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MTS 14 Round 5 - In the Grace of Mars

OMFG :dead:

Final entry for :iconmiss-top-senshi: , Winning Pose! There are some character names dropped in this, I'll be listing them below the written portion of the entry. Thank you! :bow: 

This was it.

Akane stood apprehensively backstage. Somehow, someway, she had made it to the final round. Never in her wildest dreams did she imagine she would have made it all the way to this point, this stage. It wasn't like her to be so nervous about something. For someone who had spent all of her life being an outcast and rejected by society for her gifts, receiving this kind of praise and attention wasn't something Akane was used to. Sure, she could face down villains that threatened to destroy the world and not feel a drop of anxiety, but put her on a stage in front of people she didn't know? People who actually liked her? It was a bit overwhelming.

Yet, here she was. Akane wore her heavy gown of damask, silks and velvet, adorned with hand-tatted lace and with elegant embroidery bordering the over skirt. Kikyou had slaved over the gown for the past two weeks almost non-stop, and it was easily the most expensive thing Akane ever owned. Tennyo had fussed for nearly two hours over her hair and make up as well, and was still fretting over those stray pieces of hair that escaped from the up-do when Akane swept out to the backstage. So not only was she nervous about the results of this contest, but on top of that she was terrified of ruining this exquisite gown that was made especially for her. Or chewing on her lower lip and smearing her lipstick everywhere.

Damn, how did people put up with this? 

"Would our two contestants please come out?"

Stealing a nervous glance to Lyra - Messier 22 - Akane took in a deep breath. 

" it goes," Her voice came out in a shaken, nervous crack, and she chuckled awkwardly in response. With her cheeks burned and flushed, Akane quickly looked away from her fellow competitor and walked out onto the stage with her.

The crowd erupted into cheer and applause, and Akane did her best to look beyond their heads. Normally, her composure wasn't so easily shaken; but she could feel their emotions. Their excitement, their joy to see her - it left her body feeling tingly, her heart fluttering in her chest like gentle butterfly wings. The world seemed to be floating around her, and she could not help her smile growing in response to the flood of emotions. It was exhilarating, her nerves quickly being replaced by the anticipation and happiness of everyone around her. 

Turning back to Lyra, Akane managed another to smile, mouthing the words "good luck" to the other Senshi. After all, she wasn't expecting to win. There was no way. Was there?

"Now, the moment everyone has been waiting for!" The announcer raved enthusiastically, holding up the envelope with the results in it. "The winner of Miss Top Senshi! May I have a drum-roll please!" 

Akane's breath hitched into her throat. An uneasy, anxious silence fell, sending chills down her spine and causing her skin to break out into goose pimples. A roll of drums thundered across the stage, and the moment she was expecting - and dreading - drew close.

Seconds felt like years. Without thinking, Akane reached for Lyra's hand and un-expectantly gripped it, holding it tightly with her gloved fingers. The excitement she felt moments ago was replaced with cold, grating dread, nearly causing her to shiver uncomfortably despite how heavy and hot the gown was. 

The drums thundered in her ears, causing her heart to race in tune with them. Agonizing second after agonizing second, she waited. And, finally, the announcer snapped the seal open on the envelope and unfolded it. 

"And the winner is...Neo Sailor Mars, Madoushi Akane!!"

Akane stopped breathing.

The next few moments completely vanished from her memory. Everything blacked out when she heard her name called, her eyes growing wide. The entire world fell away around her, and she wasn't even conscious she was being escorted to the center of the stage. How they called down a backdrop with her predecessor of Mars behind her. How they draped the sash across her shoulders. The gem-encrusted crown placed upon her red hair. The scepter placed in her hands.

To the outside world, Akane looked pale and petrified. Internally, she was so completely shocked and flabergasted she didn't even know how to react. Or what was even going on.

It wasn't until a familiar voice in the audience whooped over the thunderous applause that she snapped out of her daze.

"Yeah, Akane!! I love you!"

Shaking her head, Akane's world was no longer vacant and filled with black, but was very real. Her amber eyes swept the audience and spotted Momoko standing on her chair, waving her arms enthusiastically and cheering loudly. Beside her, Hidenka looked like she was trying to hide in the arm of her seat in embarrassment of her friend.

Akane found herself smiling at the endearing display of affection from Momoko, feeling the warm, fuzzy feeling of adoration welling up in her chest. When her eyes met the other girl's, she noticed Momoko turned red and stopped flailing, but continued to smile up at her.

And in that moment, all that mattered was that smile and that feeling. Nothing else. Not a crown, not a scepter, not the praises.

Just Momoko. 

Characters Mentioned:

Kikyou: Neo Sailor Neptune. She's a super gruff, androgynous gal who is also a fashion designer and seamstress. She probably said "Shit, you look fuckin' gorgeous" when she put the dress on Akane XD
Tennyo: Neo Sailor Earth. Prissy pretty princess. Loves hair and makeup XD 
Momoko: Neo Sailor Venus. Super adorable. If she and Hidenka aren't in a romance, she and Akane end up being romantically involved. I went with that canon here :nod:
Hidenka: Neo Sailor Moon. Best friend to Momoko, easily embarrassed when she/ANYONE IN HER GROUP draws unwanted attention towards her. 



For those of you who don't follow/visit my tumblr: I have basically been working non-stop on this for the past two weeks. I haven't had a LIFE besides work and this image. This, quite litterally, drained and exhausted me beyond measure, even more-so then any of my entries for :iconotakusenshiidols: back in the day! And I didn't even spend as much time on it as my comic for the dead scene! :crying:

I was actually almost in literal tears working on this, I was so upset and frustrated. I still feel like so much is wrong with this and I'm going to be docked points for this-that-and-the-other-thing. I'm completely un-confident going into this round. okaay.... 

Regardless, I powered through it just so I could FINISH, and here it is! I think it's one of the better things I've made, but...IDK. I am so done with this image I don't even know if I like it or not anymore :| 


So as some of you may or may not know, I am a historical nerd. I also love historical fashion. While I am not the best at it, I still really enjoy it and learning about it!! Because Neo Mars is from a post-apocalyptic society that's vaugely Neo Victorian/Steampunk, I decided to go with a gown based loosely on the Victorian period, primarily Early-Victorian. Because I love hoop skirts so much and bustles are a pain in the freaking ASS to draw. I also like the styling of early-Victorian gowns better, they look more regal :nod: 

Now, this is (admittingly) not 100% accurate to the time period. the corset would certianly be under the dress, and you wouldn't see the boning. The overskirt is a less Victorian and more European (the Victorian Period was, of course, based in England and controlled countries, and America because we're that creepy ex that can't let go of our lover) during that time frame, but WHATEVER. I took some liberties and ran with it, though it is *fairly* accurate.

Also, the top bit (from the rose trim to the neckline) is actually a separate piece attached to the bodice. Hence why you can't see the top of the bodice itself. THE MORE YOU KNOW! 

OH GOD, ALL OF THAT LACE :faint: That's one of the things that killed me. And the size of the image. AND DAT SKIRT. And the stained glass. Dear fuck why do I do this to myself? :cry: I also such at drawing/designing crowns so uh...I'm not entirely happy with that. I guess it works? I think????? 

So uh, yeah. There you have it. I'm sure I have more to rant about, but I don't remember them anymore. ^^; At least it's DONE and I can move on with my life!

Thanks to :iconreeness: for helping me proof the story!!

Time Spent: 21 hours

Marble Texture from :icondagohbert:

Limestone texture from :iconspiral-0ut: 

Pose reference from a Coronation Portrait of Queen Victoria (though I made Akane stand).  
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© 2015 - 2022 shuu-bunni
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mishihime's avatar
Shuu Bunny <3 You've really improved. I see why you won! I really like her dress design and Sailor Mars in the background. 

By the way, have you ever heard this song? It's awesome. Always think of it when I see Mars senshi. 
shuu-bunni's avatar
Thank yo so much! :love: I was really not expecting to win at all, Lantiis is so good T_T
SailorDarkness's avatar
um... how did I miss this when you posted the final version?  -_-''

Anyway... it turned out beautifully!  I hope you did awesome in the contest!
shuu-bunni's avatar
Thanks! Still waiting on the results though ^^;
Keriuri's avatar
:clap:  This looks amazing! You did such a great job on it. I love the stained glass and the dress. So much detail and hard work. I hope you win!
shuu-bunni's avatar
E-Zeal's avatar
Oh dear... she's spectacular :love: I love stained glass window of Mars! Wonderful job, dear :love:
shuu-bunni's avatar
CarmenChristina's avatar
Niicee!! This is great! Good job! 
WanderingKotka's avatar
So many amazing details on this!  The layering on her dress, the regal posing, the stained glass window of Sailor Mars behind her, the fact that her dress' palette matches Mars' fuku colors, so much to love.  Fantastic work!
shuu-bunni's avatar
Thank you T____T

getting a compliment on the stained glass from you MAKES ME FEEL SO MUCH BETTER about it
WanderingKotka's avatar
Gurl, your stained glass is LEGIT.  
shuu-bunni's avatar
Ai A-chan Fuuyuumi (Tears of Joy) [V1] THANK YOU~!!! T______T
NeonGlitterTrash's avatar
OH MY GAWD is right! The draping of her dress is beautiful! Seriously Shuu this is gorgeous!!
shuu-bunni's avatar
Engirish's avatar
AHH sailor this
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