Saturday, September 18, 2010

Let's Do Steampunk Lolita!

Disclaimer: All images taken from Google Images, I do not own any of them!

Well, due to my recent post on EGL asking about corsets in Lolita, I decided to do a little guide on something that both the Lolita and Steampunk community aren't sure what to do with: Steampunk Lolita!

Now, the Steampunk community complains that it's too Lolita, the Lolita community half of the time complains about the same thing, and the other half complains about it breaking some of the 'rules' of Lolita. So we're going to try and appease both groups and get started~

First things first, it's probably better to stick to the Lolita "Rules", that is modesty (even EroLoli is modest compared to other "Erotic" styles), the bell-shape silouette, and the overall "Cuteness" that seems to exist in all things Lolita. However, when you do this, you need to give heed to the Steampunk asthetic, which is the historical roots with the modern twist. Newtonian laws rule here, so keep that in mind! Overall, you should probably know a good amount about both styles before randomly deciding to mix them. Now let's break this down!

Character: One thing I've noticed in Steampunk: Most people have characters (or as I like to call them: Steamsonas. Yes. I'm serious.) Think about who your character is first (this may cause a rift with some of the Lolitas, who prefer the style as a fashion over costuming. You're free to continue this as a fashion, but think about how you want to portray yourself. Some people prefer the "Cutesy" aspects, while others want to look like youthful royalty. It's probably good to have this character {or portrayal} in mind before you start dressing yourself.) Is your character an airship mechanic? Probably best to leave out the extreme frills, and go for something a little more subdued. Conversely, is your character royalty? Deep, rich colours, and fancy clothing is almost mandatory here!

World: Steampunk has a rich and diverse world, and several people tend to make their own worlds for the genre. Think about where your character comes from. Is it a generally peaceful place? No need for toting ray guns then if things are always so quiet. What about an adventure-filled land with danger around every corner? I doubt you're going to be without a few weapons and shields (or at least some nifty gadgets disguised as ordinary accessories.) Always pay heed to where you are, and where you're going, this will influence the outfit.

Now, I've already probably lost some of the fashion-centric people right here. Don't fall asleep just yet! There is fashion goodness to come, however, if your outfit is mis-matched and doesn't seem to flow (hence where the characterization comes in), then you won't look very good. See? A bit of forethought is necessary for the fashion aspect.

Hair: More historical styles are valued here. Save the pink Himegaryuu wigs for other styles, because there's very little that can be done to make it Steampunk enough for SteamLoli. Sorry, love you all, it's just NOT a good idea overall. If you can do it? Great! Send me pictures, and I'll show the world how wrong I am, in the meantime? Best to avoid it. Historical styles in natural colours are best, Steampunk itself tends to go into the "Punk" asthetic, but for SteamLoli, it's better to focus on the "Steam" aspect. Do some research to historical hairstyles, braids were common, as were decadent curls. Find ways to make them more Lolita, perhaps small bows adorning a French braid. Here are some photos of styles for you:

So on, so forth. Also, check out any hairstyle tutorial done by Torrin Paige. Her styles never fail to amaze me with their beauty, and easy to follow instructions~

Lolita in general requires a lot of thought that go into ensembles, and that includes things like hair, and makeup. Don't just let your hair sit in a regular ponytail, jazz it up a bit!

Makeup: This is where you have to start thinking of your character again. Your noble is going to wear a lot more makeup than your airship mechanic (can we tell I love using those two examples?) Likewise, makeup should go with your outfit, and at least look somewhat natural. Remember, more Steam than Punk here.

If you want to have a little more extreme makeup, using metallic tones on your eyes are a great touch. Brass, copper, gold, even silver can look wonderful. It's usually best to keep a sepia tone in regards to makeup, but you can have a bright contrasting colour in light amounts.

Likewise, for things like meetups, or parties, you could easily go a bit extreme, but this isn't recommended for day-to-day life. (It is justified by it being a special event, however, so it's only natural you would get dolled up~)

With the basics out of the way, let's get to the clothes!

Blouses: Any white, offwhite, or sepia-toned blouse could work here. Offwhite and white are the most common, but that doesn't mean it's all you can do. The blouse should keep the Lolita elements to it, with a Steampunk flair. Both short or long sleeves can be used. Lace is fine, just make sure it's high-quality (I shouldn't have to go over these basics, I'm assuming you're all seasoned Lolitas here.)

Now what do I mean by Steampunk flair? Accessorizing! In this case, pins, brooches, and embroidery are your best friend. Likewise, if your blouse has a regular pointed colour, here are some ways to dress it up. Likewise, there's embroidery, maybe you want to embroider cogs and gears, or other delightfully (and perhaps a little cliche) Steampunk symbols. Get creative here~ The blouse isn't necessarily the main attraction, but that doesn't mean it has to be boring~

Skirts: I'm going to say it right now, Blouse+Skirt combinations are much easier to use in SteamLoli, you get a few more options for a lesser price (most of the time), and they just hold the asthetic better. I'm not saying that you can't wear jumperskirts and OPs with SteamLoli, just that it will be a bit harder.

All the same, skirts! Skirts should have the bell-shape (obviously), and contain the basic Lolita silouette while containing all the delights of Steampunk. Bustles are great here, so are screenprinted designs, or (more) embroidery~ Bonus points if you match the motifs on your blouse to your skirt. Skirts are generally a shade of dark brown, but that doesn't mean you can't do lighter colours! (Protip: If you want a splash of colour, and aren't interested in a contrasting corset, try making the bustle whatever colour you want!)

Jumperskirts: Underbust JSKs are probably your best bet here. While you can still (somewhat) rely on your blouse for some Steamy coverage, the JSK itself should be Steampunk enough to stand on its own. Motifs and colour scheme are great here.

One-Pieces: These are probably the hardest to coordinate, seeing as the OP itself has to be Steamy enough to stand on its own. (Otherwise it's not as much SteamLoli as it is Lolita with Steampunk accessories. If you want to go that route, fine, but it's not really Steampunk Lolita, where the two are mixed rather evenly.) Like with JSKs, you'll want to really hit it home with the motifs and colour schemes. This will be the focal point of your outfit, so make sure it doesn't disappoint!

Hats: Oh man, don't get me started, hats are for those of us who don't want to do extreme things with our hair, short-brimmed, wide-brimmed, it doesn't matter what it is, so long we're putting it on our heads! Hats should coordinate with your outfit, and make sense for the "Character". (Yes, I'm still going on with that, there's more rants on that later.) For Steamloli? Take any of those hats you were about to wear, and shrink it down to about half the size. Trust me when I say it works. Mini tophats, mini tricorns, need I say more? (Likewise, accessorize on both of them! Feathers are amazing things, you know. Or if you don't want to spend a fortune on hats alone, buy a basic one, and then make the accessories detatchable!)

A note on goggles: I know everyone and their aunt loves them, but goggles really do need to make sense. An avaiator would need them, a mad scientist (oh man. I want to see a Lolita mad scientist now) would need them, an airship mechanic (I'm using it again) would need them. Your little princess does not need them. (Unless she's secretly sneaking out to fly airplanes, run experiments, or work the graveyard shift repairing the airship.)

Corsets: You all saw this coming. Corsets, yes, corsets. First things first, get that fetishy dancer out of your head, we're talking good-quality corsets that can make or break an outfit.

Corsets are best in Blouse+Skirt combinations, and underbust tends to look best. (Overbust CAN be used, but please please please please please get all overbust corsets fitted specifically to your body! An ill-fitting overbust can hurt like no tomorrow and possibly even cause health problems. Please don't take that risk!) The corset is where you should hit home the colour if you so desire. Do you have a predominantly sepia ensemble? The corset is where you could add that emerald you were after, or maybe that amethyst purple. Jewel-tones look best, but you really could do this with many colours.

Something to keep in mind: Corsets as outerwear are starting to become cliche in Steampunk. They're too much of a staple to be abandoned forever, but some people might roll their eyes. (Besides that, do remember that corsets were underwear back in history, and no person would ever show it. Fashion corsets in today's society are a bit different in that they're meant to be shown, so don't fret too much.)

Colour: I'm not going to lie, the Victorians loved colour, and often were a little... unfashionable with it at times. However, the Steampunk asthetic tends to use things in sepia. While many Steampunks are trying to get away from this stereotype, it's still well-known as a Steampunk thing. If you're trying to do SteamLoli, I would recommend staying in a sepia-toned outfit. As I've said in many sections above, you can still wear colour, little splashes of it here and there can really make an outfit lovely. However, certain colours are just not going to work very easily.

Pastels come to mind. I can already hear the Sweet Lolitas crying. It's not that you can't do pastels, it's that you'll have to work very hard to incorperate them correctly. Personally, I wouldn't mind seeing a sepia-toned outfit with a pastel pink corset, bustle overskirt, and a pastel pink feather in the hat. That is pastels done right. A "Steampunk Lolita" (I use the term loosely here) outfit that is completely all pastel pinks and blues? ... It's just not going to work here. As I keep saying, jewel-tones and metallic colours are best when you want to add colour. Doesn't mean you can't use your pastel-pink goodness, but you just have to use it in moderation, and know when something just isn't Steampunk anymore.

Prints: As a fan of solid-colours (and the occasional floral), I'm a little biased. Either way, solid colours with a few screenprinted designs are best. Prints are iffy, they either work or they don't. Dancing teddy bears just isn't going to be Steamy enough (now... if they wre mechanical teddy bears... alright, I'm done.) Innocent World came out with a lovely "Antique Book" print awhile back, that could work. Angelic Pretty's "Sugary Carnival"? Not so much. Where prints are concerned, sepia-tones are best, and more archaic, historical motifs are best.

Brands: Alright. (Again) the Sweet Lolitas are going to hate me. AP is pretty much entirely out. If someone wants to do a really well-done SteamLoli ensemble with AP, then please go ahead and prove me wrong, but from what I know of the brand, none of their dresses/skirts/et cetera would cut it for a Steampunk Lolita. Some Innocent World or Mary Magdaline could work. However (and this may just be my inner non-brand lover talking) your best bet is going to be through an indie brand, commission, or making it yourself. I'm sure there are brands with designs that are perfectly good for SteamLoli, I just don't research brand enough to really know for sure.

Fabrics: This may be one of the few times I encourage someone to break a rule. Shiny fabrics can be okay. Now, I'm not saying you can go get the cheap satin, not at all. High quality bridal satins, taffeta, brocades and the like can be used in moderation. You see, have you ever had a metallic in a matte fabric? It doesn't tend to look very metallic, now does it? Mettalic usually implies shiny, so a bridal satin in gold, brass, whatever would actually be perfectly fitting. I can already hear the enture Lolita community facepalming, but this is one of the "Rules" that can be waived when used in moderation and done right. (I swear though, if I catch you making your entire SteamLoli ensemble in cheap satin and blaming it on me, there'll be heck to pay~)

Now, what about the substyles of Lolita? I'm going to focus primarily on the main three. (Seeing as I don't feel like Steaming up Wa-Lolita right now. Someone else who actually wears Wa-Lolita can do that for me~)

Sweet: This is going to be the hardest to Steam up (and even harder if your heart lies with OTT Sweet.) First things first, put the rainbow-vomit AP prints away. It's just not going to work, I'm sorry. Shrink the pastels down to an accent colour, and turn down some of the frills. Instead of oodles of lace, try a few lace ruffles, and an overskirt in your colour of choice. Now about the deco craze? Just replaces those cupcakes with hourglasses, those cookies with cogs, see where we're going with this? Unfortunately, Sweet is the hardest to make Steamy, and I wouldn't recommend it for beginners.

Gothic: Luckily, you can still keep your darker colour scheme, but the accessories will have to have a bit of tweaking. First of all, you know that lovey miniature tophat with the veil on it? Let's add a few motifs to it, and that cross? Shall we try making it mechanical for the fun of it? Gothic also benefits most from a corset, so feel free to use one~ (It also helps if you want to trade in the black one for a jewel-tone, or if you keep the black, make sure it has a few motifs. I've actually seen these lovely black corsets that have a ribcage design on them, they're perfect.)

Classical: You guys have it easy. Classical is the easiest to turn into SteamLoli. (Actually, the main complaint is that most outfits are just Classical with a few Steamy touches.) Trade in the JSK for a blouse and skirt, and maybe add a corset. Likewise, you're also going to have to use the motifs, and I woudln't worry much about your colour scheme, you tend to stick to neutrals most of the time anyway. Oh, jewelry, you'll need a lot more jewelry, maybe a long chain with a nice pendant at the end or something?


All the same, this is an intricate and difficult style to pull off, I wouldn't recommend it for beginners, but if your heart is set on it, I won't stop you. I hope this guide helps out a bit~

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Natural Nobility

So today we're going to talk about "Natural Nobility", or as I like to say: "Being royalty without actually having a title." For those who are interested in this sort of thing, great! Keep on reading. If not? Well, please write to me and tell me what you do want to read about so I can get to it!

I was inspired by a lovely and inspiring post in Lord Nathaniel's blog Mild Relevancy. In this, he spoke of purple being the color of royalty, and then assuring us that he doesn't think so highly of himself to call himself royalty. I, being the ever-argumentative person that I am, decided to contest him on this, telling him that he has a good amount of nobility in him. Maybe not by blood, or by title, but by existing, by living life as he does.

Nathaniel is a great example of someone who is a "Natural Noble", someone who is gentle and kind, full of grace, even when he has plenty of reason not to be. His very life and state of being is an ideal that I think people should strive harder to reach. I'm not saying copy his every action and deed, because that would be creepy. No, I'm saying note what he does, why he does it.

You see, as I mentioned in Soul Calibur Psychology, Nat is fiercely loyal. He's never turned his back on me as a friend (even though I've deserved it once or twice), whenever I talk to him he's kindhearted and loving, no matter what's going on in his life. He's always been willing to help, and is always there as a friend, no matter what. This goes a long way in people's minds, you know.


Alright, my sappy ramblings aside (because goodness knows they WILL only get sappier.) I'm going to tell you this. No amount of etiquette books in the world, no amount of well-meaning tutorials by me... is going to make you a Natural Noble. It's just not going to happen. Not saying you can't learn, but unless you let your inside change with your outside... you will only be seen as a pretentious mask-wearer. And trust me, that isn't what you want. Natural Nobility is exactly that: Natural. If it doesn't feel right for you, don't do it, because you'll only cause yourself and others pain.

All the same, these are some of the traits of a Natural Noble.

Etiquette is always nice. I'm not saying you have to memorize what fork is for salad and which drink holds the champagne. That's fun to do, but it isn't the heart of where I'm getting at. I'm talking about saying "please" and "thank you". I'm talking about giving someone a firm handshake when you meet them, looking them in the eyes and smiling. I'm talking about being polite and treating people like they really ought to be treated. This has taken me far in life, and I've never heard of it not taking someone else far.

(Please note right now that being polite does not mean being a pushover. When someone is taking advantage of your kindness, firmly tell them to stop. You deserve much better than their rudeness.)

Kindness shouldn't even need to be mentioned. The Golden Rule applies here: "Treat thy neighbor as ye yourself wish to be treated." You've likely heard that phrase since you were four. That's because it is an important rule you need to learn young. Now that you're older, don't disregard it. What you learned in kindergarten still applies.

Grace. This is going to sound silly, but watch a Disney movie sometime. Notice how, no matter what happens, the princesses remain graceful? (Well... at least in the few Disney movies I've watched.) I'm not saying you have to live your life exactly like the princesses (goodness, that would be difficult, that and some of them are a little flat... more on that some other time.) But something to keep in mind, they keep their voices soft, their intentions pure (hopefully), and never really lose their "virtue", or the things that make them graceful, elegant, and whatnot. Even Cinderella was beautiful in her rags. The ball gown didn't suddenly make her pretty, she was pretty to begin with. Her kind nature was apparent even though her physical body didn't match it.

These things make up the soul, but what about the body? (For those of you who are interested in matching up, anyway.)

Hygene is important. No. Seriously. Not bathing for three weeks on end is gross. Not brushing your teeth is gross, and frankly, people are going to judge you on it. People have the instinctual reaction to think that if someone can't take care of themselves, then they can't take care of other things, aren't reliable, are gross, et cetera and so forth. Unfortunately, it's the world we live in. Make sure your teeth are brushed, your hair isn't in fifty gajillion knots, and all that good stuff.

Dress the part. I do this a little too often, seeing as my closet is halfway made up of ball gowns. No. I'm not saying that you should wear a ball gown to school. (Unless it's "Dress to Impress" day, but whatever.) For girls, maybe a nice blouse with a pretty skirt? It doesn't have to be fancy, just nice. For the gentlemen, what about a button-down shirt and dark slacks? Always a sharp look. Keep in mind that your clothes should always fit you, and be something you genuinely want to wear. If t-shirts and jeans are your thing, then go for it. I just wear my fancy-pants things because I like them. No sense in being uncomfortable.

Posture, keep your posture straight, not only is it better for your appearance, but also your health. Take it from a seventeen year old who has back and foot problems, you do not want these things in your life. Seriously. You. Do. Not. So save yourself now and fix your posture the best you can. (Besides that, it looks ten-trillion times better when you're not hunched over your soup-bowl.)

Speak softly, try not to use too many profanities (and in cases like school, the workplace, and other 'professional' settings, don't use any at all!) If you don't know how to speak without using expletives, then you simply so not know how to speak.

Learn advanced etiquette. Really, this is more for fun, and something I genuinely enjoy doing (even though I get things mixed up all the time.) If etiquette isn't your thing (and you don't do fine-dining every month like I do), then you don't have to learn it. So long you have basically good manners, I doubt anyone is going to harp at you. However, this cannot be stressed enough, if you are going to a proper high-class function and whatnot, it would do you very very well to learn the nuances of advanced etiquette. It's so easy to break an otherwise good reputation this way.

Laugh it off. If someone is trying to get at you, taking it personally, getting offended, and fighting back do not look good on your behalf. Just laugh it off, and then you can rant and rave to your friends about how offended you are at another time when the offensive party isn't around. (Always thank your friends for listening to you afterwards. We appreciate it.) Don't drag yourself to their level, it's hardly ever worth it.


I could go on and on about things, don't get too drunk, know what topics are appropriate at any given times, but really, Natural Nobility is something that takes a healthy dose of common sense. And if you don't know common sense, well... there's probably another blog that details it. At least I hope there is, because I can't help you here.

All the same, love you all, and hope you enjoyed reading this~

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Tutorial Treasury: Lolita

Well, about time I make another fashion post.

As a semi-DIY person (I say 'semi' because I'm usually too lazy to do it, although I'm going to see about stealing my Auntie's sewing machine and getting back to it) I looove tutorials. With a burning passion. I really really love them.

So! I decided to pass this love onto my readership, here are some of the Lolita Tutorials I've found useful.

"Dirndl"-Styled skirt. (Simple Lolita Skirt)
I have to say, this video is very well done, and I have the great desire to try and make this skirt, seeing as I dramatically need to improve my Lolita wardrobe. (And I do mean dramatically.) It's easy to do, and a pretty nice tutorial. The only issue I have is the distinct lack of mathematic equations to figure out things like how large to make each panel, but I can live without it~

The EGL Memories
Alright. Chances are if you're a Lolita reading this, you've already been to EGL, and I'm just posting the same old news. All the same, if there's even one Lolita who has never visited here before, then I've done my job and done it well. (And I've done an even better job if there was a non-Lolita who saw some of these and now wants to get into the fashion. More on that later... maybe. Someone needs to poke me with the hot iron again so I can remember to post half the things I promise to post.)

Dark Elements' Lolita and Steampunk-related Tutorials
So. Much. Love. (I know for a fact I'm going to do an uber-love post about Dark Elements later.) There are tutorials for various Lolita things here, and I would recommend you invest in a few of them.

Things to look for in a tutorial:

Is it informitive? Tutorials should teach and inform, the person making it should know what they're talking about!

Is it helpful? This is just my learning style, but are there pictures included? Does the person show step-by-step instructions?

Is the maker well-informed? Anyone can make a tutorial for a "Lolita Skirt", and give you instructions for a super-short skirt with bad lace all over the place that just looks tacky and awful. How much does the person making the tutorial even know about what they're teaching about?

Does the finished product look professional, or at least good? If not? Probably should want to skip the tutorial. If the seamstress/seamster who made the guide can't do it right, then maybe it's not the best guide.
Personally, my favorite kind of tutorial has step-by-step instructions, mathematical equations to figure out sizing, and 1+ pictures for each step so I can follow along and know what I'm doing. Likewise, my dear Fiancee only needs the general words, and can go from there. People learn in different ways, and there are tutorials for every learning style. All you need to do is look!

Seeing as this was a small list, I will likely add more later, but in the meantime, feel free to write me with any questions/concerns/ideas you might have and whatnot~

In the meantime, look out for:

"The 'Rules' of Fashions"
"How to Survive Your First Convention"
"Review: Dark Elements"

And all that comes with it. Enjoy, my dearies~

Friday, September 3, 2010

Let's Talk About Psychology... and Soul Calibur

Good gracious. Someone needs to poke me with a hot iron or something so I can remember to POST more often than what I have been. You poor poor readership.

Well, while I am still compiling data about "How to Survive Your First (and Subsequent) Convention", here's a little post ranting about one of my favorite things to do: Reading WAY too much into things.

My current epiphany? Soul Calibur (specifically IV, since that's the only game I have), and the psychology that lies in the characters. (Which, of course, reflect the people who play them.)

Soul Calibur is a delightful game series, and the fourth is practically a masterpiece (although I've heard from many that three is better, and I'll admit I'm biased towards two for playing it in an arcade once... and they have a costume for Voldo that actually covers most of his body. I love it~) The graphics are incredible, it's a 3D fighter, don't get me started on the variety of styles and moves and combinations you can implement. Each character is carefully planned out and given amazing movesets. We don't even need to get me started on how well-developed the characters are.

Which is where my fun little theory kicks in. The characters in Soul Calibur IV (and the earlier games, but since I've not played them, I shan't go into them) are highly developed, and I've noticed a startling relationship between the (hardcore) gamers, and the characters they choose. For someone who has played the game several times, and has tried out each of the characters, they usually settle into one or two they like, and this reflects in their personalities.

Examples? My Fiancee favours Maxi and Kilik, sometimes delving into Lizardman. Maxi is who he shows to everyone else, the side that is 'immature', impulsive, and slightly hot-headed, usually not thinking before he acts. Kilik however, is quiet, more thoughtful and keeps things internalized. I shouldn't have to explain where I'm going with this. Lizardman shows quite a bit through his strong instincts, and if I knew more about the character, I could give more of an analysis, but unfortunately, not so much. This also explains my hatred for Chai Xiangua, once, her voice is annoying as all heck, but more importantly, she gets paired with both Kilik and Maxi. Can we see the incited rage in the jealous girlfriend here?

A friend of mine, Nat, plays both Talim and Tira, and I had a field day with this. See, it's not just the character's personality, but also their fighting style carries heavily into this. Personality wise, he has a lot in common with Talim, the kindness, the shyness, and the desire to help people out, likewise, he's also quite determined like she is. Tira, on the other hand, he takes from her fighting style, Her fighting is quite outlandish, much like he is. (I have never known him to do things completely by-the-book. Nat has his own way of doing things.) His loyalty as well, Tira has a fierce loyalty to Nightmare, and I have never known Nat to betray anyone. (No matter how much they deserve it.)


Oh, I'm sure you're all dying to know. What are my characters, you ask? Alright. In this order:

Figure that one out! ... Oh fine, let the ranting begin.

As I write this up, I actually have Blind Loyalty on repeat. Voldo's themesong from SCIII (and in my opinion, a beautiful piece that makes me want to dance. Leeet's get this image out of my head.) I have quite the affinity with Voldo, and the character has a bit of a soft spot in my heart. There's the fact that I can connect with him on the level that he was shut away, kept out of society (I'll not even go into the ongoing torment I suffered at all hours of the schoolday.) Because of this, he started to see himself less and less as a human being, and his actions started to reflect this. He lost his sight, and his other senses took over for it, his movements became strange, and impossible to understand. His very existence made people doubt everything they ever knew. Now, I'm not about to say that I can seriously move like that and have forgotten my humanity, no. But I am strange, on a more understandable level, yes, but I am quite odd. On many occasions I have made people doubt everything they've ever known just by the things that I know. It's quite an interesting little thing.

Yoshimitsu, I love Yoshimitsu and wish there was more information on him, because the character is simply that delightful. His vocal tics aside (Early Modern English? Oh yes please. Bring on the Shakespeare speak~) He is a compelling character both in fighting style and in personality. As you'll see later with Algol, he has a delightful arsenal of "Special" attacks that cause wacky effects. (His "Flea" stance, for one, let's not even get into the teleportation and flying with his sword. My words.) I've always loved characters who can do things like that. Personality and history? He seeks to overthrow evil, but also forgives the sinner, while still seeking to destroy the sin. While I still have a lot to learn about "Forgiving the sinner", I also seek to vindicate people from their pains and torments, to avenge the fallen... alright, I'll stop before I go on a tangent. Yoshimitsu has lost a vital part of himself, his village, even some of his Manjitou clan, and even his arm. Likewise, he is never seen out of a mask. Figure that one out.

Algol? I'm going to dispel your fears right now and assure you that I adore him mainly for his fighting style. (Although I could do without some of his overpowered-ness. He's easy to spam, and hard to do right.) He has several special attacks (much like Yoshimitsu), and therefore is fun to use because he's not quite so conventional. However (as I've stated), his overpowered side makes him hard to use properly. So let's leave it at special attacks for fighting style. There is a bit of personality in here I can dive into. Algol has had a long history, he started as a hero who spread peace through the use of Soul Edge (ironic, isn't it?) However, his son, jealous for power, took Soul Edge, and soon became posessed, having to be slain in the process before he hurt others. Little things people don't realize: Algol has a good side. Remember that he used Soul Edge to spread peace... (through the use of extensive fighting on his own behalf, but whatever.) He has spared people whom he can sympathize with (Sophitia comes to mind. He also shows a good side in Talim's ending.) The interesting thing about Algol is that he is so ancient, that it's hard to comprehend him. Hard to comprehend him being the key words for why he ties into me. I can't tell you how many people have tried to understand how I work, and fail.

Likewise, you'll notice that all my characters of choice are male. You're totally free to have a field day with that one.

Well, that was my latest addition, feel free to write me if there's anything you think I should add.