While I’ve never really been truly happy with any Horo cosplay (or most cosplay in general) there have been some that have stood out. Now, I’ll admit originally these all stood out because they were nude but after contemplating the issue the thought started to occur to me, isn’t it amazing someone would cosplay a nude anime character for no monetary gain (that I’m aware of) and only their adoration of the character as their motive? I think this says a lot about Horo’s character and just how much Spice & Wolf appeals to those who love it (and why it should get a third season damnit!). What’s even more surprising is the number of people who’ve cosplayed in the nude as Horo, I’ve found seven all of whom are from Eastern Europe. I’m not sure why this is, perhaps it’s a different culture and view on nudity and sexuality, not as prudish as North America who’d rather violence be accepted than nudity. Whatever the case, I appreciate these Eastern European sensibilities that have allowed for such to occur.
This first set, including the header, is by a photographer named Andrew Kudryavtsev and model Anastasiya Reznikova aka “Vesta777”. It seems to be the most well regarded of the cosplay and I think I’d have to agree. My biggest qualm with the photos is the setting, or lack there of. They’ve got the pile of apples, they’ve got the cosplay, but they have a void of emptiness as their backdrop. Surely they could have found a wagon to use but I suppose that brings other issues, privacy perhaps, not everyone enjoys a photo session outdoors in the nude. Perhaps it was winter like some of the sets below and I can’t blame anyone for not wanting to go outside naked in the Winter, especially in Russia.
I believe originally I found one of these photos on an image board of some kind and thanks to the photographer watermarking his photos I was able to trace it back to various websites and find additional photos. As the watermark says the photographer goes by the alias “MAD.CREATIVE.CHARACTER” and the model “Kitana”. Via the aformentioned back tracing I found the models deviantART account “Kitana123”, the photographers own website as well as the name of the model Анастасия Меркурова (Anastasia Merkurov says Google Translate) via another account of hers at a Russian website.
I understand not uploading the original sized photo for consumption on the Internet both for ease of viewing as well as controlling prints but these are really pushing the limits. They’re so small, I don’t need to see individual hairs or anything but pixel density and monitor size are increasing and 600 pixels wide just doesn’t cut it. I mean, my 2.4″ Blackberry screen almost has as much horizontal resolution! So I’m pretty disappointed in their size but it’s a good set and doing it in the winter takes more courage than I could muster. Sadly though, this apparently isn’t a real nude cosplay, Anastasia says on her deviantART that she’s not really nude and I think I concur, that or she doesn’t have any toes.
Unlike the above two girls, Ranni3 isn’t from Russia, but she is from Eastern Europe in next-door Belarus. Unfortunately she’s decided that no single photo size is sufficient, they must all be different. She’s done two sets, a summer and a winter which is nice and reflects the different locales in the series, the wheat fields that Horo watched over as well as the north where she came from. The summer set were photographed by Elizaveta Gaiduk, where the winter set was done by “Senma” as the watermark says.
Keeping it simplistic, this single photo by photographer Shin-tyan from Ukraine and model “Lulu” shows a reasonable effort. While her tail does not look anywhere near as groomed as Horo’s would be and the ears too far back on her head overall I could look at this photo and identify the character being cosplayed. What I don’t understand however is how they went through all the trouble only to take a single photograph. Perhaps they opted to only post the ‘best’ one, but I would have preferred a couple, I like sets rather than individual.
Getting back to the Russians, photographer Yuu Gray and model “HoroSama” get out of the cold, grab a snack and take a lap in field of long grass. What stands out at me most about these photos is… her eyebrows. I know rarely does a cosplay dye their eyebrows and I don’t expect them to, but their choice of wig colour really exaggerates the difference in hues between the two. I think less orange looking hair would really have helped.
This next set has me debating Canadian law with regards to displaying artistic nudity of minors. DeviantART seems to feel comfortable displaying Bulavina Anna aka Cra-zy-Frog’s photos, and I’m leaning towards it being ok as well given nothing is truly exposed. However I’ve decided to play it safe and use a silhouetted shot which I think is the best anyway. The reason for my concern is due to her claimed age in her profile, that being 16 years old coupled with the fact that’s her current age and the photos are from two years ago. Anyway, I think this shot works pretty well towards envisioning Horo. Though as always I have some criticisms, she should take her hands off her ears and also those powerlines and house really destroy what could have been a great sunset silhouette. What I think would have worked better would be keeping her shoulders as are, but her left arm going down to her legs and she should lean on her right a little bit right at her side. But you get what you get, beggars can’t be choosers I guess.
Girls aren’t the only ones cosplaying in the nude as Horo, no men are too! This trap here thinks he can cosplay naked as a wolf goddess and I suppose if one were blind enough they might just believe it. Even this cosplay comes from mother Russia via user fosya on deviantART.
Correction: I must add an apology in here to fosya. I’d always been under the impression that the photo featured here was actually a man and thanks to the the abundance of traps on the Internet, in anime and general complacency by yours truly I took this at face value and saw what I was told to see. However on November 29th, 2011 some additional photos (one, two, three) were added to fosya’s account which prove otherwise. Furthermore, the photographer himself corrected me months prior on July 28th, 2011 and I seemingly overlooked this fact. So again, apologies to fosya and the misinformation, it truly was not intended slight against you and I feel terrible about the mistake.
To make up for the trap, here’s a photoshop’d naked Horo as well as a reposting of the most famed photoshopped nude Horo cosplay.
I find it truly amazing that all the nude cosplay of Horo comes from Eastern Europe. I tried to find stuff from other countries but nothin’, only photoshops and Eastern Europeans. Hmm thinking about it, I’m of Eastern European descent (ok, half of me is, the other half is Western European, and both halves of me are 100% Canadian), perhaps I should move back to the motherland and find myself a real Horo, maybe even a harem of Horos! Unfortunately I wouldn’t be able to speak to any of them unless they spoke English. Whatever the case may be, I appreciate the alacrity of Eastern Europeans to cosplay in the buff and I look forward to moving there in the imaginary future.
A note on copyright, none of these photos are my own and all
rights belong to their respective and attributed owners.