On January 7th, 2015, American cosplayer Dustin Clover was struck with inspiration after finishing the first episode of Tokyo Ghoul √A. The second season marked a complete change in direction from the original manga, with the protagonist Kaneki actually joining the villainous organization “Aogiri Tree” instead of rebelling against them. This change also brought with it a new look for the character.
“When I saw the new outfit, I stood right up and shouted ‘That’s the one!’. I fell in love… So many overlapping layers of black. I hadn’t been this excited since my Xehanort cosplay! So I did what any great cosplayer would do and immediately dunked my head in a tub full of bleach!”, Dustin recalls.
“I wanted to be the very first. I made my costume out of patches of skintight leather, you know, the usual stuff, and held it together with lots of zippers”, he told Anime Maru. Dustin rushed to the next open convention before the week was out.
Things took a tragic turn, however, when young Dustin found himself desperately in need of restroom relief after downing a gallon of overpriced hotel bar scotch. To his shock and horror, the leather on his costume was so skintight that it was physically impossible to remove. All the zippers were stuck in place, almost grafted onto his flesh.
“I guess the first warning sign should’ve been how hard it was to put the thing on in the first place… but you know, I thought I’d just worry about that when I got home”, he reflects in hindsight.
He ran through the convention hall screaming through his skintight Ghoul mask. He was promptly kicked out of the convention by security and began to wander the streets.
Clover continued: “It was so cold, and I smelled like piss. I begged for help but everyone just ran away from me… It was probably the mask. I even tried going to the police but they just drew their guns at me! They open fire at cosplayers now, you know…”
“I haven’t eaten or slept in days! My eyes are all glazed over, aren’t they? Urggh… I’m so hungry… my stomach is burning non-stop… I’m so hungry that even… the people around me are starting to look… appetizing…”, he rambled on before wandering off.
Dustin’s whereabouts are currently unknown, as our Anime Maru correspondent was the last person to see him, although in completely unrelated news, several people seem to have mysteriously gone missing…