Notice: This post is solely the opinion of the author and includes images that are not safe for work.
When the character profiles for A Kiss For The Petals - Snow White’s Knight were released, a trend became immediately apparent to me in the lack of variety in the legwear among the primary cast. More than half of the characters wear black socks. Rikka’s white socks stand out, even though white socks are very common in other settings. While the visual novels proper seldom show the characters below the knees, the effort taken to render the characters’ legs in the full-body profiles for the website reveals conscious character design decisions that were repeated many times over. The casual attires show more variety, but it’s the school uniforms that get the most exposure.
One can read different impressions of a single character when they wear multiple different garments on their legs, be it socks, thigh-high stockings, tights, nothing, or anything in between. There is some variety in A Kiss For The Petals, but only in length — those who don’t wear ankle-high socks instead wear thigh-high socks, all in black, with few exceptions: Yuuna, who until Snow White’s Knight wore tights, Nanami, who wore off-white thigh-highs until she switched to black in Snow White’s Knight, Takako, who alternates arbitrarily between tights and socks, Rena, who wore tights in her unfortunately short teaching stint at St. Michael’s, and Rikka, as noted above who wears plain white socks. I believe that attention to the types of legwear the characters wear can help to express different degrees of femininity, and yet many characters here use the same choices. To use Rikka as an example, her character profile paints her as protective, and her white socks adds an extra sense of purity and youthfulness to that which suggests she is not as formal as her new peers. As school uniforms are constant above the waist, the dearth of legwear types throughout the main cast needlessly limits the possibilities for varied expression.
I was unsatisfied with this pattern, and out of curiosity, I set out to see how different lengths and colors would compare using Photoshop. Before long, it turned into something different. To put it simply, I got carried away.