearing the same..;)

  3. John.B avatar

    Not necessarily perfect but I’d argue some cosplay can only look good with the right body type.

  4. NorfolkNChance avatar

    I probably passed for a young Ryu when I used to practise karate, just sans bandana.
    Nowadays I need to get bulky & ripped to have a half chance of looking like Ryu, if I got into my old Gi, rip the arms off it might look none too shabby.
    Best get stuck into the gym then ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. Lorna avatar

    That was also my first thought Fran when I htought…’I I were doing Cosplay, what would I be’ and thinking immediately about the how fat would I look thing ๐Ÿ˜€ And I still can’t think of anyone that I could easily do…I’m usually always the one watching the fun from the safety of the corner of the room anyway ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Lorna avatar

    OMG….if I lost a stone and a half I could be Harley Quinn from the upcoming Arkham Asylum game…sexy nasty outfit but completely unforgiving on the pot belly front ๐Ÿ™

  7. Mike avatar

    None of you clearly realize that once you have become dan hibiki, you dont stop being dan hibiki. why would u be ken? he’s such a poser. both him and ryu just try to copy dan’s fighting style anyways.

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