Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE

The great thing about Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE by CLAMP is that one could cosplay a different costume every time and almost never run out of canon! The characters constantly travel from one world to another, changing clothing each time. Add that to the fact that CLAMP artbooks are full of rich character illustrations featuring sumptuous fabrics and improbable physics, and it’s a cosplayer’s dream! — or perhaps nightmare. In any case, it’s why CLAMP art has been one of the most treasured inspirations for cosplayers for the last two decades.

Tsubasa currently holds the record for most costumes we’ve made from a single source (15 to 17, depending on how you count variants). Many were competition costumes; some were casual found-item outfits. They’re all included here, because otherwise our entire gallery would just be full of separate Tsubasa entries, but costume details and awards (where relevant) are broken out for each set.

Characters

  • Alena as Fay D. Fluorite
  • Alena as Prince Yuui
  • Laura as Kamui
  • Laura as Syaoran
  • Laura as Prince Fay
  • Mark as Kurogane
  • Mark as Ashura-ou

Final Battle

This costume came about because Alena hates being bored. A bad respiratory infection once left her stuck in bed for several weeks; after she had exhausted her supply of audiobooks and video games, she decided that sitting in front of a sewing machine was only slightly more effort than lying in bed and couldn’t really hurt her recuperation. A week later, she had two brand new costumes (constructed in large part from scrap fabric lying around the house, since she couldn’t go shopping).

The staff was added a few years later, when the costume was pulled out of the closet for another event. (Staff tutorial is here.) New resin accessories were also cast for the revamped costume, as the old ones had begun to degrade.

Awards

  • Best Performance, KollisionCon 2010
  • Best Master Craftsmanship, Midoricon 2014

Tokyo (vampire)

So… applique. Overlapping layers of applique. Stretch knit applique on a stretch knit bodysuit. There’s no need to bore you with the details of the challenges we encountered with this project, but there’s a reason that Kamui’s bodysuit sports a hidden message that spells out “I hate applique” in Japanese. (Down the right hip, if you’re looking for it.)

Other fun facts: All accessories were handcrafted, including rings, bracelets, pins/brooches, necklaces, ear cuffs, wing embellishments, claws, Kamui’s embroidered armband, all leather pieces, and more. Kamui’s original character art did not include the topcoat, so we designed one to match the other costumes. The applique designs on the coat replicate the double-wing symbol from the Tokyo arc (also seen on his patch, ear cuff and pendant), and the back of the coat features a giant X made of wings (as a nod to the manga from which the character originated).

Awards

  • Best Master Craftsmanship, Youmacon 2009

Valeria & Ceres

Laura and Alena are frequently asked if they are twins (they aren’t), so the opportunity to play twin characters seemed too good to pass up! The fact that these costumes are loaded with angst and spoilers was a bonus perk. Add in a heavy snowfall, and it was the perfect season to cosplay the young princes of the ice kingdom and a certain king who gets a lot of artbook exposure.

Construction highlights: All costumes are constructed of glitter-coated fabric (for that extra icy sparkle!) and trimmed in faux fur. The applique pieces on Ashura’s nine-foot-long cloak were gradient-dyed by hand and satin stitched with variegated thread. All jewelry/accessories were handcrafted using resin and plastic fast food containers. (We use only the finest materials here at ASIHTB HQ!)

Infinity

While staffing the cosplay department of a con, we decided to make it easy to identify department staff, so everyone on staff agreed to cosplay from Tsubasa all weekend. This left us needing an additional costume (early days; we didn’t yet have all the others!), so we put together the relatively simple Infinity arc costumes.

Nihon

With Korin as Princess Tomoyo.