Silver Valkyrie & Hiten

     Silver Valkyrie (Michelle Nichols) and Hiten (Kevin Nichols) are a cosplay couple who have been married for 3 years. They met 8 years ago funnily enough at a cosplay club at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. They were fortunate to meet one another despite going to separate schools at the time, Michelle attending COD, and Kevin attending Olivet in Bourbonnais, Illinois. Still perhaps it was no surprise, however, that their paths and lives would cross as they already shared a love and passion for anime and cosplay already.
     Michelle started cosplaying in 2003 and first debuted as Sakura from Naruto. She began attending anime conventions when she was 12 and has continued strongly ever since. Since her cosplay beginnings she has cosplayed many characters over the years, including Tifa Lockhart (FF7 Advent Children), Ashe and Ahri (League of Legends), Ciel Phantomhive and Undertaker (Black Butler), Alice (Alice and the Kingdom of Hearts), Nozomi Tojo (love Live), Ririchiyo Shirakiin (Inu X Boku), Zelda (Legend of Zelda), Asuna Yuuki (Sword Art Online), and others.
     Kevin began his cosplay life in 2009 and first debuted as Cloud Strife from Final Fantasy Advent Children. He began attending conventions the same year and also have been attending ever since. Despite starting much later than Michelle, Kevin has also racked up quite of number of cosplays himself. Some of these include Vincent Valentine (Final Fantasy Advent Children), Sebastian (Black Butler), Link (Legend of Zelda), Soushi Mikatsukami (Inu X Boku), Boris (Alice and the Kingdom of Hearts), Night Class (Vampire Knight), Kirito Kazuto (Sword Art Online), Son Hak (Yona of the Dawn), and others.
     While the number of cosplays that Kevin and Michelle have achieved is impressive, many of them wouldn't have been possible without their shared cooperation as a cosplay couple. While buying outfits and props is commonplace, Kevin and Michelle go even further and construct much of their items as well. Personal construction and creation began early on and has been a very rewarding endeavor. Over the years both their skills have grown, not only from individual efforts, but also from the support and encouragement they give each other to succeed. This has benefitted them not only as cosplayers but as a couple too. This is especially true for "couple cosplays" where the characters in question are also a couple, or a shipped couple within the series. The first couple cosplay that Kevin and Michelle did together was Cloud and Tifa. The first major couple cosplay where they did much of the design and construction was Link and Zelda. Their cosplay construction skills grew more ambitious and complicated all the way up to their latest couple cosplay, Kirito and Asuna, where nearly every piece was made from scratch, including full armor sets. In recent years they even began to help some of their friends to create their own cosplays and to try to pass along some of the knowledge and skills they have picked up over the years. Of course there is always something new to be learned as well, and they have spent much time conversing with other experienced cosplayers exchanging knowledge.
     The journey for Kevin and Michelle began humbly enough but it has since blossomed into something truly wonderful for the two of them. From the terrific outfits, to the epic conventions, to the wonderful friends made along the way, the road goes on with no end in sight. It seems all but certain that the outfits and the debuts will be even more amazing as time goes on.

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