This fluffy quadruped will melt your heart with his divine power of cute.
It's no surprise that game characters are popular cosplay subjects - between their intricate costume designs, compelling stories, and entertaining personalities, they're just as fun to play in meatspace as they are in their virtual worlds. Unfortunately for us poor furless bipeds, the perfect cosplay for one much-beloved and strikingly beautiful character - the wolf goddess Amaterasu, from cult classic Okami - remains out of reach. While many fans have bravely made an attempt using fursuits and human re-interpretations of the character, Dante the adorable canine cosplayer has just shown them all up. Sorry everyone.
Since dogs have some issues designing costumes without opposable thumbs, Dante got a lot of help from his owner David Kogan, who goes by Volko-Dav online and is also a cosplayer. The costume itself includes the iconic divine instrument 'Divine Retribution,' which is attached to Dante's back using a padded custom-made harness that also attaches the wings to Dante's front legs. Kogan draws the facial markings on Dante using a non-toxic food-coloring marker. Missing pieces of the costume include the markings on the body, which would be hidden by Dante's long fur, and the clouds on his feet, which would impede his movement too much.
Kogan, who premiered the costume with Dante during Otakon 2011, takes great pains to ensure Dante has fun as Amaterasu. Fortunately Dante is a naturally social dog and enjoys all the attention he gets from Okami fans, but any dog gets anxious after too much new stimuli so cosplay sessions and photoshoots are kept fairly short. Dante is happy to carry things on his back, likely due to his Samoyed sled dog heritage, but the harness is well-padded to avoid strain and Kogan does not leave the costume on for long as it may cause overheating and matting.
To see the full development process, spray-paint-on-foam-insulation mistake and all, you can head over to Kogan's blog post about the costume's construction. If you can't get enough fluffy puppy Amaterasu, there are more photos in Kogan's deviantART gallery and his compilation of photos of Dante and other Amaterasu cosplayers. And if this inspires you to construct a costume for your own pet, please make sure it has fun and stays comfortable.
Kogan offers some final advice about cosplaying with pets in his blog post: "I do not recommend trying this with a cat."