[REVIEW] Final Fantasy XIII Serah Cosplay Review

Sunday, 3 April 2016



Final Fantasy XIII 

Serah Cosplay

Mandrake Store Review

Today I’ll be writing a short review about my experience of buying cosplay from Mandrake.

Mostly cosplayers use services from eBay, aliexpress and Taobao to buy their costumes and so I thought I would try out buying an item from a "cosplay shop" in Japan. Companies such as COSPA produce their own official cosplays and while I'd love to buy one, the prices can be quite expensive. 

 What is Mandrake?

Mandrake is a Japanese website that features items being sold throughout their eleven different stores. Many of these items are advertised in “used” quality, which may often mean that they have been bought but still unopened with seals intact. They will always indicate box damage with photographs to show an accurate representation.  For this reason, Mandrake is great for finding rare and second-hand merchandise at a much reasonable price.

The website has an English language feature and allows customers outside of Japan to place orders which is great, no need for proxies!

 However, because of the eleven different stores, you cannot buy items from two separate stores and receive a shipping discount. There’s also a 500 yen shipping handling fee involved before the shipping handling cost is incurred.

As a result, many people love using Mandrake and often recommend it to their friends and/or anime figure collectors.

 I’ve personally used their services in the past to get second-hand figurines but this time I decided to buy a cosplay I saw advertised below.

I was initially dubious because while “box damage” on a figurine may seem less of a worry, I don’t exactly want to buy clothes with listed “stains and damage” but I found myself to be quite trusting of the shop photographs and took the plunge.
 Worst case scenario, the stains can be washed at dry cleaners.  

Item was shipped out and took 2 weeks to arrive! In this case, the shipping fees was Shipping Fee: 980 yen with the 500 yen handling fee.

 Cosplay review

Here the items arrived and they look to be in the exact condition as pictured. What you see is what you get! The clothes did arrive with a smell to them so I expect that this was most likely to be worn beforehand. Cosplayers buying ready-made outfits seem to be the norm whereas westerners prefer to create their own pieces.

However, a full and accurate outfit for 2000yen (£12) is hard to resist when it comes to one of your favourite game characters.


The skirt is amazingly accurate which pleasantly surprised me as there is another manufactured cosplay floating around with a simple gingham skirt pattern. The only gripe is that the colours look a bit dull and there should be more pink shades instead of brown. The 
den attachment piece and looks to be quite sturdy.
 It's a good fit as some skirts I've bought online have arrived and turned out to be embarrassingly short. Luckily, there's no issue here as this is short enough to give that long-legged anime look, but still keep your modesty intact, with the help of some added lace.
 The black lace works nicely with the skirt as it has a large floral print and some crescent shapes which looks great, the large flowers bring out the girly characteristic of Serah. The original pattern is sheerer and has smaller floral details.


The shirt has the zigzagged stitch and clings to your natural figure. Serah’s character art emphasises her slender and waifish figure so a slim fit shirt is essential especially with those sheer panels. The material is much softer and less crinkled compared to a shirt but it works just as well. 
Whilst Serah’s outfit for Final Fantasy XIII isn’t revealing skin, there is still an element of revealing your figure involved.

The pink outer garment is made of flimsy material, I’m not exactly sure if I can call it a Peignoir but still this material looks as if it can easily rip and tear, luckily the ends are all hemmed as it easily shows through the thin and sheer material. 
The same buttons from the shirt appear on the back of this garment but they look too big on such a thin material, there are 3 small pink bows on the original design which can be easily added on.

Extra Attachments

  Sadly, the pieces of my arms and legs are too big. The outfit itself is a small size, which fits me loosely but not enough to consider the risk of a sewing n00b taking in the material. The armbands look super cool however the leg attachments look cheap and costume-like. 
 Maybe the separate attachments came in a standard size which is why they’re too loose, I don’t know but I wouldn’t be exactly surprised.

Finished results

Additional Notes

I'll be posting a number of updates on how I made the rest of the cosplay, such as the pendant necklace and styling the wig so stay tuned for more! 
I hope this review was helpful for anybody considering buying from Mandarake. 

Thank you for reading!

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