(Credit where credit is due – I originally came across this thanks to the wonderful Bikini Armor Battle Damage.)
So it seems that Langrisser, a popular Japanese tactical RPG, might be getting its first sequel in fifteen years, and some people are really excited about that. However, in my case this bit of news caught my attention not because of nostalgia (I’ve never played the games, nor even heard of them previously) but because of the… interesting character designs.
The male hero is pretty standard JRPG fare, right? Unusually vertical hair, very bishounen features, grumpy expression, and ornate armor. So far so good. But the female character…? Well, really, where do I start?
So leaving aside the fact that this is definitely one of the most extreme cases of armored lingerie that I have ever seen (it actually covers less than Fran!), and also the fact that the instant she even tried to lift that sword – much less swing it – her boobs would pop right out of that top, and also the fact that she must be getting Brazilian waxes on a disturbingly frequent basis… I think the thing that jumps out at me the most is this:
HOLY SHIT IS THAT A LOT OF CROTCH. Like, I don’t even know how they managed it, but that is more crotch than most of Blade and Soul’s costume designs, which is impressive because Hyung Tae Kim – the lead artist – sure loves him some crotch.
And of course, that made me think of Retaliatory Wang, which pretty much made me need to do a gender swap. BECAUSE WANG, AMIRITE? So here we go!
Changing the male hero to read as female was almost absurdly easy – it took me all of 8 minutes. (I timed myself.) I rounded out the breastplate; de-squared the hero’s jaw; and added eyelashes, blush, and lipstick. Interestingly, the last step I took was to de-verticalize the hair; I guess I’ve just played too many JRPGs where the hero has vertical hair to read a fully-covered character with vertical hair as anything but male. And that was it! That’s all!
Gender-swapping Lingerie Knight, however, took a lot more work, and a fair amount of trial and error.
First, I removed most of the hair – since hyper-long hair is a common trope for emphasizing femininity. I also masculinized her features: the jaw was squared, the nose lengthened, the eyes narrowed, and the neck widened. The pauldron on her right shoulder was enlarged and painted in to widen the shoulders. And lastly, the part I had the most fun with, I painted in the banana hammock, complete with chest and pubic hair. (And giggled to myself the entire time, because I am super mature.) After that, it was a lot of trial-and-error.
I had planned on not bulking her up, since the male hero read as male despite having the same very slight build. However, in order to overcome the sheer ridiculousness of the outfit, I wound up going back and bulking up her biceps and legs. I also had to get rid of the boob cups entirely, as well as square off the contours of the lace, because even with no boobs and chest hair, the boob cups still made it look like he just had really hairy boobs.
And even after all that, I still wound up adding a goatee and mustache, because I felt like the prominent wang, chest/pubic hair, increased muscularity, and masculinized features were still not sufficient to read as male while wearing that outfit. And even then, the end result is a design that is hilarious, but not at all appealing as an avatar. Whereas the gender-swapped male hero? I would play her in a heartbeat.
 Yes it is a word. Shut up.