Erwin Smith Costume Analysis
By Skywing Knights // December 21, 2022
“I don’t intend to make excuses.”
Oh uniforms, I love that you are reusable. Which is why if it’s not broke, why change it? So today, I’m breaking down the last (for now) cosplay construction process for my “Attack on Titan” cosplays, Erwin Smith. Erwin is perhaps the most fun of all of the “Attack on Titan” cosplays that I’ve done, ironically considering, well… spoilers. I’ve actually wanted to do other versions of him, but I need to find the peeps who’d like to join me in those escapades I think, haha.
Still, I really, really enjoy cosplaying as Erwin. I ended up making him to surprise my friend RaiinFaiiry, who had been asking me to do it. In secret I went to get photos of him at Hacostadium and well… in my defense, I didn’t know how much I’d end up loving Hacostadium while doing this cosplay. ^^;
So let’s talk Erwin Smith, the leader of the Survey Corps.
The leader of the Survey Corps, Erwin Smith has been entrusted with humanity’s hope for one day going beyond the walls. Highly respected amongst those in the Survey Corps, Erwin is able to make the difficult, calculated choices that at times send members to their deaths, but also, hopefully, push humanity towards victory against the Titans.
Fiercely determined to learn the truth of what happened a century ago to imprison humanity in the walls, Erwin holds fast to the hope that if they can reach Grisha’s basement, the truth will be made known until them.
Character: Erwin Smith
Series: “Attack on Titan” / 進撃の巨人 (Shingeki no Kyojin)
Creator: Hajime Isayama
Version: Anime Survey Corps Uniform
Difficulty Level: 25%
Photographer: Gryfeathr Photography
Completed: December 2014
Debut Date: March 30th 2015
“I… really… just wish I could go to that basement… The reason that I was able to make it this far was because I believed that the day would come… that someday… I’d get those answers I’ve been looking for. There were so many times where I thought death would be so much easier…. but I couldn’t get the thought of my father’s dream out of my head…”
Construction on Erwin Smith:
After a bit of cosing Eren and Mikasa from “Attack on Titan“, RaiinFaiiry started to ask me to do Erwin after learning that he was quickly becoming my favorite character in the series. I refused (sort of). I started working on Erwin without telling her. Then I did a shoot as Erwin. Then I still refused to cosplay him, making her promise to do another cosplay with me before I did Erwin.
She agreed and then I sent her photos within minutes. Pretty sure I broke her a bit at that point, haha.
Anyway, Erwin wasn’t too difficult. I already had the shirt I needed, so the biggest challenge was his wig and make up. I choose to go with a multi-colored wig, then add in short sideburns via make up to the sides of my face. The bolo tie proved to be a challenge, but only because it was so difficult to get the supplies that I needed.
Then came the rest of the make up… and those eyebrows. I wanted to make Erwin very distinct from other characters and as much as we all make fun of them in the fandom, those eyebrows are pretty distinctive. So I went about doing a few test runs to find a method and look that I liked for bringing them to life.
So with that, the sideburns, and a bit of contouring, Erwin came into a reality.
View my Erwin Smith Cosplay
in my Cosplay Gallery:
“… And now, here I am, the answer right at my grasp, it’s right there… but, Levi. Can you see them? Our comrades… our comrades are watching us. They want to know what the objective is that they forfeited their lives for. Because the battle is not over yet. It’s all… in my head isn’t it? It’s just a childish delusion, right?”
I really love Erwin’s character. He’s the type of character that really makes you think. I feel that often times writers skim over a commander’s thoughts in war stories, instead focusing on the soldiers who are in the middle of the fray. Isayama allowed us to see what goes through the mind of a person ‘willing to abandon his humanity’ in order to save others. And it’s frighteningly fascinating.
The fact that Erwin is so well aware of the fact that he’s sent men and women to their deaths and has a responsibility to make their sacrifices worth it is chilling. It allows us to understand that no one is immune from the weight and gravity of the loss of lives on one’s watch. No matter who they are, we will always know and there is no escaping.
That is in some ways, another reason why Erwin is so interesting. He’s willing to give up a piece of his ‘humanity’ for information to help the rest of humanity. You ultimately wonder, along with him, if it’s all going to be ‘worth it’ or not. And if it is worth it, does that make him a good person? Does him being a good person hinge on if his actions are ‘worth it’ or not? Is that fair if he in fact he had good intents? All deep questions.
And perhaps most captivatingly, Erwin doesn’t try to run away and bears it silently. Not many people could do that and that is one of Erwin’s greatest strengths. Aside of course from his eyebrows. 😉
Till the next blog,