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Tacticool, the term being a combination of "tactical" and "cool", is an aesthetic focusing on military wear and prop replicas of high-end tactical firearms as well as their accessories. It is highly popular within the Airsoft community, and there are also many people who use it as a form of cosplay. There are also many anime style illustrations and games applying the Tacticool aesthetic to the outfits of female characters to make them appear more "dangerous" despite their cute appearance.

The negative use of the term originated in a thread on 4Chan's weapons board /k/, where posters use the term to describe superfluous accessories added to weapons. Over the years, the term has started to be used unironically as a positive term by those into that kind of aesthetic.[1]

The aesthetic is generally looked down upon, similar to Mall Ninjas, because they are often internet tough guys who collect weapons and claim being badass and skilled in weaponry, but they do so in a "cringy" way and are unable to back up their claims. Many people who are in weaponry communities point out how the quality is not up to par with real military gear and is often impractical if they were to actually use these weapons.

In addition to the products themselves, this community in a sense "cosplays" being in the military through making posts on the internet about their ability to fight, hoarding weapons, and enjoying media that is about contemporary warfare, such as the ''Call of Duty'' video game franchise. The aesthetic is also associated with overly militaristic people in the United States, including people who open-carry and/or are involved with conservative/libertarian paramilitary groups.



The weapons that are considered Tacticool may be outfitted with accessories that would not make sense in a real-life context. For example, a scope that is supposed to be for a sniper rifle attached to a handgun, which wouldn’t be able to shoot from long distances.

People in the Tacticool community also have this impracticality in camouflage being a common pattern on a variety of merchandise, such as their shirts, home wares, etc. Like the issue with impractical accessories, enjoyers of Tacticool often wear camouflage in areas where they would not be camouflaged, such as in suburbs.

  • firearm proplicas
  • camouflage
  • tanks
  • military jeeps
  • SWAT teams
  • Special Forces units (more the Hollywood version than actual Special Forces)
  • battle maids (for some reason)
  • Hawaiian Shirts (occasional)
  • Flannel Shirts


In line with it's military roots, Tacticool fashion is equally centered around military gear, but it's influence is more on what is worn by special forces units than "regular" military. This includes tight-fitting combat shirts and pants, baggy hardshell jackets, plate carrier vests, or low-cut combat shoes.

While Tacticool has been rooted in the military aesthetic, recent trends have shown the Tacticool aesthetic being injected with more paramilitary influences. Key elements to this includes the mixing of ordinary "civilian" clothing, most prominently jeans and flannel or plaid shirts; general reduction in camouflage wear or utilizing "vintage" camouflage patterns; and usage of non-military issue tactical paraphernalia such as tactical hoodies.

Overseas, prominent variations of the tacticool aesthetic are that of the battle maid and armed schoolgirl, which essentially overlays tactical gear such as vests and kneepads over their respective uniforms. Though, in the latter case it is often with the Japanese style of uniforms.


This section describes the media that people into Tacticool interact with, rather than there being this type of aesthetic within the media.

TV Series[]

  • 24
  • Band of Brothers
  • Black Rock Shooter: Dawn Fall
  • Special Ops Mission
  • SEAL Team
  • Youjo Senki


  • Arknights
  • Black Rock Shooter: The Game
  • Counter-Strike
  • Call of Duty
  • Battlefield
  • Girls Frontline
  • SOCOM games
  • Escape from Tarkov
  • Tom Clancy franchise
  • Ready or Not
  • Arma


External links to help get a better understanding of this aesthetic.


Pinterest Boards[]