Even if you may haven’t heard about Kigurumi cosplay, chances are, you’ve seen the photos floating around the Internet by now. Those pyjamas or onesies featuring a wide range of animal and cartoon designs originated from Japan under the name of Kigurumi. If you want to know anything about Kigurumi anime, we have covered everything you need to know about it in this article. Let’s find out now!
I. What is Kigurumi?
Much like cosplay, Kigurumi anime plays a significant role in Japanese society. So, first and foremost, what does Kigurumi mean? Kigurumi meaning is derived from a homonymous Japanese term: Kiru means “to wear,” while nuigurumi refers to a plush toy. It cosplays are mascot-style costumed characters.
Kigurumi anime first appeared in the hands of cosplayers and marketers. Typically, you’ll be given a chibi-style and an oversized hat. You’ll resemble an anime character stylistically, such as Kigurumi gyaru, with the bodysuit covering your entire body.
Animal onesies are the more common name for them currently, especially outside of Japan. They’re a huge improvement in terms of both appearance and comfort over the old ones. To attend a fictional Kigurumi party, one must dress like an animal. Yet, don’t be mistaken for the cosplay of fictional characters from manga or anime, they are not the same.
II. History of Kigurumi
The origins of Kigurumi date back to the mid-1990s. Most Japanese subcultures begin on the trendy streets of Harajuku and Shibuya, and it is alleged that a corporation called SAZAC Co. was responsible for starting it. Instead of engaging in any sort of heavy make-up costume play, putting on the mascot-like clothing will transform you into a real-life anime character and avoid having to spend too many efforts.
The origins of kabuki and bunraku are often cited as the starting points for the anime’s historical timeline. Kabuki is a form of dance-drama that has a long history but is still being performed today. The actors all had masks and were made up to look like monsters and specters. In other cases, Bunraku is often shown in the Japanese puppet theatre, in which the puppeteers would wear all black and homemade masks.
Then, the production of masks increased alongside the popularity of Kigurumi anime in the 1990s. The fad quickly caught on among Japanese singers and celebrities. By the middle of the 2000s, the anime had become a phenomenon.
During that time, there has been extensive media coverage of Kigurumi, but the fad didn’t really take off in the West until the early 2010s when it is becoming a globally popular Japanese fashion.
With the introduction of popular Japanese animation and manga to the Western world, the Kigurumi fad experienced a massive surge in popularity. Everyone now had a crush on Japanese pop culture. Many participants also expressed a desire to dress like their favorite anime characters.
The West began to regularly host comic book and anime conferences. The trend of dressing up for events, known as “cosplay,” gained popularity. At roughly the same time, well-known Japanese retailers like Don Quixote began stocking and selling the anime onesies as “hot” and “must-have” souvenirs. Those who visited the West took them home to share with loved ones. Websites, blogs, and social media profiles were flooded with articles and links to them from influential bloggers and writers.
Up to the present, the popularity may have declined a little, yet, there appear to have been only a few shifts in Kigurumi anime’s trajectory over time. Some variations have been made, such as Toddler pajamas, Halloween costumes, and the anime jewellery. However, it is generally believed that these are not derived from Japanese culture but more than global adaptations.
III. How many types of Kigurumi are there?
Next, we will describe some of the most frequent Kigurumi variants briefly. You can find the anime in 3 main forms, including costumes, masks, and even pyjamas.
The Japanese term for Kigurumi costumes is the anime kosupure, which emphasizes the importance of Japanese popular culture. The costumes often feature well-known characters like Pikachu, Hello Kitty, Pokemon, and others from the anime and manga fandoms. When it comes to anime characters, Kigurumi anime costumes might occasionally focus on sex appeal, yet, these animes are only regularly seen outside of Japan.
Originally worn only at parties, Kigurumi masks have since grown into a popular form of cosplay for fans of Japanese animation. Recently, though, Kigurumi masks have expanded to include characters from other animated series, such as Disney’s Frozen. The Japanese term for this category of Kigurumi is animegao, literally “anime face.”. The only real distinction with this Kigurumi anime is that it simply covers the head, while the normal one is subsequently put on the body.
Kigurumi anime pyjamas are the final category of the anime. In this case, pajamas in the form of a onesie are worn. Animal designs predominate when it comes to Kigurumi pyjamas. This Kigurumi anime style is really popular on the internet. It has found success in markets beyond Japan. Kigurumi pyjamas have been received enthusiastically in both Europe and the United States.
>>Read more: What is Hime Gyaru?
IV. The special thing that makes Kigurumi so popular?
As mentioned, Kigurumi anime have become increasingly popular outside of Japan, particularly in North America, where many famous people wear them as part of their stage costumes. At first, the Kigurumi anime’s versatility and ability to be worn for a wide range of occasions contribute to the garment’s global popularity. However, there are many more other specialities that contribute to the popularity of anime. Let’s find out 10 reasons that elevating the anime in the global public eyes:
1. You don’t have to think about what to wear
It’s clear that a Kigurumi anime can be worn and used in a wide variety of situations. I can’t think of a single costume party where rocking a Kigurumi anime wasn’t the best idea. Typically, If you are the type of person who often waits until the last minute to do anything, a Kigurumi anime shall relieve whatever anxiety you might have had about what to wear.
No more fruitless musings, you still look best in the anime no matter what. Whether you’re just hanging out with friends or going to a costume party or festival, an original Kigurumi anime should be the perfect outfit.
2. It is comfortable
You should get a Kigurumi anime, so you may cuddle up with your best friend or significant other. A Kigurumi anime’s ultra-plush fleece is practically made for cuddling up on a chilly winter night. You can wear any adult onesie and still, feel at home under a blanket while watching TV.
In addition, many individuals find a Kigurumi anime comfortable enough to wear to bed because of how toasty it keeps them. Kigurumi anime is like a modern take on the classic sleeping bag, providing warmth and comfort without sacrificing mobility. And if your concern might be on how to wash Kigurumi, we suggest you to do it manually by hand to keep the garment fresh.
3. It is cute
Kigurumi anime is part of a larger cultural phenomenon known as kawaii (or “cuteness”) in Japan. Hello Kitty is probably the most iconic kawaii character in the world. Adult-sized onesies based on characters from manga and anime are hugely successful because they reflect this adorable aesthetic. Each Kigurumi anime features kawaii-inspired traits like as large eyes, long tails, and charming ears.
4. Party dress code
In Japanese, pictures of large groups of pals lounging about in identical onesie pyjamas before going out to a party can be found all over social media. Confused about what to dress to a Halloween party? Get into character by donning this adult onesie depicting your most adored character. If you’re wearing a Kigurumi anime, you won’t need to layer up with a coat or jacket.
Because of this, you can have a late-night outdoor party or go on a pub crawl after work. And with a Kigurumi anime, you’ll be the talk of whatever gathering you attend as well.
5. Cosplay function
Kigurumi anime was originally created for the sole purpose of cosplaying. Without a the anime, you’d have to sew together your own costume garment from scratch. However, these days you can find a Kigurumi anime to represent almost any fictional figure. You might probably find people attending the event in Kigurumi anime s, as they are a common costume at comic book conventions such as ComicCon. It’s all part of the event’s context, and it helps to make it a more enjoyable and exciting experience.
6. Sporty events
In Japanese, it’s possible that you’ll want to bring your Kigurumi anime with you to the ski resort. The Kigurumi anime is a popular choice among those who enjoy winter sports because of the freedom of movement it provides its wearer. It’s not uncommon to see Kigurumi anime-clad skiers and snowboarders at the peak, and they often hang out at the mountain lodge after a day on the slopes to sip cocoa and chat. Kigurumi anime shall help you look as wonderful as you feel when you’re gearing up for a long powder run or some freestyling on the slopes.
7. Casual clothing
The Kigurumi anime’s universal appeal stems from the fact that it can be worn on any normal day. You can make any day feel more festive by donning a Kigurumi anime, even if you’re just sitting around the house or socializing with loved ones.
Netflix binge-watching has suddenly become a lot more entertaining when putting on a Kigurumi anime. To wear a Kigurumi anime is to show the world that you don’t take yourself too seriously, and watching a film or TV show is a perfectly acceptable way to spend a lazy weekend day.
8. Entertaining events
Kigurumi has become popular among many entertaining events such as competitive video gamers and music festivals. The soft, warm onesie is ideal for long hours spent in front of the TV or video game system. In addition, many of the most well-known Kigurumi anime costumes have their roots in the video game industry.
In another case, putting on a Kigurumi anime is appeared to be a fantastic way to attend a music festival in costume. Kigurumi anime s are great for early spring, fall, and winter music festivals since they are warm enough to wear as solo costumes without any additional jackets or coats. There is even a whole subculture of Kigurumi anime wearers in the UK dedicated to the practice at music festivals. Thus, you now have to show up to some music festivals dressed in a Kigurumi anime if you want to get in on the fun.
You didn’t seriously think we’d ignore social media, did you? If you’re looking for fresh visual ideas, Kigurumi anime is the place to be. Photos tagged with #helloKigurumi anime often display creative uses of Kigurumi anime. So, if you are run out of ideas for your next photoshoot, you may want to put on your favorite Kigurumi anime, apply a throwback filter, and let the internet do its thing.
Small tip: It’s a tactic used by famous people and entertainers to spark online discussion and encourage engagement from their followers.
10. Don’t know what to give as a present? How about Kigurumi anime?
A Kigurumi anime is a perfect present for the holiday season. No one can resist the urge to dress up like a cartoon or a wild animal. You can never have too many Kigurumi anime, making them another eternal present. You’ll get one every year for the rest of your life!
And when everyone is dressed in Kigurumi anime and doing so in unison, the results are nothing short of magical. Imagine a holiday gathering with all your loved ones donning the softest onesie known to man and cuddling up around the tree, the couch, or the table.
In this article, Janbox has presented everything you need to know about Kigurumi anime. If you are interested in buying these costumes directly from Japanese stores, Janbox can provide the service you need to minimize transportation costs, yet deliver the goods in the shortest term.