Because it’s never too late to enjoy some stunning Idolmaster cosplay.

Despite the dreary, drizzly weather in the Tokyo area over much of the weekend, we spent as much as we could of Saturday and Sunday heading out to bask in the glory of the cherry blossoms, which are reaching full bloom in east Japan. However, while we were enjoying ourselves, we couldn’t escape the nagging feeling that we’d forgotten something.

Sure enough, when Monday rolled around and we looked at our work schedule, we realized we’d completely overlooked Ranko Kanzaki’s birthday on April 8.

Now, on the one hand, this isn’t such a grave oversight. See, despite having a birthday, Ranko isn’t technically alive, since she’s a character from anime and video game franchise The Idolmaster. Because of that, we probably didn’t really hurt Ranko’s feelings by not telling her “Happy birthday!” But on the other hand, that also means we have no way of making up for our thoughtlessness by sending her a belated birthday card either.

And so we decided to do the next best thing and show our appreciation for the character by sifting through the best Ranko cosplay of the last year or so. As a series about idol singers, there’re no shortage of eye-catching costumes in the Idolmaster franchise, but even amongst her frill-festooned brethren, Ranko stands out with her penchant for theatrically dark fashions and brooding poses.

▼ Although she doesn’t look half-bad with a smile, either.

While the Idolmaster, as well as the massively multi-vocalist musical acts it portrays, originate in Japan, Ranko’s fanfom has spread far beyond her native borders, as evidenced by her popularity with overseas cosplayers.

Ordinarily, we’d like to sign off with a solemn promise that we will never again forget Ranko’s birthday.

Honestly, though, with so many anime characters’ birthdays to keep track of, including dozens in just The Idolmaster alone, we’re not sure we can keep that promise.

And so we’d like to apologize to Ranko in advance, as well as preemptively thank all the wonderful cosplayers for reminding us.
[ Read in Japanese ]