I’ve loved phantom thieves since I was a kid. Their fantastical flair and ability to steal anything from under anyone’s nose fascinate me to this day, even if their wild stunts do sometimes defy the laws of physics. Their fondness for theatrics are shown through the costumes they wear, which make them very fun characters to cosplay!
Without further ado, let’s begin!
1. KAITOU KID
Starting off with a classic and one of my favourites! Magic-obsessed teenager Kuroba Kaito by day, elusive-yet-showy thief by night, Kaitou Kid’s deft sleights of hand, outrageous tactics, and daring escapes (including driving a car out of a skyscraper window) have dazzled fans since 1987. Although it seems like he steals for the fun of it, Kid is actually trying to find and destroy a gem that grants immortality before the organisation that killed his father can get to it.
You can find him in the Magic Kaito manga, the 2014 adaptation Magic Kaito 1412, or the Detective Conan series (which is known as Case Closed in the US), where he often appears as a rival of the main character, Edogawa Conan.
Many of the side characters have fairly simple designs as well, so this is a great group cosplay idea for beginners!
Kuroba Kaito and his alter ego, Kaitou Kid
Kaito’s childhood sweetheart, the energetic Nakamori Aoko
One of the few who are a match for Kaitou Kid, the genius detective Hakuba Saguru
2. PHANTOM R
Another teenager in disguise, Phantom R is a thief slightly unlike his more traditional associates – he returns the artworks he steals! He only pursues treasures that may hold a clue to his missing father, and has no need to keep them if they do not prove to be useful. When he isn’t busy sneaking around in museums, the swift Phantom R spends the remainder of his nights jumping over the rooftops and theatre balconies of Paris with his pet dog Fondue as he evades the police force. The rollerblading police force. When he isn’t up to his usual hijinks as a thief, he prefers to flip pancakes and toss treats to Fondue to the beat of the music in this funky (and, sadly, obscure) rhythm game from Sega.
Plain (for video game standards, anyway) student Raphael is actually the notorious Phantom R
The skilful violinist Marie crosses paths with Phantom R one fateful night
The son of the police inspector who pursues Phantom R, Charlie Vergier is one of Phantom R’s rivals
3. KAITOU JEANNE
The 1998 manga Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne (which saw an anime adaptation a year later) reveals the secret life of high school gymnast Kusakabe Maron. A modern day reincarnation of the French heroine Jeanne D’Arc, Kaitou Jeanne is Maron in her transformed phantom thief/magical girl state. Though, technically, she does not steal anything – she is on a sacred mission to save God which involves defeating demons that just happen to reside in artworks. After the demons are defeated, the artwork disappears so it seems like they were stolen. Thus, the public begins to call her a phantom thief.
Jeanne’s rival, Kaitou Sinbad. Unbeknownst to her, Sinbad knows of her real identity although she does not know his.
Jeanne and Sinbad’s companion angels, Fin Fish and Access Time.