I was looking for something new to watch when the pandemic hit and my son introduced me to the American anime Rwby. It was an instant winner for me and I wasted no time watching all 7 chapters. I am now patiently waiting for chapter 8 to be released in November. Rwby, created by the late Monty Oum, is set in a futuristic world called Remnant. The story centers around 4 teenage girls who meet at Beacon Academy in a city called Vale. The girls, along with the other students, train to become warriors called hunters and huntresses. Ruby Rose, Weiss Schnee, Blake Belladonna and Yang Xiao Long make up team Rwby who set out to fight monsters called the Grimm and protect the people of Remnant.
One of my favorite characters from the series and inspiration for my costume is an immortal called Salem. She is the main antagonist character whose story began in an era long before Remnant. It was a place where humans and their creators lived together alongside magic. Salem was a human who as a child was locked in a tower by her father after the death of her mother. She lived a cold lonely existence until the age of 16 when a brave warrior named Ozma rescued her. They fell in love and had plans to live a long life together until Ozma passed away from illness. Salem went to the source of light begging for Ozma’s resurrection but was denied. She then turned to his brother, the darkness who granted her wish. The light intervened and returned Ozma to the afterlife. This caused conflict between the brothers resulting in Salem being cursed as an immortal to learn the importance of life and death. This enraged Salem and she set out to recruit kings and queens to take on the light. In the end her army was destroyed along with every human being on the planet except for her. At this time light and dark abandon the planet, leaving it a remnant of what it once was. Salem is all alone until Ozmar reincarnates. They do reunite but it is as if they are not destined for happiness Salem does not learn the error of her ways and becomes more malevolent over time.
The above is just a brief synopsis of the history of Salem. By the time the world of Remnant evolves to again including humans, she is hell bent on seeing Ozmar burn. She will stop at nothing to divide humanity, using sympathy for her history to manipulate people in doing her bidding. Salem is intelligent and conniving and over time her mind has become warped. She is one of few who possess magic and is master of the soulless creatures called Grimm. Instead of learning her lessons as the sources of light and darkness had hoped, she has devolved into a malicious being that uses humanity to suit her deep rooted feelings of hate. Team Rwby will learn that they have much more than some supernatural monsters to worry about as the story progresses.
As for my costume, I used a silver and grey tone wig for Salem’s hair. I made her signature 6 offshoots by trimming down the appropriate pieces and wound black cloth around the ends. Next I stiffened up the shoots by adding Schwarzkopf’s got 2b glues spiking glue. My final hair touch was a ton of super stiff hairspray. On my face is the basic Halloween costume makeup as well as some black eyebrow gel. Every great Halloween costume incorporates a cloak so I am wearing one, besides, Salem only wears black. The classic red eyes of her character were done by photo edit on my phone. The photograpy credit goes to my talented son, Elijah Howard.
My inspiration for this character came from the love to hate her character. Every story has both protagonists and antagonists and Salem is the ultimate in bad guys. She can relate to humans and be reasonable when she chooses yet her spiteful, vindictive ways always have the upper hand. She is always plotting and as much as I do not want her to prevail, there is a certain compelling appeal to her presence which I am sure is partially how she orchestrates her strategies. She is no fool and her devious ways are far from over.