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.
I find it unlikely that so many characters would, given the freedom, all choose to wear black socks. I have suggested in the past that more characters be allowed to wear hosiery. Yuuna is the only student who did, and several characters wear thigh-high socks already. However, if I were to be honest, I would selfishly have all characters wear waist-high nylon tights at all times. The above image is one I posted to Twitter in February during a discussion of the high frequency of black socks in Snow White’s Knight. I hastily assembled that edit as a proof of concept and it met with positive reception, to my surprise. Long-time readers of Petals’ Garden may be aware of this taste of mine from my correspondence on Reo-ppoi Radio, where Anzu Hana addressed my addition to the Yuri Goddess on 27 October 2012 (4:29 in the embedded video):
As for Greg’s tights–and this is my opinion as Anzu–I understand that tights are moe, but I feel white socks are more moe. The color white can symbolize purity, and it could tempt one to dirty it… Am I allowed to say this?! […] I think my and Greg’s tastes aren’t very different. So, I don’t suppose I can vote myself… But I have to say, I think we could have some girls wear white socks, or even patterned socks.
(Since that episode, The Angels’ Spring Romance was released, in which Satsuki fulfills the latter condition.)
Waist-high opaque tights are traditionally seen as proper, ladylike apparel. In a setting like St. Michael’s, it would stand to reason that tights worn this way would be somewhat common. However, slightly different contexts instead give a unique sexy allure to a character. (For example, the St. Michael’s nurse’s office and the St. Michael’s general hospital.) Even sheer tights can significantly alter a character’s aesthetic. Indeed, nylon tights appear to be increasing in frequency in other animated series in recent years.
As I considered the possibility of the entire cast wearing tights as an expression and to see how their overall images change in tights, I decided that wasn’t enough. Reminding myself of the series’ primary appeal, I allowed myself to get carried away and indulged myself in editing several explicit images without regard for logic or continuity. The result is a set of images more appealing to me in a way not likely to appear in official artwork. Below is a sample of my work and attempts at justification. The below links are not safe for work.
- Nanami and Yuuna
One of the first fantasy scenarios I imagined for this series is one where Nanami goes through Yuuna’s closet and wears her clothes for the sensation. This edit is an extension of that concept where they exchange underwear, with tights standing in for panties (and a liberty I took in Nanami’s wardrobe). In a way, this imagining several years ago inspired all of the below edits, although it was not the first I created.
- Kaede and Sara
Kaede is a special case. Looking closely at her profile just below her skirt in the Fuguriya visual novels, it appears at one point she was meant to wear tights, but this wasn’t maintained in any CGs, and the Yurin Yurin visual novels remove all traces of this entirely. Intriguingly, two different artists, Asagi Ryu and Yuriwhale, independently reverted this and depicted Kaede in tights in their respective manga adaptations Music Box of Memories and Table Turner (see pages 1, 8, and 9). In doing so, they established a precedent in a way for the images I edited in this post. It appears that there are multiple fans that see a quality in Kaede that tights accentuate well, even if the creators of this series do not.
In this scene from Beloved Photograph, the frame immediately preceding it depicted Kaede with her skirt draped over her legs in such a way that suggested that she could have been wearing tights instead of socks, so I completed the former possibility.
- Mai and Reo
This is one of the first images I edited, after the image of Risa and Miya above. I was unsure at first which color to use on Mai, but I settled on brown as I find it accentuates her own type of maturity. Adjusting the opacity of the adjustment layer simulates different levels of sheerness, which alone controls the strength of this effect. Reo wears black tights here to illustrate the differences in length between similarly colored garments (compared to her usual black thigh-high socks). As a side note, Yuriwhale depicts Mai in thigh-highs in Table Turner (see pages 1, 8, and 9), contrary to any official depiction of her, for seemingly arbitrary reasons. I leave it to the reader to contemplate how and whether thigh-highs reflect her personality.
- Takako and Runa
Takako wears at least three different shades of tights throughout the series, but the few times they figured into passionate moments resulted in them being removed, used to bind her, or damaged by Runa. It goes without saying that all of these are far from ideal. For all the various reasons fans find Runa contemptible, this is the sole point I personally have against her. That said, I used a sheer brown on Runa solely for variety, but the effect is much greater on her regardless of what’s used. Previous versions of this edit used black on Takako and Runa, and while black tights further heightened their allure in distinct ways, they are not included here as three images above use black already.
- Shizuku and Eris
Eris is known to wear black tights in her gothic-lolita outfit that she wears outside of school in the Fuguriya visual novels and light novels. Nonetheless, Shizuku, one of the most ladylike characters, sports an appropriately formal color here per Hana’s comment above. As a side note, in the light novel Valentine’s Fever (バレンタイン狂騒曲 Valentine Kyousoukyoku), Eris and Shizuku exchange their outfits in one scene, meaning that Shizuku canonically once wore tights.
- Risa and Miya
I experimented further with color in this image after I noticed that the above five images repeated the same colors. I considered Risa’s overt femininity and applied a matching uncommon color on her. Similarly to how Risa keeps the interior of her room very private, I believe that she would only wear pink tights in her own home, if not only her room. Although I used black for Miya to match her character, it creates a poor contrast against pink. I’ve prepared an alternate version with another uncommon color that complements pink well.
Take note also of Miya’s feet in the last edit; hopefully, you can comprehend the profound appealing–perhaps even moe–effect the tights have on them. Unfortunately, there are very few other frames throughout the series where the feet are similarly visible; such frames are the most fruitful to edit for this purpose. Those images are a step closer to my ideal love scene, which would have a strong emphasis on the feet. The two girls would use their feet covered in tights to caress one another, doing such things as stroking their breasts, vaginas, legs and feet; kissing the feet and legs while doing the above; and playfully kicking at each other while seated across a table (See the DVD covers for Reo-ppoi Radio DVD 02 and 03 for what could be a precedent). There was a love scene in Sweet Grown-up Kisses where it was implied that Takako started to kiss Runa’s foot as they were rubbing against one another, but it wasn’t shown visually; this is the closest scene in the visual novels so far like that. Considering the fetishes that were catered to in the past, I believe a scene like this would be “within bounds” for this series.
Harems of female protagonists, sex toys simulating male genitals, dick-girl transformations, gender bending, and entanglements with males, to say nothing of grotesque depictions of bodily fluids or depressing plot developments, are all completely absent.
Sexual scenes involving hosiery is not new for A Kiss For The Petals; the very first sexual scene in the entire series was of Yuuna pleasuring herself through her tights, and as noted above, Takako’s tights sometimes get involved, albeit always in negative ways as of this post. The announcement and character profiles for The Angels’ Promise gave me hope that such a scene would be included in that visual novel, as Akira is seen wearing tights in one of the preview images, until the pre-order incentives were previewed. I was similarly disappointed when this costume exchange between Takako and Kaede in Snow White’s Knight did not include Takako’s tights in any scenes whatsoever with Kaede and Sara. Until the popularity of tights increases enough that it spills into Yurin Yurin’s main attraction legitimately, editing the images myself is my only recourse. That said, I’d like to clarify that I find the scenes very erotic already. I don’t enjoy the series less for the lack of scenes like I described in the previous paragraph; on the contrary, part of my enjoyment comes from my ability to “enhance” them to my liking (although editing out any pre-existing legwear is beyond my ability, therefore greatly limiting the scope at which I can do this).
These edits are a work in progress and experimental in terms of color. It is my hope that readers can comprehend the appeal of them, even if they don’t necessarily share them (if not gain a new taste for nylon hosiery). If there is demand, I will post more edits and would even make patches that edit select images in a visual novel similar to the Message Window Mod or NaAaF’s decensor patch (which was released for the first visual novel and was unfortunately stalled partway through development for the second; those patches would make these edits easier). Feel free to discuss any images that stand out to you.