Welcome to Issue 3 of Volume 4: AntiHero
We’re all familiar with the concept of heroes vs villains. One person is here to save the day, and the other is here to totally ruin it. But there’s an ambiguous grey area. Most people aren’t all good or all bad, they’re normally somewhere in between. It’s easy to see things in black and white, but this issue it’s all about the shades of grey—where the AntiHero lives.
Behind every good guy is a bad guy. Without them the hero would have no opponent and, quite frankly, their journey would be really boring! Think of DC without Harley Quinn, or Pirates of the Caribbean without Captain Jack Sparrow. Total snooze fest! The AntiHero could be mistaken for a classic villain up to no good, but the truth is their version of “good” is just different to yours and to them the end justifies the means. Rebellion and straying off the beaten path are also integral parts of the Japanese street fashion philosophy. Wearing alternative fashion is a way to express ourselves creatively and authentically without concern about how others may see us.
In Part One, Mirror Mirror, we look at the AntiHero and our preconceptions of them.
Mirror, mirror on the wall, are they AntiHero or just plain foe? In pop culture, figures like Kim Kardashian and Ami Suzuki show us that there’s a thin line between icon and infamous villain. Selling an appetite-suppressing lollipop or two will no doubt fast-track you to villain status, but sometimes all it takes is dressing like a villain to be perceived as one. A typical get up? Bike shorts and T-shirts with your face printed on it. We also throw it back to the more stylish Bōsōzoku trend of the 70s, the precursor to today’s rebel teens. Then we feature darker and edgier modern styles like Peeps Girl, a trend coming to the forefront of Japanese youth fashion. It’s a far cry from the pink kawaii looks we’re used to.
Part Two, Look Again, reminds us that everything is not as it seems.
There are two sides to every story, and in every person there exists dualities. Sugar and spice, naughty and nice, Cruella de Vil and Melanie Martinez! A mash-up we never knew we needed. The cult manga Death Note can teach us a thing or two about how hazy the distinction between hero and villain can be. Even within the community there are sub-subcultural styles that exist in opposition. Classic Lolita and Gothic Lolita have the same origin story (Rococo girl meets Alice in Wonderland fantasy), but they are the kawaii visual equivalent of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. We also sit down with artist Bei Badgirl who embodies these ideals in her work, blending cute illustrations with sexy undertones.
Part Three: AntiHero. They’re a force to be reckoned with!
Our features have carved out their solo path with true ambition. Sandy Taboo is taking over New York and her platform-clad feet are stomping on society’s rules. Sarah Nicole François reimagines a 3D world that’s all about her. While Lorna is using her voice to put out positive messages—with a side of heavy metal music. And let’s not forget the e-girl. Perhaps to the chagrin of the well meaning but jaded Millennials, the TikTok e-girl tells us about current world events while simultaneously painting on a fierce winged eyeliner. Looking fabulous is just as important as getting where you want to be, so we will also be featuring some kick-ass AntiHero looks. Think boudoir-ready red dress and latex black numbers!
Hero, villain or the enigmatic AntiHero? Let us know which category you fall into with hashtag #thecommoffline. If you choose to walk the path of the AntiHero, know that not everyone will like the way you get there.