You know, I’m glad that someone realized that it’s just unfair that Cindy gets all the empowerment in Final Fantasy XV… I’m so glad we can count on the fan community to think of looks for the boys that are every bit as impressive and and practical for battle as Cindy’s is for working in a mechanic shop.
That post about “attractive armor without bikini” actually left me wondering: why would you actually want an attractive armor? Sure, everyone loves an aesthethically pleasing armor, but we can’t just forget that armor is mostly made to be, well, intimidating. It’s supposed to make people both safer in combat and also more powerful. Not having to battle – because you look so threatening or even downright unbeatable – is some 40% of the purpose of an armor piece. Why does it need to be attractive?
But let’s set some things straight first: armor is done primarily to be protective. It sure helps if the design makes the wearer intimidating enough to make the opponents surrender right away, but at its core it was invented as a physical barrier between a person and whatever or whoever threatens their life or health.
That doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for decorative armor in the history. Highly ornamented muscle cuirass (male equivalent of boobplate) was designed to impress and worn by high-standing officers during non-battle special occasions, like parades.
That said, in the world of fiction the distinction between purely functional and decorative armor is not necessary. It’s not real, and unless the setting of choice is gritty life-like naturalism, the armor (and any other design) needs just to be believable, not realistic. We commented on it before.
This is where those two bingo squares come in. Fictional worlds, especially the more fantastic ones, can be stylized, sometimes even to ridiculous degree, as long as all of the world is consistent with its level of stylization. That’s why it’s not inherently bad to have people fight monsters in G-strings… It just needs to all make sense within its own narrative and preferably not be gendered (which basically never happens).
Hope that answers it.
Sometimes we make comments about how attractive a person looks in armor, because a lot of the time, their design is going for that. Unfortunately, the shorthand for that tends to be More Skin, High Heels, the usual offenders. But even if a character is designed to be attractive, that can be done without resorting to tired sexist tropes. And so we bring attention to it sometimes, when it’s done well.
Historically speaking, a lot of European plate armor was quite ugly from a design perspective, actually.
Look at that silhouette, the tiny shapes everywhere, that scarecrow head-adjacent helmet, those duck feet. Beautiful.
Compare that to any armor in Game of Thrones, which is functional, but is just so much nicer to look at.
The spider-themed Sadira from Killer Instinct proved to be a much easier fix than first expected. Just giving her poofy pants and limiting the excessive spikes made her look so much less generic! Her silhouette also became significantly more distinct, if I say so myself.
Another tiny fix was making the muted brown accessories, especially the spider belt, a little bit more vivid. I probably should have given that treatment to her whole color scheme. Oh well.
Since I was basically done with all three angles of her model sheet, I’ve spent the rest of the stream adorning it with sketches of boobies and tits… THE BIRDS (every innuendo intended, though).
Now they are the splash of color Sadira really needed.
I stump for Magic the Gathering hard. I often feel like, in a sea of boring design and policies written by the Creepy Marketing Guy, Magic stands out as really trying to do better for inclusivity and diversity, even if it does stumble from time to time.
But this time, they REALLY stumbled.
Behold, from the recent Battlebond set… Royal Trooper!
… like… what the hell.
This is my first time doing one of these bingo cards, so if I missed one or didn’t interpret one properly, let me have it:
Now, the hilarious thing is, I passed this by my fiancee in case I missed one, and she said that the male version of this card was probably better. That sparked an idea, and lo and behold, there was an earlier version of this card:
…it’s also a woman, in MUCH BETTER ARMOUR… FORWARD, Wizards of the Coast. We’re supposed to go FORWARD. Yeesh…
Thanks for subsmission and the commentary! We learned not to have high expectations of Magic and Gathering’s illustrations. At best, they’re a mixed bag.
What the genre needs is more men like this: immaculately groomed in stylish, empowering outfits that let you know they’re both physically powerful, but also emotionally powerful due to their strong connection with their sexuality.
[The title is a double entendre based on one of Azir’s moves in LoL]
For my first Sexy Male Armor redesign, I decided to do a male version of the trend we see with boobs being put on things that really shouldn’t have them. You know, like reptilian humanoids, bug creatures…. this….. so I went with Azir from League of Legends, to turn him into the sexy bird man we all knew he could be (while making many Hatoful Boyfriend references).
I tried to go for realistic-ish anatomy, working all I could from that sensual twist he does in this picture. I also took off all of his unnecessary chest armor. He’s a mage anyway, and we all know mages don’t wear armor. I only kept his arm and head pieces to tie into his belt and legs, and, of course, to frame his pecs, which is the purpose of armor.
Finally, taking inspiration from one of my favorite Sexy Male Armors on this blog (NSFW link), I gave him semi-transparent nipple coverings, and (what has become a trend in my sexy male redesigns, for better or worse) a matching semi-transparent loincloth.
Now Azir can go forth and restore his empire with confidence and empowerment!