Saturday, December 17, 2011

Sailor Moon Transformation Cosplay Idea

I had the craziest idea for a cosplay the other day, one that made me laugh out loud at it's sheer silliness. I also think it would be pretty original...I've never seen it done before anyway.

Here's the idea: what if Sailor Moon's transformation "froze" while it was happening? How would she look, running around all sparkly and covered in ribbons? I could pose gracefully like a dancer for every photo, and I believe a LOT of people would understand what I was. I started figuring out how I would do it. Here are a couple reference photos of what she looks like when she's transforming:

sailor moon anime eyes moon prism power makeup

This is from the first season. Her body is like a whirling kaleidoscope of color inside the drawn outlines. Pink, blue, yellow and sparkles everywhere. Her eyes blink a couple times, and then they are closed until she is fully transformed (because honestly...I would go blind if I had that kind of magicalness swirling around me, wouldn't you?).

sailor moon anime henshin transformation brooch locket compact moon crystal power makeup

This is from the second season. Same concept, but now there are blue and pink hexagonal sparkles added in.

sailor moon anime henshin transformation moon cosmic power makeup

In the third season, her body is mostly pink and yellow as she transforms.

sailor moon anime henshin transformation chibi moon crisis power makeup cosmic dream action

In the 4th season, she and Chibi Moon are contrasted with different colors. Sailor Moon is blue and yellow while Chibi is pink and yellow. They both have their coordinating sparkle colors appearing darker on their bodies.

I didn't include the 5th season because it's my least favorite of the transformations...I feel it isn't as graceful and "dancerly". The 3rd season one with the giant blue heart is my fave.

Most of her transformations have the characteristic "see-through magic ribbons", as seen below, that wrap around her body and create her leotard costume base. If I were to do this outfit, those ribbons would be the crucial element for it to be recognized for what it is.

sailor moon anime henshin transformation moon crisis power makeup cosmic dream action

sailor moon anime henshin transformation moon prism power makeup

There is also the issue of her hair. It is outlined with her body so whatever color the body is, the hair should match. Therefore, it wouldn't be a wig, but shaped from fabric. I would also add wire so it could be shaped as if it were "flying". 

sailor moon anime henshin transformation moon prism power makeup

After her torso gets wrapped by the magical ribbons, her arms and legs get wrapped as well for her gloves and boots. I didn't notice until I took these screenshots that her fingernails stay magical pink up until she gets the gloves on in her 1st season transformation.

sailor moon anime henshin transformation moon prism power makeup arms gloves

sailor moon anime henshin transformation moon prism power makeup legs boots

So after I watched all the transformations a couple times, I figured the main elements for the cosplay to be recognizable would have to be this:
  • The classic Sailor Moon hair shape
  • The whole thing would have to be doused in sparkle
  • The pink ribbons should at least be around the torso, if not also around the arms and legs.
  • The "brooch" needs to be very sparkly, if not flat out-glowing.
  • My poses need to be in keeping with the elegant dance style of the transformation for photos.
Okay, so how do we translate these elements into real life?

First, we start with the body. I considered a leotard with hands and feet, then matching makeup and hairpiece made from fabric to the leotard color...but there would be a disconnect between the leotard and my skin, so that wasn't the ideal option. Plus it's messy and I'm way too lazy to spend hours putting it on. Then I discovered what a "zentai suit" is. Zentai is Japanese, short for "zenshin taitsu (tights)", or full-body tights. It looks just like it sounds:

sailor moon pink morphsuit morph suit zentai suit


As disturbing as they are, zentai suits are pretty popular with dancing troupes and costumers alike, along with people with tight-clothing fetishes. If you're comfortable with your body, then...whatever, right? As long as you're wearing something underneath to hide certain things...I'm fine with it. XD

So if I were to do a zentai suit, I could hopefully make the hair piece from matching fabric and stuff it to look like Sailor Moon's hair. Shouldn't be too hard.

I considered making the suit myself, but after looking at and seeing how much work goes into measuring and patterning...I decided not to. I am looking into buying a Morphsuit from instead, as long as I can get the hair fabric spot on.

If I can get a super shiny silver or light pink suit, I think that will be the ideal color to go with. It would be a little harder to find something with the exact color combos that Sailor Moon actually has as she's swirling around in what seems to be inter-dimensional space.

Next: The ribbons and the do we best portray this? The ribbon shouldn't be too hard to find; I would like to get some wired ribbon if possible but I also have some pink fabric already that I could cut into strips and wire myself. I will also add some ribbon to my arms and legs I think, just pretending like the transformation is happening all at once instead of piece by piece.

To get some glow and sparkle going on to REALLY wow congoers, I'm going to go with this:

el wire red pink light up wire

This is called EL wire. It's hooked up to a battery and glows, and is cool to the touch. I can intersperse this with the pink ribbon to give off that magical impression.

pink hair clips fiber optic strands light up

These are super cheap hair clips that have fiber optic strands in them. What I want to do is stick the center of one or two of these in the brooch that will go on my chest and spread the fibers so there are twinkling lights among the magical ribbons as well as the glowing EL wire.

The last problem I want to solve is the eyes. I will probably applique either some open anime eyes on the face of the zentai suit, or just eyelashes so it looks like my eyes are shut. I think open eyes would be a little less off-putting when people try to interact with me, even if they're not accurate to what is actually happening in the transformation. What do you think?

I haven't decided how I will make the brooch glow yet, but I do know that it will be a little bulky as it will probably house the batteries for all the glowy stuff I'm adding and is a centerpoint for all the ribbons to attach to.

One more thing: Should I add some more fiber optics to my hair buns and forehead as if the full transformation is going on, like with her accessories and jewelry? It might be overkill but then again it might be just plain pretty. :P

The ULTIMATE would be to have a whole group to do it with...all the inner scouts, frozen in their transformations.  We could have all sorts of fun inventing how to do the special effects on those...but how do I find 4 girls brave enough to wear zentai suits? Perhaps if my finished outfit generates enough buzz, I will have people swarming to do more of these. I think it's hilarious and can't wait to see the reactions! I hope to have it done by Anime Salt Lake in March :D

mercury power makeup henshin transformation

Mercury Power!

mars power makeup henshin transformation

Mars Power!

jupiter power makeup henshin transformation

Jupiter Power! 

venus power makeup henshin transformation

Venus Power!



  1. This is an amazing idea... you're so creative!! I'm reading this and thinking "Wow, is she really going to do it??" :D

    Jupiter's would be hard to do, ha! I think your ideas are great!

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  3. I will be Mercury!

    Tis me, Riku! :D

  4. I would love to do Jupiter. I always thought she was awesome. Also, I like lightning 8D It would be hard to do a swirly lightning sphere like in the picture, though. But I am sure it could be done :) Seems a little Lady Gaga-esque. :)