Maybe you want a costume that matches your identity, maybe you want a costume that really takes you outside yourself or maybe you just want a costume you can use to play against type. Whatever the case, you'll find only the best ideas for gender-neutral cosplay here.
10. Frisk from Undertale
- System/Platform: Microsoft Windows, OS X, Linux, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Nintendo Switch
- Publisher: Toby Fox
- Developer: Toby Fox
- Release Date: September 15, 2015
Sometimes the obvious choice is one of the best ones. The oddly named hero of Undertale is an icon of many things: 8-bit throwback aesthetics, non-violence, gender-neutral representation, and most importantly, damn good video games. The real kicker is that all you need to portray them are a simple striped sweater and pants you could conceivably find in your run-of-the-mill clothing store and an equally simple haircut. More ambitious cosplayers can even take it a step further and aim to replicate Frisk's pixelated look. We're not exactly sure how that would be done, but we'd be excited to see it all the same.
9. Pokemon from Pokemon
- System/Platform: Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Switch
- Publisher: Nintendo, The Pokemon Company
- Developer: Game Freak
- Release Date: February 27, 1996
Sure, there are some Pokemon whose appearance is sex-dependent, but they're such a small minority that you still have way too many monsters for you to ever run out of options. And the best part is that Pokemon come in all shapes and sizes. You always have options, regardless of things like height, body type or even appearance. Get your friends in the furry fandom to help you out if you need it and go out pocketing candy as your favorite pocket monster.
8. Skull Kid from The Legend of Zelda
- System/Platform: Nintendo 64, GameCube, Nintendo 3DS
- Publisher: Nintendo
- Developer: Nintendo EAD
- Release Date: November 21, 1998
Okay, this one takes a bit of explanation, since Skull Kid is referred to with male pronouns in the games’ English Translations. Well, as you may have guessed, this isn’t really the case in the original Japanese text for the games, since that language doesn’t use gendered grammar, so they’re still gender neutral as far as authorial intent is concerned. Besides, look at this lovable, creepy weirdo. Their design definitely doesn’t lean very far one way or the other and they have an innately off-putting aesthetic that will make cosplayers fit perfectly into a Halloween party, whether it’s as the classic scarecrow design or the iconic Majora’s Mask mug.
7. The RahXephon from RahXephon
- Episodes: 26
- Air Date: January 2002 - September 2002
Since giant robots are usually aimed at boys and tend to have a more boxy, masculine shape, they’re almost always coded male, but the RahXephon is not like most robots. While maintaining an unmistakably humanoid figure and visage, its features don’t really skew very far one way or the other. That’s far from the only thing that sets RahXephon apart from other mechs though. It moves with a nuanced fluidity that puts it in stark contrast against the walking tanks that are the norm in the genre, engraving its unique movements into the memories of its fans. Really, who wouldn’t want to be RahXephon?
6. Leeron Littner from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
- Episodes: 27
- Air Date: April 2007 - September 2007
Straight from one mecha show to another, but we’re not talking about robots anymore. We’re talking about a character who doesn’t even pilot a robot. Leeron is actually Team Dai-Gurren’s mechanic, responsible for scavenging and repairing the mechs the team uses to fight the forces that would oppose them. They may look like their character focuses on being as camp as possible, which isn’t inaccurate at all, but beyond that, they’re also the greatest mind on the team.
Not only did they serve as a strong parental figure for protagonist Simon after that little, uh, incident in episode 8, but they can fix or upgrade just about anything as long as it’s mechanical. This requires a smorgasbord of expertise ranging from engineering, to welding, to computer science, to just about every STEM field known to man. Even Leeron’s name itself is a play on the Japanese word “riron” (理論) which describes a scientific theory, a comment on their unfathomable intellect.
5. Hange Zoë from Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan)
- Episodes: 25
- Published: April 2013 - September 2013
And here we have the only character smarter than Leeron. Hange is the current captain of the Survey Corps, but doesn’t let it go to their head, being the first to answer any call for grunt work, especially with regards to engineering and scientific research, but they’re still no slouch in their duties as captain, as their magnetic personality and clever planning make them an ace at recruitment, expedition planning and management and they do it all with boundless vigor and inexhaustible energy.
That’s only half of Hange’s personality though. The story teases a darker part of them from very early on, building up to an eventual violent snap. And when that happens, there’s little hope left for those who stand in their way.
Granted, Hange’s opposition involves almost as many humans as titans, but with how they can apply their genius to combat, it’s a pretty small difference. Their seemingly limitless learning capacity has allowed them to absorb more technical skill with vertical maneuvering gear than just about any other character. The incredible reaction speed afforded by their incredible mind only doubles down on their prowess, to the point that they can even weave through titans’ fingers to go straight for the kill.
If you still need to be convinced Hange is smarter than Leeron, consider the fact that the official guide books list their intelligence level at 11/10. Most blokes can go up to 10, but where can they go after that? Nowhere, but Hange can go 1 smarter.
4. Crona from Soul Eater
- Episodes: 51
- Air Date: April 2008 - March 2009
Just like how weaker protagonists can more easily be made relatable to the audience, less powerful villains can efficiently gain audience sympathy for their struggles. But Crona is sort of a special case, in that they possess immense power, but are unable to tap into their full potential because of hefty personal baggage, brought on by a childhood full of violent abuse. They experience one of the longest character arcs of any supporting character in Soul Eater, going on an introspective journey of self-discovery that parallels the supernatural battles they fight under orders from their main parental figure and eventually becoming a true hero, like Shinji Ikari if he were a grim reaper.
Oh yeah, Crona’s a grim reaper. The in-universe terminology is a Death Weapon Meister, but the concept of being a supernatural being that takes the souls of the dead is still present. It’s hardly the most important detail in Crona’s character, but it does give them some welcomed Halloween flair that makes them perfect for this list.
3. Grell Sutcliff from Kuroshitsuji (Black Butler)
- Episodes: 24
- Air Date: October 2008 - March 2009
Wow, once again, we’re going from one grim reaper, straight into another. Well anyway, the term "dapper, gender-nonconforming, innuendo-spouting, superpowered chainsaw-wielding soul collector" isn't something you just throw around willy-nilly, so the fact that Grell fits it and owns it is beyond commendable. Their inimitable style and perfect characterization leave little question as to why they’re arguably the single most popular character in Black Butler. Add in their infectious energy and enthralling voice performances by Jun Fukuyama and Daniel Fredrick and you truly do have a butler to die for.
2. Neferpitou from Hunter x Hunter
- Episodes: 148
- Air Date: October 2011 - September 2014
Now here’s a character that every sort of cosplayer can get into. Gender neutral, well-dressed, a furry and one of the strongest fighters in anime and manga. Pitou’s potential appeal to fans is so wide as to only be rivaled by her en. Everyone can find something they like about them
1. Envy from Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
- Episodes: 64
- Air Date: April 2009 - July 2010
The Fullmetal Alchemist manga and its most accurate anime adaptation, Brotherhood, are one of the most lauded stories in their respective mediums, in spite of being a fairly standard monomythic hero’s journey at the core of their shared plot. There are a lot of ways it reaches this status, such as state of the art presentation and dense layers of double-crossing and political intrigue, but most of it can probably be credited to the character writing. The main theme of the story is escaping the limits of the circumstances one is born into and it's communicated incredibly clearly by the way that nearly each named character in the series either has tried or is trying to do just that. Yet despite how much of the cast fits this boot, almost none wear it better than Envy.
Envy is without a doubt the cruelest of the series’ villainous homunculi, taking immense pride in the suffering they cause humans, making people suffer is his only motivation in life. It’s not an especially original archetype for a villain, but the difference is made by his motivation, which is of course to say, his namesake. Throughout the story we see the other 6 deadly sins among the homunculi treat each other coldly and distantly at the best of times and hatefully to the point of violence at worst. Though a few of them keep one another company they form an allegiance much more than they do a friendship, pursuing common goals and, with very few exceptions, have a complete disregard for one another throughout most of the plot, except for Envy. Beneath the surface, Envy wants nothing more than to form the sort of mutually emotionally supportive relationships humans create amongst themselves but knows that their own "family" of sorts, will never give them that. An outsider to both human and homunculus alike, Envy is driven to an intense hatred for mankind, as they have what Envy wants, and that's the circumstance their arc centers around leaving.
So, what makes Envy's exploration of this theme more interesting than so many other characters? Put simply, it's the fact that they fail. Envy never takes proactive steps to fulfill their ambition and resort instead to taking their anger out on humans, until the protagonists have them cornered, at which point they see right through his cold façade. Captured and called out by our heroes, Envy, for the first time in their approximately 175 years of life, admits to themself that they only ever wanted the sorts of friendships humans form, and knowing they’re crimes against mankind have alienated the only people who could give them this friendship, Envy tearfully ends their own life on the spot, a bitter warning to the audience of the deadly sin Envy represents.
Envy may not have much to do with Halloween, but nonetheless hold a position as one of the most tragic, and consequently most memorable, characters in fiction. If you want to cosplay someone every viewer will recognize, why not try going a little green with Envy?
Well, that was a surprisingly depressing way to end this (not the really sad life and death of a tragic character, the terrible pun of course) but at least now we all have some good Halloween costumes to take our mind off it. Are you planning to try any of our cosplay ideas this season? Let us know in the comments and if not, be sure to tell us what you’ll be dressing up as and stay posted to Honey’s Anime for more of your seasonal fandom needs.