Dreams. That's what they are: the women we see in cartoons, video games, comic books, anime and manga. They are not real. Yet they light a fire in many of us as much as any real woman could. For some of us, they were our first crushes or a passing fancy. We knew they weren't real and that we would have to leave them behind someday (or a least until their show's collected episodes came out on DVD or their game was re-released as a classic on another system), but that didn't mean they weren't special in the time we spent with them.
There are very few of these "women" you can't find on The Internet. People throw copyright laws into the wind and produce fanfictions about, art pieces of, or find screenshots of them (ratings anywhere from G to XXX). Then, they post them on the Internet: the grand sea of information. The "sea" is an appropriate metaphor since these pictures, stories and screenshots on the net are a form of "piracy". Oh sure, these artists and writers say no copyright infringement is inferred or intended, but we (and they) know better. But then, it's not so bad, as it is the character we are interested in, not the money. The companies that created these "women" can't give us enough of them in the way we want. So, we take matters into our own hands.
Eventually, the companies, or at least some of them, caught on and decided to feed our baser desires. Marvel Comics was one of the first. It produced a "swimsuit special". In its pages, we got to see our favorite Marvel heroines in swimsuits and in a variety of poses that, until then, were limited only to real women, or so we thought. Perhaps the greateast example of a company bringing fans what they want in terms of their "women" to date and one that remains relatively tasteful (although just barely) is Dead or Alive: Extreme Beach Volleyball for the X-Box. "Play with your friends---Or not."
The point is, the trend of legal companies or pirating independant artists and writers creating art of and stories about scantily clad cartoon, video game, comic, anime and manga women is far from over.
SO, WHY NOT CELEBRATE IT!!!!
Therefore, I, Knites, gathered together my crack team of photographers (including the great Ryoslide from this site who provided the beachy backgrounds) and we headed out into the world, sometimes crossing space, time, and dimensions, to put together the ultimate expression of (tasteful) cartoon/anime/video game character love in the form of a photography journal fanfiction. Most of these ladies donned swimwear for their photos. A few didn't, but we figured, hey, close enough.
So, without further ado, ladies and gentlemen of Retrojunk, I bring you: The Swimsuit Spectacular!!!!!
Phoenix from the X-men
For our first photo, we headed to Westchester, New York and called on Phoenix a.k.a. Dr. Jean Grey. At first, she wasn't going to have anything to do with our cameras and politely turned us down. However, when we told her this article was for Retrojunk, she was more than happy to pose for our photographers. It turns out Jean is very much a fan of the site. And we must say, with this photo, she really helped put the X back in in X-men. This mutant masterwork spends her time fighting the likes of Magneto and other horrible menaces that threaten peaceful coexistance between humans and mutants. During the shoot, we asked her point-blank how she really felt about reading minds and controling near-cosmic psychic power. She laughed and replied, "I knew you were going to ask me that." Then, she smiled and said, "I don't 'mind' it at all." BA-DUM-CHING. Thanks Jean.
Morrigan Aensland from Darkstalkers
This was a tough photo to get. Her price was 666 American dollars and three good-looking local townsmen to feed on. But hey, you do what you must for art. When Morrigan asked us what kind of pose we wanted. We told her to wing it and this is what she came up with. Wow. When my crew and I were packing to leave, Morrigan caught site of my avatar for this site. She playfully asked me if I knew Batman and if I could set her up with Gotham's #1 gaurdian. I smiled cautiously and said I'd put in a good word for her. She said, "I like his taste in clothes." Heh. Who knows? If things work out, Morrigan could be the next Batgirl.
Mai Shiranui from King of Fighters
Despite several protests from King Of Fighters participant Andy Bogard (we actually had to ask security to escort him off the beach) and no bathing suit on hand, Mai glady agreed to pose for us on the condition that she could have a large copy of the best photo to give to Andy when the shoot was over. After the shoot, Mai cooked us a fantastic Japanese meal. Then, she showed us some of her ninja equipment, including the fans she uses in her fights. And while the fans were larger than average, we assured her we were her biggest. No butts about it.
Huntress from DC Comics
The Huntress has really come along as a character in the last few years. So, we thought we'd invite her to take part in our article. Man, we had no idea she would look this good! We expected her to come in her uniform, but she surprised us with this little number and--wow-- no mask too! Yes, readers, she is the Huntress--and she made us pray: "Thank-you, God."
Black Cat from Marvel Comics
When we called and asked her to pose for this article, Felicia Hardy a.k.a. Black Cat quickly agreed. She came to us in a swimsuit that completely wowed us. And she went for an action pose that was so cool, we all needed sweaters. I guess you could say we took this photo as Black Cat crossed our path. And, guess what? No bad luck here.
Callie Briggs from Swatkats
We had intended to run a full color photo of Deputy Mayor Callie Briggs, but her father put a strict ban on any photographs that might produce a scandal for the Megakat City's Mayor's office. Fortunately, good 'ol Callie found us a loop hole and let one of our sketch artist do her portrait. If she ever decides to finally run for Mayor, she's definitely got our votes.
Lois Lane from Superman: The Animated Series
Stop the presses! Who'd a thunk we would be able to get the Daily Planet's star reporter to pose for us? And in a bikini no less? Well, it turns out in the wake of Darkseid's assault in the final episode of Justice League Unlimited, people in the animated series Earth are doing what they can to help the less fortunate. So, Lois agreed to pose for us if we agreed to donate a large sum of money to the relief effort. No problem, Lois. Cha-ching!
Storm from the X-men
When we were in Westchester, New York to get Jean Grey's photo, we ran into another hot mutant: Storm. When we told her why we were there, she laughed and bet us Jean wouldn't pose for us in a million years. She lost. So, to pay up she agreed not only to pose for us, but to wash my car too. Of course, I did get a little suspicious when it started to rain in the middle of the pay off and we had to pack up early and go inside. However, this shot we got totally made up for it.
Batgirl from DC Comics
While we were in Gotham City shooting the Huntress, she introduced us to Barbra Gordon, a.k.a. Oracle. Seeing what a knock-out Oracle was, we asked if she would be willing to pose for our article. She politely turned us down. However, just before we left, Oracle handed me this photo in a manilla folder and asked if we might be able to use it. Thanks, Oracle. You're the greatest.
Athena Asamiya from King of Fighters
Any opportunity to spend some time with Athena Asamiya and get a great picture of her too is time well spent. Besides believed to be the current incarnation of the goddess Athena (a topic that makes her blush), we learned Athena's likes include designing web pages, shopping, maple-leaf shaped bean cakes, and things with sesame flower disolved in milk. Oh, and she really hates grasshoppers. Thanks Athena. You're just too cute.
Mireielle Bouquet from Noir
Japan was a busy place for us and we took in a lot of the sites. What I didn't know until later was one of our photographers decided to play paparazzo. He managed to score us a great picture of the suspected contract assassin Mireille Bouquet from Noir. Nice work.
Fujiko Mine from the Lupin Family
And while getting the above picture of Mireille, who else should my ambitious paparazzo spot but Fujiko Mine, part of the notorious Lupin Family of thieves. She's been a favorite of mine since I was very young. Too bad we had to settle for this shot, but wanted criminals rarely take the time to pose for website articles. We understand.
Hitomi, Ai, and Rui from Catseye
Also, while in Japan, we stopped off at a little shop called CATSEYE for a cup of coffee. There we ran into these three very nice owners of the establishment: Hitomi, Ai, and Rui. They were very hospitable and, later, Ai asked us if her and her sisters could be in our article. Hitomi and Rui were reluctant at first, but finally surrendered to their younger sister's enthusiasm. So, here they are. If you're ever in Japan, stop by their shop. Their coffee's a steal.
Four women from the Soul Caliber series:
Talim, Ivy, Xianghua, and Taki from Soul Caliber were our next targets for this article, but we had no idea we could get such fierce competitors in one room--and the pool room no less. I doubt anyone could cut curves this fine, no matter what bladed weapon they had. Cheers ladies.
Blaze Fielding from Streets of Rage
It seems that word about our article for Retrojunk got around because were were contacted by X-cop Blaze Fielding. Even after the events of Streets of Rage 3, she's still out there fighting crime as a private detective. She also told us that she and former partner Axel Stone will be getting married this year. Axel, now retired from the force and a successful martial arts teacher, is one lucky man.
Princess Daphne from Dragon's Lair
The interdimensional flight to the Free Realms was a long one. But when you get a call from her royal highness, Princess Daphne, you grin and bear it. The photo shoot was brief, but fruitful. We had been told by her attendants that Daphne would be wearing her standard princess attire for our photo--crown, robe, etc. So, needless to say, our jaws hit the floor (not to mention those of her attendants) when the Princess tossed the crown and dropped the robe to reveal the outfit she was wearing when her husband, Dirk, first saved her from Synge the Dragon. Wow. All hail the Queen! Er...I mean Princess.
Boom-Boom from Marvel Comics
Tabitha Smith a.k.a. Meltdown had agreed to pose for us but had to cancel at the last minute. Then, about a week later, we received this picture by courier. What a nice surprise. This pic takes us back to the days when Meltdown called her self Boom-Boom. I miss that code name. Thanks, Tabitha, I have yet to get a nicer package in the post.
Blue Mary from King of Fighters
For our next photo, we managed to track down Southtown-born Mary Ryan a.k.a. "Blue Mary". She's still working hard to keep the people of Southtown safe from cartels and other unsavoury organizations. But she was still willing to take the time to pose for our article. It's nice to know this secret agent isn't so secret all the time.
Faye Valentine from Cowboy Bebop
I really enjoyed Cowboy Bebop when I saw it last year. So, I made it a goal that Faye Valentine would be part of this article. And guess what? She was glad to take part as long as we payed her a substantial amount of credits. Yeesh. We traveled to the beach planet of Sandos for this one. Cheers, Faye, there's not another woman quite like you.
Devil Hunters Yohko Mano and Azusa Kanzaki
Japan was great to us once again when we bumped into the 13th Devil Hunter Yohko Mano and her apprentice Azusa Kanzaki. Devil Hunter Yohko was one of the first animes my crew and I ever saw. We practically begged these ladies to let us take their picture. Thank goodness they agreed. I must confess, until this photo shoot, I had no idead these girls knew their way around a jet ski. They managed to impress us with a few tricks before moving in for this photo. The splash afterwards left my crew and I all very wet.
Catwoman from DC Comics
What does Gotham City's greatest thief wear to a pool party? Now you know. Catwoman has been trying to improve her publicity since she decided to give up the crime thing and become the defender of the neighboorhood in which she lives. And we were more than glad to help her out with a photo and a good word. So, let us be the first to say, "She's a good kitty! Rowr!"
Cammy from Street Fighter II
Cammy may have recovered from her brainwashing at the hands of Shadowloo, but we were completely under her control when she struck this pose for us. Cammy still hangs out with Delta Red and her and Chun-Li are fast friends these days. She told me she was quite impressed with the Chun-Li article I did for Retrojunk and hoped that I might honor her with one someday. With a good side like yours, Cammy, I just very well might.
Raven from the Teen Titans Animated Series and the former Batgirl, Cassandra Cain from DC Comics.
Who says girls from different comics series don't like to hang out? We were lucky enough to get an invite to the Jump City where Raven and her friend Cassandra Cain were hanging out. It turns out the two hooked up after Cassandra gave up the Batgirl Mantle this year. Both possessing a taste for the darker side of lfe, these two hit it off and get together now and again for training sessions. Cassandra may not be Batgirl anymore, but she still likes to keep her skills sharp. For their photo on the sands of Jump City Beach, they decided to show off a few of their cool fighting moves. And Raven, gotta love her, actually removed her cloak for this one. Thanks ladies.
Sue Richards from The Fantastic Four
We arrived at the Baxter Building with high hopes that Sue Richards would pose for us. But, would you believe it? She wasn't home. Apparently she was off fighting the bad guys. However, we did run into Johnny Storm, The Human Torch. And he was more than happy to pull one of the Fantastic Four's old combat file pics for us. Thanks Johnny. And yes, you are hot. But your sister's hotter. Flame on!
Lady Death from Avatar Press
We asked some people if it would be possible to get a picture of the Famous Lady Death for our article. "Go to Hell!" they told us. So, we did. Lady Death was impressed by us arriving on her doorstep, but not surprised. She figured only paparazzi would go to hell and back again for a photo. In fact we bumped into many now dead paparazzi, while we visited the great downstairs. Anyway, Lady Death was more than happy to give us a some Hope in that dark, dark place. Then she let us out again. We were relieved when she said "goodbye" and not "See you again soon!"
Lara Croft from Tomb Raider
When we got back from hell, the crew felt we needed a little rest and relaxation--something life affirming and good for the soul. So, we drove past a church and hit the beach. And who should we find but the Famous Lara Croft lounging right next to us. Even better, she let us take her picture. Yep, This woman is proof that a mummy isn't the only woman you find in a tomb. Heh.
Princess Zelda from the Legend of Zelda
From Hell to Hyrule water. Heh. You can't imagine how surprised we were when Princess Zelda contacted us and asked to be in our article. She met us wearing a robe fit for a princess, with her attendants at her sides. After talking with us for a while and showing us the Tri-force (Did you know they actually keep it in a triangle-shaped room?), Zelda dismissed her attendants and led us down to the beach near the castle. Then, we stood in quiet awe, while she removed her robe and layed down on the sand. It was one of the most magical experiences my crew and I have ever had. Zelda is beautiful and truly a legend among princesses.
Supergirl from DC Comics
After the Zelda shoot my crew and I decided to have a late night barbecue. As we ate, we talked about how when we decided to do this article we had promised to reach for the stars. So we did, right there and then. And look who we found! Apprently Supergirl had been doing a little sleep flying and was quite em-bare-assed (heh) when we looked up and saw her. She didn't shy away from our cameras though, bless her. In fact, she even dropped down and had a bite to eat with us. We talked into the wee hours, while my crew and I tried our best to be gentlemanly and maintain eye-contact with her. Dare I say it? She was just super.
Meridiana is a beautiful city with a beautiful beach. We really enjoyed taking in the sites there. But nowhere near as much as we enjoyed taking pictures of Meridiana's unsung hero Cybersix. We had a hard time convincing her to let us take her picture as she felt nobody would be interested in someone who wasn't human. Get over yourself, Cybersix. You're human through and through and we were lucky to spend some time with you.
Shayera Hol from Justice League Unlimited
She may not be Hawkgirl anymore, but I'm pretty sure we all agree this Justice League Unlimited founding member looks much better sans the Thanagarian mask and outfit. Shayera has been called many things: hero, traitor, alien, the list goes on. However, she has always been true to herself and done what she thought was right. She now poses for us for the same reason Lois did: to help the relief efforts all over the animated series world after Darkseid's attack. Cheers for posing, Shayera. We hope the money we donated for this photo helps alot of people. We also hope this photo shows Green Lantern what he's missing. ;-)
Lillith Aensland from Darkstalkers
Here we have Morrigan's darker...um..sister. This little lady was formed by Jedah, Capcom's dark lord of the vampires. She is a collection of all the evil that was inside Morrigan. She approached us and asked us to take her picture. We would have said no, but, well, we wanted to live. Evil girl. Nice picture though.
Chun-Li from Street Fighter II
For our next location, we flew to China to meet up with top INTERPOL agent Chun-Li. We found Capcom's queen training with a large group of her young students. Chun-Li dismissed her students to an afternoon of play. And then, when we reached the location for the shoot, she dropped her silk kung-fu out-fit to reveal this little blue attention stealer. This picture was for Retrojunk and her good friend, Knites. Thanks, Chun-Li.
Wonder Woman from Justice League Unlimited.
We left China by boat and made our way to Themyscira. Unfortunately, men aren't aloud to set foot there. So, Wonder Woman agreed to pose on the beach as we stood on our boat, with our telephoto lenses. Despite the distance, we got this wonderful shot and glady donated more relief money to the DC animated universe on Wonder Woman's behalf. Funny thing. Wonder Woman also gave us explicit instructions to send a poster-size copy of this photo to Gotham City billionaire Bruce Wayne. I wonder why?
Sailor Moon and the Sailor Scouts
When you have this many magically endowed women in one place you're definitely going to get a little sparkle. These five ladies agreed to our shoot in hopes someone on Retrojunk might do a major article on them someday. Looking at this picture, I can see at least five good reasons for someone to do so. Moon Crystal Power!
The Women of Dead or Alive
Kasumi, Lei Fang, Tina Armstrong, Helena, Christie, Hitomi and Ayane (Unfortunately Lisa and Nikki were to busy to make the shoot and send their regards). How could I possibly have a swimsuit article and not include these lovely ladies? They practically defined "scantily-clad" for a generation of gamers. And ladies, of course you know I appreciate your participation in my article. But there is one request I have the next time we get together. Could you smile? Just once?
Felicia from Darkstalkers
Felicia is, of course, a famous pop singer. So, my crew and I had to catch up to her, while she was on tour promoting her new album: "Got milk?" As busy as she is, Felicia is not one to turn away her fans. We were just glad to get a chance to photograph her, even if it was only for an half an hour. Felicia, you have a body as beautiful as your voice. Thanks for taking the time to pose for this article. One of your unofficial biographies describes you as a very nice cat-person. "Nice" doesn't do you justice.
Elena from Street Fighter III
For this next photo we headed out to the African Savanna. There, besides mosquitoes the size of our heads, we found Street Fighter, Elena, spending some time at home with her family. To our suprise, we were not the only photo crew there. Elena's success in the Street Fighter III tournament got her some international attention. So, we actually had to wait three hours, while other crews took photos of Elena as well. However, I doubt their photo sessions resulted in a photo as good as this one. Of course, there was a price for this photo. Elena's father is not just the chief of her villaige, but also a doctor. We paid for this photo of his daughter with much needed medical supplies. Glad we could help out.
Starfire from DC Comics
Next, we crossed dimensions into a slightly more mature DC Universe and we met up with former Teen Titan mentor Starfire. We found her on a paradise planet with Animal Man and Adam Strange. Boy, was she suprised to see us. When we told her we had travelled halfway across the galaxy just to take her picture, she was flattered. She looks great here in her Tamarn bathing suit with skin as orange-brown as the setting sun.
Sara Pezzini from Top Cow Productions
And now back to New York where we took a photos of Sara Pezzini and the Witchblade. The Witchblade has several cool powers. One of which is making the women who wield it look hot. NYPD homicide detective Sara Pezzini was a bit reluctant when we asked her to pose for our article. But, in the end, The Witchblade itself talked her into it. Sara told us later the weapon-entity didn't want to disappoint its fans.
Fathom from Top Cow Productions
This picture of the beautiful Aspen Matthews required us to break-out the diving equipment and waterproof cameras. When we asked what kind of bathing suit she was going to wear for the shoot, she laughed and said, "Why would I want to do that?" We didn't argue. After looking at this picture, I'm sure you can fathom why we didn't.
Teela from Masters of the Universe
It was Christmas time when we landed on Eternia. And was there a party! You have no idea what an amazing time it was to exchange gifts, drink eggnog and sing Christmas carols with the men and women of the He-man universe. But easily the icing on the cake was getting this shot of Teela. We used a software program to do it up nice and Christmasy. I swear by the power of Grayskull, Teela can be the Master of my Universe anytime.
Asuka Langley Soryu and Rei Ayanami from Neon Genesis Evangelion
These two beauties promised to meet us bright and early for their photo shoot, but they overslept. Apparently their unit had a big party last night. Anyway, we were on a schedule and didn't have time to wait. So, we just rushed into their quarters, apologized for our intrusion, snapped a picture of the two waking up and headed to our next appointment. Not the photo we planned, but nice nonetheless.
Princess Peach from Nintendo
I'm afraid you readers have us to blame for Peach's face having a suprised look instead of something more heart-warming. We were in the middle of our shoot with Peach when King Koppa and his Koopa kids busted in. The Super Mario Brother's managed to drive them off, but not before they exposed all our film. And, sadly, we didn't have time to do another session, with Koopa drool all over our camera equipment. Yuck! This picture was the only one that survived. It marks the moment the Koopas broke in. Sorry, Peach. We'll do a better job protecting our camera equipment and less girlie screaming, running around and panicking in the future.
Sakura Kusanago from the Street Fighter Alpha Series
Well, look who's all grown up. I'm sure fans have noticed we haven't seen much of Sakura since Street Fighter III came out. Well, that's because she's taken some time off from Street Fighting...well a little anyway... to finish her education. She will be graduating this summer with a degree in photography. I guess Sakura was able to be a good student after all. We caught up with her during Spring Break for this photo. Wow, huh? Like a fine wine, which she is now old enough to drink, Sakura has aged well.
Known as the "Bandit Killer" or "Dragon Spooker" depending on who you talk to, Lina Inverse from the Slayer anime series was gracious enough to pose for our cameras. After the shoot, we treated her to a five course meal, which she scarfed down in record time. She told us her #1 hobby is attacking bands of robbers and stealing their money. "Villains have no rights," she said with a smile.
Kitty Pryde from X-men Evolution
They say teenagers are always going through phases. Well, this lady phases through other teenagers, as well as other people and things. She was the only one of the Evolution cast that was able to make our shoot and we were glad to have her. Alot of people gave X-men Evolution a bad rap because it wasn't like or as good as the 1990's X-men animatred series. But we definitely weren't among them. Just like the idea of mutants and humans coexisting, we believe there is room for both series on this planet. Lookin' good, Kitty!
Tenchu's Ayame, Red Ninja's Kurenai and Hibana from Nightshade
And now, what every good swimsuit article needs: Ninjas! Ayame, Kurenai and Hibana were more than happy to slip their stealthy bodies into some swinsuits for us. They say a ninja's best weapon is her ability to distract her opponents. Well, it works because, while we took this picture, we couldn't focus on anything else. But then, who would want to. Heh.
Ibuki from Street Fighter III
And speaking of ninjas, look who else we managed to find. Ibuki was more than happy to take a break from her training and give us a look at her good side. We've always thought Ibuki had one of the most interesting hairstyles among the ladies in the Street Fighter Series and we're glad she kept it for this photo. Go Ninja-Go Ninja-Go Ninja, Go!
Samus Aran from Metroid
Samus went for the serious warrior-woman look when she posed for our cameras. And it definitely worked for us, but, as you can see, a slight smile still managed to find its way onto her lips. After the shoot we talked with her for a while and she expressed a hope our photo might help Nintendo get off its duff and get them started on producing an animated series for her to be in--a good one. She's always looking for new challenges and acting would suit her just fine. Besides, Samus is getting just a little tired of Mario having all the animated fun.
Deedlit from Lodus War
We are pleased to announce that as of when this photo was taken, Deedlit started celebrating her 161st birthday. Man, my crew and I sure hope we look as good as she does when we hit the middle of our second century. Happy Birthday, Deedlit. The Lodus War anime series wouldn't have been the same without you.
Rogue from the X-men
We hopped into a helecopter for this shot. It cost us quite a chunck of change to rent the whirlybird. However, when you're dealing with a woman like Rouge the sky's the limit. Rouge is a true vision of beauty and she gives the world one more reason to look up. Sorry, readers, remember, when it comes to this woman, it's look, don't touch.
And here we have the video game world's #1 Dhampir. A woman with all the strengths of a vampire and none of their weaknesses. Would you believe BloodRayne took very little convincing to be in our article? It turns out she's developed a bit of a taste for having her picture taken, what with a movie now and having appeared in Playboy fairly recently with a few other video vixens. Oh, and good news: no one was killed during the taking of this photo. Whew.
Well, there you have it. My team and I hope you enjoyed Retrojunk's first swimsuit issue. Lord knows, we enjoyed every second putting it together. Will there be another? Well, like all things on Retrojunk, only time and fan love will tell.