The world of animation is filled with characters wearing the same outfit again and again. And with school uniforms and superhero costumes, anime follows this tendency, too. That said, there’s plenty of anime that bucks this trend and have characters appear in all sorts of glamorous and chic outfits.
Sometimes, the entire cast likes to dress up; other times, it’s just a handful of characters that tend to dress up. There are even times when the characters are literally the costumes.
10 Cardcaptor Sakura: Tomoyo Always Has A New Costume For Sakura
Unlike most magical girls, Sakura skirts the tradition of magically getting an outfit with her powers, but that doesn’t mean she goes without costumes. Her cousin and best friend Tomoyo is a talented designer and makes multiple costumes for her that she wears when capturing Clow cards, events which Tomoyo is also quick to film.
The two outfits fans tend to associate her with are a pink outfit with wings and a maid-themed catgirl costume. The anime adaptation even had its own segment when the design of the costumes is explained in detail. There are also a few instances where other characters get to dress up, such as when they visited Hong Kong.
9 Fashion Lala: Cinderella Fights Terrorists With The Power Of Fashion
This OVA, which later inspired the Fancy Lala series, combines the magical girl genre with an ’80s Cinderella story, in which a girl named Miho lives as an errand girl for her aunt and cousins. When her aunt destroys a dress she had made for her cousin for an upcoming dance contest, two fairies take pity on Miho and let her steal the show with a performance where she magically appears in all the dresses she had designed, all the while stopping a terrorist attack.
As most magical girls at the time had a career theme, like Creamy Mami being an idol singer or Magical Emi being a magician, Fashion Lala seemed originally intended to be a fashion designer or model-themed magical girl.
8 Wedding Peach: The Love Angels Even Get Magical Jewels
The Love Angels not only get magical girl costumes, but they also get lavish wedding costumes that they need to transform into before they power up. It’s been theorized that this is partially a shout-out to a Japanese tradition of brides and grooms changing outfits during their reception, often to a more casual look.
Added to that, the magical items the girls needed to find, the Saint Something Four, mostly took the form of jewelry, like a ruby ring, tiara, necklace, and a pair of earrings. The series also had a few excuses to dress the girls up, from bridal fashion shows, concerts, and the OVA opening even gave each girl a different seasonal outfit.
7 Flower Angel: Lunlun’s Superpower Is Getting New Clothes
Lunlun, also known as Angel, tasked with finding the Flower of Seven Colors and she has a magic pin that gives her all sorts of different clothes.
Lunlun is a bit of a tomboy, in fact, she’s introduced dressed in boy’s clothing, so while she gets to appear in the expected frilly gowns and princess dresses, she also gets outfits like a sailor uniform or a knight’s armor. One of her outfits even comes complete with a parachute.
6 Creamy Mami: A Magic Pop Star Needs A Lavish Wardrobe
Yuu transforms into the magical pop idol, Creamy Mami, so she naturally needs new outfits during performances. When her transformation is seen on-screen, it usually goes to her iconic yellow costume, suggesting it’s her default outfit. Later episodes do show that she can transform into other outfits, however.
Added to that, her rival Megumi is also seen wearing a variety of fashionable outfits herself. Also being an idol, she likely has access to them from the studio, rather than any magic like Yuu has. She seems to have an interest in fashion, once mocking Creamy Mami for being unable to pull off a certain outfit, only to realize she’s already wearing the same thing.
5 Pretear: This Series Features Wearable Bishonen
This anime found a way to quite literally combine two popular themes in shojo anime: bishonen and fashion. The heroine, Himeno, is a magical girl who can transform into the titular Pretear by fusing with the Seven Leafe Knights, who can each transform into a new costume for her. From her Sailor Mercury-inspired Wind costume to her Gatchaman-inspired Fire costume, she wears a lot of diverse designs.
Eventually, she even manages a transformation all on her own: the Legendary White Pretear, where she looks like a fairy princess, complete with a tiara.
4 Super Gals: This Series Is All About The Kogal Fashion
This entire anime series revolves around Japan’s “kogal” or “gal” subculture. The main character, Ran Kotobuki, comes from a family of police officers, but would rather live out the gal lifestyle instead of keeping up with family traditions.
When not in their school uniforms, Ran and her friends are known for their fashionable clothes, like platform shoes and chic hats. Some practically become icons of the character, like Ran’s red jacket. Even the girls’ school uniforms are diversified, with each of them wearing different colored sweaters.
3 The Rose Of Versailles: The Pageantry Of The French Court Meets Anime
The Ancien Régime of French history was known for its frivolity and decadence, especially the beautiful clothes people wore and the pageantry of the French court, as it ultimately brought about the French Revolution. Naturally, an anime set during this period would give its characters lavish costumes to wear.
Marie Antoinette’s costumes are especially fancy, with jewels and ermine. Admittedly, at times, the costumes in this series aren’t exactly historically accurate, from giving them modern touches, like flared pants or backless dresses, or attempts to give the costumes more of a storybook appearance, like puffed sleeves or frilled collars, which were more from the Victorian era.
2 One Piece: The Characters Have A Lot Of Chances To Dress Up
While the Straw Hat Pirates, being pirates, wouldn’t be expected to dress up to the nines, they do tend to change their outfits around every story arc. Some of them, like Nami, are especially known for changing up their outfits quite a bit and amassing a large collection of clothes.
The series also gives the characters plenty of opportunities to dress up, from weddings, trips to the casino, and even supplementary material, like the “Wake Up” opening.
1 Ouran High School Host Club: The Cast (Except Haruhi) Is Too Rich To Wear The Same Thing Twice
Haruhi Fujioka is a scholarship student who accidentally breaks an expensive vase for her school’s family-friendly version of the host club, she finds herself joining and getting involved with their shenanigans. And as part of their job, the hosts are often changing costumes to fit the club’s constantly changing themes.
Not only do the characters wear various costumes when they cosplay, but even the characters’ casual clothes are also rarely worn for more than one episode. It helps that most of the characters, except for Haruhi, are unimaginably rich.
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