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Playing With / Chainmail Bikini

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Basic Trope: Females in medieval and fantasy settings wearing armor that seems to be designed more for making the wearer look attractive than for actually protecting them.

  • Straight: Hiro, Kelvin and Leon all dress reasonably. Their female companions Lumina, Sayuka and Jewel tend to wear less armor and show a little more skin.
  • Exaggerated: The guys are fully clothed, but the girls are beyond Stripperiffic, wearing only chainmail thongs and chainmail pasties in the Arctic.
  • Downplayed:
    • The girls' armor is relatively realistic... with the exception of a helmet and a small area of exposed thigh.
    • Female armor has two rounded cups at the chest area.
    • The women are wearing only bikinis… and the men are Walking Shirtless Scenes.
  • Justified:
    • The female warrior uses her looks as a distraction, and her fighting style is one that requires her clothing be light and form-fitting.
    • The female warrior specializes in acrobatics, which full-plate armour tends to get in the way of.
    • The warriors in question are gladiators. When their equipment was designed, giving a good show was the first priority, Competitive Balance was the second, and effectiveness in combat was the third.
    • The female warrior uses Improvised Armor and the Chainmail Bikini is all that she could find.
    • The series takes place in a tropical area with relatively little metal. The "armor" is meant as a status symbol, not protection.
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    • The series takes place in an area that is incredibly hot. Anyone in full armor will be cooked in their own portable ovens.
    • The enemy has attacks that can easily pierce through any kind of armor anyway. Therefore, warriors (both female and male) prefer to don equipment that emphasizes mobility over protection.
    • The women are the in-universe equivalent of glamour models, present only as "decoration" when the male warriors are triumphantly processing through the streets, so the armour is just meant for show.
    • The armor protects the wearer through magic, rather than conventional physical means, so its lack of coverage is irrelevant.
    • The women are super-powered warriors. Their invulnerable skin can tank more damage than modern-day meter-thick tank armor, let alone the metal plating of medieval armored suits, so they don't see any need for it.
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    • Rule of Sexy
  • Inverted: Girls dress reasonably, guys wear chainmail banana hammocks.
  • Subverted:
    • Lumina shows up to the fight in nothing but a Fur Bikini... then mentions she was taken by surprise and didn't have time to put on her armor.
    • That armor you see is just casual clothes. When it's time for a real fight, the girls suit up just like the guys.
    • The skimpy armour serves for ceremonial purposes, meant for crowd-pleasing during parades; when going to battle, Lumina changes into a more practical set.
    • The skimpy armor is actually a regular armor suit that can fold itself. When Lumina gets to battle, the armor expands, covering her and adequately protecting her.
  • Double Subverted:
    • The heroine shows up to the fight in nothing but a Fur Bikini...then mentions she was taken by surprise and didn't have time to put on her armor. Later, she goes off and gets her armor...and it covers less than the Fur Bikini.
    • While the combat armor outfits are more conservative than the ceremonial ones, they still leave a good portion of skin open.
  • Parodied:
  • Zig Zagged: Attire goes across the board; most members of both genders dress reasonably, but there are a few outliers on both extremes. A few girls and guys show off tons of skin, while others cover up so much it's amazing they can move under all that weight.
  • Averted:
  • Enforced: All about the Author Appeal and making things Hotter and Sexier, or so say the execs.
  • Lampshaded:
    • "That's not armor, that's lingerie!"
    • "That's my armour? ...Where's the rest of it?"
  • Invoked:
    • The female wearing this outfit is The Mole and is distracting the hero as well as acting as his love interest to give him a Heroic BSoD.
    • She's a member of a Proud Warrior Race and is Made of Iron; the distraction bonus is worth a slight bit of extra risk.
    • Chainmail armor of any kind is very expensive and the female hero has only rags to protect herself with otherwise. She got this set of armor off the skeleton of a fallen adventurer and fully intends to get some better armor as soon as she can afford it.
    • A pervy wizard makes such armor for his female bodyguards. The armor is enchanted to provide good protection for the whole body, but it looks like a skimpy bikini.
  • Exploited:
    • The group needs to sneak into the Big Bad's base and they need to disguise themselves, but Sayuka just walks in cause she isn't wearing much and the guards are just Distracted by the Sexy.
    • Noting that female armour offers the same amount of protection despite being a full quarter of the size, Hiro welds several sets together into one suit with quadruple the normal armour value.
  • Defied: "Like hell I'm going into battle wearing nothing but a Chainmail Bikini. That's stupid."
  • Discussed: The hero suggests she wear one, saying it always works in fiction, and she points out the idiocy of that statement.
  • Conversed: The readers make fun of a dead woman who tried to take on a bear in one.
  • Implied: Only male knights were shown, but they commented on the armories of the females.
  • Deconstructed:
    • Because they have less protection, female adventurers are naturally more vulnerable and have a higher mortality rate. Those who aren't killed amass have plenty of scars, causing them to be viewed as less attractive and undesirable.
    • Exposed skin on an otherwise well-camouflaged outfit makes a handy target for snipers.
    • A Chainmail Bikini is skimpy enough that it doesn't include all the padding regular armor does, which leads to it chafing skin and steadily straining the wearer if it doesn't fit just so (or possibly even if it does, depending on the design). After a few hours of parading around this way, Alice's thighs and chest are bleeding and her hips and back are sore, which tends to negate both any practical effect of the armor and the Fanservice aspects (unless you get off on that sort of thing).
    • To protest their ridiculously Stripperiffic outfits, some of the female characters form a group in a movement resembling Real Life Feminism, and create conflict among members of the cast who agree and disagree with them and their argument to various extents.
  • Reconstructed:
    • The armors are too heavy for the guys to dodge attacks, making them just as vulnerable to stronger ones when females could dodge them away instead.
    • Alice wears only chainmail bikinis and tends to get more serious injuries than Bob and Jake, who wear full armor. After a while Alice tries full armor but it just becomes too awkward because she is used to wearing less. Finally, she finds someone who can train her to make full use of the lighter clothing so that she can be just as effective in battle as her partners.
    • Alice has a big shield to use to block incoming attacks.
    • Alice doesn't need armor, being Nigh-Invulnerable, but wears a Chainmail Bikini under her clothes in case of Clothing Damage because otherwise she'd end up naked after most fights.
  • Played For Laughs:
    • Morgana, the youngest member of the party who's currently decked out in Frills of Justice, tells her big brother figure Kelvin that she can't wait until she's old enough to wear real heroes' attire like Sakuya. Horrified, Kelvin starts trying to get the older girls to cover up more, much to the dismay of the other guys. Hilarity Ensues.
    • The female warrior's exposed parts are completely invulnerable anyway.
  • Played For Drama: Barbara trained alongside Kelvin, but her sexist superiors deliberately gave her armor that leaves more exposed and shows off her figure, much to her humiliation and outrage.
  • Played For Horror: The heroine beats up a mook squad so brutally, that the survivors literally have nightmares about skimpy dresses and muscular women.

"You call THIS armor, maggot?!"

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