May’s one of those characters that were there from the beginning. Not really sure how to describe her but as the Dan of Guilty Gear, where she puts the joke where others are dead serious, except she’s actually viable character to use.
Some say May’s design hasn’t really changed. It’s true that her overall silhouette hasn’t changed, but the design of her costume went through rather significant design overhaul when Xrd hit around. It’s not a total change of outfit, but it is the little bits a total sum is build upon. She’s a pirate, and that’s what her design reflects. There isn’t too much anything deeper to it, though her name, May, is probably an allusion to Brian May, the lead guitarist of Queen.
While the above omits original and XX‘s designs, May’s one of those characters that didn’t exactly change during the Midnight Carnival haydays. Interestingly, she has few takes in the original, with slight tweaks to her design, one of which is probably an earlier picture that got used.
The two above May’s are different in tones and details. While the one of the left has two clips on both sides of her front flat, the right one does not. The skull on her hat doesn’t have a nose on the left one either. The belt is also shorter, as we can see it flapping much freer on the right one. It also lacks the metal end cap on the right card. This is the level of things we’re talking about when it comes to May’s details, but if you’ve read any of my previous comparisons, you know this is par for the course.
From head to toes, here we go.
While overall proportion changes are expected and things being tweaked to hell and back so 2D can work in 3D.
While the hat looks sharper than before, it’s mostly an illusion made by angles, and the fact that it was always drawn very round despite having the overall same design. What has changed is the position of the skull, with the tweaks for the bones, and the size of the visor, which also boasts a more fuller shape. May’s also got a new cut and is more uniform compared to previously. Me Matey also reads on its side, and this is either a generic pirate reference or another obscure music reference I have no idea about.
May previously wore a black bodysuit under her clothes which covered her neck to toes, but left her arms bare. This time around she’s wearing pants and a black sleeves under shirt, which is covered by her… honestly, I don’t even know how she’s wearing her “skirt.” Before we got to that, she’s ditched the guard under her chin and opted for an orange scarf-hoodie with white lining, which she keeps together with a love sign for Johnny. Whether or those end caps are metal or just different fabric is up to open debate, but seeing she has one more loose strap behind her back under the scarf-hoodie, that has Me Matey on it, I’m betting they’re metal. The text the port of honey, me matey eludes me, though there is a band called A Taste of Honey. Seeing their songs touched upon love rather often, it would seem a fit spot for May. The text and anchor can be also seen on the back of her skirt, near its lower rim.
To move her skirt (let’s just go with that) and we see the rest of the design change rather drastically. May used to have belts on both her left and right side going over her shoulders, probably keeping her suit up. Looking at it now, it almost seems like a modified version of Holy Order’s uniform. Xrd‘s May doesn’t have need for those, and the element remains as sort of belt-tassels on the front of her hips.
I honestly like how the back of her skirt goes. It has interesting cuts and details that seemingly could house a belt, but is left unused. The Me Matey tags return, holding short belt loops for flavour. Pretty spiffy.
May also got new pair of gloves at some point, as the ones she wore in X had a white rim on the opening of the back oh her hand. The gauntlets she’s wearing also have a new skull motif to them with the added set of three teeth and a jawline. The gauntlets are also now almost completely round with a slight protector protruding from the jaw-end, while previously she had protectors that elongated towards her arm. Notice the mentioned loose end hanging between the shoulder bones.
Her belt, which also boasts a new design (similar to Johnny’s dual-lock one) doesn’t actually go around her. It’s just for the front and leaves the rest floating around freely. If you look closer, it actually looks like its part of her pants rather than the skirt, meaning the skirt just kind of floats in the air on her. This isn’t the case in the model shot in the top picture, seeing how the buckle is floating clearly off her. There’s something fishy going on about her hip region.
The belt doesn’t actually go anywhere. Because the skirt is blocking it all the time, outside these freak corners the game never goes into,you never see it just being there, clipping through May. Seeing this has no real rhyme or reason as-is, it’s kinda sad to see potential of May’s clothes being wasted like this. It still looks good, but it quite honestly is just floating on top of her. Maybe it’s riveted to her shirt. Notice that she’s also pretty well toned in the stomach region.
Needless to say, the anchor has gone some redesigns as well, though very subtle ones. There are few screws on the ring and then there’s the text.
The text is probably not a music reference of any sort, but just telling that Novel build this specific anchor in 2187.
Jellyfish refers to the Jellyfish Pirates, the group May is part of. iron hammer of a maiden most likely is a thinly veiled reference to Iron Maiden, and to the fact that May uses the anchor like a hammer, is a maiden and its made of iron. Notice the little studs for added flare.
There’s nothing much to be said about May’s pants outside that she now has pants. Normal pants with white inside lining to mesh well with her scarf-hoodie thing around her neck. She also wears them a bit low, showcasing her black underwear a bit. She’s probably used to it, seeing she rocked the whole bodysuit thing for years.
May’s shoes were always on the large side, as with most Guilty gear characters, but this time they’re more angular than round. Previously, May’s shoes were also worn a bit more tightly, but this time it seems the cast is preferring looser shoes overall, and May isn’t wearing any socks either. To keep the colour and theme together, they still have black soles and black rimming, with the additional white bits, black squares and a plate that reads Me Matey.
May’s new design is a nice showcase how to redesign a character so that she still looks like her old self, despite sharing very little details. Her overall silhouette didn’t change, and May stayed instantly recognisable. While I don’t exactly play her, and I get my ass beaten all the time by better players using her, I do consider her as a core cast member that should return in each installment if possible. She kinda shares the Chun-Li status of the series with Millia in that they both were there from the beginning. Except Chun-Li was there since the second game, but let’s not get stuck on that.