Shiva has been my favorite Final Fantasy summon creature since I began playing the series. Although this particular version, the materia-based summon from Final Fantasy VII, is not my favorite Shiva design, I thought it would be a good one of the summon to attempt first. Not only is it relatively simple, but the plain, geometric rendering of the reference images allowed me to take some artistic liscense with the detailing that is not as permissible with her later forms. Also, while there have been plenty of excellent cosplays of many of Shiva's forms, this version remains underrepresented, and is often portrayed innaccurately when it is attempted. Therefore, I wanted to fill in that gap and create a design that was my own yet remained as true to the source material as possible.
This costume is an absolute BLAST to wear, even if it was a pain to get into. The feet are especially comfy. My only complaint is I can't eat or pee in it. Fortunately, I'm usually having too much fun to notice.
Staff Vote Award, Anime Boston 2007